Sledd guides Giants past Vikings

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Andrew Sledd rushed for four touchdowns and the Highland Park defense picked off a school-record six passes in a 27-7 victory over Niles North Friday night.

Sledd scored on runs of 5, 33, 10 and 2 yards. The Giants (3-4, 3-0) halfback carried the ball 26 times for 128 yards in the Central Suburban League North Division contest. Cornerback Luke Norcia had three of the interceptions, while safety Grant Paley, safety Stan Echt and cornerback Brian Cherny each had one.

“You just don’t see six interceptions in a game,” Highland Park coach Hal Chiodo said. “And three by a sophomore is really incredible.”

“No one expects that to happen,” said Norcia, who leads the Giants with six interceptions on the season. “They put the ball up and I went up and got them. Everyone got one.”

Niles North (3-4, 1-2) scored first when quarterback Billy Voitik snuck over from the 1-yard line in the first quarter. Voitik finished the game 22-of-47 passing for 202 yards, but with the six interceptions. JJ Myles led the Vikings in receiving with 54 yards on four catches.

Highland Park scored on three of its four second quarter drives to take a 21-7 halftime lead. One of the scoring drives was set up by a fumble recovery from Giants defensive tackle Jared Korn, giving Niles North seven turnovers in all.

“Our offense won a lot of games for us earlier in the year when our defense was building,” Chiodo said. “Tonight it was the defense that came through and won it.”

Highland Park will travel to Northbrook next Friday (Oct. 12) to face Glenbrook North. The two undefeated conference foes will decide the CSL North championship.

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