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September 10, 2017 - 2:33pm

Aquinas rolls over Batavia 42-6

posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, football, sports, notify.

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The Blue Devils will be a better team the rest of the season because of their 42-6 loss Aquinas Institute in Van Detta on Saturday, said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game.

"I schedule these guys week two, not to try to keep an undefeated season or anything," Briggs said. "That doesn't mean too much to these guys. We scheduled them week two because we knew that we've got a pretty good football team but I wanted to see how tough we were and they proved tonight that they aren't afraid to throw punches with the best of the best. They competed. They worked hard. They weren't afraid to go out there and play football against one of the best teams in the state and I'm proud of them for that."

Briggs doesn't think the score reflects how well his team played. They held the game close in the first half, mounted a drive and showed they could go toe-to-toe, but in the second half, the greater depth of the Little Irish allowed Aquinas to pull away.

"Obviously, you know they are a very, very athletic team and there are some big kids over there," Briggs said.

With Ray Leach, Chandler Baker and Anthony Ray, the Blue Devils have three top players who compare favorably to any athletes in Section V, but Aquinas, in Class AA, has talent at more positions and most of their players aren't playing both offense and defense because of a larger roster.

While the Little Irish had a 21-6 lead at the half, one of their three TDs came on a kickoff return when T.J. Jones just ran through a couple of tackles for a 90-yard return.  On offense and defense in the first two quarters Batavia played Aquinas tight.

"We have a lot of guys going two ways and they're huffing and puffing (in the second half)," Briggs said. "But you know what, they scratched and they clawed and they kept fighting and I'm proud of them. I think that we are a better football team tonight and tomorrow and the rest of the season because of what just happened."

Once again, Leach was impressive on offense, rushing 18 times for 111 yards and a TD.

"You know you go for over 100 yards against Aquinas, that's something," Briggs said. "You've got to be pretty darn good to do that and I'm proud of him. I'm proud of our offensive line."

Baker also put up good numbers against a tough team, completing 11 of 16 pass attempts for 121 yards.

This week will be the first time the Blue Devils have practiced in three years following a loss. Since the opening week loss against Livonia in 2014, Batavia hasn't lost a regular season game.

Briggs thinks his team is tough, dedicated and will come to practice Monday ready to work.

"I know it sounds weird but I think we just became a better football team because these guys are going to respond," Briggs said. "They're going to compete and they're going to be hungry for the rest of the year."

Top photo: Anthony Robinson scores a 30-yard rushing touchdown for Aquinas in the third quarter. Robinson had 19 carries for 164 yards.

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To purchase prints of game photos, click here.

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