Summit Edges Out Cranford 30-27
Saturday, September 22, 2012 • 8:02am
CRANFORD, NJ - Friday night was the highly anticipated matchup between two of the Raritan division’s finest teams. Both the Summit High School Hilltoppers and Cranford High School Cougars walked into Friday’s game 2-0.
Summit was hoping to continue their 29 consecutive win streak for regular season games that goes back to 2009. Both high schools have exceptional football teams - Cranford’s only loss last year was to Summit.
The quarterback playing for Cranford High was the state renowned Reggie Green (#7), who just a week before rushed 249 yards with 3 touchdowns in a stunning victory against Somerville. While Summit High’s usual quarterback Tyler Carbone (#9) was not playing due to injuries. Mike Badgely (#5) took the privilege and responsibility of leading the team on Friday. Badgely, who is better known for his stellar kicking, took on the role of quarterback. Badgely even played defense, and had multiple interceptions.
In the first quarter, Summit got off to a great start with a quick touchdown followed by a successful extra point. However, this was soon countered by the Cranford offense which had a smooth and uninterrupted drive into the end zone for a touchdown. However, Cranford missed the extra point. In the third quarter, both offenses kicked in to full gear.
Early in the third quarter, Summit Fullback AJ Iarussi (#24), rushed the ball and scored for Summit and Mike Badgely then made the successful extra point. The score was Summit 14, Cranford 6. The retaliatory drive for Cranford was nearly halted when a fumble occurred while rushing on the first play of the drive. However, the ball was neatly recovered by Cranford.
On the next play, Reggie Green (#7), rushed 93 yards and scored for the Cougars. A daring move to attempt a two point conversion to tie up the game failed, and the score was 14-12 with Summit in the lead. Iarussi again rushed and scored with 7:00 left in the third quarter, with Mike Badgely yet again scored the extra point. A short time latter, Summit scored again but missed an attempted two point conversion. The score was now 27-12 in favor of Summit and things were looking very bleak for the Cougars.
While the minutes of the third quarter wound down, both teams were stuck in a defensive stalemate. There was little action compared to the rest of the fast-paced game.
Despite being behind the whole game, Cranford did not stop giving it their all. Reggie Green threw a 44 yard touchdown pass to Chris Folinusz. The Cougars then successfully executed a two point conversion in which Green threw a bullet to Folinusz again, who made an impressive one hand grab to make the score 27-20 in favor of Summit.
In a daring move, the onside kick of the Cranford offense was a success and the ball was once again in their possession. Momentum seemed to be on the side of Cranford. Green led an eight play drive that ended with another touchdown, and Troy Kettler, the kicker for Cranford, secured the extra point with a clean kick with only 53 seconds left in regulation.
Summit's Masterfano carried the ball to the Cranford 45, and a facemask penalty gave Summit another 15 yards. Iarussi then rushed for 3 yards.
On third down, Summit was in prime range for a field goal from their star kicker Mike Badgely. At the Cranford 27 Badgely made a perfect kick sending the ball through the posts and Summit to victory.
With only 8 seconds left, Cranford attempted a classic Hail Mary pass. Badgely intercepted the pass with only .5 seconds left in regulation, effectively ending the game and leaving Summit with a 30-27 victory over their Cranford rivals.