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In a scene reminiscent of injured Civil War soldiers trudging home after battle, the Glenbard South and Antioch football players limped toward their locker rooms following a hard fought, nonconference game Friday night in Antioch.
Unlike the War between the States, however, this time the South was victorious, with Glenbard South outlasting the Sequoits 23-22 in a game featuring numerous vicious hits and many stoppages of play due to injuries.
"Today was a battle. We went to war tonight and came out victorious," said Raiders running back Zach Smith, who rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with 2:46 to play in the third quarter that put his team ahead to stay, 16-14. "We preach hard hitting and both teams were very physical tonight, but we came out ahead because we controlled the second half."
Glenbard South (2-0) took advantage of a fumble recovery by lineman Zak Georgitsis at the Antioch 22-yard line early in the game, scoring five plays later on a 9-yard pass to Jake Duffy from quarterback Alex Jeske. Later in the quarter, the Sequoits (0-2) tied it 7-7 on Cam Corey's 1-yard plunge following an interception by linebacker Robert Ritacca.
The Raiders drove 73 yards on 11 plays in the second quarter, capped by David Kornblith's 23-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead. The highlight of the drive was a 43-yard pass play from Jeske to Smith. But Antioch came back again, this time taking a 14-10 lead into halftime on a 33-yard run by running back Alan Taylor. The 80-yard march featured a 39-yard gallop by Griffin Hill.
Down 16-14 in the third quarter, Antioch started a drive from its 1-yard line and appeared to be gaining momentum before Glenbard South defensive back Jack Curtis cut in front of a receiver to make a big interception.
"Jack Curtis was huge on defense tonight," said Raiders coach Jeremy Cordell. "Our defensive line also did a great job against their option offense. We stayed on top of everything and our linebackers also played tough."
"When we were down at halftime, we had a chip on our shoulder," Curtis said. "We really came back and changed the course of the game."
In the fourth quarter, Glenbard South extended its narrow advantage to 23-14 on a 3-yard run by Jake Straza after Antioch lost the ball on downs. The Sequoits would not give up, scoring on a 4-yard pass from Andre to tight end Tyler Lazarz, then adding a two-point conversion on a Corey run to pull within 23-22 with 18.3 seconds left. But Glenbard South pounced on the ensuing onside kick to end it.
Antioch coach Brian Glashagel was not pleased that his team made so many "first-game" mistakes in its second game of the season.
"If we stop making mistakes, we're 2-0 at this point," Glashagel said. "We practice too many hours to give away points, and this is the second week in a row we've done that. I thought our defense played very well against a very good offense. We've just got to find a way to win."
Jeske said that Glenbard South's offense is not where it should be yet, but it's getting there.
"It was ugly sometimes and sloppy, but Antioch has a great defense," the Raiders quarterback said. "I've got to give a whole lot of credit to our defense and to our punter, Andre (Steiger). He really pinned them back there and that helped us win the field position battle."