Batavia blows past Lake Park
Dennis Piron said why not.
The longtime Batavia football coach called a timeout in the final minute of the second quarter instead of letting the clock tick down to halftime.
Instead, he got his Bulldogs the ball back for one final drive before the break.
Quarterback Ryan Boe connected with Eric Newberry for the senior wide receiver's third touchdown of the opening half -- this one a 67-yard catch and run with seven seconds left -- helping Batavia to a convincing 42-8 victory in DuKane Conference action Friday night.
Newberry finished with 4 catches for 160 yards and his first three touchdowns of the season. His sophomore quarterback, Boe, completed 13 of 16 passes for 291 yards, four passing touchdowns, and a rushing score for the unbeaten Bulldogs (4-0, 3-0 DuKane Conference).
"His route running is insane," Boe said of Newberry. "He can literally get open in any coverage and that makes my job so much easier. I have so much confidence knowing that he's going to find a way to get open and make a big play for us."
Despite falling behind 2-0 after an early punt snap went out of the back of the end zone for a safety, Batavia rattled off 42 consecutive points in large part because of the Boe-Newberry connection.
The duo connected for a 22-yard score thanks to some elusiveness from Boe to avoid being brought down in the back field before finding a wide-open Newberry to open Batavia's offensive outburst.
The two connected just three plays later on a busted coverage that found the 5-foot-11 Newberry all alone for a 74-yard score.
"It's nice to see our offense getting better and better this year," Piron said. "We've been relying a lot of (running back Jalen Buckley) a lot this season, but for Eric to have the game he did tonight just provides us with another weapon. Obviously, the more weapons you have, the tougher you are to game plan for and the tougher you are to guard. I think we still have room to grow, but it's a nice win tonight."
Newberry admitted to having a slower start, statistically, to his senior campaign, but never lacked confidence that the results would come if he kept working hard.
"I wanted to make the most of this opportunity tonight," Newberry said. "I hadn't had many receptions, but I got into a little rhythm tonight. I just wanted to make a play for my team when I got the ball in my hands. I was repping double moves all week in practice and Boe made a play and found a way to get the ball to me."
Jalen Buckley was certainly instrumental, as well, in the Bulldogs' victory. The running back scored two touchdowns of his own -- one each on the ground and through the air. He finished the night with 135 total yards (74 rushing).
While the Bulldogs' offense finished the night with 42 points, the Batavia defense was impressive in sacking Lake Park quarterback Frank Moorman five times. The Lancers (1-3, 1-1) also turned the ball over four times -- including an interception by senior defensive back Tony Roberts in the end zone.
Moorman finished the night completing 13 of 22 passes for 141 yards. The Bulldogs defense, led by two sacks and a fumble recovery from Brody Osborne, allowed just 75 total yards in the first half.
It wasn't until many of the Batavia defensive starters were subbed out that the Lancers tallied their only touchdown of the game -- a 23-yard strike from Moorman to Desmond Horton late the fourth quarter.
Batavia battles fellow unbeaten Glenbard North (4-0, 2-0) next Friday night.