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Article updated: 11/24/2013 7:20 AM
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Batavia blows out Boylan to advance to 6A title game
 

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Batavia blows out Boylan to advance to 6A title game
  • Batavia's Michael Moffatt (23) and Noah Frazier celebrate a Rockford Boylan fumble recovered by the Bulldogs in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Michael Moffatt (23) and Noah Frazier celebrate a Rockford Boylan fumble recovered by the Bulldogs in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Michael Moffatt, left, congratulates Jordan Zwart (hidden) as he bumps with Alec Berry after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Michael Moffatt, left, congratulates Jordan Zwart (hidden) as he bumps with Alec Berry after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  A pack of Batavia Bulldogs take down Rockford Boylan's Nick Pumilia in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | A pack of Batavia Bulldogs take down Rockford Boylan's Nick Pumilia in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Rourke Mullins soars over the goal line past teammate Anthony Thielk after intercepting a Rockford Boylan pass and making a successful run for the end zone in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Rourke Mullins soars over the goal line past teammate Anthony Thielk after intercepting a Rockford Boylan pass and making a successful run for the end zone in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Rockford Boylan's Joe Fehrle tries to take the ball out of the hands of Batavia's Josh Leonhard long after the Bulldogs recovered it in a Titan fumble in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Rockford Boylan's Joe Fehrle tries to take the ball out of the hands of Batavia's Josh Leonhard long after the Bulldogs recovered it in a Titan fumble in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Tucker Knox, left, and Connor McKeehan, right, congratulate teammate Jordan Zwart, center, on his touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Tucker Knox, left, and Connor McKeehan, right, congratulate teammate Jordan Zwart, center, on his touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Anthony Scaccia pushes off at attempted tackle by Rockford Boylan's Steven Hewett in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Anthony Scaccia pushes off at attempted tackle by Rockford Boylan's Steven Hewett in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Anthony Scaccia sprints down the field in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Anthony Scaccia sprints down the field in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Nick Bernabei (21), Jake Hlava (5) and Michael Moffatt point signaling the Bulldogs have recovered a Rockford Boylan fumble in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Nick Bernabei (21), Jake Hlava (5) and Michael Moffatt point signaling the Bulldogs have recovered a Rockford Boylan fumble in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Anthony Scaccia looks for a pocket around Rockford Boylan's Steven Hewett as teammate Kevin Green pushes him out of his way in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Anthony Scaccia looks for a pocket around Rockford Boylan's Steven Hewett as teammate Kevin Green pushes him out of his way in the first quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia seniors Connor McKeehan and Ethan Compton walk off the field arm in arm after their Class 6A semifinal win over Rockford Boylan on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia seniors Connor McKeehan and Ethan Compton walk off the field arm in arm after their Class 6A semifinal win over Rockford Boylan on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Anthony Scaccia is congratulated by teammates Jack Breshears (77) and Jordan Zwart after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Anthony Scaccia is congratulated by teammates Jack Breshears (77) and Jordan Zwart after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Batavia's Rourke Mullins is buried in a group celebration after scoring a touchdown on an interception in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game vs. Rockford Boylan on Saturday, November 23.

    Purchase Photo | Batavia's Rourke Mullins is buried in a group celebration after scoring a touchdown on an interception in the second quarter of the Class 6A semifinal game vs. Rockford Boylan on Saturday, November 23. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 

In the Madden video game, players simply hit the "fatigue off" button and the next thing you know Adrian Peterson is breaking off 60-yard runs in the fourth quarter on his 35th carry of the game.

Who knew Batavia's Anthony Scaccia comes with his own "fatigue off" button?

The Bulldogs turned to their 150-pound senior running back early and often on a frigid Saturday in Rockford in their Class 6A semifinal clash with Boylan. On a frozen field that made any cutback an adventure, Scaccia didn't rely on his normal shifty moves.

Instead he showed his toughness, plowing forward time and time again, finishing with 184 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on a whopping 41 carries in Batavia's 38-6 win over the previously unbeaten and top-seeded Titans.

"Look at that kid," smiled Batavia coach Dennis Piron. "He always goes 100 percent. There's probably never been a kid I've coached that goes as hard as he does at practice on a daily basis. He just says give it to me, give me the ball and I'll take care of the rest. On this surface no-less. He was a power running back at 150 pounds. Power football. It was awesome."

Scaccia scored Batavia's first three touchdowns on 2-, 4- and 1-yard runs as the Bulldogs jumped ahead 6-0 after one quarter, then broke the game open in the second to lead 24-0 at halftime. Boylan didn't score until the final play of the game.

And Scaccia was in the middle of all it, fighting for yard after yard to keep Batavia's offense on the field and the Titans' offense standing by the heater trying keep their hands warm.

All those carries and Scaccia never tired.

"This field was horrid," Piron said. "For what he was able to do, hold onto the football, run for the tough yards, on a good field today that kid would have rushed for 300 yards. He did what he had to do for us to get our first downs, control the ball and win the game."

"Anthony Scaccia is unreal as coach (Mike) Gaspari says," senior Rourke Mullins said. "I love him and he's a great teammate and a great football player."

The win sends Batavia to next Saturday's Class 6A state championship, its second title appearance.

Batavia (12-1) will play Richards (12-1), a 7-6 winner over East St. Louis Saturday, in the championship game at NIU at 1 p.m. It's a rematch of the Bulldogs' only loss this year, 31-25 in Week 2.

"This was our goal," Mullins said. "This was what we worked for all off-season. Every weight room, every workout, everything we did was for this moment right here."

Scaccia is always quick to credit his offensive line, a group that includes Jack Breshears, Zach Tate, Connor McKeehan, Patrick Gamble, Max Heidgen and tight end Noah Frazier.

Missing Mitchell Krusz since the St. Charles North game, Gamble made sure the Bulldogs weren't further short-handed by playing through a leg injury.

That unit set the tone on the opening possession. While the drive stalled at Boylan's 6-yard line, the Bulldogs converted a pair of fourth downs -- a theme for a day that saw Batavia make 6 of its first 7 fourth downs.

Josh Leonhard recovered a Boylan fumble on the Titans' third play -- which became another theme. Boylan turned the ball over four times, all in the first half, to the Bulldogs' zero.

Starting at Boylan's 24-yard line, the Bulldogs drove for the first score. Micah Coffey moved the chains on a 4th-and-1, and soon after Scaccia put the Bulldogs ahead 6-0 with 41 seconds left in the first quarter with his short run.

Boylan fumbled a snap to the punter on its next possession, again setting up Batavia with a short field. Scaccia converted a 4th-down run, then scored his second touchdown for a 12-0 lead.

"We did a god job of making sure the fourth downs were less than a yard," Batavia all-state wide receiver/cornerback Michael Moffatt said. "We were just pounding. Our line did a great job the whole game getting a push so that helped us out. We knew were going to be able to get it once we saw that happen."

On Batavia's next two drives Scaccia ran for three more first downs on short fourth downs. His 1-yard TD run put the Bulldogs ahead 18-0 with 1:38 left in the second quarter.

About the only thing Batavia didn't do right Saturday was its point-after-touchdowns, missing two kicks on a day kicker Howie Morgano couldn't plant with the field conditions, and also misfiring on three of four 2-point tries.

When you still win by 32, all those missed PATs really meant was no running clock. Batavia's O-line paved the way for the Bulldogs to outgain Boylan 402 yards to 167.

"We knew we had to get it to win," Heidgen said of the fourth downs. "It's great to have him (Scaccia), blocking for him."

Mullins made it 24-0 at halftime with a 56-yard interception return just before halftime. Boylan quarterback Demry Croft threw high on a slant, and Mullins did the rest.

"They had been running bubble and I saw a slant and the quarterback threw it right to me," Mullins said. "My teammates threw great blocks and I was able to get in the end zone."

Coffey went to the air a little more often in the second half. After missing on his first three throws, Coffey hit on 8 of his final 9 to finish 8-for-12 for 194 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Coffey threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Moffatt in the third quarter and a 90-yarder to Jordan Zwart (3 catches, 133 yards) in the fourth quarter.

Even more impressive by the senior quarterback considering his counterpart Croft was just 10 for 21 for 109 yards and 2 interceptions.

"It was pretty tough," Croft said. "I couldn't grip the ball too well. I lost feeling in my hand in the first quarter when a guy landed on it."

Anthony Thielk added an interception for Batavia. He also made 11 tackles, a sack and 2 tackles for loss.

"We have a great defense, we're fast and physical, we study really hard," Frazier said. "We come in early before school to watch film, we have a great scout offense, our sophomores run stuff the other team doesn't even have in their playbook, just in case to help prepare us. The whole team has bonded well."

Batavia also had 21 first downs to Boylan's 10, a dominating effort from start to finish in front of a visiting stands packed full of fans.

You can bet even more will make the short trip to Huskie Stadium next week cheering for Batavia to reverse a 30-20 loss to Normal in the 2006 state championship -- a game Coffey's brother Jordan threw two touchdown passes.

"They (Boylan) haven't lost a 6A game in how many years," Piron said. "The film study told our coaches and kids we should do well. If we play our game today we will win. If we all play our game our defense will run them over. And that's how we took the field and from the beginning to the end we did. I felt a lot of support today. We had as many fans as them. What a great following we have in Batavia.

"Now we'll drive past Annie Glidden (road) on the way home and see where we are playing next week. It's pretty special."

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