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Batavia breaks it open vs. St. Charles East
By Ken Tillotson | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 9/24/2011 2:00 AM

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Batavia's collection of talent is so expansive, the Bulldogs' public address announcer rattled off 18 names as members of the starting offensive unit.

While only 11 actually took the field, it probably felt otherwise to an undermanned, but determined St. Charles East squad.

After a ragged, but competitive first half, Batavia flexed its superior muscle to the delight of the capacity Homecoming crowd and pulled away for a 43-7 Upstate Eight River Division victory.

Senior quarterback Noel Gaspari threw for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Alec Lyons, Mike Moffatt and Robbie Bowman all collected interceptions for a swarming Bulldogs defense that allowed just 175 total yards.

"We made a point to announce our offensive players instead of our starters because we use so many guys," said Batavia head coach Dennis Piron. "We're thinking that that keeps us fresh and healthy and we've had some pretty big third quarters this year."

"Their size and speed is really a lethal combination," credited Saints coach Mike Fields. "They really have it going on."

The Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0) started slowly, fumbling on their first possession and settling for a Brandon Clabough 27-yard field goal on their second.

St. Charles East (0-5, 0-2) successfully executed a fake punt as Joe Hoscheit took a short snap for a 20-yard gain down to the Batavia 35, but the Saints turned the ball over on downs.

A 26-yard pass play from Gaspari to Moffatt set up the first of two short touchdown plunges on the night from Lyons.

The Saints responded with an unorthodox 74-yard scoring drive, aided by three consecutive 15-yard Bulldog penalties.

Facing 4th-and-10 from the Batavia 12-yard-line, quarterback Charlie Fisher rolled right and found Hoscheit open in the corner of the end zone to cut the lead to 10-7.

Batavia needed just 6 plays to get the touchdown back. Austin Lindquist broke off a 22-yard run and Gaspari lofted an 11-yard touchdown pass to Cole Gardner.

Jon Gray hauled in receptions of 38 and 46 yards on the Bulldogs opening possession of the second half and Evan Zeddies finished the drive with a 20-yard touchdown grab.

Dom Guzaldo added a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

"The first half was not us, but the second half we definitely played Batavia football," Gaspari said.

Now the Bulldogs can turn their attention to next week's showdown at rival Geneva.

"Next week's the test. We're all very excited and I'm sure they're excited at Geneva too," Gaspari said. "It's basically the conference championship right there."