Prep football: Badin turns focus to Carroll after emotional OT victory

The celebration didn’t last long.

Badin High School’s football team won a wild overtime game at Roger Bacon last weekend, but the Rams quickly put the Greater Catholic League Coed Division victory in their rear-view mirror.

“We knew they were much improved from last year, and it was a pretty good game last year,” said Badin’s John Berg, a senior defensive end. “We were really excited, but we’re moving on. I think the confidence is good. We’re just taking it one week at a time and focusing on beating Carroll.”


Carroll is indeed up next for the Rams, who are ready to celebrate homecoming Friday night at Virgil Schwarm Stadium.

The Patriots are on the rise after going 1-9 last year. The program, in fact, hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.

But Carroll is 4-1 right now, though it’s coming off a 61-30 loss to Chaminade Julienne. The Rams are 3-2 after the 42-35 triumph over Bacon.

“Carroll is a lot better,” Badin coach Nick Yordy said. “I think they’ve got a little bit of confidence, and you can see that confidence on film in what they’re doing.”

The Patriots opened the campaign with wins over Stebbins, Beavercreek, Indianapolis Washington and McNicholas. Those teams are a combined 3-18.

Fifth-year Carroll coach Ben Rulli said the rebuilding process has gradually produced more positivity.

“With each passing year, there’s something new and different that we have improved,” Rulli said. “We’ve definitely been peeling back layer by layer in these five years, and there are growing pains and learning to get back to winning. Not just during the season, but 365 days a year.

“This group of young men has started to see the light on that. They have had an outstanding offseason, and it’s definitely paid some dividends.”

The Patriots are a power spread team on offense and like to run the ball behind a line that returns everybody from last year.

Senior Fred Butts (66 carries, 442 yards, five TDs) and juniors Eli Haney (59 carries, 309 yards, two TDs) and Trent Fox (32 carries, 222 yards, six TDs) do most of the running. Butts is a load at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, and Fox has completed 44-of-79 passes for 507 yards and six touchdowns as the quarterback.

“He’s a tough guy to bring down,” Yordy said of Butts. “He uses his weight and his speed to his advantage.”

Berg said Badin’s defense will be ready for Carroll’s ground attack.

“I think we match up pretty well,” he said. “I think we can stop them if we play to our game plan and follow the coaches.”

Butts plays some end and outside linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-3 stack defense. Senior Matt Eavers is a standout inside linebacker.

Carroll, like the Rams, has more than a couple guys playing both ways.

“I would say on film we’re very similar in many ways,” Rulli said. “What I see on film of Badin is they’re typically physical and big and strong. It’s definitely going to be an old-fashioned slobberknocker kind of game.”

The Rams had two 100-yard rushers against Bacon — Davon Starks (28 carries, 133 yards) and Alex DeLong (18 carries, 103 yards). Zach Switzer only completed three passes, but two went for touchdowns (to Josh Hegemann and DeLong).

Badin thought it had won the game in regulation, which ended with a muffed punt that was recovered in the end zone by the Rams’ Luke Tabler. But the officials ruled that while Bacon’s Corey Kiner touched the ball while trying to field the punt, he didn’t have full possession before it went in the end zone, so it was a touchback.

“The refs signaled touchdown, so we thought we had won,” Yordy said. “But after they talked, they said we were going to overtime. I looked it up. They made the right call. It was just a crazy, wild game.”

Friday’s game

What: Carroll (4-1, 1-1 GCLC North) vs. Badin (3-2, 1-1 GCLC Central) at Hamilton, 7 p.m.

Where: Virgil Schwarm Stadium, 1165 Eaton Ave., Hamilton

Series: Hamilton Catholic/Badin leads 21-7-1 and has won six of the last seven meetings, including 31-0 in 2017

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