Antioch's three 100-yard rushers lead to high-scoring win at Grant
Undefeated Antioch was a fairly strong favorite heading into Friday's Northern Lake Country clash at Grant.
But there's no way anyone was expecting this.
The two teams piled up points and yards, with Antioch winning 64-32 in Fox Lake, in a game that was somehow more competitive than the score suggested.
Antioch had three 100-yard rushers, led by Nicholas Day who scored 6 touchdowns on his way to 147 yards on 24 carries. Martin Cohen added 168 yards on 13 carries, while Aiden Van Alstine had 12 attempts for 152 yards.
Antioch (7-0, 5-0) kept the offense simple, usually with Day running up the middle, or a sweep from Cohen and Van Alstine. Quarterback James Sheehan threw just five passes.
So that type of run game usually leads to a winding clock and games ending in a hurry, not 96 points and nearly three hours of playing time.
"I was not expecting that, especially 64 from us," Cohen said. "That's a high score."
The Sequoits offensive line of Jonathan Gobeyn, Doug Swanson, sophomore Lucas Curry, Makay Mountcastle and Ryan Hanrahan was dominant, but Antioch also blocked very well on the edge with the tight ends and whichever running backs didn't get the carry.
"There's only one football to go around and so when you don't get the ball, you have a job to do and those kids take pride in that stuff," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "The offensive line plays tough, they're nasty. They're a smart group too, incredibly smart group. Making adjustments, that's the whole key to the game. We make adjustments and they pick it up pretty quick. Might be one of the smartest o-lines we've had."
On the other side, Grant's sophomore QB Matthew Gipson completed 20 of 32 passes for 275 yards. Jose Munoz was the top receiver with 7 catches for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cameron Houghton added 5 catches, sophomore Tyler Zdon rushed for 82 yards and junior Jake George scored on an 88-yard catch and run.
There were a couple of major momentum turns. Antioch's first possession covered 80 yards in seven running plays. Cohen ran for 32, then Van Alstine for 26, setting up Day's 1-yard touchdown.
Grant's first offensive play was a muffed handoff, with Antioch's Chris Cook recovering the fumble. Day tacked on his second touchdown five plays later and the Sequoits had a quick 13-0 lead.
Then trailing 50-25 in the third quarter, Grant had a drive going, but Antioch linebacker Roderick Rathmann picked off a short pass and rumbled 65 yards for a touchdown. The ensuing kickoff got caught up in the wind and the Sequoits recovered, setting up another short scoring drive.
"The entire time, they'd been throwing that seam route," Rathmann said. "I'd been trying to jump it, but was a little late to it. To finally get it felt great. Chris Cook had a great block for me to get me all the way to the end zone. It's just electrifying, it feels great."
Grant (4-3, 3-2) initially got on the board when Ayden Sheppard booted a 45-yard field goal. There was no slowing the Antioch offense, though. Day scored on an 11-yard run and Cohen burst down the visiting sideline for a 53-yard run to make it 26-3.
Grant had a chance to get back in the game, first reaching the end zone on a 13-yard pass from Gipson to Munoz. After getting a defensive stop, the Bulldogs threatened again, but Sheppard was wide on a 34-yard field-goal attempt into the wind to end the first half.
To start the second half, Grant was pinned deep in its own end, then a punt snap rolled out of the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, Antioch got a short field and Day scored from a yard out to make it 35-10 with 9:09 left in the third.