The Final Score: Deerfield 34, Niles North 28
Warriors’ Star Performers: Brett Freedberg intercepted a pass on the Viking two-line returning it 98 yards to give Deerfield what turned out to be the winning touchdown. Jake Balder scored a on a four-yard run, threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Ben Weiss and broke loose for an 80-yard run with 3:28 left in the contest to give help secure the victory.
Other Notable Warrior Performances: William Higginson recovered a loose Warrior kickoff untouched by any Viking with 4:05 left in the second quarter to set up a 27-yard scoring drive capped by a Ben Ethridge’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Sam Modro. Modro recovered a fumble knocked loose by Tim Shanley to thwart a potential Viking scoring drive.
Who’s Next: The Warriors entertain Highland Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Bottom Line: After Niles North opened the scoring with 7:03 left in the second quarter, Deerfield scored 28 unanswered points to take a 28-7 halftime lead. The Warriors went 80 yards on seven plays including runs of 36 and 21 yards by Modro before Ethridge carried the ball into the end zone from the nine with 4:05 remaining in the half. Higginson then recovered the Deerfield kickoff and 1:06 later the Warriors led on Modro’s reception from Ethridge.
Deerfield got the ball back less than a minute later when it recovered a fumble. Ethridge ran for 14 yards to the Viking nine before Balder pounded the ball into the end zone on a pair of runs. Niles North tried to get back into the game with its passing attack but Tom Bonadies intercepted a Billy Voitek pass giving his team the ball on the Viking 36. Two plays later Ethridge pitched the ball to Balder who threw a stroke to Weiss for the touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
In the second half, Niles North closed the gap to 28-21 with 10 minutes left in the game. After a Deerfield fumble on its own 28, the Vikings appeared to be ready to tie the score when Freedberg picked off a Voitek pass on the two and went 98 yards for the deciding touchdown. Until Shanley knocked the football loose and Modro recovered the fumble with four minutes left, Niles North kept threatening. Balder’s 80-yard run with 3:28 helped secure the victory.
Deerfield evened its season record at 4-4 and now has a 3-1 record in the Central Suburban League North Division.