Badin High School football coach Nick Yordy doesn’t believe this week’s game against Edgewood will make or break the Rams’ season, but it will be a good test before heading into league play.
Just like last year, the Rams once again find themselves sitting at 2-0 heading into a Week 3 matchup with the also unbeaten Cougars on the road Friday. In 2017, the Rams came off wins against Talawanda and Ross only to come up short against Edgewood on their way to a 5-5 finish. The Cougars finished 8-2 and collected their second straight Southwest Ohio Conference title.
Badin opens Greater Catholic League Coed Division play next week against Fenwick and is looking to continue the momentum in its quest for the program’s first Central Division title since 2015.
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“We’re not taking this as the Super Bowl, but we know it’s important for us,” Yordy said. “In the league we play in, every week is a tough game and we know we’re going to get that type of game from Edgewood, especially at their place.
“It’s comparable to last year because we’re in the same situation with a good start, but every coach wants his team to get better year in and year out. The biggest thing we were looking for in the offseason was to see improvement, and after the first two weeks ,I think we have improved. This is a good test to see where we’re at playing a quality opponent like Edgewood.”
Edgewood is coming off a 28-9 win over Franklin, which followed a 49-7 rout of Monroe in the opener. The Cougars beat Badin the past two seasons, but coach Scott Clemmons said the Rams “are a little different this year.”
Badin opened with a 41-20 win over Ross and 38-7 victory over Talawanda and seem to be making good strides under Yordy, who knows the SWOC well after previously serving as Mount Healthy’s offensive coordinator. Badin’s offense is led by quarterback Zach Switzer and running back Davon Starks.
“They are a physical football team. They get after you quickly but have a lot of nice skill men too, so they use power and speed to out-leverage you and work it against you,” Clemmons said. “We are who we are, and that’s no secret. We haven’t changed anything. Coach Yordy brought the physicality he had at Mount Healthy, and he has his players believing and doing what they need to improve.”
The Cougars still utilize their trusty Wing-T offense, powered by a solid tandem of Wade Phillips and Elijah Williams, who are among the top three rushers in the SWOC with 331 yards and 204 yards, respectively.
Clemmons said the ability to control the ball will be important against Badin in keeping the Rams’ offense off the field. Edgewood is preparing for its league opener next week against Northwest.
“We are playing fast and physical,” Clemmons said. “I’m happy with our attention to detail, showing fight and not giving up, and playing four quarters of football. We take pride in not having a lot of penalties, and we just want to avoid unnecessary penalties.
“Against Badin, we need to keep the ball out of their hands and work hard to get them three-and-out when their offense is on the field. Field position is going to be huge. We can’t take anything for granted. We have to play 48 minutes of football and get after it.”
Facing the two-time defending SWOC champions, Yordy expects a battle. The Rams are aware of Edgewood’s recent success, but understand their own hard work in the offseason is still showing on the field and they still have “a long way to go.”
“They’ve been doing the Wing-T a long time and they do it well, so we have to be prepared to stop it,” Yordy said. “Offensively, we have to do what we do — 11 kids need to execute to the best of their ability, and hopefully we score some points and are in the ballgame at the end of it.”
What: Badin (2-0) at Edgewood (2-0), 7 p.m.
Where: Kumler Field, 5005 State Route 73, St. Clair Township
Series: Badin leads 15-6, but Edgewood has won the last two meetings, including 28-14 last year