SUMMIT, NJ - One victory away from a trip to MetLife Stadium and the opportunity to play for a second consecutive state championship, Summit varsity football head coach Kevin Kostibos has two just two requests of Hilltopper fans for the game Saturday at home versus Cranford:
"I want pure emotion, and I want a 'Maroon-Out'... a sea of maroon in the stands."
In return, the first-year head coach, who has guided his team to a 10-0 record, is saying his Summit team will be, "physical upfront, flying around the ball, focused on establishing our running game, and focused on playing mistake-free football."
Summit admittedly will face an improved Cranford team from the squad that they easily handled 48-14 at Friday Night Lights. "Their quarterback is a runner and a thrower, they are big and physical, and they have some speed on the edge," said Kostibos. Indeed, Cranford has faced some quality opponents while going 7-3 this season, most notably Watchung Hills and Ridge.
Charlie Terry had what Kostibos called "his break-out game" in the win over the Cougars on September 27, completing 11 out of 15 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns. Summit also piled up 236 yards on the ground, 133 gained by Colm Dougherty.
While Summit's quick-strike, dual-threat offense gets the majority of the headlines, it would be a mistake to overlook the contribution the defense has played in their unbeaten season to date. Led by first-year Defensive Coordinator Chet Parlavecchio, the Hilltopper defensive unit has limited opponents to an average of 16.4 points per game, and only 8.4 points per game in the first half, when Summit has taken most games in hand. "Chet has amazing passion and true football pedigree," Kostibos said, referring to Parlavecchio's father, who is the Linebackers Coach for the NFL's Tennessee Titans. It was the Hilltopper defense that shut down down Rahway in the second half this year, giving the offense the ball and quality field position that enabled a 20-point, fourth-quarter comeback win that is acknowledged as a defining moment for the team.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Investors Bank Field. Kostibos summed up the opportunity before the team by saying, "We are 48 minutes from the dance; we are excited, relaxed, and we are ready."
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