Batavia’s Bulldogs take a chomp out of Richards’ state championship dreams
A rabid fan base in the house?
A great, sunny afternoon for football?
A fired up football team?
All the pregame ingredients were there for a Richards football team that was four quarters away from winning an Illinois High School Association Class 6A state football championship against a team it beat in the second week of the regular season.
But it didn’t work out the way Richards wanted it to.
Batavia’s Bulldogs scored early and often and knocked off the Richards Bulldogs 34-14 Saturday afternoon at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
Despite the thumping, the Bulldogs from the Oak Lawn school are setting their goals high for 2014.
Quarterback Hasan Muhammad Rogers, wide receivers Spencer Tears and Ryan Willett, safety/running back Romanta Hill and a host of other underclassmen could be back, making anticipation high for another big run in 2014.
“This team was special,” Rogers said. “We had hard workers, and we had some phenomenal seniors. Romel Hill was the heart and soul of the team and played with so much passion. He has a little brother [Ramonta] and if we can get that same stuff out of him and me being a senior, we should have enough of experience. We know what it takes to get here.’’
Richards won back-to-back state titles in Class 4A in 1988 and 1989. The Bulldogs whipped Peoria, 40-6, in 1988 and nipped Morris, 12-6, in overtime in 2009. They finished second in Class 6A in 2001 and were beaten 41-0 by Providence Catholic in the championship game.
Since then, the Bulldogs qualified for the playoffs 11 of the next 12 years but had not gotten past the third round until this season.
Batavia won its first football state title. It’s only the second state title in the history of the school. It also won a basketball title in 1912.