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38 | October 17, 2019 | The highland park landmark sports

hplandmarkdaily.com

Giants stay undefeated in CSL North with win over Niles North

6

Leah Vann

Freelance Reporter

The first two drives

of Highland Park's win

over Niles North on Friday,

Oct. 11, at Wolters

Field set the stage for a

shootout, but the Giants

quickly (4-3 overall, 3-0

conference) ran away

with a 57-25 victory behind

four touchdowns by

junior fullback Giovanni

Volpentesta.

The Giants are making

their case for the playoffs,

and Friday night's victory

adds fuel to the fire going

into the matchups against

Deerfield (5-2, 2-1) and

Maine West (6-1, 3-0) to

close out the regular season.

“Niles North is a dangerous

team every time we

play them,” Giants coach

David Lindquist said. "We

just had to keep playing.

That first drive where they

got their touchdown came

after a great kickoff return

by their guy and set themselves

up for a lot of success.

We made some adjustments

and went from

there.”

On the third play of the

game, Volpentesta found

the hole up the middle,

accelerating downfield

for a 56-yard touchdown

run. Junior Max Mauer

added to that score with a

2-point conversion to put

the Giants up 8-0.

“We kind of found a

soft spot we thought we

could take advantage of,”

Lindquist said. “Giovanni

is our No. 1 guy getting

the ball off that edge.”

The Vikings (2-5, 0-3)

answered quickly with a

15-yard touchdown run,

but the Giants made sure

Niles North didn’t see the

end zone again until the

CSL North standings

Maine West 6-1

overall, 3-0 conf.

Highland Park 4-3, 3-0

Deerfield 5-2, 2-1

Vernon Hills 4-3, 1-2

Niles North 2-5, 0-3

Maine East 0-7, 0-3

second half.

Volpentesta scored his

remaining three touchdowns

in similar fashion,

scoring on 20-, 50- and

68-yard touchdown runs.

Volpentesta finished the

half with 239 yards rushing.

“The linemen were

blocking amazingly,

the wide receivers were

blocking amazingly, so

the corners wouldn’t come

down on me,” Volpentesta

said. “I just read my holes

and I ran. Everything was

open, it was amazing.”

Sophomore Evan

Bloom had his turn next,

rolling to the outer edge

and spinning into the end

zone on a 13-yard touchdown

run to put the Giants

up 36-7 with 2:39 remaining

in the opening half.

Jaden Holzman’s interception

on Niles North's

next drive put them on

the Vikings’ 34-yard line.

Giants junior quarterback

David Crane then ran the

ball to the 12 before connecting

with Mauer on an

11-yard pass to put the

Giants within one yard of

extending their lead..

Mauer punched in the

final touchdown of the

half for a 43-7 halftime

advantage. Sam Fishman

knocked the ball free

from Vikings’ quarterback

Chris Bland’s grasp. Giants’

Erick De La Cruz

recovered it, giving the

Giants possession deep

in Vikings’ territory, but

Nate Cohen wraps up the Niles North quarterback in the Giants’ 57-25 win on Friday, Oct. 11, at Wolters Field.

Margo Grogan/22nd Century Media

Linescore

the Giants were unable to

capitalize.

Even when Volpentesta

wasn't running the

ball, guys like Bloom and

Mauer were able to make

big plays for the Giants on

the ground.

“Evan is a really good

1 2 3 4 F

HP 16 27 7 7 57

NN 7 0 12 6 25

Three Stars of the game

1. Giovanni Volpentesta, RB — 239 rushing yards, 4 TD

2. Jaden Holzman, LB — 6 tackles, 1 INT

3. Max Mauer, WR — 2 TD

downhill runner so when

we want to run the ball

inside, we can trust he

can be a reliable player,”

Lindquist said. “Max is

another change-up in the

backfield for what we’re

doing with our quarterback,

we trust him to get

yards when we need him.”

The Vikings returned

with a 47-yard touchdown

reception in the second

half to make it 43-13. In

an effort to keep the momentum

going, the Niles

North recovered its own

onside kick, but nothing

came from the drive.

The Vikings scored two

more times late in the

third and fourth quarters,

but it was never enough

to keep the game close.

Mauer caught his second

touchdown reception

in the third quarter, then

Tyler Crann made the final

touchdown grab in

the fourth to wrap up the

scoring.

Sam Fishman and Jaden

Holzman commanded the

Giants’ defense. Holzman

finished the game with

six tackles, including two

solo and one for a loss of

three while also grabbing

an interception. Fishman

finished the game with

three tackles, a sack and a

forced fumble.

“Every time we’ve gotten

physical is when we’ve

been successful,” Volpentesta

said. “Highland Park

is better than everyone

thinks. We’re coming to

win conference.”

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