SUMMIT, NJ - On an idyllic fall day at Investors Bank Field, the Summit varsity football team delivered its best game of the season, thrashing a solid Delaware Valley squad, 46-13, improving to 8-0 on the campaign, and winning the Mid-State 38 Conference, Raritan Division title.
Summit Head Coach Kevin Kostibos said he was waiting for his team to play a perfect game and, while it wasn't completely flawless, the Hilltoppers, in the words of their coach, "Played their tails off and put in a championship-caliber effort." He added, "We are banged up, down five starters, and we come out and fire on all cylinders. When we play like this, we are a tough team to beat. It is a testament to our kids."
Aided by three Delaware Valley turnovers, Summit got a pair of first-half Charlie Terry to Andrew Masterfano scores, to go along with a matching pair of Chris Zanelli touchdown runs, plus a defensive score by Will Delaney -- who recovered a fumble and steam rolled 10 yards into the end zone -- to build a commanding 33-7 lead. The last score, a Terry rainbow hauled in by Masterfano covering 27 yards, came with 6.7 seconds to go in the half, and served as the dagger that essentially sealed the game. The second half was controlled by Summit, essentially a clock-draining combination of Hilltopper ball control offense and stubborn defense whose only real opponent was the clock. After touchdown scores by Zanelli and Dougherty took the score to 46-7, rules stipulate a running clock that only shortened Summit's wait for the final whistle that gave them their title.
In addition to the scores, one of the game's highlight plays was turned by Dougherty, who rumbled 78 yards on a run that saw him blast through the Warriors line and take off down the left sideline. Almost brought down several times, the senior captain kept his legs churning, defied gravity, and took the ball down to the five yard line. The play symbolized the team's energy and grit, as did a second-half, off-tackle run by Terry, who snaked his way into the secondary before lowering his shoulders and flattening the Warrior defender who attempted to tackle him. On the day, Summit piled up 440 yards of offense, including 296 on the ground.
"We set several goals coming into the season." said Kostibos. "Win the conference, win the county, win the state, and go 12-0. We are one-for-one." Summit's final regular season game is Nov. 9 at Hillside, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.