Batavia's defense shines once again
Two words might adequately describe Batavia's starting defense -- but Tyler Jansey's eyes lighting up when answering said plenty.
"It's insane. Our defense is actually insane," Batavia's sophomore linebacker said after the Bulldogs' convincing 42-0 victory over Geneva on Friday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.
The Bulldogs held Geneva to 20 total yards in the first half and 39 total with the defensive starters in the game until the game's final drives. Batavia forced three interceptions and had two sacks.
The Vikings' longest run came on a 20-yard run by Konnor Mickelsen late in the fourth quarter. Batavia has not lost to Geneva since 2010.
"It's the full package. Our secondary is sticky like glue; our defensive lineman are huge and crashing the gaps and our linebackers are just physical," Jansey said.
"They're sensational," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "They're sensational ... I believe this is one of the best football teams I've ever coached. We're just getting firing again without [quarterback] Kyle [Oroni] ... Trey (Urwiler), no questions asked, becomes the quarterback. That's pretty dang special."
Batavia (3-0) took the lead on a 17-yard scoring run from Urwiler who took all snaps in place of starting quarterback Oroni after his season-ending leg injury last Friday. Jalen Buckley followed with his own 31-yard touchdown two drives later with 14 seconds left in the first quarter.
Batavia defensive back Evan Kopf intercepted Geneva quarterback Jackson Reyes and AJ Sanders took it into the end zone two plays later for a 10-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
After Geneva's fourth punt of the first half, Urwiler ran in for a 5-yard score to take the Bulldogs into the half up 28-0.
"A week of practice, but he brings some unique things to the table. You can see tonight, which are going to cause people some concern I hope," Piron said of Urwiler. "We can run the football. We know that. And, I promise you: we'll be able to throw it. And, it's going to happen pretty quickly here so we're excited about that."
Urwiler ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns and threw for one score. Urwiler also had an interception.
Batavia's collective rushing attack of Urwiler, Buckley, Sanders, Dondre Phillips and Josh Dornink combined for 304 rushing yards.
After both teams traded punts, Batavia was knocking on the door, but Dornink fumbled at the 1-yard-line, which was recovered by Geneva's Mason Pawelko. The Vikings were forced to punt and Urwiler later found Alex Faron for a 3-yard touchdown pass to go up 35-0 to close the third quarter.
Batavia intercepted both Reyes and Alex Gordon by Buckley and Anthony Roberts, respectively, before Dondre Phillips ran it into the end zone for a 3-yard rushing score to force a running clock the rest of the way.
Geneva was paced by Ethan Mayer's 21 rushing yards. The Vikings rotated quarterbacks in Reyes (3-for-9, 20 yards) and Gordon (3-for-8, 9 yards, one interception).
"They've overcome a lot of stuff, so I'm very proud of them. I'm very proud of them. I've got no beef [with the effort]" Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "We didn't execute well and [Batavia is] fast and they're good. They've got a lot of weapons. And, defensively, those two middle linebackers [Matt Weerts and Jansey] are the real deal."