Kevin Jadick lives around the corner from Connetquot High School. He said he could always hear the football crowds roar during the fall. And all he could think about it as a little kid was one day being the quarterback for the Thunderbirds.
"It was always my dream, my goal to lead Connetquot football," Jadick said. "I was only a sophomore when we won the Long Island championship and I'll always be a part of that team. But it wasn't my team."
And last year Jadick sat behind starter Ryan Andersen and admitted it wasn't easy as Long Island's defending Class I champions, struggled to a 4-4 record.
But it's a new year for Jadick. The senior enjoyed the fruits of another outstanding performance as Connetquot beat Patchogue-Medford, 10-8, Friday night before a crowd of more than 1,100 in a pivotal Suffolk Division I game. The T-Birds are 3-0.
This was what he had been waiting for - an opportunity.
With Hansen Award candidate Mike Pellegrino (seven touchdowns and 403 yards rushing through the first two games) forced to the sideline for more than three quarters with a severe hip pointer, a third straight win would hinge on Jadick's athleticism and accuracy. And he didn't disappoint.
Jadick completed 8 of 13 passes for 137 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown to Tom McInerney to open the scoring. But it was the 52-yard drive in the final 43 seconds of the first half that resulted in a Mike Cella 29-yard field goal that will be his signature moment.
"This is my team, my friends," said Jadick, who passed 18 yards to Steve Compitello and 19 yards to McInerney to set up the field goal. "Now I get to show what I can do and that we can win."
Jadick's final dagger came on a third-and-15 from the Connetquot 30 with 8:20 left in the game. He eluded backside pressure and barely escaped the grasp of Dom Fucci (two sacks) and rolled right. He heaved a long throw to Mike Pinto for 42 yards, a key first down.
"The play is never dead because he is so elusive," said Connetquot coach Mike Hansen, whose team beat Patchogue for the first time in his eight years. "He gives us that added element of escapability and extending the play. The defense can't cover that long."
Connetquot linebacker Joe Cirrone had eight tackles and intercepted a long pass with two seconds left to seal the win.
Patchogue-Medford (1-2) ate up 20:17 of the first half, including a 73-yard drive in 18 plays that took 10:17 before Kevin Gerard scored on a 1-yard QB sneak. Joe Altrui added the two-point conversion run for the 8-7 lead with 43 seconds left.
And then it was Jadick time.