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Gov. Livingston Football to Travel to Summit for "Friday Night Lights" Matchup

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Gov. Livingston Highlanders will make the short trek east to Summit to meet the Hilltoppers in their annual “Friday Night Lights” game under the portable lights at Investors Bank Field. Kickoff is set for 7pm.

Gov. Livingston  (1-2) coming off a bye week after defeating North Plainfield will be looking to end an 8 game losing streak to the Hilltoppers. Against North Plainfield the Highlanders fought back from an early 16 point deficit and used a” total team effort” to outlast the Canucks for a 36-29 win. Seniors QB Pat DeAngelis (11-16,196) and wideout Matt Schuman (3,105,TD) led the way as the Highlanders opened up their offense and put up a season high 36 points. However, it wasn’t just the heroics of DeAngelis and Schuman which accounted for this much needed win. The young Highlanders “total team effort” included 15 players on defense recording tackles, 7 different ball carriers and 6 players on the receiving end of DeAngelis throws. The contest ended when Schuman from his safety position intercepted a pass with just under a minute to play to seal the victory as the Canucks were driving for the potential winning score.

Last Friday afternoon at Investors Field, Summit evened its record at 2-2 after dominating Scotch Plains-Fanwood 56-35 .The Hilltoppers who dropped two close low scoring games earlier this season exploded for 35 first half points against SPF en route to their highest point total since they lit up the scoreboard  for 63 points in back to back games in 2011. Against SPF the Hilltoppers played a perfect half of football on both sides of the ball as they led 35-0 after 2 quarters of play. However the Raiders made the game interesting as they scored 21 unanswered points to open the third quarter before the Hilltoppers got back on track and closed out the second half with 21 points of their own. Amazingly the Hilltoppers gave up 533 passing yards in the game but still managed to win by 3 scores.

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Gov. Livingston vs. Summit  Game Preview

In last year’s matchup, Gov. Livingston who had not beaten Summit since 2008 was clinging to a 21-20 lead with 1:27 left in the contest and had the Summit offense looking at a 4th and 16 at midfield.  Unfortunately for Gov. Livingston, Summit converted that 4th down and scored the winning touchdown on the next play ending the Highlanders bid for the signature win against their neighbor. The Highlanders seniors will be looking to get the bitter taste out of their mouths when they look to upset the favored Hilltoppers on Friday night.

Gov. Livingston will need to get another big performance out of senior QB Pat DeAngelis who accounted for nearly 300 yards of offense against North Plainfield. The Highlander offensive line will need to give DeAngelis time to operate as they will be facing a quick Hilltopper front and a solid linebacking corp.  Deep threat Matt Schuman has got to get involved early to help free up the running game. DeAngelis will also look for juniors Dylan Dwyer, Jake Pencek, and Matt Richel out of the backfield to help neutralize the Hilltoppers aggressive pursuit.

On the defensive side of the ball the Highlander front led by Mike Magliacano and John Jeffords will need to put a body on Summits big backs Jackson Tyler  (440 , 5TD) and Max Jackson( 453,3 TD) to slow them down for linebackers Jake Pencek, Drew Rittmann, and Chris Bruno to wrap them up. The defense also will also have to find a way to get to Summit QB Skyler Schulter (22-42,358,4TD) who has now taken over sole direction of the Hilltopper offense after sharing the QB duties with Tyler. If Schulter is comfortable in the pocket he can pick apart the defense with his outstanding receivers  Stephen Sajer (17, 277, 3 TD) and Max Hayford (10, 141,2 TD).

A trio of quality Hilltopper linebackers Sajer , Andrew Miller, and Hunter Simpson anchor the Summit defense . Veteran safety Luca Curran, junior Jack Kelley,and soph Joe Lusardi  control the secondary and are also solid defenders.  Highlander backs Chris Bruno and James Snyder along with DeAngelis will need to protect the ball as Summit’s defense has proven to be opportunistic with 8 turnovers so far this season.

The Hilltoppers “Friday Night Lights” game always brings out a huge crowd for this community event, it is advised to get to the game early with kick off set for 7 pm.

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