Undefeated Badin eager to continue football playoffs tonight after nearly 3 weeks off

Badin's Lucas Moore makes a catch and runs it in for a touchdown during their game against Ross. Badin Rams football team defeated Ross Rams 41-7 in the first game of the season Friday, August 28, 2020 at Ross High School. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Badin's Lucas Moore makes a catch and runs it in for a touchdown during their game against Ross. Badin Rams football team defeated Ross Rams 41-7 in the first game of the season Friday, August 28, 2020 at Ross High School. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Rams last played on Oct. 3

Badin High School football coach Nick Yordy was starting to feel a little antsy seeing highlights and hearing about other playoff games taking place.

Now he and the unbeaten Rams finally have a chance to join the conversation.

Badin had a bye through the first round, then had its next game against Wapakoneta wiped away last week when the opponent had some cases of COVID-19 pop up. The Rams (7-0) enter the mix in the Division III, Region 12 regional quarterfinals against seventh-seeded Tipp City Tippecanoe (6-1) on Friday at Edgewood’s Kumler Field. Tippecanoe has played two postseason games already.

“Seeing the highlights and all that stuff has made me a little anxious to get in there, but even from the kids standpoint of getting the opportunity to play is the big thing,” Rams coach Nick Yordy said. “It’s a shame what happened with Wapakoneta, but they aren’t the only ones in the state to go through something like this. Now to finally get the opportunity to play after time off is a little nerve-wracking to say the least.”

Badin was fortunate enough to play a scrimmage last week against Northwest to at least get some work in against someone else. The teams played a two-quarter scrimmage with starters and backups and then finished with a third quarter of junior varsity players and other reserves.

Yordy was thankful Northwest was willing to help the Rams out in a way that would help protect them from injury and still give them the feeling of a game.

“We felt like we needed to do something,” he said. “It’s one thing to practice, but to practice that long against each other, you only get so much out of that. It was good work. Just to hit a different jersey was pretty important.”

Badin will find out Friday if Tippecanoe has any advantage after playing two meaningful games while the Rams were away from action, but Yordy isn’t looking at it that way.

The Rams had been playing well enough all season to stay undefeated, despite teams starting to throw some different wrinkles at them after seeing what they were able to do early in the season. Yordy said Badin probably surprised some people early on, but it’s a credit to his team how hard players continued to work to keep it all going.

Now they face a Red Devils team that routed Ponitz 55-6 in the first round and overcame Mount Healthy 11-6 last week.

“The top 8 teams are there still, so those are the teams that were expected to be in the playoffs,” Yordy said. “They are a big team. I’ve seen them on film, and they have big guys up front, they run the football and control the clock a little, and then on defense, they’ve got big guys on defense too. I think that is definitely the strength. They’re holding guys to a touchdown a game type deal. They’ve got some athletes and guys with good size so in the playoffs that’s pretty dangerous.”

Tippecanoe pinned Mount Healthy inside the 10-yard line at least three times, Yordy said, so special teams will be important, and offensively the Rams will need to come out and execute against the Red Devils' stout defense.

Badin’s defense has played well this season, too, but Yordy said the offensive line is going to have to step up to give the offense a better chance of success against Tippecanoe.

“We will have to be on top of things,” Yordy said. “In a meaningful game it just intensifies.”

GMC rivalry rematch

Lakota West coach Tom Bolden will meet his old team in the playoffs for the first time Friday when the Firebirds host Colerain in a Division I, Region 4 semifinal.

The Cardinals (6-2) will be looking to avenge a Week 1 loss to the Firebirds (7-0), after they fell 10-0 for their first GMC loss since 2008, breaking an 87-game streak. Bolden, who left Colerain after its state runner-up finish in 2018, believes it will once again be a battle between two great defenses.

“We’ll have our hands full next week with that big game against Colerain,” he said. “It will be awful exciting.”

Said running back Cameron Goode, “It’s a huge deal. We have to go beat them again and we are going to train like we did the first week. We’re going to do it again, ain’t no question about it. We got to get the W.”

Edgewood, Ross, New Miami still alive

Three other area teams remain alive in the postseason.

Edgewood (4-3), seeded eighth in Division II, Region 8, plays at top-seeded Winton Woods (7-0) on Friday, while Ross heads into a Division III, Region 12 matchup at No. 4-seeded New Richmond. The Rams are coming off their first playoff win in school history and are seeded fifth.

Eighth-seeded New Miami plays at No. 1 Marion Local in a Division VII, Region 28 game.

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