Summit Football Beats Parsippany Hills, Moves on to State Finals

Kyre Negron runs a sweep right and sets up a first and goal. Credits: Jose Ortiz
Mike Badgley runs to his right, on the way to a 25-yard touchdown. Credits: Jose Ortiz
A.J. Iarussi runs through the defense, fighting off tacklers. Credits: Jose Ortiz
A.J. Iarussi runs through the middle. Credits: Jose Ortiz
Summit head coach, John Liberato was unhappy with some calls on Saturday, and let the officials hear it. Credits: Jose Ortiz

The Summit football team will be headed back to the state sectional finals next weekend, looking to take care of some unfinished business. Mike Badgley threw a pair of touchdowns and ran in another two to help punch the Hilltoppers's ticket to the North II Group 3 state finals, comfortably beating Parsippany Hills on Saturday afternoon, at Tatlock Field, 30-13.

"It's the greatest feeling in the world," Badgley said of going to the state finals. "You get there and you're joyful now, but we have to start preparing as soon as we get up to that locker room. It's a whole new game in the state championship."

Summit began the game with two failed drives on offense, and fell behind 6-0, following an early first quarter seven-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Simms to Tyler Bartro. On third and two at the Par Hills 40, Badgley broke up a pass, forcing a fourth down punt. On the ensuing kick, a Par Hills player laid a hit on a Hilltopper away from the play, seemingly igniting the home team.

Sign Up for E-News

"I don't know exactly what happened, but I do know that it kicked our guys in the butt and we just decided to start playing football," Badgley said of the play. "We had thirty unanswered points and we just started pounding right through them."

The Hilltoppers scored four plays later, when Bagdley hit a wide open Will Shamim on a rollout pass to the right, starting a string of 30 unanswered points for Summit. The Vikings did not score again until there was less than six minutes left in the contest.

Early in the second quarter, with Summit up, 7-6, Nick Liberato recovered a fumble in the Viking backfield to set up the Hilltoppers with great field position, at their own 48. A.J. Iarussi and Badgley combined for 48 yards on seven carries in the ensuing possession. The drive was capped by an impressive Badgley run, where he began with a run toward the right sideline, and then cutback across the field toward the left, taking advantage of the defense's over-pursuit, to score from 25-yards out.

On the second play of the third quarter, Shamim made the first of his two interceptions in the game, deep in Viking territory, setting up the locals with the ball at the Par Hills 15. Badgley punched in a two-yard touchdown to cap the ensuing possession and put Summit up, 21-6, with 10:43 left in the second half.

But perhaps the knockout blow came on Summit's next possession, also set up by a Shamim interception. On second and 24, Badgley was flushed from the pocket to his right, he ran around the backfield to extend the play, just before hitting the line of scrimmage, he dumped off a short throw to Iarussi, who took the two yard pass and turned it into a 75-yard touchdown, cutting across the field from right to left, and then back to the right on the run. A missed extra point, staked Summit to a 27-6 lead, and a 27-yard field goal by Badgley early in the fourth quarter, put Summit up 30-6.

"I thought we played fantastic, the defense especially. The way we rushed the quarterback and our corners were just all over everyone," Shamim said. "Even on completions, there was someone right there to make the tackle. I thought the defense just played phenomenal, particularly the D-line."

Par Hills got a little momentum going in the fourth quarter, cutting into the lead with Simms's second td pass of the game, this one to Kire Milveski, from a yard out on second and goal. Despite recovering the ensuing onsides kick with well over five minutes to play, Summit held its ground and did not surrender another point.

The Hilltopper defense played exceptionally well, getting three turnovers, four sacks and five other tackles for a loss. Simms attempted a ludicrous 48 passes in the game, and completed 21 of them for 228, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Milveski led all players with 106 receiving yards, while Par Hills running back, Carmine Verducci, rushed for 86 yards to lead the team.

Defensively for Summit, outside of Shamim and Nicholas Watts playing extremely well at the corners, Par Hills had no answer for Mac Wiesner, Connor O'Malley and Andrew Oristanio on the defensive line.

"The coaches told us all week that the defensive backs were going to have to step up," Badgley said. "We had two weeks to prepare and Nick Watts and Will Shamim had a huge day for us at the corner position, they made some awesome plays for us."

"We had two weeks to prepare and our coaches prepared us better than we've been prepared for any game," O'Malley said. "We saw they scored one touchdown and we were just not going to let that happen. We were not going to let this game slip away."

Summit, which improved to 11-0 with the win, has not lost a game since losing in last year's North II Group 2 state finals to Madison. They'll face Palisades Park in next week's sectional final.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


The Working Man Conned

January 22, 2017

The changing of the guard is now complete, and America has entered an era of uncertainty with dark threats to our existing democratic institutions which were built by strong willed men and women over a period of almost three centuries.

A real testing of our moral courage is before us, and we the people will be challenged every single day like never before in our history. This new era of ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, January 24, 9:15 AM

The Connection, Summit

Total Body Kick

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness


Tue, January 24, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit


Community Calendar Education

Tue, January 24, 10:15 AM

SAGE Eldercare, Summit

Fun-to-Be-Fit Exercise Class

Community Calendar

Summit Fire Department Blotter

Dec. 1, 2016 0233 - Units responded to a motor vehicle accident with injuries and an overturned vehicle with possible extrication. Incident located at mm 10 Route 24, West.  Springfield and Millburn FD also on scene.  Summit provided a safety block, and for scene safety and assisted with securing vehicles.  

Dec. 5, 2016 at 12:25 - Units dispatched to a PARK AVE apartment for a ...

Summit Police Blotter

January 23, 2017

01/08 - CJ H. Garifalos, 20, of Union was arrested for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and a contempt of court warrant. Mr. Garifalos was released with a pending court date.

01/09 - Christopher V. Guerriero, 29, of West Orange was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and use of paraphernalia. Mr. Guerriero was released ...

Audio: Point View's Petrides Talks Money Management in Light of Pending Fed Rate Hikes

January 22, 2017

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, interviewed by the Wall Street Journal discussing the Fed’s path to a normalized 3% rate hike possible by 2018:

Point View Wealth Management, Inc. works with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive financial ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Says Beware of Headwinds in 'Market Call' Appearance

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, answers audience questions on BNN's 'Market Call':

Point View Wealth Management, Inc. works with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive financial planning, to develop and achieve their financial ...

Closed Fund Open Mind

Closed-end funds (CEFs) can play an important role in a diversified investment portfolio. They offer benefits similar to those of an open-end mutual fund, but also sport unique advantages.  

Unlike a traditional open-end mutual fund, CEFs have a fixed number of shares available to trade. Their price is not tied to the value of the underlying portfolio. The only way the number of shares ...

Raising The 'Bar' When Celebrating Life's Milestone Moments

The renovation of the event space at the historic Grand Summit Hotel in Summit was directly aimed at creating a lighter, brighter, more welcoming space that would promote a party atmosphere inherent to the wedding and Bar / Bat Mitzvah and wedding celebration. The results have been embraced by the Hotel's very loyal clientele, as indicated by the strong repeat activity in the large social ...

Students Showcase Their Creative Talents

Summit High School offers students many educational opportunities outside of regular math, science, history, and English classes. There are academic help centers open during the school day, AP and honors courses and college fairs. Until the creation of 'Word!' open mic, however, Summit High School had fewer opportunities for its more creative students.

'Word!' open mic is a ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.


I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.


This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.


It is not really ...