BATAVIA – Before last week’s season-opening win against Glenbard North, it was Batavia coach Dennis Piron’s opinion that the Bulldogs had never faced a tougher nonconference schedule.
After hanging on to beat the Panthers last week, the Bulldogs faced what Piron considered an equally tough test in 2012 playoff participant Richards.
With the score tied at 13 at the half, Richards big-play ability bit Batavia three times early in the third quarter, as the visiting Bulldogs grabbed a big lead and hung on for a 31-26 win.
The victory ended Batavia’s 20-game regular season winning streak and handed Piron his first regular season loss since taking over in 2011.
“Coming into these two games, our two opponents posed two different issues,” Piron said. “This team has skill at every position on the field and their linebackers are phenomenal. What a nice football team. We had a turnover or two that hurt us tonight. They are the type of team that can hit you with the big play here and there and they did.”
The big play reared its ugly head at Batavia as Richards scored on a 78-yard touchdown pass on the first play in the third quarter. Richards’ quarterback Hasan Muhammad-Rogers hit Tacari Carpenter on a screen and Carpenter broke a tackle and was gone.
The touchdown gave Richards a 19-13 lead and set the tone in the second half for Richards.
“We really do have athletes and we can get the ball in their hands and they can do magical things,” Muhammad-Rogers said. “We just figure that we can beat people with our speed and how quick we are.”
After the score, Richards forced a quick Batavia offensive possession and quickly put together a four-play drive that saw Muhammad-Rogers find Ryan Willett on a bubble screen that Willett broke for a 49-yard touchdown.
On Batavia’s very next possession, Batavia drove nearly 60 yards on 11 plays before Anthony Scaccia fumbled. Dylan Jiles scooped up the ball and rumbled 92-yards for the touchdown that gave Richards a 31-13 lead.
Jiles’ fumble-recovery touchdown proved huge as Batavia scored twice in the second half, including a Micah Coffey 12-yard touchdown pass to Michael Moffatt that cut the lead to 31-26 with 17 seconds to go.
Batavia failed to recover its own on-side kick try and Richards ran off the remaining 17 seconds to earn the road victory.
RICHARDS 31, BATAVIA 26
Richards 6 7 18 0 – 31
Batavia 0 13 0 13 – 26
HOW THEY SCORED
RI – Carpenter 10 pass from Muhammad-Rogers (kick failed), 5:14
BA – Scaccia 2 run (Aharoni kick), 10:07
BA – Scaccia 27 pass from Coffey (kick failed), 9:07
RI – Tears 29 pass from Muhammad-Rogers (Chiaramonte kick), 3:13
RI – Carpenter 78 pass from Muhammad-Rogers (kick failed), 11:45
RI – Willett 49 pass from Muhammad-Rogers (two-point attempt failed), 6:54
RI – Jiles 92 fumble recovery (kick failed), 2:58
BA– Coffey 1 run (two-point failed), 10:04
BA – Moffatt 12 pass from Coffey (Morgano kick), 0:17
RUSHING – Richards: Johnson 9-42, Muhammad-Rogers 10-46, Willett 1-9, Hill 1-11, Hill 1-23, Tears 1- minus 11, Ross 3-15. Totals: 26-135. St. Charles North: Scaccia 20-80, Coffey 5- 10, Green 2- 24. Totals: 27-114.
PASSING – Richards: Muhammad-Rogers: 15-26-1-258. Batavia: Coffey: 22-39-1-245.
RECEIVING – Richards: Tears 3-46, Willett 2-59, Carpenter 7-128, Shannon 2-29. Batavia: Scaccia 4-30, Zwart 3-44 Green 2-10, Frazier 3-50, Knox 2-29, Moffatt 7-96,
TOTAL YARDS – Richards 393, Batavia 359