Highland Park football coach Anthony Kopp received a special birthday gift from his Giants: a running clock.
A running clock is initiated when a team is up more than 40 points in the second half, and the Giants eclipsed that benchmark early in the third quarter en route to a 49-0 home victory over Hubbard on Saturday, Sept. 3, on Wolters Field in Highland Park.
And the Giants gave their coach a birthday bath — tossing a jug of ice water on Kopp – to celebrate the day.
With a 28-25 Week 1 win against Leyden, Highland Park is off to its first 2-0 start since 2016, when the Giants earned a 7-2 record a playoff berth.
Highland Park’s second win was a wire-to-wire onslaught from the hosts. The Giants marched down the field on their opening drive before David Finfer hit Nicholas Blumer in the end zone for the opening score.
The two connected again a couple minutes later, this time from 21 years out. It was Blumer’s fourth touchdown on the young season, after he scored off a reception and an interception return in the opener.
The Giants racked up two more scores in the opening half: an Andrew Cortes blocked-punt return (set up by Tyler Glezer’s block) and a Nikko Rosenbloom 2-yard rush. Emmett Pulte recovered two fumbles in the half, as Highland Park took a 35-0 lead into intermission.
Finfer recorded his third touchdown strike of the season — and sixth of the season — when he found Pulte in the third quarter to start the running clock, and Johnny Walker added a 30-yard rushing touchdown to cap the scoring.
While the Giants are 2-0, the road gets rockier from here on out. Highland Park travels to Buffalo Grove — which has losses to Lyons and Palatine this year but finished 8-1 a season ago — at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, and finishes its nonconference slate with unbeaten Hersey, which has wins against New Trier (31-0) and Fremd (45-14).
In Week 5, Highland Park begins its Central Suburban North slate, starting with road tests at Niles North (1-1, Sept. 23) and district rival Deerfield (1-1, Sept. 30).
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