Summit Defeats Warren Hills 41-14; Summit Football Improves to 7-0
Saturday, October 20, 2012 • 6:15pm
SUMMIT, NJ - Is there anything Mike Badgley can't do on a football field? That was the question likely on the mind of spectators, as they left Investor's Bank Field on Saturday afternoon in Summit, following yet another lopsided Summit Hilltopper win, 41-14, over Warren Hills.
Badgley, who filled in for injured quarterback, Tyler Carbone, tossed two touchdown passes, ran two in and set up another touchdown on a 71 yard kick return. The senior co-captain barely came off of the field on Saturday afternoon, until the game was well in hand in the fourth quarter. Mr. Everything started at quarterback, free safety, kickoff return, punt return, place kicker and punter.
"He's a special athlete, he really is, he's really special," said Summit head coach John Liberato. "He has developed into a courageous, confident and competitive leader. That's what's going to make him a great division one football player."
Summit racked up 319 rushing yards, gaining nearly eight yards per carry, with A.J. Iarussi leading the way, once again, with 112 yards. The Hilltoppers dominated the line of scrimmage all game long, especially on the offensive side, where they could do pretty much anything they wanted.
After coming away without points on their first two drives of the game, Badgley got Summit on the board with a 30 yard touchdown run. After the ball was snapped to him, Badgley made a move to elude a defender in the backfield and then took off towards the right side of the field for the score. The score capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive.
Badgley threw his first touchdown of the game on Summit's next drive, hitting Will Shamim on a 30-yard strike, off of a play-action, rollout pass to the right, on the final play of the first quarter, putting Summit up, 13-0.
"We just try to do the best we can for our team each and every week and this week I had to play quarterback," Badgley said. "I just wanted to do the best I could for us."
Warren Hills responded on the ensuing drive, going 74 yards in 12 plays, finishing off the drive with a perfect 24-yard touchdown throw from Zach Martin to Karl Meier. But just when it seemed like the Blue Streak were starting to get some momentum, Badgely and the kick return unit responded with a 71 yard kickoff return, setting the Hilltoppers up at the Warren Hills 15-yard-line. Kyre Negron punched in the touchdown from two-yards out and Austin Carbone ran in the two point conversion, putting Summit up, 21-7 just before halftime.
Any chance of the game being competitive went out the window during the first four minutes of the third quarter. Iarussi got the quarter started with a 72 yard run on a run towards the left sideline, weaving through the defense and breaking tackles and getting Summit to the Warren Hills 15-yard-line. Four plays later, Badgley ran in his second touchdown of the game, this one from 12 yards out.
On the Blue Streak's second play on the ensuing drive, the snap was fumbled and recovered by Iarussi, giving the Hilltoppers a first and 10 at the Warren Hills 21-yard-line. Badgley finished off the drive, hitting Daniel Kennedy with a bullet, right at the front of the end zone from five yards out. The score put Summit up, 35-7, and essentially ended the game with over 20 minutes left to play.
Charlie Terry scored Summit's final touchdown on an eight-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. The Blue Streak scored their final touchdown on a six yard run by Sint Vansolkema with 24.6 seconds left in the game, and all of Summit's starters on the bench.
Defensively, the Hilltoppers forced and recovered three fumbles and recorded seven sacks, while holding Warren Hills to 206 yards of total offense, 63 of which came during garbage time on Warren Hills's final drive of the game. Iarussi led the way with two fumble recoveries and three sacks. Only one of the turnovers, however, led to points.
"We had some bright spots, we also had some spots where we need to improve," Liberato said. "Getting a turnover down inside the 20-yard-line and we come away with no points, to me that's discouraging. We need to improve on that, and we need to get the instinct that anytime we get the ball in their territory, we need to put the ball in the end zone."
Summit, which improved to 7-0 and extended its winning streak to 34 straight regular season games, now sets its focus on Delaware Valley and winning the Mid-State 38 Raritan Division championship. Delaware Valley is 5-1 and will be at home, trying to deny Summit another division crown. Summit is already guaranteed at least a share of the championship, but a win would give them the division outright. A win would also likely lock up the number one seed for the postseason in the North II Group 3 section.
"We are playing very well, we can't be too confident, we just want to play the best we can every week," Badgley said. "We don't really get into the record stuff and the conference stuff, we just want to play football."