Badin, McNicholas seeking positive finish to tough season

Badin quarterback Jordan Flaig is stopped at the goal line by Chaminade Julienne’s defense during their game at Virgil Schwarm Stadium in Hamilton last weekend. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

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Badin quarterback Jordan Flaig is stopped at the goal line by Chaminade Julienne’s defense during their game at Virgil Schwarm Stadium in Hamilton last weekend. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

No championships will be decided and no playoff berths will be pondered when Badin High School’s football team closes the season against McNicholas on Friday night.

But it’s still Badin-McNick. That should be enough to get the competitive juices flowing at Hamilton’s Virgil Schwarm Stadium.

“They look a little different on tape than the team I saw last year, but so do we,” McNick coach Mike Orlando said. “It’s a combination of graduation and dealing with some injuries and being really young and trying to mix all that together.

“The margin for error is really, really small. At some point you get exposed that way, and it makes it tough to win some football games.”

The Greater Catholic League Coed Central Division hasn’t done a lot of winning this year. Everybody will finish below .500. McNick and Purcell Marian are 3-6. Badin and Roger Bacon are 2-7.

Orlando’s Rockets have already claimed their fifth straight Central title with a 3-3 mark in league play.

“We’re going to take it and appreciate it because most years, it’s pretty hard to do,” Orlando said. “It’s something to hold onto in a season where things didn’t really turn out the way we wanted them to.”

Badin is on a four-game losing streak and scoring a league-low 14.4 points per game.

The Rams’ top two offensive weapons, running backs Andrew Walsh and Lavassa Martin, got hurt last weekend. Badin coach Bill Tenore said Martin will play against McNick, but a shoulder injury has ended Walsh’s season.

“I never thought that we’d be 2-7,” Tenore admitted. “I thought if we could avoid injuries and keep getting better each week that we could be playing at a fairly high level right now. But we’ve been snakebit with injuries.

“That’s not an excuse. Other teams have injuries too. But for the mix of guys we’ve got with a young team, the guys that are out are critical.”

The Rams lead this series 34-15-1, but they’ve lost the last four meetings.

Rockets senior Cameron Haynes is the GCLC’s No. 1 quarterback, completing 187 of 313 passes for 2,261 yards and 16 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

Haynes has thrown for 200-plus yards seven times this year. He was held to a season-low 94 yards last week in a 35-3 loss to Alter … it was the smallest margin of victory by the unbeaten Knights in GCLC action this year.

“They do a really good job on their defensive front,” Orlando said. “They’re dynamic. They’re fast. They’re strong. So that makes it really hard to run the football. They make you get the ball out so quick, and that’s hard to do if your pass protection isn’t great.”

Junior Jordan Flaig will get his second straight start at quarterback for Badin. Asked if Flaig is the team’s QB of the future, Tenore replied, “That may be up to him.”

Friday’s game will be Senior Night for the Rams.

“Our focus is to do everything hard and send our seniors out the right way,” Tenore said. “I think we match up pretty well with McNick. We’ve settled into more of a running attack, and they’ve settled into more of a passing attack. Whoever dominates the line of scrimmage is probably going to have a good shot at winning.”

Friday’s game

What: McNicholas (3-6, 3-3 GCLC Central) vs. Badin (2-7, 1-5 GCLC Central) at Hamilton, 7 p.m.

Where: Virgil Schwarm Stadium, 1165 Eaton Ave., Hamilton

Last meeting: McNicholas won 29-7 in 2015

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