Class 7A quarterfinal: Scouting Batavia at Lincoln-Way West
No. 4 Batavia (10-1) at
No. 12 Lincoln-Way West (9-2) Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday
How they got here: Batavia defeated No. 29 Glenbard North 21-7 and No. 13 Wheaton North 20-17 in OT; Lincoln-Way West defeated No. 21 Jacobs 14-7 and No. 28 Alton 32-12
Outlook: Spread offenses are all the rage in high school football but you'd never know it based on Batavia's playoff opponents. For the third straight week the Bulldogs square off against a physical, power-running team that likes to pound and play aggressive defense. An athletic offensive line blocks for leading rusher Caleb Marconi, who has experienced the ups and downs of playoff football over the course of two weeks. In the playoff opener against Jacobs, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound sophomore rushed for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns but he lost 4 fumbles and eventually sat out the fourth quarter because coach Dave Ernst wanted to preserve his confidence. Marconi bounced back last week. He rushed for 119 yards and 4 touchdowns in a blowout of Alton, raising his season rushing totals to 1,116 yards and 15 touchdowns. L-W West senior quarterback Anthony Senerchia in 2 playoff wins has completed 18 of 29 passes for 262 yards. Defensively, the Warriors are experienced and aggressive. "They handle misdirection well and they fly around and pursue top to bottom," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "Their only losses were to two teams still alive in the state playoffs right now (Lincoln-Way Central and Homewood-Flossmoor). They handled everyone else on their schedule. And we're on their turf, which makes it tougher. But our kids are playing as a team, working together. There's a bond and a commitment. They care for one another and they're competing for another week together as a team."
Advancement: The winner plays the winner of No. 17 Benet Academy (8-3) at No. 9 Lincoln-Way Central (10-1)