League rivals Alter, Badin in bid to reach state football quarterfinals: What to know about Friday’s game

Josh Hegemann of Badin(left) is met by Aidan Plate of Alter. Badin defeated visiting Alter 42-7 in a Week 6 high school football game at Virgil Schwarm Stadium on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Josh Hegemann of Badin(left) is met by Aidan Plate of Alter. Badin defeated visiting Alter 42-7 in a Week 6 high school football game at Virgil Schwarm Stadium on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Badin started what looked like the beginning of the end to Alter’s high school football season. It was a Week 6 matchup at Hamilton and it was no contest: Badin 42, Alter 7.

Alter would lose the next two weeks and was listing at 4-4. Its long playoff streak and program pride at stake, Alter responded with three clutch wins, including an unlikely sweep of heavily favored Chaminade Julienne in the regular-season finale and first round of the Division III, Region 12 playoffs last week.

“You go through a stretch like that in midseason and it’s hard to regroup like that,” assured Badin coach Nick Yordy. “They’re back to the Alter we’re all used to.”

Both Badin (8-3) and Alter (7-4) have righted themselves in what has been an eventful and similar season. That’s why it’s fitting the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed rivals will have a rematch in the D-III, Region 12 semifinals at Monroe at 7 p.m. Friday.

Badin’s gut-check moment emerged after an uncharacteristic 0-2 start, which included a season-opening 20-19 overtime loss to Ross. Yordy rebooted the Rams’ offense and Badin hasn’t been the same since.

Badin senior quarterback Zach Switzer and senior running back Alex DeLong have benefited the most. Switzer (1,521 passing yards; 17 touchdowns; four picks) put a career-high 226 yards passing and three TDs on Alter. DeLong (1,168 yards rushing; 16 TDs) twice has topped 200-plus yards rushing.

That super-charged offense combined with the Rams’ revamped defense has been a difference-maker. A 46-14 knockout of Ross in a postseason first-round rematch is proof.

“It was a risky move, because if you do that and you don’t have success right away that maybe creeps into some players and coaches, like, what the heck are we trying to do here?” admitted Yordy. “We were able to make the switch and have some immediate success and get on quite a run. It was a gamble, but we had confidence in our kids and we have some play-makers and we decided to get the ball in their hands more.”

Alter’s 35-28 Week 10 win at CJ enabled Badin to share the GCL Co-Ed title with CJ. It also secured a No. 8 and final playoff spot for the Knights and pushed their consecutive playoff steak to 19 seasons. Alter trumped that with a 10-7 defensive-minded elimination of CJ in a Week 11 rematch.

“We’re extremely proud of what the kids were able to do,” veteran Alter coach Ed Domsitz said. “You look at Weeks 5 and 6, I don’t think anybody believed we’d still be playing football in the middle of November.”

Alter junior running back Branden McDonald (1,077 yards rushing; eight TDs) is on a five-game roll, amassing 809 yards rushing and four scores. However, he was injured and didn’t play in the CJ rematch.

Alter’s Aiden Plate picked CJ quarterback Ryan Minor on fourth-and-goal with 3.6 seconds left to secure last week’s clutch win. It was the 500th career game for Domsitz, who’s in his 44th season as a head coach, all at Alter and Northmont.

“We talk to our teams each year about doing something unique in Alter football history,” Domsitz said. “It became a very good story after Week 10. Week 11 makes it an epic story. There’s a significant level of pressure on each team at Alter every year with the (playoff) streak and winning tradition. We like to say we embrace it, but at times, you can’t help but feel anxiety, especially when things aren’t going well.”

Trotwood-Madison (8-3) will play St. Marys Memorial (9-2) in the other D-III, Region 12 semi at Sidney on Friday. The winners will play for the Region 12 championship in Week 13 at a neutral site that will be announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Sunday.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Domsitz said. “Being from the same league makes it difficult, because you want the teams in your league to do well. This is going to be a battle.”

• The D-I, Region 4 rematch of Fairfield (10-1) vs. Colerain (10-1) on Friday night will be one of three games televised live on Spectrum News 1. Colerain defeated Fairfield 16-10 in OT in Week 10.

Nine other Week 12 games will be streamed live online at OHSAA.tv, including Springfield (10-1) vs. Dublin Jerome (9-2) in D-I, Region 2 at London on Friday. Those games are free for Spectrum subscribers and $9.99 for non-subscribers.

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