Batavia beats Lake Zurich in overtime, wins 7A title

Batavia is fired up after winning the 7A state title at Huskie Stadium, November 25, 2017 Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

DEKALB—The seeds for Batavia’s Class 7A state title were planted back in 2013 at Huskie Stadium. A group of eighth graders watched the Bulldogs win the championship in the stands that season.

“We were all in the top left corner,” Batavia senior Eric Peterson said. “Ever since then we really thought that we could do it. We’ve been successful in football all through our youth years. It’s just crazy the journey we took to get here.”

Batavia beat Lake Zurich 21-14 in overtime on Saturday.

“We’ve been playing together so long,” Batavia quarterback Riley Cooper, who was in that group in 2013, said. “We’ve built such a brotherhood, such a chemistry and we knew how we needed to end it. All of our work paid off today.”

Cooper connected with senior Tommy Stuttle for a ten-yard pass in overtime that turned out to be the game winner after the Bulldogs’ defense shut down the Bears (13-1).

“We ran that play a couple times earlier in the game,” Cooper said. “I was talking to coach on the headset and he said it was gonna be open, I just have to be patient. The offensive line did a great job and Tom did a great job getting open.”

“It was incredible,” Stuttle said. “Riley put it right where we needed it. All I had to do was catch it and back up a couple of yards. Lake Zurich didn’t cover it bad I think we just ran it really smoothly.”

Cooper threw two touchdown passes to Peterson in the first half. The duo combined for nine touchdowns in the playoffs.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work in the summer and we’ve been together so long,” Cooper said. “I know exactly where he’s going to be.”

Cooper was 28 for 42 for 295 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Peterson caught 10 passes for 154 yards. Stuttle had eight catches for 68 yards.

Lake Zurich’s defense, which only allowed nine points a game this season, has been heavily praised since August. Batavia coach Dennis Piron had something to say about that.

“Let’s talk about Batavia’s defense, because our defense is sensational,” Piron said. “It has been all year long, has been one of the best if not the best in the state of Illinois.”

Batavia (13-1) led 14-7 at the half. Lake Zurich tied the game on a 39-yard pass from Evan Lewandowski to Matthijs Enters with 3:51 left in the third quarter.

Lewandowski finished 13 for 29 for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

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10 comments

  • Mat

    Bunch of parents acting stupid. Get a life.

    Stop living vicariously through your kids.

  • Train

    Two more thoughts. The community of Lake Zurich is blessed to have that new coach. He willingly jumped into a very bad situation. Coached a good team to be excellent and did it with class and grace. He’s a keeper. Batavia looses all but 3 starters on defense and 3 on offense as they head into the newly formed DuKane Conference which will be the toughest in Illinois in 2018. They will be reloading with incredible talent that wen’t 7-0 at the JV level and 9-0 at the Sophomore level. Combined with the highest quality coaching staff in Illinois…..don’t be surprised if you see them playing for two in a row. But, there will never be another defense like the 2017 team had. Stats are incredible. Four shutouts, 950 yards rushing in 14 games, 50 sacks and 79 tackles for a loss. 9 points a game against.

  • LZ Parent

    As a parent who represents Lake Zurich’s football team, I want to congratulate the Batavia team for a game well-played. This was one of the cleanest games I have witnessed, which says a lot about Batavia, but Lake Zurich apparently as well. While it is difficult to lose on the big stage, I can say that all the players conducted themselves honorably before, during, and after the game! While there may always be exceptions, the vast majority of both crowds just watched a fantastic game – PERIOD! Comments about tattoos are misplaced, as this has been a long-standing tradition of Lake Zurich. And everyone must agree that refereeing is typically perceived to be biased by the team that is behind. Furthermore, assuming that a fan yelling at referees is from Lake Zurich is nothing short of presumptuous. And finally, Frank, Train, Ghost, and Randy, please remember “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”.

    • Randy

      LZ Parent,
      I am 69 years old and drove 57 miles to see a great football game played by both sides. It was the first of 2 games I watched that day the second being LWE against MS. I have no emotional involvement in any of the 20 some games I went to this year. I go to see a good game, and sit on the 50 yard line for $5 and see the best entertainment you will ever see. This is my 30th year of attending as many games as I can during the Playoffs. The behavior of the crowd at LZ was some of the worst I have seen in years and I’m not talking about the student body. I’m talking about the adults. Paying your $5 or $6 allows you to cheer and scream all you want, but in no way does it entitle you to heckle the referees, even to lead crowd chants against them. As soon as the ball was intercepted on the 3, I and the people I was with headed for our car as we had a 70 mile trip to Frankfort. That is when I witnessed the fan going after the refs the most classless attacks I have ever seen. As adults I would expect that they would be teaching the youth on how to act, not the reverse. I’m truly sad that what I saw took place. If LZ thinks that this is acceptable, they might want to rethink what they are doing. To me it really diminished what was really a great day in High School sports

  • Frank

    Unfortunately, I had the unpleasantness of seeing the LZ parents and high school students flipping off the Batavia fans and telling them to “F-off” as they were leaving the game. Evidently, the hazing incident at LZ hasn’t taught the parents or students anything about bullying or sportsmanship. Maybe the school district should make their parents attend sportsmanship classes before they allow their sons or daughters to play on the varsity teams.

  • Train

    Lake Zurich played well and I thought the meeting between the team captains and coaches for the OT coin flip represented the best in prep sports. Couple of things that really surprised me though. The BS chant by the student section, the fans in the parking lot flipping off Batavia cars, and most shockingly, the fake tatoo’s on some of the Lake Zurich players. My sons used to put stickers on there face and arms, they were 6 years old and they got them after a visit to the dentist. Weird.
    Batavia players, fans and coaches celebrate victory the right way and always “stand by the side of the road” and congratulate a team that beats them. It all starts with the parents and coaches and administrators.

    • Overrated Ditka

      For someone busting on LZ for being petty, you’re certainly showing the very same trait. Who cares if the LZ kids had fake tattoos. You never did anything in high school? Did it affect your life personally? As far as parents yelling, you need to go to more games. I’ve seen it from every large fan base, of the biggest and best teams. Unfortunately, parents take this stuff way too seriously. The “refs can’t beat us chant” isn’t original either. All the “superfans” do the same material. They’re kids just trying to have fun. I’d imagine your Batavia bias would have been much worse had they lost. And no, I’m not a fan of either team.

    • Mr Obvious

      Lake Zurich: blue collar fans with a blue collar mentality. TG they finally LOST!

  • Randy

    Last week I went up to watch the Lake Zurich game against Mt Carmel. I sat on the Lake Zurich side as I went there to see Mt Carmel lose more than to see LZ win. I have to say after sitting in that crowd of the most unsportsmanlike of adults that I’m please that Batavia was the winner of this game. Chants like “The Ref’s can’t beat us” are very unbecoming of what High School sports are about and these people should be proud of their players and ashamed of themselves. Sitting there for 3 hours of them calling for holding on every play too was a bit much. The ultimate worst is when leaving the field a fan went after the Refs leaving the field screaming that they should be wearing brown & white (Mt Carmel’s colors) not black and white. Yikes you won the came and that was not enough? Grow up Lake Zurich!

    • Ghost of Virgil Livers testicle

      You are right on with your observations about Lake Zurich Randy. I went to same game I sat on the MC side due to my past several experiences at that stadium. I can tell you in defeat the fans on that side acted like adults. I thought it was a good championship game and thought the better team won.

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