Batavia got into a shootout Saturday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Dunkirk Marauders and came up a bullet short, losing a fight to the finish 50-48.
Both teams scored seven touchdowns apiece, but Dunkirk made one more two-point conversion than the Blue Devils, and that made all the difference.
A win would have propelled Batavia into a chance at a state title, instead, their season is over.
"This is a great group of kids and I couldn't be more proud of them," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the overtime loss. "It didn't turn out the way we wanted, but once again, I'm proud of these guys. Ten and one is a great football season."
The game, in many ways, was a battle of two big-play backs, Batavia's Ray Leach and Dunkirk's Alton Ingram. Leach, a sophomore, came into the game just shy of a 1,000-yard season and Ingram had more than 1,100 yards rushing.
Saturday, Leach carried the ball 20 times for 224 yards and Ingram ran 33 times for 240 yards. Both backs scored four touchdowns each.
Coming into the game, Batavia knew Ingram would be a challenge.
"You’ve got to gang-tackle him," Briggs said. "You can’t arm tackle him. He’s a big kid. He runs hard. He makes you pay if you try to arm tackle him. He’s a good football player. I tip my cap off to him. I wish we could have done a little bit more to stop him but that’s football."
The sophomore Leach finished the season strong.
"He did a great job," Briggs said. "He busted the big plays. He made the runs. He made the plays he could have made. I look forward to having him for two more years. He did a great job. He’s hard to stop."
The game opened fast and never let up. A minute into the first quarter, Leach scored on a 59-yard run.
On Dunkirk's first play from scrimmage on its first possession, Dunkirk's QB Evon Hernandez connected on a 61-yard pass to Elwin Gomez.
In the battle of two-point conversions on these first two touchdowns, the Marauders came out on top, and led 8-6.
Before the end of the quarter, the two teams would combine for another four touchdowns and Dunkirk entered the second quarter with a 22-20 lead.
Jerry Reinhart and Chandler Baker also had big games for Batavia.
Reinhart scored twice on the ground, part of his total of 131 yards on 14 carries, and tossed TD passes to Leach and Baker. He was 3-9 passing for 48 yards.
Baker gained 54 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 37 yards.
Dunkirk came into the game as a big-score team, strong run game and some athletes who could move the ball. Briggs said he and his coaches knew they would be tough to stop.
"We knew we would probably have to outscore them," Briggs said. "It was a great game. We just didn’t come out on top."
To purchase prints, click here.