Quick thinking can make all the difference in the world in a football game and it was a smart play by Grant Paley that made the turned the tide in Highland Park High School’s 28-21 victory over Waukegan Friday at Wolters Field.
After erasing a 21-7 Highland Park lead to tie the game at 21, Waukegan tried a 38-yard field goal with 40 seconds left to secure the victory. The kick fell short and that’s when Paley used his brain as well as his speed.
Paley realized the ball was live on the Giants two, picked it up and ran 98 yards for the winning touchdown, according to Freshman Coach Jim Berardi. It did not have to be that much of a challenge for Highland Park.
The Giants built up a 21-7 lead as Tommy Sutker completed 11 of 19 passes for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one to Paley and the other to Hallvard Lundevall. Sutker also ran for 113 yards. Kelslon Shields scored the other Highland Park touchdown. Jared Korn and Israel Bosco led the defense, according to Berardi.
Waukegan managed to make the game close after Highland Park went ahead, 21-7. The Bulldogs connected on a 56-yard pass play late in the game. On their next possession, the Giants fumbled and Waukegan went 36 yards the other way to tie the contest.
Highland Park is now 3-1 for the season heading into Central Suburban League North Division competition against Deerfield at 7 p.m. Friday at Wolters Field.