ST. CLAIR TWP. — When the Badin High football team switched up its offensive formation last season after an 0-2 start, Rams coach Nick Yordy’s squad caught fire and started mowing down anyone and everyone in its way — everyone, that is, except for the Chaminade Julienne Eagles.
CJ’s 17-3 victory over the Rams in Week 7 of last year was Badin’s only blemish in the last eight weeks of the regular season, and thanks to the Alter Knights’ back-to-back Week 10 and 11 victories over the Eagles, Badin never got its opportunity to avenge that loss.
The Rams did so in emphatic fashion on Senior Night on Saturday blasting the Eagles 40-14 at Edgewood’s Kumler Field.
When Badin lost that previous matchup, it was able to move the ball a few times against the Eagles, only to have a couple of ill-timed turnovers curtail drives that would have resulted in points.
The smaller goal this time around: improve play in the red zone and avoid turnovers. The results this time around: four red zone touchdowns and winning the turnover battle 4-0.
The Eagles started the scoring on their second offensive drive, breaking off a big play to speedy wideout Kenyon Owens. Owens ran a slant pattern, caught the pass from quarterback Luke Chandler, and showed off his dazzling speed, taking it all the way to the house. Rams defensive back Max Lauer made the necessary adjustments afterward and deserves to be commended as Owens only had a total of 100 receiving yards for the entire game, and 61 of those were on that first touchdown.
The Badin offense responded on the ensuing possession, a more patient and methodical drive, capped off by a Jack Walsh 4-yard touchdown run.
That response put the Eagles on alert that 2020’s matchup would not be a repeat of 2019’s, and Badin would begin to impose its will on the Eagles over the course of the next two quarters.
As Max Lauer and David Schweinefuss tightened the screws on Owens, quarterback Luke Chandler was forced to turn his attention to wideout JP Peltier on the opposite side of the field, with mixed results. Peltier snagged 4 catches for 62 yards, but there were also a couple of high throws that went off his hands and into the waiting arms of Badin safety Bob Young. Young would return one of those for a pick-six in the 3rd quarter.
Badin’s offense steadily grew in confidence through the middle two quarters, as Braedyn Moore broke off a 19-yard touchdown run to give Badin a lead it would never relinquish early in the 2nd quarter.
Badin quarterback Landyn Vidourek punched in a 1-yard sneak to extend the lead to 20-7. The Rams even got a little greedy before halftime, completing what would have been a 55-yard touchdown pass to running back Jack Walsh on a ball that was snapped with only 8 seconds remaining, a touchdown that was negated due to a holding penalty.
Walsh broke a beautiful 35-yard touchdown run down the left sideline to balloon the lead on the opening possession of the second half, and on Badin’s second drive, Vidourek kept a read option and took it for 5 yards to the right pylon.
Badin led 33-7, setting up Bob Young’s aforementioned interception return touchdown, which resulted in a 30-plus point lead and a running clock.
Walter Sledge III added a 1-yard touchdown run for Chaminade Julienne in garbage time in the 4th quarter to make the final score 40-14.
Badin improves to 3-0 at the halfway point of the six-game regular season, with impressive wins over Ross, Alter and C-J. After playing Fenwick and Carroll in the next two weeks, undefeated McNicholas (3-0) may end up being the only obstacle standing in the way between Badin and an outright GCL Co-Ed championship.
The playoff bracket will be set in two weeks. The seeding will be determined by coaches vote and not by Harbin ratings this year, but the No. 1 seed may well be within Badin’s reach.
The Rams will end the weekend as the No. 2-ranked Division III team in the entire state of Ohio, only behind Bellbrook, who may end up in either Badin’s region (12) or in Region 11 with the south-of-Columbus schools, depending on how the OHSAA splits the regions later this week. The regions will be split after the Sept. 17 deadline for each OHSAA school to opt-in or opt-out of the playoffs.
C-J (1-2) will try to regroup against McNicholas next week.