The Bulldogs varsity football team don't let anyone show them up at home, even teams with a three-game winning streak.
The Dogs came through to beat the St. Charles North Stars 35-20. The teams played in front of a packed crowd at Batavia High School on Friday.
"I’m very excited for our seniors on our Senior Night," said Dennis Piron, Batavia head football coach, after the game. "It’s unbelievable that we were able to come back this year and match the success of last season. Our players work through adversity. We’ve got juniors making huge contributions too."
Batavia had five touchdowns with five extra points from senior kicker Dan Albrecht. Starting quarterback Micah Coffey even ran in a touchdown in the fourth quarter knowing he had protection. The North Stars' had three touchdowns with two extra points.
Piron and the team were expecting a tough game, and they got one.
'"They were 3-3 and had a tough opening schedule to the season," Piron said of the Stars. "They have offensive weapons, a tough running back in George Edlund. We knew they had weapons."
The Bulldogs scored first after senior defensive end Marquise Jenkins blocked a punt. Junior running back Anthony Scaccia ran in the touchdown. The Stars then put up a fight with one touchdown each in the first and second quarter.
Batavia would score twice more with junior wide receiver Rourke Mullins and junior running back Anthony Thielk. They headed into the second half on top 21-13.
During halftime, Batavia Defensive Coordinator Matt Holm and his players regrouped to stop the Stars' advances.
"Our defensive ends took it upon themselves to be more stout," Piron said. "Coach Holm made adjustments ... having a chance to calm down a little bit and take it in, take a breath, made a difference."
That difference only allowed the Stars to score once in the second half. The Bulldogs scored one TD each in the third and fourth quarters with Scaccia and then Coffey's own run.
It ended up being a night the seniors could really enjoy.
"It was huge for them," Piron said. "It’s a really good group of kids, they’ve stuck together through some difficult times. I’m very, very proud of their teamwork and their leadership."
Batavia Ready For Road Games
Before they head into the playoffs, the Bulldogs will finish regular season play on the road. Their Oct. 12 game is at St. Charles East and their Oct. 19 game is at Elgin High School.
"It is what it is," Piron said. "I don’t control the schedule. It is a little unusual to finish two games away, but we had a lot of home games."
Bulldogs fans who come up to see the game in St. Charles will be rewarded with a high-stakes battle. The Upstate Eight River Conference Championship is on the line. St. Charles East matches Batavia's 4-0 conference record and has a 5-2 overall record.
"We’re looking forward to it, we’re looking forward to heading over to St. Charles East. That game will be very, very meaningful to both teams ... it should be an awesome night."
See complete coverage of the Batavia Football 2012 season so far.
Thanks to BATV for the live webcast, and Cindi Gilbertson and Wendy McKeehan for their game photos.