Batavia - Eventually if you play with fire long enough, you're going to get burned. That was the lesson defending State Champion Providence Catholic learned Friday night at Batavia High School.
After playing nearly the entire second half on the Providence side of the field, senior kicker Matt Mueller, who missed two PAT's and two field goals (40,45), blasted a 25 yard field goal that appeared would have been good from 40 yards, through the uprights with 17 seconds remaining for a Batavia Victory. A victory that many of the Bulldog faithful consider a statement game.
Although all the touchdowns were scored in the first half, the second half was full of defensive excitement forcing 8 turnovers on both sides of the ball.
One of which led to the winning drive. With 3:04 left on the clock in the fourth quarter and Providence leading 13-12, the Celtic quarterback Brian Stroud took the snap, spun to hand the ball off and ran into the potential ball carrier fumbling the pigskin and turning the ball over to the Bulldogs at the Providence 36 yard line. Then on a crucial third down play, Alex Schroeder (7-15-117), who replaced the injured Ben Braunsky (5-14-136-2-4ints), hit Colin Schweigert over the middle for a 29 yard gain to the four yard line. After a stop by the Providence defense made it fourth and goal from the 8, Mueler was called on for his heroics.
Early on Batavia jumped to a 12-0 lead behind the arm of starter Braunsky hitting Jack Scalcucci (4-111-2) for a 75 yard touchdown strike and another 15 yard touchdown early in the second quarter. Batavia seemed in control, but that's when the Celtic defense woke up snagged three Braunsky interceptions scored two touchdowns and took the lead 13-12. Fullback Jordan Farrell barreled his way in on a nine yard run and the elusive Mike Maher scored on a 40 yard bullet from quarterback Brian Stroud (7-21-101-1).
The Bulldogs will move on to play another state power, Joliet Catholic a 72-22 winner over Rich East, next week.