Resilient Batavia dumps Naperville North
Batavia's football team showed quite a bit of resiliency Friday night.
Overcoming 153 yards worth of penalties (17 total), a couple special team miscues and a valiant second-half comeback from Naperville North (0-2), the Bulldogs (2-0) pulled away late for a 41-24 nonconference triumph in their home opener at Bulldog Stadium.
Trailing 24-10 at halftime, the Huskies capitalized on a short field after a bad snap from center resulted in a 36-yard loss on a botched punt as Ameir Wilbourn's 4-yard touchdown run narrowed the Bulldogs' lead to 24-17 early in the third quarter.
Following defensive back Grant Pass' fumble recovery near midfield, Naperville North tied the game at 24-24 when quarterback Cliff Vickers tossed a 9-yard TD pass to Matt Maschmeier on the first play in the fourth quarter.
Batavia answered right back.
Junior Quin Urwiler (5 carries, 79 yards) took a direct snap and raced 56 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the team's next offensive series to give the Bulldogs a 31-24 lead with 9:35 remaining.
The 3rd-and-2 play served as a catalyst for the Bulldogs, who added an 8-yard TD run by Michael Jansey (15 carries, 61 yards) with 6:19 left. Jackson Williams' 23-yard field goal with 56 seconds remaining iced it.
"Great blocking by our linemen," said Urwiler. "I saw the lane, I followed Jansey and then I cut it back. Luckily, I hit the pylon and got in.
"We didn't put our heads down."
It was a crushing blow for the Huskies.
"That one (touchdown) hurt," admitted Huskies coach Sean Drendel. "If we get a stop there, I think we've got a good chance.
"We got down by 14 early with a couple of our mistakes. We were able to comeback but we just kind of ran out of gas defensively. You can't fault our effort."
Pressed into a workhorse situation due to some injuries, sophomore tailback Trey Urwiler rushed for 189 yards on 25 carries -- part of the Bulldogs' 301-yard ground attack.
"Trey was unbelievable tonight," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "We're going to get a couple guys back next week (against Lake Park) which will make us that much better."
After an electrifying 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the Huskies' Reggie Autman-Suggs tied the game at 10-10 in the second quarter, the Bulldogs scored 14 points in a 9-second span to grab a 24-10 halftime advantage.
First, Trey Urwiler caught a 36-yard TD pass from quarterback Jack Meyers (7 of 13, 143 yards) to make it 17-10 with 1:41 left in the second quarter.
After Carter Gette recovered a fumble on the ensuing kick, Meyers connected with Zack Weber for a 38-yard scoring pass with 1:32 remaining before halftime.
"I'm proud of our kids," said Piron. "We're starting to show the things we can do. We've got to clean up a bunch of stuff and we're trying to use a lot of personnel but we're almost there."