Badin vs. Chardon: What to know about today’s Division III state championship game

The Badin Rams head football coach Nick Yordy speaks to the team during practice Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 at Ross High School. The Rams play Chardon Friday in the state championship game in Akron. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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The Badin Rams head football coach Nick Yordy speaks to the team during practice Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 at Ross High School. The Rams play Chardon Friday in the state championship game in Akron. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Who: No. 2 Badin (14-0) vs. No. 1 Chardon (15-0)

What: Division III state football championship game

Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton

When: 3 p.m., Friday

TV: Spectrum News 1 and http://OHSAA.tv

Championship history: Badin is making its fourth trip to the state finals, all against Northeast Ohio opponents. The Rams last made an appearance in 1990, which resulted in the program’s only title with a 16-6 win over Richfield Revere in the Division III final. They lost to Brookfield 28-0 in Class AA in 1978 and to Cleveland Benedictine 9-3 in the Division III final in 1980. … Chardon also is making its fourth state final appearance. The Hilltoppers won the Division III title last year and claimed a championship in 1994. They were runners-up in 1998.

Path to the final: Badin beat Butler 37-0, Lima Shawnee 17-0, St. Mary’s Memorial 45-10, Bellbrook 21-9 and Granville 14-0. ... Chardon beat Akron East 38-7, Streetsboro 63-7, Canfield 27-14, Dover 31-3 and West Holmes 41-7.

Regular-season summary: Badin had one cancellation in Week 8 because of COVID-19 quarantines at Fenwick, but the Rams claimed the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed title with a dominant win over then-unbeaten McNicholas, which also made a deep run in the playoffs. Three of their shutouts occurred in the regular season. … Chardon ended last year on a 12-game unbeaten streak and picked up right where it left off this year. The Hilltoppers allowed 14 points or fewer in nine of 10 regular-season games with only Ursuline surpassing that in a 36-27 win for the Hilltoppers.

Coaches: This is Nick Yordy’s fifth season as Badin head coach, and he owns a 43-14 record. His .754 winning percentage ranks third in Hamilton Catholic/Badin history (all-boys Hamilton Catholic merged with all-girls Notre Dame High School to become Badin in 1966). Yordy is a 1997 graduate of Badin and still holds the single-game touchdown record (five), a feat he shares with current running back Jack Walsh. … Mike Hewitt was hired at his alma mater Chardon in 2011. He is a 1998 graduate of the school and was runner-up for Ohio’s Mr. Football in 1997 when he rushed for 1,944 yards and 38 touchdowns and recorded 100 tackles on defense. He played linebacker at Bowling Green under Urban Meyer.

About Badin: The Rams are led by a class of 25 seniors that have played a big impact in a season in which the Rams have outscored their opponents 450-109. They are led by a strong running game that features senior running back Jack Walsh, who owns the program’s single-season rushing record with 1,803 yards rushing to go along with 18 touchdowns on 272 carries. Senior Landyn Vidourek likely would have been the first Badin quarterback to throw and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, but he broke his hand in the regional final win over Bellbrook, and likely won’t have much of a role, if any, Friday. He was at 1,279 yards passing and 904 yards rushing with 28 total touchdowns, but now has been replaced by sophomore Alex Ritzie. Badin’s defense has shut out six opponents, including three in the postseason, and has held nine opponents under 100 yards rushing. Senior defensive end Logan Neu has registered a school-record 30.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Junior Braedyn Moore leads the receivers with 636 yards and four touchdowns on 58 catches. Senior wide receiver Cooper Fiehrer has only caught 18 passes but six went for touchdowns, and he ha 393 yards receiving.

About Chardon: The Hilltoppers returned just five starters total from their 2020 title team, including two on offense. Running back Sean Carr was one of those returners and leads the team out of the backfield with 1,132 yards and 27 touchdowns. Quarterback Alex Henry is the key to a unique Wing-T offense, rushing for 1,258 yards and 20 touchdowns with 779 yards passing and another eight touchdowns through the air. Wide receiver Nathanael Sulka, who is committed to Youngstown State, has 292 yards and four touchdowns on 13 catches. Tight end Alex McDonald also is committed to Youngstown State. … Linebacker Christian Hall is committed to Alcorn State for baseball. Sulka also plays safety and leads the team with 88 tackles. Leo Colombi has a team-leading seven interceptions.

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