Redemption is Batavia's. Well, almost.
Undefeated and a top seed heading into last year's playoffs, the Bulldogs were victim of a first-round upset.
Saturday, Batavia (12-1) forced four turnovers, converted six of nine fourth-down attempts and rode a solid defense and the legs of senior running back Anthony Scaccia to a berth in the Class 6A state final for the first time since 2006 with a 38-6 win of previously unbeaten and top-seeded Rockford Boylan.
Batavia will face Richards, which is responsible for its only loss this season, in the final at 1 p.m. Saturday. Richards won the Week 2 matchup 31-25.
"(Redemption) was our motto all year, to come back and work as hard as we could because we knew what it would take to get us back here," said senior safety Rourke Mullins, whose 56-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Batavia a 24-0 lead just before the half. "It isn't so much redemption as it is satisfaction to get here."
The Bulldogs forced three turnovers and converted on five of six fourth-down attempts.
The Titans fumbled three plays into their opening drive, and Batavia scored eight plays later when Scaccia (39 carries, 173 yards) ran in from the 2. Following a bad punt snap on Boylan's next series, Batavia upped the lead to 12-0 on a 4-yard Scaccia run. One series later, Scaccia added a 1-yard run, three plays before Mullins' returned an interception for a touchdown to silence the home crowd.
"This just shows what kind of heart we have, especially on fourth-down conversions," Scaccia said. "We needed 2 or 3 yards for each one and it just came down to heart and second effort."
Quarterback Micah Coffey finished things off for Batavia in the second half, throwing touchdown passes of 32 yards to Michael Moffatt and 90 yards to Jordan Zwart to build a 38-0 lead.
Player of the game: Anthony Scaccia, Batavia, 39 carries, 173 yards, 3 TDs.
Key performers: Batavia — Micah Coffey, 7-for-11, 201 yards 2 TDs; Rourke Mullins, 56-yard INT return TD. Boylan — Demry Croft, 9-for-19, 96 yards; 11 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD.
Next: 6A final, Batavia vs. Richards, 1 p.m. Saturday, Huskie Stadium, DeKalb.Copyright © 2015, RedEye