Undefeated Badin prepared for ‘a battle’ against league rival Alter tonight

Nick Yordy insists his Badin High School football team isn’t thinking about last year’s playoff loss to Kettering Alter as the teams head into their Greater Catholic League Co-Ed clash Friday at Edgewood High School.

Alter ended the Rams’ perfect 2020 campaign in the regional final last year after Badin had won the regular-season matchup. However, the teams have met so often over the past few years, the games tend to blend together, Yordy said.

The Rams and Knights have played six times in the last three years because of postseason clashes, with Alter sweeping matchups in 2018, Badin sweeping in 2019 and the teams splitting last year. Badin (6-0) has come to always expect a battle with Alter (2-4), and that won’t be any different this time.

“They are a really good football team,” Yordy said. “They’ve been playing a tough schedule. They had a COVID issue and had to pick up a game, but they’ve been playing tough teams. When you watch it on film, they are still Alter. We’re preparing for a big GCL battle. We’ve played them six times the last three years so it’s going to be a difficult game. I hope not but it’s going to be a battle.”

Yordy said he uses the 2020 playoff loss as a preparation tool only. The Rams don’t need any extra motivation when they meet Alter, especially with an unbeaten record they want to protect.

Badin, ranked second in this week’s Division III state poll, has pretty much cruised through its first six games. The Rams played tough games against Bellbrook and Ross but the other four games were decided by 13 points or more, including a 20-point win over Mount Healthy, a 35-0 win against Northwest and a 62-0 rout at Dayton Carroll to open GCLC play last week.

After a successful, though shortened 2020 season, Yordy wasn’t surprised to see the Rams pick up where they left off a year ago.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors,” Yordy said. “I think a lot of that goes back to those guys, credit to them working hard in the offseason, they’ve been in the program four years, a lot of them played last year, so we knew kind of what to expect.”

Among those contributors is senior quarterback Landyn Vidourek, who was a first-year starter last year but has taken big steps in Year 2. Vidourk has passed for 607 yards and five touchdowns with one interception while also rushing for 502 yards and eight touchdowns.

He adds to a running game that has been led by senior Jack Walsh (554 yards and five touchdowns) and junior Carter Russo (264 yards, three touchdowns).

“(Vidourek) is a little more comfortable back there,” Yordy said. “He understands what we’re doing, how we’re calling plays and the biggest area he’s exceling in more this year is he’s running the ball more. That’s a good weapon when you have a quarterback that can run and throw the ball.”

Defensively, the Rams are led by senior defensive linemen Logan Neu and Hunter Harrison and a senior-laden linebacker corps that includes Eli Emmons, T.J. Hayes and Brady Imhoff.

The Rams have 10 interceptions and have allowed just 41 points this season.

“Our defense is probably our strength and been our strength the five years I’ve been here but we have weapons on offense and we can be a little balanced with Jack and Carter and a quarterback that can run and throw and some good receivers,” Yordy said. “All that can make us a solid football team, but we still have a long way to go.”

Alter will present some challenges defensively, Yordy said, and the Knights bring a powerful running game. The Knights shut out Thurgood Marshall and held Fairmont to seven points, and even McNicholas only managed 20 points in their win against Alter last week.

Senior linebacker C.J. Hicks (Ohio State) and senior defensive lineman Derrick Shepard (Cincinnati) are among their top defenders.

“It’s weird to say, but we need to put pressure on ourselves offensively and get some points up on the scoreboard,” Yordy said. “They (the players) have been pretty locked in, and one thing that helps us not get complacent is we’re in league play in the middle of the season. With the way our season is set up, last week was our first league game. We played well, and so we’re just carrying it over against Alter.”

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