Taylor, Batavia celebrate win at Naperville North
It was quite an 18th birthday Friday for Batavia senior running back Art Taylor.
Taylor rushed for a game-high 151 yards and 1 touchdown as Batavia went home 35-7 winners against Naperville North in a nonconference football game.
The contest capped a focused week of practice as the Bulldogs wanted to get back on track after a tough season-opening loss against East St. Louis Senior.
Taylor gave all the credit to the offensive line for his yardage.
"It's easy hiding behind the big linemen," he said.
While it was a big night for Taylor, it was also one for senior Quinn Urwiler, who rushed for two touchdowns and returned an interception for a third score.
Urwiler stressed that it was important for the team to make the most of Week 2.
"The week of practice was really tough. We had lost and we're eager to get back on the field," he said.
Urwiler also praised the efforts of his teammate and birthday celebrant Taylor.
"He's ridiculous. Art can shift on a dime. Once you get him going, look out," he said.
Batavia's first score was set up by a Naperville North fumble that put the Bulldogs (1-1) on the Naperville North 29. A 20-yard gain by Taylor moved things along and three plays later, quarterback Kyle Oroni found 6-foot-8-inch tight end Devin Cheaney in the corner of the end zone for a 3-yard TD pass.
"East St. Louis beat us pretty good. It was very physical," said Batavia coach Dennis Piron. "I'm glad we got the victory tonight. Naperville North is always tough. They are a scrappy, well-coached team."
The Huskies (0-2) got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter as quarterback Anthony Gabrione threw to Zeke Williams, who sprinted ahead of the last Batavia defender covering him and made his way 88 yards into the end zone.
"It was a set play. We had it before and haven't been able to complete it," said Naperville North coach Sean Drendel.
Batavia opens DuKane Conference play next Friday at Lake Park. The Huskies head to Ohio to face Massillon Perry.
"We'll keep battling. We have a big trip to look forward to. Hopefully, we can get a win. There's still a lot to play for," Drendel said.