They didn't lose a regular-season game, plowed through the new Northern Lake County Conference and posted double-digit wins for just the third time.
So Antioch's Sequoits aren't changing what they do.
They might be tweaking, though.
"We got weapons all over," said Brian Glashagel, who's taken his Sequoits to the state playoffs in six of his 10 seasons as head coach. "It's my job to get the ball to our athletes. Not just run the ball."
Which means the Sequoits will attempt to do more than just grind out yards on the ground.
Senior Branden Gallimore (6-1, 175) is back to quarterback Glashagel's option attack after the Sequoits averaged 33.4 points in 11 games last season. Touchdown-maker Brandon Lind (21 TDs) graduated, but senior running back Hunter Price (5-8, 156) is back along with fellow threats Javen London (5-11, 150), Zach Grindley (6-2, 165) and Steve Baum (6-2, 185). Grindley and Baum are both huge targets who can catch the ball.
Price, Gallimore and offensive lineman Jared Strohman (6-1, 305) all earned all-conference honors last year. They were part of a team that won 10 games, tying coach Steve Wapon's 1982 squad for second most in school history most behind only Glashagel's 2008 squad that finished 12-1.
"We can maybe make a living running our option and pounding people, but to beat a Prairie Ridge or a DeKalb, we got to throw the ball too," said Glashagel, whose 2016 Sequoits went 7-0 in the inaugural NLCC season and advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, only to see their banged-up team lose 36-3 to DeKalb.
"We feel that, offensively, this could be one of our most special years just because of the line with the backfield, the tight ends and wide receivers that we got."
Gallimore started at safety as a sophomore on varsity, broke his collarbone on Opening Night and then returned to play QB later in the season. He bulked up following last season, choosing not to run track last spring and instead focus on lifting. Glashagel calls his veteran QB "elusive."
"It feels like yesterday I was a little sophomore with (running back) Griffin Hill and (quarterback) Danny Meade mentoring me," Gallimore said. "Now it's our team, senior year. It's exciting."
The offense also features linemen Julius Catalan (6-3, 260), Kevin Fox (6-4, 300) Ezequiel Espinoza (5-10, 207), Dylan Czerlanis (6-4, 265) and Matt Becker (6-3, 208), and running backs Drew Porter (6-0, 180) and Dylan Lampert (5-8, 155).
"We got a lot of senior guys coming back, a lot of leadership," Gallimore said.
Senior safety Andrew Hare (6-1, 165) leads a young defense that also boasts fellow team captains Joe Karolewicz, Nico Chiapetta (5-9, 155) and Nico Fier.
"We're just trying to be leaders, focus on what our strengths were last year and build off what we did last year," Hare said. "We have a lot of young guys that don't have the experience, but some of our seniors are trying to get them with the program."
Gone are stout linebackers Ben Gutke (Robert Morris) and George Bessette. The Sequoits will try to overcome the losses of the two all-area players, Hare said, by having the "same mentality" and playing with the same "anger and will" that Bessette and Gutke had.
"Our young guys just need to take in what we have to say to them and learn from our coaches who coached Bessette and Gutke up really well last year," Hare said.
Also back is huge junior lineman Xavier Sanchez (6-5, 295), who will focus on defense after playing both sides of the line last year.
"He's a bear," Glashagel said. "We can't block him."
As injuries piled up toward the end of last season, more and more players, including a few sophomores, got varsity action.
"We're not as unexperienced on defense as some may think," Glashagel said.
That's another reason why the Sequoits are optimistic they'll keep winning.