The challenge at 7 p.m. next Saturday will be a trip to second-seeded Cincinnati Indian Hill (6-0), the fourth-ranked Division IV team in this week’s media poll. The Jacks have won three of their past four games.
“We never gave up,” senior running back and linebacker Mason Talarczyk said. “With no preseason it was tough. We started off slow, but now we’re rolling and ready to keep going.”
Batavia (1-4) showed its unusual approach early. On fourth and goal from the 17, Mick Heckard threw a touchdown pass to Max Applegate. The Bulldogs went for two and didn’t get it. From there, the Bulldogs went for first downs on fourth down all but one time, always went for two, attempted onside kickoffs and threw at least 60 passes.
The Bulldogs also played at a fast pace on offense. Snider saw all of the other things on video, but because of editing out time between plays he didn’t realize how quickly the Bulldogs lined up and ran the next play.
“Super fast,” Talarczyk said. “They make a completion and they’re getting another play off in under 30 seconds – tiring, but it was a lot of fun.”
Batavia split five receivers wide on almost every play. That meant the Oakwood defensive ends had to line up wide and cover receivers. Heckard got the ball out quick against a three-man rush, throwing lots of screen passes and short passes to the sidelines.
Down 6-0, the Jacks didn’t waste time either gaining control of the game. “We don’t give up after one touchdown,” Polacko said. “We’ve learned that one touchdown means nothing.”
Oakwood’s first touchdown, however, was a big play that sparked them to a 24-6 halftime lead. Polacko lofted a pass to the end zone to 6-foot-5 receiver Sam Stack who outleaped a defender for an 18-yard touchdown.
“It’s designed for him,” Polacko said. “I rolled right, I saw him, I knew he was one-on-one. I knew he could make a play. I just threw it up there for him, and he made a great play.”
Talarczyk scored on a 6-yard run, Polacko scored on a 17-yard run and Billy Boucuvalas kicked a 30-yard field goal to close the half. Batavia’s offense didn’t let up in the second half, but another Talarczyk touchdown run and scoring runs by Jack Epley and Max Parker kept the Jacks in control.
“We felt like we could control the line of scrimmage,” Snider said, “And our guys did that.”