Geneva fumbled the ball away multiple times, was intercepted once and there was no poetry in the motion penalties that stalled drives and scoring opportunities. The Bulldogs played well and consistently and were only challenged briefly in the first half.
That first half was a tale of opposite momentums, as Batavia scored three straight touchdowns on Micah Coffey runs of 1, 3 and 21 yards.
But Geneva came back after an interception and scored on a 12-play drive capped by a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Dan Santacaterina and set up by a 24-yard pass from Santacaterina to Pace Temple.
The Viking defense held, and Geneva mounted another drive in the final two minutes, marching all the way to the 4-yard line before two penalties and an interception killed the chance to trim the lead to one touchdown before the half.
"Two plays in a row," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "I don’t blame him, I’d be scooting up, too, if I had to get the ball. But not putting points on the board at the end of the half, that was big."The second half was almost all Batavia. Geneva fumbled the kickoff after a scary, diagonal, high-looping kickoff by Howie Morgano, Batavia recovered at the 39-yard line and scored on a screen pass from Micah Coffey to Anthony Scaccia.
"Even coming out, we were in good demeanor, and just not getting the ball back right there, losing that ball, we were in trouble. You know what? We lost a lot of that momentum right there," Wicinski said.
And Batavia coach Dennis Piron couldn't have been happier.
"That young man, Howie Morgano, is a special kicker," he said. "He really does nice things in practice. He can put the ball — if I set up a garbage can on the field, he can put it in there. He can kick it for distance, he can kick it for height. These kids love Howie. Howie’s the man."From there, it was a touchdown fest as the Bulldogs scored on a pass with 4:02 left in the third, a 3-yard run by Anthony Moneghini, and after a fumble recovery, a 40-yard run by Blake Crowder for a 49-14 lead.
Geneva added a 59-yard run by T.J. Miller, but it was too little, too late. The final score was 49-20.