Bulldogs roll in 100th Batavia-Geneva game
There have been only a handful of instances in 100 meetings between Geneva and Batavia in which one rival dominated the other like Batavia handled the Vikings in a 41-0 victory Friday.
It was the sixth-most lopsided win in series history and the fourth-largest margin of victory in a Batavia win. The Bulldogs likewise defeated Geneva 41-0 in 1957 and 1998.
The win trims Geneva's all-time series lead to 51-44-5, a fact that makes Batavia coach Dennis Piron and defensive coordinator Matt Holm positively giddy. Holm, a 1987 Batavia graduate delivered his annual pre-Geneva pep talk two nights earlier.
"I can't really say exactly what happens in that speech, but it's interesting," Batavia sophomore running back Trey Urwiler said.
Piron, a 1983 Batavia graduate, is 8-0 against Geneva since taking over as head coach.
"It's a very personal game for Matt, for me, for all of our alums and anybody that has been part of this rivalry," Piron said.
"It's very, very special. We really don't care what other people think or what past coaches feel. But I know what (retired Batavia coach) Mike Gaspari feels, who was the mentor to Matt and I. And we make sure this game is our most important game every single year."
The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in DuKane Conference play by gaining 469 total yards compared to 56 for Geneva (0-6, 0-4).
Batavia led 21-0 at halftime, thanks to a pair of short touchdown runs by Quinn Urwiler and a 57-yard touchdown pass from Jack Meyers to running back Trey Urwiler with just over a minute left in the first half. Trey Urwiler ran a wheel route out of the backfield and sped past a linebacker in coverage when Meyers delivered the ball on target.
"We worked on that play all week, though we weren't sure if we were going to run it or not," Trey Urwiler said. "Before the play I just looked at Jack and he just knew that was going to be a good play."
Geneva twice recovered first-half fumbles to keep the Bulldogs at bay. The second turnover was a strip and recovery by Geneva defensive back Mark Riley. With his team trailing 14-0, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound senior ripped the ball out of a Batavia receiver's hands at the Geneva 18-yard line and returned it to the Batavia 25.
However, Quinn Urwiler intercepted an Alex Williams pass on third-and-9 to end that threat.
Geneva attempted only 6 passes, 2 of which were intercepted. The Vikings rushed for 56 yards against a defense that limits opponents to 42 rushing yards per game.
"We've struggled with our perimeter game all year," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "When we can't play pitch and catch on the perimeter, they're in a little bit of a lockdown man to man and we just can't get loose. It gives you the results you've got."
Geneva running back Brendan Krohe was limited to 16 yards on 14 carries.
"They're the real deal. I wish them well," Wicinski said. "They've got the makings to run deep. We really didn't have much going on. They really took away everything."
Batavia running back Art Taylor, who missed the second half of last week's win over Wheaton Warrenville South, led all rushers with 141 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries to pace a ground game that gained 256 yards.
Taylor's biggest run was a 53-yarder in the first half. He head faked a would-be-tackler so hard that the defender fell backwards.
"It kind of made me laugh as I was running, to be honest," Taylor said. "He was there one second then he was on the ground and there was open field."
Meyers threw for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12-of-16 passing. He capped the scoring with a 49-yard touchdown pass to Zach Weber.