Deerfield High School’s football team spent much of the week sharpening its aerial defenses in preparation for a Niles North team that will give the Warriors a different look at 7 p.m. today in Skokie.
In its dominant wins the last two games against Maine West and Maine East, most of Deerfield’s defensive effort was against a ground game described by Coach Steve Winiecki as smash mouth football.
Earlier: Solid Practice Explodes into Performance for DHS Football Team
“They (the Vikings) throw the ball a lot more than our previous (two) opponents,” Winiecki said. “They can run but we need to be prepared for both so we changed our preparation a bit.”
Niles North Quarterback Billy Votik completed 21 of 43 passes Friday against Highland Park for 243 yards, according to the CSL Insider. “He’s steady,” Winiecki said of Votik.
Winiecki has been pleased with the Warriors level of intensity in practice this week. They have responded to the adjustments necessary for Niles North.
“We had a very good week, very physical,” Winiecki said. “We’ve been doing more seven on seven drills. On defense we worked more on pass rush than double teams.” .
The Hawks are led by Northwestern University bound quarterback Matt Alviti. Though Alviti put points on the board against Deerfield, the Warrior defense pressured him on a number of plays and sacked him twice.
Deerfield also continued to work on its special team play this week hoping to repeat the magic of Brett Freedberg and Sam Modro the last two games. Modro returned two punts for touchdowns against Maine East. Freedberg had a return score against the Blue Demons and Maine West.
“We’ve been working on special teams since the summer,” Winiecki said. “One play can change a game.”
A victory by the Warriors will improve their overall record for the season to 4-4 and give them a 3-1 mark in the Central Suburban League North Division.