Antioch's football team had been snakebit. The Sequoits opened the season by two losses by a combined four points.
They had another close game Thursday night but wouldn't let this one slip away.
Antioch scored eight unanswered fourth-quarter points and got by visiting North Chicago 28-27 in a North Suburban Prairie Division opener.
"We needed to win a tight one after losing two heartbreakers," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "We needed to win a close one. We told the kids at the beginning of the year that it's going to be a battle each and every week. I feel like I've aged five years in the first three weeks in the season."
While Glashagel may have aged, his players grew up in a hurry by knocking off the Warhawks.
"We told the team that if it came down to a close game we should have an advantage because we've been through two battles already," Glashagel said. "(North Chicago) hasn't been there and that was going to be an advantage."
Antioch (1-2) trailed 27-20 in the final quarter but got a safety with 9:09 left. Robert Rittaca was credited with it, as the safety stopped the Warhawks' Arnold Shead in the end zone on a running play.
"We knew that we needed to make a stop," Ritacca said. "We worked hard together to get the safety. Everyday we work on it in practice. If we score on defense, then we will win the game, and that's exactly what happened."
The Sequoits then made their winning drive. Jacob Lanahan made a key fourth down catch, catching a 12-yard pass. Three plays later, Lanahan caught a 20-yard TD pass from quarterback Zach Andre for a 28-27 lead with 6:21 left.
"I knew the ball was coming to me and I wanted to focus on the ball," Lanahan said. "I dove and kind of caught it on my face mask."
Antioch's defense stopped North Chicago on two drives to ensure the victory.
The Sequiots built a 13-0 advantage in the opening quarter. Griffith Hill caught a 63-yard TD pass from Andre and Cameron Corey scored on a 3-yard run.
North Chicago ran off 20 unanswered points of its own. Shead rushed for touchdowns from 4 and 14 yards, and Jamero Shelton broke loose for a 75-yard TD pass from Jay Amos Mays for a 20-13 lead at the half.
Each team added a score in the third quarter before Antioch made its late charge.