HAMILTON — The Badin High School football team showed up to sold-out Virgil Schwarm Stadium and ran away with The Showdown.
Drew Enginger played defensive specialist with a drive-stalling interception, Alex Ritzie tossed two touchdown passes and the Rams blanked the Hamilton Big Blue 18-0 in the anticipated renewed-rivalry affair on Friday night.
“Our defense was unbelievable,” Rams coach Nick Yordy said. “To pitch a shutout against them. I said all week that we’re just a little Division III school playing against a Division I school, and a couple of kids stepped up out there.
“We were fired up, and so were they,” Yordy added. “It was an emotional game to have to control ourselves. A lot of phases of the game to have to go out there and play, our defense played well.”
Badin and Hamilton had only played four other times prior to Friday night — 1980 (28-14, Badin), 1981 (3-0, Badin), 1999 (45-13, Hamilton) and 2000 (16-10, Badin). Friday night marked the first time Virgil Schwarm Stadium had sold out during a Big Blue regular season football game.
“They’ve got a good defense,” Hamilton coach Arvie Crouch said of Badin. “We weren’t sharp. That’s a heck of a football team over there. We all know that, and we knew that coming in. All the hype about D-I and D-III, it doesn’t mean anything. Those guys are a well-coached football team.”
Alex Ritzie hit Aidan Brown with a 31-yard touchdown pass to put Badin up with 8:20 left in the first quarter. A muffed snap on a Big Blue punt resulted in a safety, and the Rams went up 9-0 after one quarter.
Ritzie then connected with Zach Yordy on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 7:48 remaining in the first half.
Badin held Hamilton to just two first downs and outgained the Big Blue 127-82 in total yards in the first two quarters.
“We honestly didn’t get the chance to run a lot of our offense,” Yordy said. “In the first half, we were running the ball. Once we got some first downs and kept getting into third and short situations and converting those, we just kept saying our defense was playing good right now.”
Enginger stalled Hamilton’s best drive of the game with a second-quarter interception deep in Badin territory, and the Big Blue never threatened after that.
“This is special. I didn’t even know that this was a thing until about 10 minutes ago,” Enginger said of winning the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown’s Player of the Game. “I just had one job coming in here, and that was to do my best and to fly to the ball. I feel like I earned this tonight.”
Hamilton (0-1) travels to Lakota East next Friday to open Greater Miami Conference play, while Badin (1-0) visits Columbus St. Francis DeSales.