Batavia scoring plays coming from a new (Canaan) Coffey maker

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The name twice listed in the Batavia scoring summary of last week’s football opener was familiar, but looked a bit out of place.

“Coffey 28 pass from Acosta” and “Coffey 17 pass from Niemiec” were the first- and fourth-quarter entries, respectively, for Canaan Coffey’s two touchdown receptions in the Bulldogs’ 40-38 loss to Oswego.

The junior receiver should sound familiar. Canaan is the youngest of Brian and Lorene’s four boys who have played football, basketball and baseball — or some combination thereof — at Batavia High School. Jordan, 24, and Micah, 19, were both All-State quarterbacks and were often listed for throwing TD passes.

“One of my first memories of Batavia football was the 2006 state title game down in Champaign,” said the 17-year-old Canaan, who would have been 9 at the time. “(Senior QB Alex) Schroeder hurt his shoulder and Jordan had to come in as a sophomore and ended up throwing a couple TDs in that game. That was just awesome.”

It might have even helped young Canaan try his hand at QB, which he played until the third game of last year’s sophomore season.

“That was when I dislocated my shoulder,” he said of the same injury Schroeder suffered late in that ’06 title game against Normal Community that Batavia lost 30-20. Canaan was one of a handful of sophomores brought up to the varsity for the run to last year’s state championship engineered by brother Micah, who is a freshman at Minnesota, where he will play baseball.

“Throwing wasn’t the same (after the injury), so this year, I decided to stick with wide receiver,” said Canaan Coffey, who also gave up baseball and will continue with just basketball and football.

“It’s kind of fun doing my own thing, something that nobody else in my family has done.”

If his first varsity football game is any indication, the move was a good choice. Coffey leads all area receivers after Week 1 with 13 receptions for 173 yards and those two TDs, on throws from QBs Evan Acosta and Kyle Niemiec, respectively.

“Looking back at the film it appeared they knew that he was their go-to guy and they did a good job of finding him,” Oswego coach Brian Cooney said.

The game took two days to complete because of Friday’s weather delay. Coffey had four catches on Friday and nine on Saturday.

Because of that, “He really had a quiet 13 catches for 173 yards, if that’s possible,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said.

He then chuckled, realizing how silly that might appear in print.

“His catches, though, really came in the flow of the game,” Piron added. “He’s a wonderful receiver but we don’t game plan (to target a dominant receiver).”

Coffey pointed out that credit also goes to the Bulldogs’ other receivers.

“They weren’t just targeting me, I got open because everyone was running their routes hard,” he said. “It was awesome because we had nine different guys catch the ball and about 12, offensively, get touches.”

He also figures the first-game exposure could limit him in coming weeks.

“(Oswego) really didn’t have a whole lot on me but now other teams will and could start double-teaming me and stuff,” he said. “But then I’ll be able to distract guys and get other guys open and that’ll be fun.”

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