Antioch outside linebacker Zach Freundt received his marching orders.
He was to blitz the Lake Forest Academy quarterback. And to say the play worked to perfection might have been an understatement.
"I hit their running back and blocked him right into the quarterback,'' Freundt said. "I knew it was a safety. Right away, I jumped up and down and went crazy."
All Freundt did at the time was to extend Antioch's second-quarter lead from 6-0 to 8-0. Little did anyone know at the time but Freundt's 2 points would prove to be the difference on opening night of football season in Antioch.
The Sequoits (1-0) dodged two fourth-quarter scores from the Caxys and held on for a 14-12 nonconference victory.
On a warm evening in which more than a few players cramped up, Freundt was up and ready to go in this game.
"He trained his butt off after our loss last year in the playoffs,'' noted Antioch coach Brian Glashagel. "He wasn't one of the guys cramping up. And he's on our kickoff, punt, punt return and PAT teams."
After a scoreless first quarter, the Antioch offense began to click. New starting quarterback Josh Anttila broke off a 12-yard run to push a drive into LFA territory. This senior (nine carries, 66 yards) did the honors by scoring the season's first touchdown from 19 yards out. The extra point was not good.
Freundt's heroics made the score 8-0. Antioch wasn't done scoring. After the safety, Antilla's only completion of the night was collared by Anthony Formella and the 14-yard play. That set up Dan Arden's 33-yard charge into the end zone. Again the extra point failed and it was 14-0 at halftime.
Glashagel was pleased with his new quarterback's performance.
"It was Josh's job to lose this year,'' he said. "I thought he ran our option well."
Nursing the 2-touchdown lead, the Sequoits offense consisted mostly of Arden up the middle. The senior back led the team with 141 yards on 24 carries.
"There were a lot of tired football players tonight,'' Glashagel said. "But not Dan Arden. He was just as tough in the fourth quarter as he was in the first quarter."
The visitors from Lake Forest couldn't get much going offensively for three quarters. LFA quarterback Seamus Finnegan (12-25 passing, 164 yards) deserved a better fate. Several of his passes were on target but were dropped by receivers.
But trailing by 2 touchdowns in the final quarter, Finnegan began to find some open targets. He found Charles Harris open for a 56-yard touchdown pass with seven minutes in regulation. A failed extra point made it 14-6.
"Lake Forest Academy is very good team,'' Glashagel said. "They have a handful of Division I players."
The Caxys had one more chance late but seemed to be stopped in their own territory on a fourth down play. However, officials claimed a whistle from the Antioch crowd allowed LFA another play. And the Caxys took advantage.
Two completions set up a Finnegan to Brendan Glaze 27-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds to play.
The 2-point pass was underthrown and Antioch had survived.
"It got a little scary,'' Freundt said.