Batavia finds its offense in second half against St. Charles East

SHARE Batavia finds its offense in second half against St. Charles East

Despite withstanding an early deficit and holding only a five-point halftime lead against St. Charles East Friday, Batavia quarterback Kyle Niemiec wasn’t too worried.

After all, Niemiec knows what his team’s offense is capable of.

After the half, the Bulldogs showed St. Charles East’s homecoming crowd what it can do.

Batavia scored 21 points in the third quarter, and the final 40 points in the game, to pull away for a 40-7 Upstate Eight River win.

“I wasn’t really concerned,” Niemiec said. “We know what we can do when we’re on the same page. When we play good football like that, this is the result. When we’re on the same page, it can be kind of scary.”

Niemiec was all over the scoring in the decisive third quarter for Batavia (3-1, 2-0 UEC River).

The Bulldogs held a 12-7 lead at the half, but touchdown runs of one and 48 yards from Niemiec and a seven-yard touchdown pass to Canaan Coffey, their second seven-yard TD hookup of the game, made it 33-7 by the end of the third.

“Very pleased with how we made adjustments at halftime,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. “We made some switches on when to run the ball and how we were going to block, a few things scheme-wise.”

Jake Hlava and Noah Frazier each added touchdown runs for Batavia.

Early on, however, it was St. Charles East (1-3-1-1) that had control. The Saints opened the game with a 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a two-yard touchdown run from Ramon Lopez. They then recovered an onside kick and were on the move with a first down at Batavia’s 24-yard line. But Batavia’s Brett Bowman picked off a pass and set up Batavia’s first score.

“We started out really well,” East coach Bryce Farquhar said. “We executed well. We saw some things on film and I thought our coaches did a nice job of putting the game plan together. We got the turnover there, started to go down the field, and good teams make good plays. I think that’s what they did. That turnover kind of started if off there, but I thought we were still in it for the first half.”

Batavia’s Blake Crowder didn’t find the end zone, but he did rush for 133 yards and catch five passes for 59 yards. The Bulldogs had to go with a short passing game thanks to East’s defensive alignment, but quarterback Evan Acosta and Niemiec managed to go 22-for-31 overall for 210 yards.

“Their coverage is tough,” Piron said. “They’re so loose. They’re just not going to give you anything deep. The explosive plays in the passing game just aren’t there. We had to throw a lot of passes short and hope that we’d get first downs.”

Lopez led East with 61 yards rushing, while junior quarterback Aiden White passed for 103 yards.

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