HAMILTON — Drew Enginger sported a Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown artificial gold necklace — but a real smile — Friday night.
His defensive skills won him the accessory.
“This is special. I didn’t even know that this was a thing until about 10 minutes ago,” Enginger said after being named Most Valuable Player. “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.”
Enginger was just one piece of the defensive puzzle for the Badin High School football team in an 18-0 shutout of Hamilton in a renewed rivalry clash that took place in front of 6,500 spectators at a sold-out Virgil Schwarm Stadium.
Hamilton quarterback Antonio Mathis didn’t throw many passes inside the pocket against a swarming Badin defense. On a fourth-and-2 play at the Badin 21, Mathis was hurried out of the pocket by Rams junior defender Royce Rachel. Mathis rolled right, looked for tight end Na’Sir Harper along the sideline and zipped a pass his way.
But Enginger read the play from the beginning. The senior linebacker trailed Harper, stepped in front of the pass, snatched it and drug at least one cleat before falling out of bounds on the Badin sideline.
That was the closest Hamilton would get to the end zone.
“(Harper) lined up right outside, and I knew it was going to be a pass,” Enginger said. “I was just man-to-man with him. (Mathis) was scrambling. It was easy pick at that point.”
Badin scored on its first drive when Alex Ritzie connected with Aidan Brown on a 31-yard touchdown strike. The Rams were gifted a safety on a Hamilton muffed punt snap that gave Badin a 9-0 lead after one quarter.
Big Blue was able to muster up a couple first downs to drive deep into Rams territory with about 3 minutes left in the first half, but that’s when Enginger stymied the Hamilton possession.
“Our defense was unbelievable,” Badin 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 it 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 — but our defense played well.”
Hamilton coach Arvie Crouch tipped his cap to Badin.
“They’ve got a good defense,” Crouch said. “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.”
Badin held Hamilton to just two first downs and outgained the Big Blue 127-82 in total yards in the first two quarters.
“Week in and week out, we’re just always prepared,” Enginger said. “We’re always locked in.”
Landers, Schroeder lead Middies
Middletown overcame four turnovers and scored 17 unaswered points in the second half to beat Loveland 31-16 at Barnitz Stadium.
Middletown quarterback Jerimiah Landers passed for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another. Eric Schroeder added 177 yards on the ground, including a 76-yard TD jaunt.
Fisher impresses in Fairfield loss
Fairfield rallied from an early 21-0 deficit to take the lead in a wild game at Wayne.
The Indians lost 58-51 but quarterback Talon Fisher, a Navy commit, stuffed the stat sheet The senior completed 15-of-22 passes for 245 yards and three TDs and rushed 24 times for 144 yards and three scores.
Carlisle, Fenwick, Monroe, Madison and Lebanon kicked off their repsective seasons with wins.