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Par Hills Comeback Falls Short in State Championship Game

Turnover in end zone with less than two minutes remaining thwarts Vikings' rally from 16-point deficit.

Charlie Terry (16) throws a pass to the sidelines.
Charlie Terry (16) throws a pass to the sidelines.

Summit High School’s football team entered Friday evening football game just one win away from a perfect season and 24 straight victories over two years. 

After four grueling quarters against a tough Parsippany Hills squad and battling through rain-soaked weather conditions, the Hilltoppers left as the North 2, Group 3 champions.

“We came up three points short,” Par Hills head coach Dave Albano said.  “I was really proud of my team the way they came back. We dug ourselves a hole, which we talked about and can’t do. And we came back, we made it a game.  We were inside the red zone twice and came away empty. You can’t do that.”

The title was Summit's second straight and eighth overall.

“This season was just a blast,” said Summit quarterback Charlie Terry, shaking with excitement and the cold.  “They reacted very well to our offense and we didn’t score in the second half.  It is defense that wins championships and that is exactly what we did. It is just great to go back-to-back.  I can’t explain what I am feeling right now.”

Summit got on the scoreboard first on a 23-yard pass from Charlie Terry to Colm Dougherty. Terry followed that up with another touchdown pass to Chris Zanelli.  With an added field goal from Jack Johnson, Summit was up 16-0. 

But Parsippany Hills never gave up and quarterback Brandon Katzenberger found a streaking Evan Smith for a 53-yard touchdown just before halftime to pull the Vikings to 16-6 at intermission.

On the first possession after the half, Katzenberger hit Tommy Bluj for a 75-yard score that put the Vikings back into the game at 16-13.

Parsippany Hills shut down the Summit offense and held them scoreless in the second half.  But it was Summit's defense that closed out the game.  With time running out, Katzenburger threw a desperation pass on fourth-and-12 that was intercepted in the end zone by Andrew Masterfano.

“This was an unbelievable game because you had the weather that affected both teams immensely,” Summit head coach Kevin Kositobs said.  “Two teams that up until tonight I thought would be a very big throw the football, a ton of scoring and it turned into a complete dogfight.

“We were able to make some big plays when we had to,” Kositobs said. “The kids who stepped up all year, stepped up real big tonight.  I can’t tell you how proud I am of these kids.  These guys deserve all the credit in the world.  Par Hills, you can’t ask for a finer football team.  They gave everyone a great game to watch.”

steve revette December 07, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Well I know who the refs bet on and it wasn't Par hills. We got bad spots all game long. You know you're in trouble when after a fourth and inches the referee looks at the chains before spotting the ball. When it was obvious he went forward somehow he went backwards. Strange. Great game and great season. Go PHHS.
Mike Kertesz December 07, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Boys played there hearts out, what a game, they should be all proud of themselves , awesome job!!!
Scott Roth December 08, 2013 at 05:30 PM
not sure why they didnt take a field goal and tie it up with almost 5 minutes left
Mike Kertesz December 08, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Scott, lots of people talking about that, field goal that is.

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