Batavia's sophomore football team took a 27-23 come-from-behind win Friday night from arch rival Geneva Vikings — a barnburner of an opening act for the rivalry game between two teams that have stood across each other at the line of scrimmage for the past 100 years.
After a 14-14 deadlock in the third quarter, the Vikings took advantage of two miscues, a fumble on a punt followed by an interception in the following series, then scored on pass play to go ahead 21-14.
The Vikings padded the lead with about a 24-yard field goal to make it 24-14.
But Batavia would not quit, and scored on a pass play with 4:38 left to pull within two, 23-21.
The Bulldogs forced the Vikings to punt with 2:56 left in the game and took over on their own 45-yard line.
Batavia quarterback Kyle Niemiec went to work and hit Cole Stokke for a first down to the Geneva 40. Then on third down, Stokke caught the go-ahead pass with 1:49 left. The 2-point conversion failed, and the Bulldogs were ahead 27-23.
Geneva's final drive started at the 31-yard line. Brendan Hines hit Jack Wassel, taking the ball to the Bulldog 44-yard line, then Mitchell Merges to the 39 with 1:21 left.
Geneva running back Justin Taormina ran for about five, then appeared to catch a long pass at the 1-yard line. But an illegal procedure call took the play back. Facing fourth and 5 from the 39-yard line, Hines' pass was broken up, and the sophomore Bulldogs held on to a 27-23 victory at Geneva.