The ability to be balanced has become a critical weapon for the Batavia football team this season.
And if Friday night's 56-7 Upstate Eight River win over Streamwood is any indicator, the Bulldogs' offense might just have the right amount of ebb and flow.
Batavia scored 35 first-half points and lit up the Millennium Field turf for 523 total yards in its third-straight road win, in lieu of its new turf field debut next week against Elgin.
The Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0) provided 279 yards via the run and 244 in the air as quarterback Ben Weerts, who saw a little more action with Riley Cooper banged up, led the way with 7 of 10 passes for 160 yards, which included a touchdown pass and 3 touchdown runs.
"Clearly, we've got to be able to throw and we can," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "We got a bunch of kids that can carry the ball and we've got big linemen that can play and block. And we've got some special receivers. And all the way around, that group of kids I've been happy with the job they've done."
Case and point came late in the first quarter when Weerts found receiver Colin Cheaney down the left sideline on 10-yard pass that turned into a 88-yard score to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 14-0 with 2:23 left.
"They were playing inside shade,"said Cheaney, who hauled in 6 passes for 153 yards. "I made a play and that's what we needed; to get some big plays because we played Libertyville and (Belleville West) -- two good teams and we knew we could make big plays."
Once Weerts ended a 5-play, 34-yard drive with a 4-yard scamper that bridged the first and second quarters, the balance was on and Batavia was up 21-0, a far cry from its two previous helter-skelter affairs.
Weerts again finished off another drive from the 7 for a 28-0 lead and added a 2-yard run just before the half to answer a one-handed, 40-yard touchdown grab by Streamwood's Jesse Rico for a 35-7 halftime lead.
"We got out to a good lead and we just executed today," said Weerts, who ran 12 times for 55 yards. "That (Cheaney touchdown) boosted our confidence because we got out to a slow start and after that it sparked our team."
Running back Matthew Huizinga (4 rushes, 106 yards, 3 TDs) added 2 more running scores from 9 and 90 yards out for a running clock at the 1:10 mark of the third. Cooper converted 7 passes for 79 yards to aid in the passing game and even Jeremiah Evers got in with a 15-yard touchdown run late. Batavia had 9 different rushers and 7 different receivers haul in catches to go along with the fact it did not punt.
"Obviously they've won five conference titles in a row and haven't let up at all," Streamwood coach Don Guindon said. "They have so many personnel grouping and formations; they can run the ball on you, they can throw the ball on you, they have quite a complete package and defensively they're tough."
The Sabres (1-2, 0-1) had one bright spot when Brendon Marton (7-for-16, 135 yards) found Rico down the left sideline, who extended his left arm in an impressive display. Rico had 113 yards receiving on 3 catches as the Sabres finished with 173 total yards but registered 38 via the run.