Prep football: Badin takes positive approach to GCLC Central opener

The start of the Greater Catholic League Coed Division season finds Badin High School’s football team in a positive place.

The Rams took their first loss of the year last weekend against Edgewood, but they’re 2-1 heading into Saturday night’s matchup with GCLC Central rival Purcell Marian at Walnut Hills.

“When I got here and we really started getting after it, seeing where we were then to where we are now, we have gotten better,” first-year Badin coach Nick Yordy said. “We wanted to change a little bit of a mind-set, and we have. I’m not going to say we’re great, but we’ve gotten better.”

WEEK 3: Edgewood 28, Badin 14

There is a bit of a twist in this contest. The Cavaliers (1-2) are coached by Dave Wirth, the Rams’ head man from 2004 to 2008.

Wirth said it’s a big deal for him to square off with Badin for the first time, but he’s not quite sure what to expect from his team, which has been dealing with multiple injuries and the challenges that come with having a new head coach.

“We’re so high and low,” Wirth said. “Maybe part of that is just everything being so new. Part of it is where my expectations are vs. where they actually are.

“But I do think this is a pretty evenly matched game. I think there will be punches and counterpunches, and there will be big plays. Not too sound too cliche, but I think whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will win the game.”

Purcell opened with a 20-7 loss to Summit Country Day, defeated Shroder 39-0 and then lost to Bethel-Tate 21-20.

“It was a train wreck, and we were playing a good team,” Wirth said of last week’s defeat. “We were on our third running back, fifth or sixth corner, third left tackle, a second guard … no excuses, though. I still should’ve found us a way to win the game.”

He’s hoping to have most of his playmakers available for the Badin game.

Senior Que Taylor (5-8, 163), a standout running back, slot receiver and safety, hasn’t played since Week 1. Senior tailback Nylan Mosley (5-10, 163) had to leave the Bethel-Tate game with an ankle injury.

“Nylan is a major difference maker when he’s healthy,” Wirth said. “He’s like a show horse. He’s an absolute freak. He’s like a UFC guy with state championship track speed.”

Senior quarterback Mitch Mayes (6-2, 198) directs Purcell’s spread offense. Wirth described senior receiver/outside linebacker Ace Taylor (6-1, 183) as the Cavaliers’ Mr. Everything.

WEEK 2: Badin 46, Talawanda 0

“He’s our go-to player,” Wirth said of Taylor, who returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown against Bethel-Tate. “He’s the hardest worker. He’s probably got the highest character. He’s what every coach wants in a player.”

The Purcell coach said his 45-man roster has plenty of speed and athleticism, but those characteristics don’t automatically win games.

“It doesn’t matter how fast you are if you don’t play focused, disciplined football and execute your assignments,” Wirth said. “That’s what we’re working on. When we get even remotely close to getting over that hurdle, we’ll have a shot to be a nice football team.”

Wirth said Badin has a size advantage and wants to run the ball, so he’s expecting a power ground attack. The Rams have rushed for nearly 800 yards through three games.

“In the three games that we’ve played, those teams didn’t have a lot of guys going both ways,” Yordy said. “These guys do, so they’re definitely more like us. But they’ve got a lot of athletes.”

WEEK 1: Badin 36, Ross 6

He’s uncertain of what Purcell will do defensively. Yordy said the Cavaliers are running a 3-3 stack, but their first three opponents were mostly spread teams.

“They saw towards the end of the Edgewood game that we can do that, so they’ve got to prepare for that, but we’ve also got our tight end and three backs in the backfield,” Yordy said. “So it’ll be interesting to see how they line up.”

Badin leads the series — which started as Hamilton Catholic vs. Purcell in 1928 — by a 30-22 margin. The Cavaliers won 32-14 last year.

Saturday’s game

What: Badin (2-1) vs. Purcell Marian (1-2) at Walnut Hills, 7 p.m.

Where: Marx Stadium, 3250 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati

Last year: Purcell Marian won 32-14

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