Batavia powers past Elgin to finish 9-0
On a muddy field that was better suited for farm animals, Batavia powered its way to a 49-12 win over Elgin on its way to an undefeated season and Update Eight River conference title.
Anthony Scaccia got the Bullodgs started with a 72-yard run in which the junior showed no signs of the field affecting his speed or footwork.
"We knew it was going to be bad, so we were prepared for it," Scaccia said. "I think this should give us some great experience for poor conditions if we face them in the playoffs. It feels great to win conference back-to-back. We knew it was going to be hard, but we did a heckuva job. We all had goals at the beginning of the season to win state in 2012. We hated the feeling of losing last year and we remember how the seniors felt losing in the playoffs last year."
Scaccia finished with 126 yards rushing in the first half and head coach Dennis Piron felt the muddy conditions didn't affect Scaccia as much as it might others.
"He (Scaccia) didn't have much of a problem with this stuff (mud)," Piron said. "We could have given the ball a bunch more times, but we got a chance to let some other kids play, too. I'm proud of our kids for hanging onto the ball and executing any type of offense on a field like this."
After Elgin turned the ball over on downs on its ensuing possession, Scaccia scored his second touchdown on the night from 10 yards out after Micah Coffey completed consecutive passes to Zach Strittmatter and Tyler Miller.
Batavia (9-0, 6-0) drove down to the 4-yard line on their next possession, and lineman Adam Hunger scored Batavia's third touchdown of the night from the 4 after reporting as an eligible receiver.
Batavia's stingy defense forced Elgin (1-8, 0-6) to punt again, and with just under two minutes left in the first half, Tyler Miller scored on a 21-yard run off the left tackle to give the Bulldogs a 28-0 halftime lead.
Miller struck again on Batavia's first drive of the second half on a 15-yard run, and four minutes later Coffey found Rourke Mullins wide-open for a 60-yard touchdown pass.
Trailing 42-0 midway through the third quarter, Elgin head coach Dave Bierman decided to give a few sophomores playing time. With Dontrell Gaddy playing quarterback and Malik Dunner playing running back, the Maroons faced fourth and 13 on their own 35-yard line. Gaddy found Dunner open over the middle for a 10 yard pass that Dunner made a juggling catch and took the distance once he maintained control.
The Maroons forced the Bulldogs to punt and scored on another big play when Gaddy hit Joe DeBrocke on a post route for a 46-yard touchdown pass.
Despite the deficit and the running clock, Bierman indicated that he was proud to coach a team that never showed a sign of quitting and indicated there are many good players in the pipeline who will only improve as they get older.
"There's a lot of sophomores on this varsity team that are going to get better with experience," said Bierman, who announced to his team after the game he is stepping down. "There's a ways to go, but there is some good quality players on this team and they all work hard. They'll get stronger and better next season — no question. These kids have a great amount of heart. It's been on honor to coach these kids because of the way they work and they just don't ever give up."
Backup quarterback Daniel Albrecht scored Batavia's final score of the night on a 30-yard run with just under four minutes to play in regulation. Piron
"I'm very proud of this team and very excited for the kids," Piron said. "They wanted to go 9-0 and win conference, so it was nice to see them achieve a lot of their goals. The kids are having a good time and it was really fun for them and I'm really happy for them."
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