A raucous crowd dressed mostly in white greeted Richards when it arrived at Batavia High School Friday night.
The fans’ so-called “whiteout” ultimately proved a washout, however, at least as far as rattling the visitors was concerned.
“I think our kids enjoyed it and thrived on it,” Bulldogs coach Tony Sheehan said. “It’s what high school football is all about.
“We’ve got some guys who I don’t think know [or care] where they are. They’re football players and they love playing in front of people. [The fans] were loud, but a lot of our kids used it positively.”
Richards also made sure the noise got dialed down significantly in the third quarter. That’s when the Bulldogs put some distance between themselves and their namesakes, as they piled up 18 points in relatively rapid fashion.
That opened up a comfortable 31-13 lead for Richards and allowed it to eventually bank a 31-26 victory over Batavia, which had captured 20 consecutive regular-season wins and was part of most preseason top 25s compiled within the Chicagoland area.
“This is probably No. 1 [among regular-season triumphs] since I’ve taken over,” said Sheehan, who is in his sixth season of coaching at his alma mater. “[Batavia is] a quality program that’s well-coached with physical, smart kids. They’re everything we thought they’d be.