Batavia could have suffered a letdown during Friday’s home opener against Plainfield East. After all, the Bulldogs were coming off a thrilling upset of Glenbard North in Carol Stream last Friday and have longtime rival Geneva looming in Week 3.
The Bulldogs dominated the statistical columns, but had to fight off a resilient group of Bengals, ultimately pulling away late for a 30-14 victory.
“It felt like based on the offensive stats that we should’ve been up more,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. “I don’t think the kids came out flat or anything. It was just an unusual game with how the scoring went, and we had a couple opportunities where we could’ve kept drives going but there were plays there that didn’t work for whatever reason.”
Anthony Scaccia proved to be a one-man wrecking crew for the Bulldogs, collecting 176 rushing yards and 112 receiving yards. He rushed for a pair of touchdowns and the 12-yard touchdown reception he had midway through the third quarter gave Batavia some breathing room at 16-6.
“I give all the credit to the line, they worked very hard and we transition well from practice to the game,” Scaccia said. “We stepped up a lot in the second half.
Plainfield South (0-2) only trailed 10-6 at halftime despite being held to just 44 total yards. Senior Aris Irizarry had an 85-yard kickoff return with 2:52 before halftime to keep the Bengals within striking distance.
Batavia (2-0) pulled ahead 23-6 in the third quarter on Scaccia’s touchdown reception and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Micah Coffey to Zach Strittmatter.
Plainfield East’s Cullen Rompa finally broke free for a 16-yard run and then a 44-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. The Bengals then converted a two-point play to make it 23-14, but Batavia answered with a time-consuming 11-play drive that culminated in Scaccia’s 3-yard touchdown run.
“We lost a tough one last week and Batavia is a great team” Plainfield East coach Mike Romeli said. “Our guys didn’t give up. I was really proud of their effort.