Sequoits shut down Wauconda with defense in 28-12 win

Sequoit running back No. 39 junior LeRoy Chapman runs the ball in for a touchdown during the Sept. 23 homecoming game against Waucanda. Photo by Earlene Frederick

By Gregory Harutunian


To say the Sequoits had a game plan and were ready to face Wauconda’s air corps duo of quarterback Brandon Rowe and receiver Jake Ziolkowski is an understatement.

Antioch’s defense, with Steve Smith snagging an interception and fumble recovery in the first twelve minutes, stifled the Bulldogs when it mattered, and came away with 28-12 victory to remain undefeated.

The Sept. 23 North Suburban Prairie homecoming tilt was a bucket brigade effort for Antioch (5-0 Overall, NSP 2-0) from the outset, with Smith’s interception coming on the Bulldog’s initial series from scrimmage.

The fumble recovery, which Rowe bobbled and Smith covered for a touchback, led to an 8-play drive into the end zone, capped by Leroy Chapman’s 11-yard TD run, and gave Antioch a 7-0 Antioch lead with 1:13 left in the opening frame.

“He (Rowe) had no interceptions coming into the game, and their receiver (Ziolkowski) leads the state in many of the reception categories,” said Antioch head coach Brian Glashagel. “Steve Smith picked off a pass early, and Blake Harris picked one off late, and Zach Freundt also caused the QB fumble inside of the red zone. We knew they were going to have some big plays.

“If we contained them (quarterback and receiver), they would struggle…they did that. For the fifth straight week, our kids executed the game plan well.”

Rowe had his moments including a connection with Ziolkowski for a 62-yard TD toss, and the Bulldogs (1-4, 0-3) pulled up behind 7-6, when the PAT kick went awry. Chapman (8 rushes, 63 yards, 2 TD’s) go it back immediately by weaving down the field through tacklers for an 85-yard TD kickoff return.

The 14-6 halftime was extended on the opening series of the third quarter, a 14-play clock-eater that was topped by Danny Arden (27-112, 1 TD) hopping for a 1-yard TD rush, on a fourth and goal attempt. .

“Our opening drive of the second half, which ended in a 14-play drive for a TD, was a crucial point in the game,” said Glashagel. “The 85-yard kick return by Leroy Chapman, and of course, Blake Harris’s 75-yard interception return for a TD also figured in. Our running game has closed down opponents in the second half, a few times this season.

“In our first five games, we’ve had long methodical drives in the second half that really took the wind out of the (opposing) defenses. Tackling Danny Arden gets much harder in the second half…he doesn’t get worn down.”

The fourth quarter is when Harris added his interception, and ran it back 74 yards, chalking up more points for the Sequoits’ defensive unit.

“The defense is a veteran group, filled with some of the hardest-working kids I’ve coached. They worked extremely hard this off season, they pursue the ball very hard, and many times we are getting 8-10 guys to the ball carrier,” said Glashagel..

“We are a 4-3 defense, and I thought our front four did a great job of getting a

passing rush, and suffocating their run, which allowed us to drop seven into (pass) coverage.”

Wauconda picked up one more TD, when Rowe (16 completions, 31 attempts, 268 passing yards) handed off to Danny Starkey for a 1-yard plunge, and the final 28-12 tally.

Sequoit notes: The Sequoits visit Lake Villa Lakes (Sept. 30) for the matchup that could determine the divisional title. “They are 4-1, and we are 5-0. This is for the Prairie Division title. Not that our upcoming game against Grant will be easy, but the winner of this game wins the division…In their last five meetings, Lakes has won three games, and Antioch has won two,” said Glashagel.