DeKALB – A missed field goal. An over-thrown Hail Mary.
It took a pass over the middle by Batavia's Riley Cooper in the first overtime to decide the Class 7A State Championship Saturday at Huskie Stadium in a 21-14 win against.
It was the third touchdown on the 42nd passing attempt for Cooper. Tommy Stuttle came up with the catch.
"We had run the play a couple times," Cooper said. "I was talking to coach (Sean) Anderson on the headset and he said he'd be open, just to be patient. Tom made a great play."
Stuttle made his eight catch of the game on the score.
"Riley put it right were he needed to," Stuttle said. "All I had to do was catch it. Lake Zurich's coverage wasn't bad, we just ran the play smooth."
The Bears (13-1) had a chance to tie the game, but all four passes by Evan Lewandowski from the 10 yard line went into the end zone, and all were well defended and incomplete.
"Our defense has been playing all year with moxie," Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. "We were hoping to get a stop and obviously we didn't. We thought we saw some holes in their secondary, but we didn't."
Overcoming turnovers: Batavia (13-1) turned the ball over on their last three possessions of regulation, with Cooper throwing an interception and two fumbles. On all three turnovers, the game was tied at 14-14. Lake Zurich couldn't score on any of them.
"So what? So what? They happen," Batavia coach Dennis Prion said. "Some were a heck of a play."
Mertens said his team generally makes the most of its opportunities like that.
"No. 1, you have to give credit to the option," Martens said. "No. 2, we didn't capitalize on some of these things, and that's very uncharacteristic of LZ football."
From Lake Zurich's side: Late in the fourth, Joey Stutzman forced a fumble by Quin Urwiler on a carry, returned 16 yards to midfield by Robert Hinsberger.
The Bears, who trailed 14-0 early in the game before tying it up late in the third, got into the red zone but settled on a 35-yard field goal attempt by Donnie Dawson, which just missed wide left.
"I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet, but he probably has a heavy heart right now and that's unfortunate," Martens said. "Football is bigger than one play."
Stats and more stats: Cooper completed 28 of 42 passes for three touchdowns and two interceptions for 295 yards. Eric Peterson caught 10 of those for 154 yards and had two touchdown receptions.
Lewandowski was 13 for 29 for 179 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
No running back in the game had more than 50 yards. Stutzman led all rushers with 48 yards on 17 carries.
Kind of a big deal: After the game, Batavia seniors remembered sitting in the stands of Huskie Stadium as eighth graders, watching the 2013 Bulldogs win a state title.
"I remember me, Tom (Stuttle) and a lot of the others were all in the top left hand corner on our side," Peterson said. "Ever since then we all thought we could do it. We've been successful in football all through our youth years. It's crazy the journey that we took to get here.