Antioch routs Reavis; showdown with Lakes up next
Looking to avoid a second first-round playoff exit in a row, Antioch focused on stopping Reavis' running game and let its high-octane offense run a variety of plays at the Rams' defense.
By the time the final horn sounded, the Sequoits made a massive defensive statement.
Winning comfortably in every phase of the game, the Sequoits drubbed Reavis 49-0 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs Saturday in Antioch. This included a 35-0 lead at halftime, which forced Reavis to turn to their vertical passing game.
No. 2 seed Antioch (10-0) will host No. 7 Lakes in a second round game next week. The Sequoits defeated Lakes 43-24 on Oct. 12.
"They stopped the run," Reavis coach Tim Zasada said of Antioch's defense. "We haven't been stopped all year, but they did it today."
Switching to a vertical passing game, the Rams threw for 166 yards on Antioch's defense.
But the Sequoits would grab 2 interceptions, one each by Tre Watson and Alex Kutcher, and forced two more fumbles as the Sequoits recorded their third shutout of the season.
"Our defensive staff is phenomenal and had our kids ready for what they're about to see," Sequoits coach Brian Glashagel said. "We knew what we were going to get, toe-to-toe and man ball us a bit, but I thought our guys responded well."
Glashagel said it felt nice for his team to grab the first-round win and shake off last year's disappointment, but the team can't dwell on the win for long.
"The focus is immediately to go 2-0," he said. "Standard line, but that's the truth."
Antioch quickly ran out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter, and rarely found itself challenged by Reavis' offense. The Sequoits stopped the Rams twice on fourth down attempts in Antioch territory, and quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis delivered the killing blow on the final play of the half.
After getting the ball back with three seconds to play at the Rams' 25-yard line, Kaliakmanis heaved a pass into the end zone. The pass was tipped by a Reavis defender, and wide receiver Zach Grindley caught the ball while falling to the ground.
That score made it 35-0 at halftime, and Antioch's second-string offensive players were in for the majority of the second half.
The Sequoits' lone blemish was a botched field goal in the second quarter, where the snap flew over the head of Kaliakmanis.
Zasada said his team had a lot of juniors which played well this season, which gives him some positives to take note of as he heads into next season.
However, he was disappointed that his team didn't take advantage of their playoff opportunity.
"We came out rather flat, and kind of uninterested in what we wanted to do here," Zasada said. "We should be proud, but at the same time it's very unfortunate that we had an opportunity and let it slip away."
Glashagel will not only have the second round of the playoffs to prepare for, but he'll also have to prepare for a rivalry game.
Lakes' 35-17 win over Belvidere North sets up a Northern Lake County Conference game in the playoffs, as the Eagles will take on Antioch next Saturday at 1 p.m. (to be confirmed by the IHSA on Monday).
This will be the second time since 2016 that Antioch will play a conference opponent in the playoffs.
Glashagel's 2016 squad beat Wauconda 29-28 in the first round.
"Us and Lakes in the playoffs, that's never happened before," Glashagel said. "It's going to be a pretty exciting week."