It's tough for a 4-year-old to stay attentive for an entire football game.
That's the best explanation for the cute question Dan Arden got from his little brother Cooper in the wake of Antioch's game at Waukegan on Saturday afternoon.
"How are you doing Dan?" Cooper asked as he ran up to Dan, who was talking with a reporter at the time. "Did you win?"
"Yes, we did," Arden said with a gentle laugh and gleam in his eye.
The final score wasn't the only thing that little Cooper missed.
Antioch got a 17-7 nonconference victory over Waukegan, and it was Big Brother Dan who paved the way.
Arden, a senior fullback, planned to fill Cooper in later that evening about how he rushed for 182 yards on 28 carries and scored 2 touchdowns on a hot, sticky afternoon.
The victory puts the Sequoits, who scored all 17 of their points in the first half, at 2-0 on the season. Waukegan, which finally got on the scoreboard with about a minute left in the game, drops to 1-1.
"Danny's the man," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "He's our captain and he's our workhorse. The fullback in an option offense always is. He's the guy who's got to get the tough yards. And he did today. And he's got good enough speed that once he gets through, he can break away."
Arden scored both of his touchdowns in the second quarter, on runs of 8 and 31 yards. They followed a 27-yard field goal by George Gonzalez in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the Antioch defense was getting the job done on its end.
Waukegan had just 6 first downs and 70 total yards in the first half. The Sequoits were also pressuring Waukegan quarterback Reginald Richter relentlessly.
Antioch registered 5 sacks on the afternoon.
"Our defense has been together for a long time and we work really hard," said senior lineman Joey Lombardo, who had one of the sacks. "Our goal was to pressure (Richter) because he's a pocket quarterback. Our coaches were really working with the defensive line this week on the pass rush.
"It felt great to have the hard work pay off. This was a really good win."
Antioch's offense went cold in the second half and was stymied by penalties. On the game, the Sequoits rolled up 13 penalties for 114 yards.
But the defense remained stingy enough to help make the 17-point lead seem even bigger than it really was.
It was only on its last two drives of the game that Waukegan showed some proficiency on offense.
The Bulldogs scored with 1:14 left when Richter connected with Mark Jones (6 catches, 109 yards) on a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Richter wound up finishing with fairly impressive numbers for the game, despite all the pressure he faced. He completed 18-of-36 passes for 220 yards.
He did, however, throw 2 interceptions, both made by Antioch defensive back Blake Harris.
"I don't really feel that good about it at all," Richter said of his team's late spurt. "Moral victories come out as L's on the stat sheet."
Like Antioch, the Bulldogs also were hurt by penalties. They rolled up 8 penalties for 70 yards, some of which cut off promising drives at the knees.
"The positive is that we think the kids have fight in them. They're not just going to quit," Waukegan coach Nick Browder said. "The way they played those last two drives was really good. But when you look at the whole game, the obvious thing is that we hurt ourselves a lot. We'd have a few plays in a row that would be good and then we'd do something to set ourselves back."