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Technically, Antioch senior linebacker Jackson Boeh didn't score a touchdown during the Sequoits' North Suburban Prairie showdown with visiting Wauconda, but his interception might as well have counted for 6 points.
Antioch had just taken a 13-3 lead late in third quarter when the Sequoits defense came up with the biggest play of the night. A throw by Bulldogs quarterback Kevin Malisheski was picked by Boeh when he leaped into the air and secured the ball just as he fell to the ground.
The best part came just a play later, when on a hunch from Antioch quarterback Zach Andre, the Sequoits ran a reverse with Jacob Lanahan taking it all the way for a 43-yard scoring play. His 6, with the assist from Boeh, were enough to help Antioch edge Wauconda 27-17 Friday night.
The victory keeps the Sequoits' playoff hopes alive.
"It's big plays and momentum," said Antioch coach Brian Glashagel. "You see it enough when you have the momentum — how much can you get done in that swing? — and we got a lot done having the momentum there."
Antioch (3-4, 3-1), must win next week at Grant and in Week 9 at home against Vernon Hills to become playoff eligible. The Bulldogs are still alive in their quest for a playoff berth at 4-3, 2-3 in league play.
"That was my 6 points," Boeh said. "That was a great play by Jacob to get us the points right after. We needed points."
For the better part of two quarters and then some, both teams struggled to move the ball. Antioch did find the end zone on its second possession when Cameron Corey scored from 4 yards out to make it 7-0 Antioch. Corey was steady all night, rushing for 115 yards on 16 carries.
Wauconda had its chances early as well. A blocked punt by Elliot Hill set the Bulldogs up at the Antioch 17 only to see Christian Norris return the favor by intercepting Malisheski three plays later.
"That was just one of those things where a young quarterback is going to learn," said Wauconda coach Dave Mills. "Kevin is going to be a very, very good quarterback and he will learn from that."
The teams traded defensive stops before Antioch finally broke through on a fourth-down play later in the third quarter. Andre hit Alan Taylor on a neatly placed, 17-yard touchdown pass and the Sequoits were in control. Add the long run by Lanahan and it looked as if Antioch would run away.
But Wauconda responded. Just three plays after the Lanahan run, Malisheski found Josh Anderson over the middle for a 34-yard score and Wauconda was back in it. Four plays later, Graham Miller forced a Sequoits fumble, giving the Bulldogs offense yet another shot.
This time, the duo of Malisheski and Anderson went for 27 yards on a fourth-down play and Wauconda was within 20-17 with 8:21 to play.
"We found a couple of things we were trying to expose with them and unfortunately we couldn't run the ball like we wanted to," Mills said. "But we had a tendency to find some open guys throwing it."
Antioch answered the Wauconda drive again with Lanahan making a big play. His 36-yard touchdown catch with 6:03 left gave the hosts the final margin.