Of all the Batavia and Lake Forest players who felt the affects of the wind Saturday in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, nobody had to fight it more than the Bulldogs' Jon Gray and the Scouts' Evan Boudreaux.
Those were the two punters, and nothing illustrated what kind of day it was more than their numbers.
Gray and Boudreaux combined for 14 punts. Four of them came with the wind at their back, and on those kicks they averaged 44 yards a boot.
Unfortunately for them, 10 times they had to punt into the wind, and those kicks yielded a 22.2 average. And that doesn't count another kick into the wind that was blocked.
Over 21 yards a kick difference depending on the wind, that's the impact.
That wind played such a big part in the game that Batavia coach Dennis Piron said it was a deciding factor in his team's 31-17 win, a game the Bulldogs trailed 17-10 entering the fourth quarter.
"Getting the wind in the fourth quarter, that was the turning point," Piron said. "It was a very mental thing for both teams. You could see it."
Late in the first quarter with Lake Forest deep in its own territory, Piron called two timeouts to force the Scouts to punt into the wind. A 22-yard punt gave the Bulldogs great field position and led to the first of Alec Lyons' 3 touchdown runs on the next series.
"I thought that was important to do and that got us some points," Piron said. "We thought making them punt into the wind was critical.
"Nature helped us today."
Batavia will put its best-ever 11-0 record on the line this weekend at 9-2 Lakes in the Class 6A quarterfinals.