Summit Football Impressive in Season Opener
Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 5:36pm
SUMMIT, NJ -The Hilltoppers were nearly flawless on Saturday afternoon, in a season opening win over Somerville, 41-7, at Tatlock Field in Summit. The locals dominated on all sides of the ball, racking up 299 yards on the ground and holding Somerville below 200 total yards, 60 of which came on the last play of the game, against Summit subs.
It was complete domination for the Hilltoppers, who wasted no time getting things started, scoring three first quarter touchdowns, en route to 41 unanswered points, before Summit finally broke through for a score on its final offensive play.
"Our kids were hungry today," said Summit head coach John Liberato. "Our goal was to be as dominant as we could be in the first game, and then we try and improve from there."
Summit's Kyre Negron, who tallied 132 yards on seven carries, scored the first two touchdowns of the game. The first came off of a one-yard pass from qb, Tyler Carbone, the second off of a 16 sweep right, coming with 5:30 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing Somerville possession, the Pioneers broke into Summit territory, but could not get into scoring possession. Somerville's fourth down punt was blocked by a host of Hilltoppers and scooped up by Nick Liberato who took it to the house, 43 yards, giving Summit a three score advantage. A.J. Iarussi, who gained 118 yards on the ground, scored the first of his three touchdowns, going 13 yards up the gut, putting Summit up 27-0, with over 10 minutes left in the opening half. Summit's no huddle offense completely wore down the defense of Somerville.
"The team was clicking on all eight cylinders today. We looked fantastic," Iarussi said. "We've been working so hard all this summer, our conditioning really paid off. We kept running the no-huddle, they were tired, and our guys, we just looked great."
By the time Iarussi scored his third td, hitting the right side of the line and weaving in and out of the defense for a 44-yard scamper, the game had long since been over, despite the 4:59 left in the third quarter.
"Our line was firing out, our backs were fast as lightning today and our quarterback was doing great job, so it was easy for me to have success with a great offense like that," Iarussi said.
To their credit, Summit's second unit on defense did not let up, once they got into the game, even against Somerville's first team offense. Early on in the fourth quarter, the second unit stalled a 79-yard Somerville drive at the one-yard-line, preserving the shutout at the time. However, on Somerville's final play of the game, Tyree Melton found space on the left side of Summit's defense, and streaked down the sideline for a 60-yard score, spoiling Summit's shutout, with 7.1 seconds remaining.
Though he wasn't asked to make too many plays in this one, Carbone played efficiently when he was called on. He completed six of eight passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
"Tyler is definitely a field general," Liberato said. "He definitely knows how to put us in a good situation and I'm real proud of him."
Defensively, though Summit did not force any turnovers or rack up a bunch of sacks, it was the way they controlled the ground game of Somerville which made their performance impressive. The Pioneers attempted 25 carries in the contest, and Summit held the visitors to two or fewer yards on 15 of those attempts. Somerville had just 70 total yards in the first half, 24 of which came on the ground.
"The defense was hungry today," Iarussi said. "That's pretty much it, they were hungry and they wanted to hit today. They looked really god, everyone was making their reads and everyone was doing what they needed to do at each position."
Summit is back home next week on Saturday, when they host Johnson, before hitting the road for two straight contests.