Badin edges Fenwick in GCL ‘slobberknocker’

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Some people called it “gritty.”

Badin coach Nick Yordy described it as a “hard, tough, typical GCL game.”

Mark Mueller, Yordy’s Fenwick counterpart, had an even better word.

“That was a real slobberknocker of a game,” Mueller said.

They all were trying to get a handle on Friday’s intense grudge match between the Rams and Falcons at Fenwick’s Krusling Field. Undefeated Badin, the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Division III state poll, needed two second-half touchdowns to pull out a 14-6 win that clinched the team’s fourth outright Greater Catholic League Co-Ed championship in the last five seasons. The Rams shared the 2019 title with Chaminade Julienne.

Senior wide receiver-defensive back Braedyn Moore helped give Badin the lead with a 30-yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat formation in the third quarter and clinched the win with a leaping interception along the sideline in the last minute.

“This guy’s a winner,” said defensive coordinator Joe Schlager. “When the game’s on the line, he wants the ball in his hands.”

Junior defensive back Carson Cheek padded the lead with a 42-yard return of a Fenwick fumble with 9:05 left in the game, helping the Rams extend their regular-season win streak to 27 games dating back to a 17-3 loss to Chaminade Julienne on Oct. 11, 2019.

Badin, the top team in the Division III, Region 12 computer ratings, overcame second-quarter field goals of 49 and 42 yards by Fenwick junior Derek Morris. The 49-yarder is a school record.

“This is a huge win for us,” Moore said.

“That’s exactly the kind of game we expected,” Yordy said, adding about the Falcons, “Their defense is really good. They’ll go a long way in the playoffs.”

Fenwick, which finished 3-6 last season and 1-7 in 2020, went into Friday’s game at No. 3 in the Division IV, Region 16 ratings.

How intense was the game? How much “grudge” is there in grudge match. The teams couldn’t get through Badin’s game-ending, take-a-knee victory formation without a minor scuffle breaking out, which sparked a loud rebuke by Yordy to his team in the post-game huddle on the field.

Badin went into the game with the league’s top passer in junior Alex Ritzie, the top rusher in senior Carter Russo and the top receiver in Moore while averaging 356.2 total offense yards per game. But the Falcons (6-3, 2-2) limited the Rams to 164 yards and season low in scoring while controlling the ball for almost 29 minutes, which was part of their game plan.

Fenwick, which was averaging 294.1yards per game, finished with 189.

“We’ve got a good defense, too,” Yordy said.

“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot,” Mueller said. “They’re little things, but they add up.”

Yordy’s message to his team at halftime was to relax.

“We made a few adjustments,” Moore said. “It came down to execution.”

He tied the score with 2:50 left in the third quarter with his burst around left end after taking a direct snap.

“I hid behind a blocker and saw an opening down the sidelines,” he said. “I like the Wildcat formation. It’s really fun.”

Cheek gave Badin breathing room with his scoop and score.

Russo carried 18 times for 81 yards.

Fenwick senior quarterback Jude Hooks went 8-for-16 for 74 yards. He was intercepted by junior linebacker Nate Ostendorf with 3:11 left in the game before Moore’s acrobatic pickoff. He seemed to take the ball out of the receiver’s hands along right sideline in front of the Fenwick bench.

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