St. Charles East was trying to make its Senior Night memorable for the Class of 2023 Friday night at Norris Field and it almost succeeded.
The Saints kept pace with DuKane Conference rival Batavia in the first half, trailing by a touchdown at the intermission, 14-7. St. Charles East came close to tying the game late in the second quarter, but the drive stalled at the Bulldogs’ 17-yard line.
Batavia broke the game open by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter on its way to a 41-14 win.
“I’m happy with the overall result. Their D coordinator did a good job throwing a different front at us, but we got things clicking in the third quarter. We made some nice adjustments,” said Batavia coach Dennis Piron. “We had a great third quarter. In the end we were able to run the football, which is something we have been able to do all year.”
Win the victory, the Bulldogs secured a playoff berth for the 13th year in a row.
Batavia scored on all of its third quarter possessions to pull away from the Saints.
Senior Tyler Jansey scored two of his three touchdowns in the period. Jansey scampered 42 yards to cross the goal line to end his team’s first second half possession at the 10:07 mark of the quarter. The senior scored again on the Bulldogs’ second drive, this time on a 60-yard run being closely pursued by three Saint defenders. Jansey rolled up a total of 143 yard on seven carries.
“I think in the first half we were extremely tense,” Jansey said. “In the second half we were able to play loose and enjoy the night.”
In-between Batavia’s two TDs, the Saints scored on a 2-yard keeper by quarterback Mac Paul.
Ryan Whitwell finished the third quarter scoring his second TD of the night on an 8-yard run.
Whitwell scored his third touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Ryan Boe in the fourth quarter.
Batavia (6-2, 4-1) led the entire game, scoring its first TD at the 4:59 mark of the first quarter on a 1-yard plunge by Jansey.
The Bulldogs extend the lead to 14-0 on their first possession of the second quarter. Whitwell capped a 6-play, 72-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.
St. Charles East (2-6, 0-6) responded with a scoring drive of its own, highlighted by Brandon Swartz’ 57-yard run. Swartz (97 yards on 16 carries) ended the possession on the next play, scampering for another 23 yards to cross the goal line.
“I love the way our guys came out in the first half. They came out determined, especially our seniors, to impose their will and they did just that,” St. Charles East coach Nolan Possley said. “In the second half we ran out of gas a little bit and Batavia came out in the second half ready to rock.”