With 92 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns -- all those scores came in the second half -- of Batavia's 46-34 win at Geneva Friday, Dom Guzaldo picked a good time for the game of his life.
So did Batavia senior linebacker Austin Lewis, who had not scored a touchdown in high school until recovering a fumble in the end zone that put the Bulldogs ahead 17-14 at halftime.
Those were just two of the many stars of the game for Batavia, who improved to 6-0 with the win and put itself in control of the Upstate Eight Conference River Division race at 3-0.
"Dom Guzaldo is a tough, tough kid," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "A good boy who has worked hard for everything he got tonight. Austin's play led to 2 touchdowns."
Lewis also had 7 tackles, a sack and a quarterback pressure. He had plenty of company of standout play on a Batavia defense that held high-powered Geneva to 229 yards of offense. Middle linebacker Sean Oroni made 20 tackles including 3 for a loss.
And Batavia's offensive line of Adam Hunger, Zack Schoettes, Ben Link, Brock Batka and Nick Pappas paved the way for 259 rushing yards. It's a unit that came into the season as one of the team's question marks.
"Those kids are a proud group of kids," Piron said. "They are a group of kids that nobody thinks much of if you looked at them at our practice and stuff and when the season started."
"It's good to have a win back to Batavia," Pappas said. "We all believed we could do it. All the hard work paid off."
Piron has often credited a new weight room as making a big difference in his team's improved physical play this year.
"Our kids lived in the weight room," Piron said. "I felt bad for kids from previous years. Some didn't have the opportunity these kids have. We were in a war zone a couple years (with the school remodeling). It's one thing to have opportunities -- these kids seized them."
The Bulldogs then got good news Saturday when senior quarterback Noel Gaspari's injured shoulder -- which forced him to the sidelines for the entire fourth quarter -- was diagnosed as a slight separation to his non-throwing shoulder and he "should be good quick," according to Piron.
There's a chance this won't be the last time these rivals play this year. The only time in the 94 games between Geneva and Batavia that they have met in the playoffs came in 2006, also the last year Batavia had won in the series before Friday.
"I'd love to see anybody," Piron said. "I'd play Geneva again, I'd play Marmion again. We're just happy to be in the playoffs officially."
"Maybe we'll see them down the line," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "We've got to get better."