There’s no mystery to the success formula of the Badin football team this season. The Rams’ offense is humming in high-performance perfection and its defense is locked in shut-down mode.
That’s why Badin (9-3) has advanced to a Week 13 regional final on Friday. And those two high-end Rams’ qualities will be put to their greatest challenge against Trotwood-Madison (9-3).
»» RELATED: Badin takes out Alter
“Our defense, for the past eight weeks we’ve been playing really well,” Badin coach Nick Yordy gushed following a Week 11 elimination of rival Alter. “It’s really fun to watch.”
It’ll be the first time for Badin and Trotwood to play, and it promises to be a memorable Division III, Region 12 final showdown at 7 p.m. Friday at Miamisburg’s Holland Field.
»» PHOTOS: Alter vs. Badin, Week 12 football
Other Friday regional finals are Springfield (11-1) vs. Dublin Coffman (10-2) at London (D-I, Region 2), Anna (11-1) vs. Archbold (11-1) at Lima (D-VI, Region 23) and Covington (10-2) vs. Mechanicsburg (10-2) at Piqua (D-VI, Region 24).
Saturday’s regional finals are Valley View (10-2) vs. defending state champ Cincinnati Wyoming (12-0) at Princeton (D-IV, Region 16), West Liberty-Salem (11-1) vs. West Jefferson (11-1) at Sidney (D-V, Region 20), and New Bremen (9-3) vs. Marion Local (10-2) at Wapakoneta (D-VII, Region 28).
»» RELATED: Marion Local dodges Fort Loramie in OT
All the winners advance to Week 14 state semifinals. The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce those neutral sites this week.
Trotwood took out its second straight Western Buckeye League opponent in St. Marys Memorial at Sidney lat week, 41-7. However, the game was tied 7-all at halftime.
»» PHOTOS: Marion Local vs. Fort Loramie, Week 12 football
Trotwood opened the playoffs with a 33-21 win at Wapak, which tied Kenton for the WBL championship. That was clutch for Trotwood, which finished with regular season with closes losses to Springboro (28-25) and Springfield (21-20). Trotwood’s only other loss was to Winton Woods in the season opener, 36-7.
Badin brings a five-game win streak into the matchup. That includes a 46-14 rematch defeat of Ross in the postseason opener and last week’s 38-21 elimination of Alter in another rematch. Most impressive, Badin has overcome an 0-2 season start.
»» RELATED: Cowbell Mafia awaits Trotwood-Madison
Badin has allowed eight points or less in six games.
“Our defense has played fantastic,” said two-way Badin standout senior Josh Hegemann following the defeat of Alter. “It’s something we’ve been working for all season, to return to the third round of the playoffs.”
Both teams are steeped in deep postseason tradition, although Trotwood’s is more recent. Former Ohio State University standout and NFL receiver Jeff Graham – an Alter grad - succeeded Maurice Douglass as Trotwood’s head coach in 2014 and has kept the Rams rolling.
Last week Rams senior defensive back Sammy Anderson verbally committed to Cincinnati.
Trotwood has qualified for the postseason 15 times, all but once since 2002. The Rams won state championships in 2017 and ’11, were state runner-up four times from 2016-10 and played in eight consecutive state semifinals from 2017-10.
Badin has essentially matched that success, but mostly during a 20-year run from 1978-98 under then-coach Terry Malone. This is the 24th postseason for the Rams, who also won state titles in 1980 and ’78.
»» RELATED: Final football power rankings
“It’s all about making our own history,” said Hegemann.
• Badin’s defeat of Alter last week ensured two different teams will play for the D-III state title. Alter lost to Chagrin Falls Kenston 42-6 in last year’s D-III state final. A No. 8 seed, Kenston was bounced by top-seeded New Philadelphia 31-28 in the first round.
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