BATAVIA – The question for the Batavia football team coming into Friday’s Upstate Eight River Conference game against Streamwood was whether the Bulldogs would score enough points to force a running clock.
Batavia’s second-team offense wasn’t quite able to reach the end zone in the fourth quarter, but that was about the only thing that didn’t go the Bulldogs’ way in a 33-0 rout.
The Sabres (1-3, 0-2) were playing just their second game with junior Mason Polich playing quarterback in place of the talented Jordan McFeggan, who is no longer with the team.
“They’re shorthanded,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron acknowledged. “Their quarterback isn’t playing for them anymore and the kid that went in, what a tough kid he was. But they do have weapons at receiver. … You let any one of those receivers get the ball in space – they’re gone.”
Polich had to be tough because the Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0) sacked him six times. Linebacker Mickey Watson, who was crowned homecoming king at halftime, was in on a couple of those sacks.
“Our D-line did a really good job up front taking on blocks,” Watson said. “We did a lot of blitzing and they took up the blocks and opened up holes for us. And our secondary did a really good job of covering the pass because we knew they had some pretty good athletes for receivers.”
The Bulldogs limited the Sabres to 72 yards passing. Polich was 9-for-21 throwing the ball and threw one interception to Batavia junior cornerback Forrest Gilbertson.
The Batavia defensive front four of Marquise Jenkins, James Millette, Michael Gates and Ryan Minniti completely shut down the run, limiting the Sabres’ running backs to just one yard rushing.
The Bulldogs were also impressive offensively, piling up 18 first downs. They scored 21 points in the first half, getting touchdowns on their first two possessions.
The first drive featured a nice mix of runs and passes and was capped by a 5-yard run by Adam Hunger. The 6-4, 250-pound senior normally lines up at left tackle, but this time he lined up on the wing and went in motion, taking a handoff from quarterback Micah Coffey and rolling around the end for the score.
“We’ve been using him as a lead back, a motion back in those [goal-line] sets,” Piron noted. “And what we committed to him was, if he blocked well, we might hand him the ball from time to time. He blocked well, so we handed him the ball tonight.”
On the second drive, Zach Strittmatter made a leaping grab of a pass from Coffey, turned upfield and then dove forward, stretching out the ball to break the plane of the goal line for a 20-yard touchdown.
“We ran an out and Micah threw a perfect ball,” Strittmatter said. “I caught it and I saw two guys in front of me and Michael Moffatt was making an incredible block. He was blocking both guys and the only way to get into the end zone was to dive, so I just jumped over them.”
Strittmatter also caught a 13-yard scoring strike from Coffey early in the third quarter and the Bulldogs put the game out of reach later in the period with a 1-yard TD plunge from Kevin Green.
The Bulldogs got 101 yards rushing from Anthony Scaccia and 81 more from Anthony Thielk, who set up Green’s score with a 69-yard burst up the middle.
BATAVIA 33, STREAMWOOD 0
Streamwood 0 0 0 0 – 0
Batavia 14 7 12 0 – 33 HOW THEY SCORED
First quarter B – Hunger 5 run (Albrecht kick), 8:03 B – Strittmatter 20 pass from Coffey (Albrecht kick), 3:03Second quarter B – Coffey 1 run (Albrecht kick), 2:35Third quarter B – Strittmatter 13 pass from Coffey (kick failed), 10:20 B – Green 1 run (pass failed), 5:50INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING – Streamwood: Hendershot 1-0, Strong 1-0, Brown 2-4, Mugnai 1-minus 3, M. Polich 12-minus 27. Totals: 17-minus 26. Batavia: Scaccia 12-101, Ward 4-16, Thielk 4-81, Green 8-48, Hunger 2-7, Miller 2-6, Coffey 3-1. Totals: 35-260. PASSING – Streamwood: M. Polich 9-21-1-72. Batavia: Coffey 12-18-1-105, Albrecht 5-7-1-49.RECEIVING – Streamwood: Patterson 1-20, Holder 4-26, N. Polich 1-5, Mugnai 1-14, Giwa 2-7. Batavia: Strittmatter 5-57, Toth 4-38, Thielk 1-6, Scaccia 1-3, Frazier 1-1, Berry 2-14, Hansen 1-5, Knox 1-5, Siemsen 1-25.TOTAL YARDS – Batavia 414, Streamwood 45.