As far as I can tell, the two schools never played each other until they met in Week Two of this year. Richards bested Batavia on the road, 31-26, and the two teams will square off again on Saturday.
Even though I wrote about both programs before the season (here and here), I was only able to see Richards play, in the quarterfinals against Lincoln-Way North.
I drove out to see Batavia in Week One against Glenbard North but the game was postponed due to lightning. The following day I went down to Soldier Field for a triple-header, so I didn't get to watch the Bulldogs play all season. (I considered going out there again in Week Two but went to Neuqua Valley at Naperville Central instead.) If I had seen that first meeting between the two I'd probably have a better feel for who's going to win Saturday. (Or not.) But, really, who cares? Two teams with one loss each, a No. 1 seed against a No. 2 seed -- it's a push.
But I have to go with Richards, and not just because they've already beaten Batavia this year. It's for the same reason I picked Montini yesterday: I saw these guys come from behind late in the fourth quarter against Lincoln-Way North, tie the game, and win it in overtime. That really impressed me.
Could Batavia do that? Of course. For all I know, they may have been trailing Glenbard North at some point in that victory in Week One. But I didn't see it.
So I'm calling for Richards over Batavia in a defensive battle.
P. S. How can you not root for a team with a kid named Andrew Venerable.*
* Accorded a great deal of respect, esp. because of age, wisdom, or character.