One giant kick from Rex Merdinger was the biggest kick of his life as Highland Park got past visiting Vernon Hills 9-7 on Friday night in a non conference game.
Merdinger kicked a 30-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining on the Giants (1-1) final drive for winning score.
"I was so scared coming out for the kick," said Rex Merdinger, who is also a varsity soccer player.
"I knew I had it on the line and it was my game. I knew I could do it. In looking at the scoreboard, I knew we needed more than two points to win the game."
The Cougars (1-1) held the narrow lead 7-6 and had to hold back the Giants with 1:40 left.
Highland Park started from its own 27 and moved the ball in the air as Giants quarterback Johnny Lindquist (24 of 44 for 252 yards) got the team into position for the final score.
"Vernon Hills outplayed us and they deserved to win the game," Highland Park coach Kurt Weinberg said. "We found a way at the end to win it. I thought we showed some good poise making it down there and getting the field goal."
The Cougars offense only produced 75 yards of offense, while the defense held the Giants in check and kept them away from the end zone on numerous occasions.
"They (Highland Park) didn't take the game away from us," Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken said. "We didn't execute on offense all night. If you only score 7 points, you deserve to lose. It's simple, we've got to our aggressiveness offensively.
"We played a awfully good defensive game, tonight. We should've won this game."
by Rusty Silber
VH - Baruch 3 run (Barranco kick).
HP - Risi 3 run (kick failed).
HP - Merdinger 30 FG.