His last rushing work came in Week 2 last season. Paulsen carried the ball just six times in 2016, but he was needed Saturday to help replace injured fullback Elijah Williams.
“I had to step up for the team,” Paulsen said. “I have to give credit to the O-line. I don’t have many moves. Just a stiff-arm and that’s about it.”
The Cougars (2-1) churned their way to 367 rushing yards with their Wing-T offense. Wade Phillips ran 22 times for 183 yards and a touchdown.
“That’s who we are. There’s no secret to that,” Edgewood coach Scott Clemmons said. “We’re going to keep running if you don’t stop us.”
Clemmons said Paulsen has fully recovered from having his appendix removed during the summer.
“The way he ran tonight, that’s what expect out of our fullbacks,” Clemmons said.”We try not to have that fullback-position kid be a defensive player because you take such a pounding in there. But with Elijah hurt and Jake back at full speed, we felt like he could do it.”
Badin (2-1) put up a good fight against the Cougars, who administered a 56-0 beating to the Rams last year.
Edgewood scored a touchdown in each quarter and pulled away from a 14-all halftime deadlock.
“A lot of credit goes to them and Coach Clemmons,” Badin coach Nick Yordy said. “They all run hard in that system. They’ve been doing it since they were in first grade, so they know what they’re doing.”
The Rams totaled 305 yards (the Cougars had 403) and got a standout ground effort from Kegen Rogers, who ripped off a 55-yard touchdown run and collected 116 yards on 14 carries.
Lavassa Martin added 45 yards and a TD on eight rushes, while quarterback Jordan Flaig was 14 of 25 for 132 yards.
“We told the kids all week that it was going to be a ballgame, and we were right there,” Yordy said. “Some plays we didn’t make, some plays we did. That’s the way things go sometimes. But I’m very proud of what they showed out there tonight. We’re going to learn from it and continue to get better.”
Badin was looking to take the lead on the opening possession of the third period, driving to the EHS 24. But the Cougars’ D.J. Whiles recovered a fumble at the 20, and the visitors responded with an 80-yard surge that ended with a 29-yard Paulsen touchdown.
Edgewood High School senior Jake Paulsen scores on a 4-yard run in the second quarter of Saturday night's 28-14 win over Badin at Hamilton's Virgil Schwarm Stadium.
Paulsen scored again on a 15-yard run with 4:32 remaining, and Julian Pletz booted his fourth extra point for the final margin.
“We feel like we had them a little bit on the ropes because a lot of their guys were going both ways,” Clemmons said. “Our mind-set was, ‘Read your keys. Trust what you’re doing. Trust the guy next to you. Play as one team, one unit.’
“We knew Badin was going to battle us. They take their time, but they’re physical, they’re big, they’re strong. They’re going to smack you in the mouth for 48 minutes on both sides of the ball.”
The Rams got an interception from Luke Tabler and a fumble recovery from Dylan Schmitt. Badin opens the Greater Catholic League Coed Central Division season against Purcell Marian next Saturday at Walnut Hills.
Badin quarterback Jordan Flaig (12) prepares to launch a pass during Saturday night’s game against Edgewood at Virgil Schwarm Stadium in Hamilton. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
Edgewood begins Southwest Ohio Conference play at Northwest on Friday.
E: Wade Phillips 5 run (Julian Pletz kick)
B: Kegen Rogers 55 run (Ethan Krug kick)
E: Jake Paulsen 4 run (Pletz kick)
B: Lavassa Martin 4 run (Krug kick)
E: Paulsen 29 run (Pletz kick)
E: Paulsen 15 run (Pletz kick)
Badin’s Kegen Rogers is chased by Edgewood’s D.J. Whiles (2), Jake Paulsen (33) and Ben Boyd (1) during Saturday night’s game at Virgil Schwarm Stadium in Hamilton. Also trailing is the Rams’ Pat Mignery (2, green). RICK CASSANO/STAFF
Edgewood’s players and coaches talk during a timeout in Saturday night’s game against Badin at Virgil Schwarm Stadium in Hamilton. RICK CASSANO/STAFF