KETTERING — Alter High School’s football team earned its seventh victory of the season Friday by fighting off Badin 17-7 on a cold, rainy night at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium.
Both teams employed a smashmouth style of play to pound each other’s defense, despite a slew of penalties that affected both sides. The victorious Knights were whistled 11 times for 115 yards, while the Rams got flagged nine times for 95 yards.
It was the 21st straight victory in the series for Alter, which improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the Greater Catholic League Coed North Division.
WEEK 8 FOOTBALL COVERAGE
Badin is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the GCLC Central, wrapping up at least a share of its first Central championship since 2015 when Roger Bacon and Purcell Marian both lost Friday.
“This was a tough GCL game,” Rams coach Nick Yordy said. “This is the way you are expected to play a GCL game. A couple of plays in the first half hurt us, but I’m very proud of the effort by my players tonight. We just have to regroup, clean up the mistakes and be ready for Chaminade Julienne.”
Badin opened the game with a 14-play, 50-yard drive that was completed by Davon Starks’ 8-yard touchdown run. Starks would finish with 21 carries for 85 yards and four receptions for 53 yards in the Rams’ wishbone offense.
Alter, also running the wishbone, tied the contest at 7-7 on its first drive as Connor Bazelak hit Jack DiMario for a 22-yard TD. The Knights took a 14-7 lead into halftime after driving 96 yards for a score in the second period, with Bazelak finding Derek Willits for a 28-yard touchdown.
Penalties and mistakes shredded offensive drives and opportunities for both teams after halftime. Jack Ruffolo booted a 39-yard field goal with 5:06 remaining to give the hosts a 17-7 advantage.
A fumble recovery by Grayson Taylor sparked Badin down the stretch, and the Rams went to the air aggressively. Badin drove to the Alter 9-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs after getting thwarted on fourth-and-1.
“That was a big stop for us,” Knights coach Ed Domsitz said. “Obviously, they could have scored and tried an onside kick. They could get the ball back and Lord knows what happens. There are some good things we did.
“It was physical all night. They have a running game, they threw the ball well, but we did enough to be able to win.”
Alter outgained Badin 320-223 in yardage. Bazelak was 10-of-13 for 144 yards through the air for the Knights, and Branden McDonald (20 carries, 94 yards) and Lamar Landers (15 carries, 74) paced Alter on the ground.
For the Rams, Zach Switzer completed 9-of-21 passes for 123 yards. Keegan Gormley and Evan Schlensker totaled nine tackles apiece.
Next Friday, Alter will travel to McNicholas and Badin will host CJ at Fairfield.
B: Davon Starks 8 run (Luke VanSteenkiste kick)
A: Jack DiMario 22 pass from Connor Bazelak (Jack Ruffolo kick)
A: Derek Willits 28 pass from Bazelak (Ruffolo kick)
A: Ruffolo 39 field goal
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.