by Chris Tsakonas
For the Summit Hilltoppers, the 2022 season has been defined by one word: growth.
“We’re a young team, and we keep finding new things to learn,” Summit head coach Kevin Kostibos said. “So what we’re looking for this week is to continue that process.”
It’s a new look lineup on both sides of the ball – particularly on the defensive side, which returns only two starters in senior defensive lineman George Morgan and senior inside linebacker Joe Fagan.
Joining Fagan in the inside linebacker spot is junior Tyler Kessel, who has broken out in the first three games, pacing the defense with 4 tackles for loss and 36 tackles overall. The defense is coming off a season-low 19 points allowed in last week’s game against a 3-1 St. Thomas Aquinas team that had scored 49 and 43 in its previous two games.
“I thought we took some real strides with St. Thomas,” Kostibos said. “I thought we defensively gave them a great game, and we’re just looking to build off that and continue to get better.”
Offensively, the Hilltoppers have relied heavily on the run game, with senior running back Jake Lowry becoming the leading rusher with 181 yards and a touchdown on 51 carries. Lowry is joined in the backfield by junior Ryan Schnall, who has an efficient 141 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
“When we need a play, [Lowry is] the kid who we’re looking to,” Kostibos said. “So far, he’s exceeded my expectations, and I think he’s got a great career ahead at the college level.”
Click below to hear Chris Tsakonas talk with Summit head coach Kevin Kostibos about Summit’s 2022 season and Saturday’s matchup with Rahway: