Nicholas guides New Trier to win

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Frank Nicholas is quickly developing into a first-rate reader.

The New Trier quarterback isn’t poring through books on game nights.

Instead, he’s dissecting defenses — just like he did against visiting Highland Park on Friday to spark the Trevians to a 35-28 victory.

Nicholas piled up 174 yards on 37 carries and rushed for three scores.

“I’m just reading one guy (from the defense),” Nicholas said. “And the line did a great job of blocking.”

Nicholas, who missed the 2011 season because of a concussion, is making great strides in his junior campaign.

“Frank is starting to learn how to use his offensive line to set up blocks for him,” said New Trier coach Dan Starkey, whose team improved to 1-2. “He’s quite an athlete.”

Highland Park (0-3) came out flying in the first half. The Giants took a 21-14 lead on the third touchdown run by halfback Andrew Sledd with 3:20 left in the second quarter. Sledd finished the half with 129 yards on 19 carries, but managed only 1 yard in the second half.

“We made progress in all phases of the game,” Giants coach Hal Chiodo said. “Our goal is to get better every week, and we’ve certainly done that.”

New Trier tied the contest before halftime and dominated most of the second half. The Giants pulled to within 35-28 in the final seconds and then recovered an onside kick. But a Hail Mary pass by Highland Park quarterback Tommy Sutker was intercepted by Devin Boehm to seal the outcome.

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