SUMMIT, NJ - Quarterback Charlie Terry threw four touchdowns and ran for another -- all in the first half -- leading Summit (3-0) to convincing 48-14 win over Cranford in the Friday Night Lights game.
In last week's win over Johnson of Clark, it was the running game, led by Colm Dougherty's five touchdowns, that paced the victory. This week, it was the arm and legs of Terry, who threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter, completed 11 out of 15 passing attempts in the half for 215 yards, and added a rushing touchdown of his own for good measure. "Their defense basically said, we are going to defend the run and your quarterback needs to beat us... and he did," said Summit Head Coach Kevin Kostibos.
An overflow crowd was still entering Investors Bank Field as the Hilltoppers quick-strike offense took a 14 point lead. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Hilltoppers no huddle offense marched down the field until Terry found Chris Zanelli for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Five plays later the advantage was doubled as, after Cranford fumbled on the third-down play of their first series, Terry hit David Connolly on a 28-yead pass.
To their credit, Cranford answered, with a 46-yard run off left tack for a score by Donovan Walker. The Cougars' answer was just a speed bump for the Hilltoppers however as, after a big 35-yard kickoff return by Zanelli, Terry marched the team down the field and found Zanelli again for another 16-yard score. Summit's defense held Cranford on the next series, turning the ball over on downs, and Terry essentially decided the game's outcome when he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Masterfano. It was a electric display by the senior quarterback and captain, fitting for the bright lights and big crowd on hand. "Charlie is a great leader, with tremendous command and tonight he came to play", said Kostibos.
The second quarter saw Summit's emphasis turn to the ground game, and scores by Caleb Sink on a 1-yard plunge, and Dougherty, via a 58-blast up the middle, and Terry's 16-yard run off right tackle, made it 48-7 at halftime. The second-half was all about liberal substitutions and a running clock, with a Cranford scoring in the fourth quarter through John Oblachinski's 1-yard run. While praising his "bend don't break defense" for holding Cranford to essentially one score on the evening, Kostibos said, "This was a very successful offensive night. Cranford was in man coverage and there was a lot of one-on-one situations. Our kids made plays."
Off to a successful start, Kostibos is focused on consistent, day-to-day improvement as the team moves forward. "We can go as far as we want to go. Our focus is on getting better every day, and we take things one game at a time." Up next for the Hilltoppers is North Plainfield October 5 at Investors Bank Field. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.