Five was the magic number this season for Highland Park football, but no one’s complaining about six.
The Giants finished their best regular season since 2016 on Friday night with their sixth win — a 49-35 road triumph over Vernon Hills.
Highland Park’s fifth win on Oct. 13 essentially clinched a playoff appearance, but No. 6 will improve the Giants playoff seeding and matchup in the IHSA Class 6A tournament. Those will be announced Saturday evening, Oct. 21, when all of Week 9’s games are complete.
The Giants jumped on the Cougars early. Highland Park quarterback David Finfer scampered for a 10-yard score and Nikko Rosenbloom returned a punt 70 yards to paydirt to give Highland Park a 14-0 first quarter lead.
Vernon Hills answered, leading into maybe the biggest play of the game. After their score, the Cougars attempted an onside kick down 14-7. But the bold move backfired. The kick was fielded by Giants senior lineman Alex Knight, who returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.
The Giants scored twice more in the second quarter — on a 7-yard Finfer run and a 10-yard Tyler Gleyzer run — to take a commanding 35-14 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Finfer added two touchdown passes — a 10-yarder to Rosenbloom and a 22-yarder to Johnny Walker, who led HP with 49 yards receiving. Finfer led the Giants’ rushing attack with 64 yards. Gleyzer added 63 while Rosenbloom had 35.
On the other side of the ball, Knight racked up five tackles for loss, and Josh Pasternak had three. Walker intercepted a pass for the Giants.
Highland Park wraps up the regular season at 6-3 and 4-1 in the Central Suburban League’s North division — good enough for second place behind unbeaten Maine West (9-0, 5-0).
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