BATAVIA, Ill. - The Hononegah Indians knew they were walking into a hornets nest Saturday afternoon.
They just didn't expect to get stung so quickly.
The Indians (8-3) fell to a fast, physical and overall extremely impressive Batavia squad 48-0 in round two of the IHSA Class 7A playoffs.
Batavia scored a pair of touchdowns in the first five-plus minutes of the game and the contest was essentially over at the end of the first quarter when the Bulldogs had amassed a 28-0 lead.
Indians quarterback Payton Mather said the slow start was simply too much to overcome.
"It reminded me of the Boylan game e from earlier this year," Mather said. "We got down a couple of scores and just couldn't bounce back. We thought we had moved past that kind of thing, but we just could never get over the hump."
Mather ended up throwing four interceptions while the Indians offense was limited to just 113 yards, including just 25 on th ground.
"Their secondary gave me a lot of looks I haven't seen this year," Mather said. "They wire really tough up front and they just rattled us from th beginning and we could never get into any type of rhythm."
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and drove 64 yards in six plays, capped by a 21-yard scoring strike from Kyle Oroni to Trey Urwiler to make it 7-0. After the Bulldogs picked off Mather after the ball ricocheted off the hands of one of his receivers, Bulldog running back Art Taylor took the first play on the ensuing series 64 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Taylor was the unquestioned offensive star of the game, carrying 19 times for 219 yards in the victory.
"They really had it all on offense," Hononegah defensive end Will Coleman said. "They had size, speed and they had two running backs that one was fast and one was strong. I thought after we got punched early on defensively, we actually responded pretty well."
Batavia added a pair of field goals in the second quarter to establish a 34-0 lead at intermission, then scored almost immediately in the second half to establish the running clock.
"They are on outstanding football team, and we knew that coming into the game," Hononegah coach Brian Zimmerman said. "We knew we needed to come down here and play a great game to have a chance. We just made too many mistakes to hang in there."
Despite the sour taste in his mouth immediately following the loss, Mather said the season gave him many fond memories.
"I'm going to remember this season for the rest of my life," Mather said. "We put together a really good season offensively and did some things that no team has ever done at Hononegah and we will be remembered for that."
• UP NEXT: Batavia (9-2) advances to face Nazareth, the team that defeated them in the semifinals of the playoffs last season.
• BOXSCORE: BATAVIA 48, HONONEGAH 0
Hononegah 0 0 0 0 - 0
Batavia 28 6 13 0- 48
B: Urwiler, 21 pass from Oroni (Williams kick)
B; Taylor, 67 run (Williams kick)
B: Taylor, 1 run (Williams kick)
B: Urwiler, 2 run (Williams kick)
B: Williams, 25 FG
B: Williams, 25 FG
B: Barus, 35 pass from Urwiler (Williams kick)
B: Sanders, 3 run (Williams kick)
Team stats: First downs: B 26, H, 10; Penalties: B, 8-80; H, 2-10; Passing: H, 27-13-4, 110 yds; B, 13-8-0, 134 yds; Rushing: B: 47-363; H, 9-25.
Individual stats: Rushing: B, Taylor 19-218; Sanders 5-43; H, Gomez 5-16; Passing: H, Mather 27-13-4, 110 yds; H, Oroni 13-8-0, 2 TD's, 134 yds; Receiving: H, Cross, 4-47; B, Urwiler, 5-75.