Batavia’s 43-point halftime lead holds up in win over Larkin

SHARE Batavia’s 43-point halftime lead holds up in win over Larkin

Batavia began its Upstate Eight River season with a bang at home, coping with a light rain throughout the evening.

The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-0) dominated Larkin (0-3, 0-1) in all phases in the first half, zooming to a 49-6 halftime lead. That held up as the final score through a second-half running clock.

Batavia utilized 11 different ball carriers, led by Blake Crowder with 91 yards on five carries and two touchdowns. The ground attack netted 207 yards on 30 carries.

Kyle Niemiec and Evan Acosta split the quarterbacking duties for the Bulldogs, and together went 11-for-17 for 162 yards and one score, a 27 yarder from Acosta to Canaan Coffey. Seven different Batavia receivers were used, led by Coffey with 73 yards on four catches.

“It’s always been our philosophy offensively to try to get as many kids involved as we can,” said Batavia offensive coordinator Mike Gaspari. “We continually change formations and it just involves a lot more kids. It’s high school football and we try to make it fun and entertaining.”

Batavia’s Jake Hlava ran for a five-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and Crowder added a 27-yard scamper straight up the middle.

Zach Garrett had a six-yard TD run in the second quarter, and then the Bulldogs’ defense and special teams began to dominate.

Hlava caused Larkin quarterback Elijah Hernandez to fumble, and defensive end Noah Frazier scooped it up and ran 42 yards for a 28-0 lead.

“I timed it perfectly and the ball popped,” said Hlava. “Noah was right there and it was an awesome play.”

“I was going to celebrate with him, and the ball just popped up and came right to me. I just took off,” added Frazier.

On the ensuing kickoff, Nate Kearney recovered a fumble at the Larkin 31. Kamontez Thomas followed with a four-yard scoring dash five plays later for the 35-0 lead.

“I was five yards behind the ball hunters (on the kickoff). They hit him and the ball popped out and I recovered it,” said Kearney. “The special teams were awesome. We almost had a return for a touchdown, and we had good coverage on most of our kickoffs.”

Although the Frazier-led defense allowed Larkin only 75 total yards, the Royals had a bright spot when Deshawn Stewardhauled in an 88-yard scoring pass from Hernandez with about four minutes left in the first half.

Larkin coach Dragan Teonic called the evening a “learning experience.”

“We have brand new everything for the kids this year. We have three returning starters and played four sophomores,” he said. “We improved in a lot of areas against one of the absolute best teams in the state of Illinois.”

The Latest
Last year on Independence Day, Chicago reached a level of air pollution four times the hourly average of a normal summer day. “By 10:30 at night, it’s just a hazy fog and smoke everywhere that you can see,” one resident said.
Woman wonders why he would say that on Facebook and whether the relationship has a future.
The man, believed to be between 40 and 50 years old, was found unresponsive in the middle of police by responding officers.
The man, 39, was shot about 1:50 a.m. in the 400 block of East Erie Street, police said.
Voting, supporting election workers and fighting back against the Big Lie are part of saving our “grand experiment.”