[Sean King for Shaw Media]
What Batavia must do to win:
Batavia has found itself down early in games the last two weeks, and while the defense rebounded, it cannot afford many mistakes with Lewandowski's dual-threat ability – Coupled with Stutzman in the backfield.
If the Bulldogs can force the Bears into long down conversion attempts, Weerts, Michael Jansey and company have shown the ability to bring pressure all game long; so keeping them fresh and clean from blocks will be crucial.
Offensively, Batavia generally establishes the run before breaking open the passing attack. Cooper has been able to get Peterson the ball in crucial moments, but it'll need Stuttle's field-stretching ability and Jared Martin's speed to keep the Bears out of sync.
Batavia has been sparked by bigger returns on kickoffs as of late, so look for Art Taylor to have an impact early.
What Lake Zurich must do to win: Stutzman has been largely unstoppable this season, and while Batavia traditionally does well containing rushing studs, Stutzman is highly regarded and will get plenty of opportunities to inflict damage and control the clock.
The Bears' rushing attack is incredibly strong, and is complimented by a quarterback in Lewandowski who takes exceptional care with the football. Wideout Payton Powell leads all receivers on both sides with 811 receiving yards, and has shown big-play ability all season. Batavia hasn't been challenged much by receivers this season, but that could change with Powell.
Defensively, Sanborn receives the bulk of attention, but defensive backs Austin LePage and Anthony Mangano have been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks with 16 combined interceptions and 64 tackles. Not to be overlooked on defense, Stutzman has 40 tackles and a 61-yard fumble return for a touchdown.