Yards were hard to come by Friday evening but the Highland Park Giants found them when it mattered most.
Senior David Finfer found senior Johnny Walker for an 18-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. The duo’s second touchdown connection of the day lifted Highland Park past visiting Niles West, 21-17, on Oct. 6 at Wolters Field in Highland Park.
HP 21, Niles West 17
3 David Finfer TD passes (Walker x2, Moore 1). Timely defensive plays including game-saving sack.
— Highland Park Football (@HighlandPark_FB) October 7, 2023
The victory has major implications for the Giants’ playoff hunt, pushing them above .500 at 4-3 with two games left to play and one win needed to become playoff eligible. Highland Park will head on the road to take on Central Suburban North foes Maine East (1-6) and Vernon Hills (2-5) to finish the season. The last time the Giants posted at least five wins was 2017. Since, they have four straight four-win campaigns (abbreviated season in 2020-’21).
On Friday night, Highland Park grabbed a 14-0 lead in the second quarter thanks to two Finfer touchdown passes: a 7-yard strike to Eli Moore and a 44-yard connection with Walker.
The Wolves cut into the lead before halftime and then scored 10 straight points in the third quarter to take a 17-14 advantage headed into the final stanza.
Halfway through, Finfer hit Walker again, this time for 18 yards and a go-ahead score. Highland Park’s defense held the rest of the way to finish off the 21-17 triumph.
Walker caught six passes for 124 yards and the two scores, while Finfer had 198 yards passes and the three touchdown throws. He added 22 yard rushing.
Tyler Gleyzer finished with 10 tackles, while Alex Knight had 7 and Sebastian Vybral six.
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