Antioch handles Grayslake North
Antioch's defense starred to begin its first conference game of the year against Grayslake North, but sophomore quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis finished it.
The Sequoits won their conference opener 29-8 over the Knights behind a first half shutout and 4 total touchdowns from Kaliakmanis.
Even though it pitched a first-half shutout, Antioch's defense played exceptionally well the entire game against Knights' quarterback Austin Martineau, who threw for 459 yards in Grayslake North's first two games.
"The defense has picked us up numerous times in the first three games," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "We're playing 13, 14 guys on varsity. We just keep reloading, putting a different guy in and we're getting results."
Against the Sequoits, Martineau completed 10 of 25 passes for 181 yards, with 75 of those coming on a screen play that went for a long fourth-quarter touchdown on Antioch's only major defensive lapse of the game.
That score was Grayslake North's first and only score of the game in the 21-point loss, after losing the first two games of the season by a combined total of 6 points. Knights coach Sam Baker said after the game this physical Antioch team was the best team they had faced so far this year.
"Our backs were against the wall," Baker said. "We had open touchdowns we dropped, protection wasn't great, we just got to play better."
As Antioch played into the fourth quarter, the Sequoits pulled away with three second-half scores from Kaliakmanis. Two of those scores went to Kaliakmanis' brother, Dino Kaliakmanis.
"Going to my brother is incredible, it's the best feeling in the world," Athan said.
The game was seemingly decided on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Athan to Dino, where Dino slipped behind the secondary and Athan hit him in stride for a score that couldn't have been executed any better.
"I saw the safety bite up and I knew that the post is (Dino's) route," Athan said. "He ran it, and he caught it, and it was just awesome."
Athan finished the game completing 9 of 18 passes for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. He scored twice on the ground with 2- and 6-yard runs. Glashagel said games like these are instrumental in helping Athan's growth, especially as his 3-0 squad looks ahead to playing a Wauconda team that's scored 70 points in its last two games.
"He's just getting better and better every week," Glashagel said. "I thought Grayslake North did a great job of getting some pass rush. He made some plays with that. That's good every time he sees that."
Baker said he was encouraged by his team's improvement against Antioch, but said this team was in the same position as last year's squad which won five games in a row after starting 1-2.
"We can do the same thing," Baker said of his 0-3 team. "I'd like to have the first win a little sooner, but it's going to be a little later than we expected."