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When opposing football coaches talk about Batavia, the word that comes to mind is "swagger."
Batavia displayed it Friday night with a 47-14 Upstate Eight River Division win over visiting St. Charles East.
"They've got it going on and they seem to have it going on every year — lately, at least," said St. Charles East coach Mike Fields. "I've got to take off my hat and give them all the respect in the world. They came out and handled us up front and all over the place. Not much more I can say."
Limiting the Saints to 3 first downs while outgaining them 342 yards to 46 in the first half, Batavia (7-1, 5-0) established a running clock for the entire second half with a 40-0 lead on Micah Coffey's 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah Frazier with 12.8 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs have 0-8 Elgin between them and a third straight unbeaten conference championship. Coffey, who completed 15 of 18 passes for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns, said offensive linemen like this year's group of Connor McKeehan, Patrick Gamble, Zach Tate, Noah Cotten, Jack Breshears, Max Heidgen and the recently injured Mitch Krusz are a main reason.
"It's been our line that's carried us through all those three seasons," said two-year starter Coffey. "Because of their hard work and their dedication to what they do we get to put big points on the board. We really controlled the line of scrimmage, so I'm really proud of all of them."
St. Charles East (5-3, 3-2) had designs on a UEC River co-championship but mustered just 1 first down while Batavia took a 28-0 first-quarter lead on 41- and 8-yard touchdown runs by Anthony Scaccia, a Scaccia 44-yard pass reception and Coffey's 14-yard pass to Michael Moffatt.
Scaccia, who added a 26-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for a fifth straight Bulldogs scoring possession, finished with 12 carries for 139 yards. He unofficially needs 11 yards rushing for a second straight 1,000-yard season.
"I think we have eight lineman who can play varsity football," he said. "I couldn't have done anything without them. They made holes, my fullbacks sealed them off and I just had clear lanes."
St. Charles East tailback Erik Anderson was a focus for Batavia's defense, but the main thrust was containing the duo of quarterback Jimmy Mitchell and receiver Brannon Barry.
Mitchell finished with 189 yards passing and fourth-quarter touchdowns on his 17-yard run and a 10-yard pass to A.J. Washington. Early, Bulldogs defenders like Ryan Minniti, James Millette and Moffatt — who held Barry without a catch a week after he had 196 yards receiving — held sway.
"We've got a lot of stuff we can run on defense, multiple plays," said defensive tackle Millette. "Just get in the quarterback's face and make him throw. Game over."
That's the attitude Batavia carries, and a future generation was on hand. The Bulldogs' gray jerseys were a tribute to Batavia Youth Football, in its 10th anniversary.
"They're a confident team," said Barry. "And to win in the game of football and be successful you have to be confident. Batavia comes out with a lot of confidence."
A win over Elgin would earn a third straight conference title, a first for Batavia.
"I think that's a pretty good feeling," coach Dennis Piron said. "I'm really, really proud of these kids."