To be a running back is to occupy a very precarious position on a football squad. Most realize quickly that they are not likley to get very far without the support of offensive lineman who block well, and the other key is make quick directional decisions or get punished.
A.J. Iarussi was graced with good blocks and made excellent upfield decisions on Saturday as he led his Hilltopper team to a 24-14 over the Rahway Indians for a home coming victory on Investors Field at Tatlock Park on Saturday afternoon.
"My line did a great job," Iarussi said after the game. "I have the utmost trust in my line. I just do my very best to read their blocks and take it to the end zone every time."
From Iarussi's view, the Indians defense was blocking on the bias, attempting to move Hilltopper linemen toward the sidelines to protect against wide runs.
"We took advantage of it," Iarussi said."I just cut inside and cut outside and we caught them on their heels and just kept stepping and running our feet."
Summit's first score, came as Iarussi darted forward on an eight year run and extended the ball forward just as he hit the goal line. Mike Badgley add the extra point and it was 7-0 Summit. Rahway answered quickly when early in the second quarter the Indians drove 85 yard in 14 plays to score. Rahway missed the extra point. Summit led 7-6 at halftime.
In the second half, the Hilltoppers on their first possession. Behind a 65-yard drive with a great 21-yard run by Phillip Jefferson, Iarussi pounded his way into again giving the Hilltoppers the lead, 14-6. Rahway again responded quickly with on a TD pass from quarterback Hakeem Cornegay. Kornegay ran in the extra point and the score was tied 14-14.
The remainder of the game became a test of wills. As the third quarter came to a close, the Hilltoppers gave up posession with a fumble. On play later, Seth Ryan notched a diving interception, which ended with Iarussi's Hat Trick - a three-yard push for his third touchdown of the game. The Hilltoppers added a field goal on the fourth to cap the win.
"It's just one of those games when we have two great teams out here," head coach John Liberato said. "We are fortunate to come out with a win."
S - Iarussi 8y yd run, Badgley kick
R - 4 yd pass, kick failed
S - Iarussi 3 yd run, Badgley kick
R - 35 yd pass, run
S - Iasrussi 3yd run, Badgley kick
S - Badgley 42 yd field goal
AJ Iarussi 21-111, Ryan Bringewatt 12-65, Mike Badgley 8-24, Philip Jefferson 2-21, Kyre Negron 7-18,
Ryan Bringewatt 8-3-1-28 0 TDs,
Mike Badgley 1-11, Luke Stephens 1-10, Will Weber 1-7,
Seth Ryan 3-43, Mike Badgley 3-31,
Kyre Negron 2-35.5,
AJ Iarussi 11, Stefano Stadlinger 9, Will Weber 8, Kyre Negron 7, Andrew Oristanio 6, Nick Liberato 5, Connor O'Malley 4, Mike Badgley 4, Seth Ryan 4, Robert Chase 3, Joseph Lasaracino 3, Andrew Miller 3, Hany Casteneda 3, Chris Chaves 2, Andrew Perry 2, Billy Hadley 1, Will Shamim 1, Andrew Masterfano 1,
TACKLES FOR LOSS
AJ Iarussi 2, Stefano Stadlinger 3, Will Weber 2, Andrew Oristanio 1, Nick Liberato 2, Connor O'Malley 1, Mike Badgley 1, Joseph Lasaracino 1, Andrew Miller 1, Hany Casteneda 1, Billy Hadley 1,
PASSES BROKEN UP
AJ Iarussi 1, Seth Ryan 1, Robert Chase 1,
Mike Badgley 1,
Mike Badgley 1
Mike Badgley 1, Seth Ryan 1,
AJ Iarussi 1, Nick Liberato 1,