Batavia coach Dennis Piron wants to put an end to talk about last year, when his Bulldogs' failed to get past the first round of the football postseason playoffs.
Piron had to endure at least a minute of flashbacks Friday night, because that's about how long it took for DeKalb's Dre Brown to bust out for a 69-yard touchdown run to put the visiting Barbs up 6-0 in the Class 6A playoff opener.
After that, it was all Batavia in a 48-6 romp. The Bulldogs scored on each of their first six possessions, with senior halfback Anthony Scaccia leading the way with four touchdowns and a season-high 201 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Fullback Kevin Green added two touchdown runs while rushing for 60 yards and helping Batavia amass 332 rushing yards on the muddy Bulldog Stadium turf.
"My linemen came out and just dominated the line of scrimmage," Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey said. "It's awesome to be able to hand the ball off and see (defensive) guys just flattened on the ground."
Such flattening allowed Coffey to rest his arm for the most part, as he hit 8 of 9 passes for 104 yards. The ground game did the heavy lifting, accounting for all seven touchdowns after Blake Crowder finished the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 7-yard touchdown run.
"It was nice to have a night like this where we throw because we want to, not because we have to," Coffey said.
After Brown (27 carries, 187 yards) showed why Big Ten and MAC schools are courting him by leaving Bulldogs in his wake on his 69-yard touchdown bolt on the Barbs' second play from scrimmage, the Batavia defense didn't allow another point.
Scaccia took center stage immediately by returning the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the DeKalb 20-yard line, setting up Green's 9-yard touchdown run. Scaccia did his own damage in tacking on touchdown runs of 6, 12, and 2 yards in the first half, to go along with Green's other blast straight up the middle for an 11-yard score. The relentless ground game led to a 35-6 halftime lead.
But Scaccia saved his best run from scrimmage for a 54-yard touchdown to cap off Batavia's first possession of the second half.
"This was probably one of the best games our line has played, especially with these wet conditions," said Scaccia, who was also quick to point out that Green and Anthony Thielk provided solid lead blocks from the fullback spot.
"Those guys were opening those holes and all I have to do is hit them," Scaccia said. "We took what we could get and obviously it was the run game."
Even though Brown gained plenty of yards and helped the Barbs compile 13 first downs, Batavia completely shut down any DeKalb passing attack. DeKalb quarterback Jack Sauter completed only 3 of 16 passes for 22 yards, while also allowing Bulldog interceptions from Ethan Compton and Nick Bernabai.
"We've been dominant all year, and we lost one game when we were banged up, and it's going to take a heck of a football team to beat us," Piron said of his 9-1 squad.
"I'm proud of our coaches for the effort they put in to stop a pretty explosive offense in DeKalb," Piron added. "Our defensive speed is our asset, and it's kind of gone in these conditions, so we had some issues to deal with."
DeKalb (5-5) was able to sustain some time-consuming drives, but had trouble holding on to the slippery ball. The Barbs fumbled seven times in the game, a few of those on kickoffs that led to bad field position even though they maintained possession.
The Barbs lost possession on only one of those fumbles, but it was a costly one when Brown coughed it up around the Batavia 30-yard line and Josh Leonard recovered for the Bulldogs.
The turnover stalled a long drive at a time when Batavia led only 21-6 early in the second quarter. A few minutes later, Scaccia scampered around right end for his 12-yard scoring run, and the game was never in doubt again.
The Bulldogs advance to second round action against Rolling Meadows, a 49-20 winner over Grayslake.