Badin overcomes Alter, ends 22-game losing skid to Knights

Badin senior quarterback Zach Switzer wanted to separate himself from all previous Rams teams that had reluctantly added to the Alter mystique. A 22-game Rams losing streak to the Knights? Not on his watch.

“All these (Badin grads) come back and they want to see Alter get beat,” said Switzer, who helped do just that in a spectacular 42-7 beatdown of their Greater Catholic League Co-Ed rival on Friday night at Virgil Schwarm Stadium. “Every year it seems like Badin lets them down. We didn’t want to be that team. Our motto was don’t be those other teams.”

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That 0-2 season start by Badin? Just another defining obstacle the Rams have overcome. None is greater than defeating Alter in the league opener. Badin hadn’t done that since 1999, a stretch of 22 consecutive games and several playoff matchups, including Alter’s sweep last season.

Badin (4-2, 1-0) won its fourth straight game and rocketed to No. 3 in the Division III, Region 12 computer rankings. Alter (4-2) sank to No. 11. That sets up Badin to make another grand GCL Co-Ed statement on Friday at Chaminade Julienne (5-1), which is No. 1 in D-III, Region 12.

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“We were in unfamiliar territory with an 0-2 start,” said Rams coach Nick Yordy, a Badin grad who’s in his third season. “I think the kids and everybody was in shock. To get things turned around like this, well, we still got a long way to go. We’re going to enjoy this one and then get ready for CJ.”

Switzer and the Rams haven’t been the same since Yordy opted to pass more following that 0-2 start. Switzer torched the Knights for three touchdown passes and added another TD catch on a nifty razzle-dazzle play.

Switzer initially hit Josh Hegemann on a 68-yard pass and mostly run to set up Alex DeLong’s 1-yard run to open the scoring midway through the first quarter. Two TD passes to Hegemann covering 19 and 3 yards followed, as did a 7-yarder to David Schweinefuss.

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Ahead 14-0 at halftime, Badin’s fireworks continued in the third quarter, highlighted by a nifty Switzer handoff to DeLong, who pitched to Hegemann, who then threw back to Switzer for an uncovered 13-yard TD.

Another Badin score was set up when Alter couldn’t field a kickoff. Badin linebacker Jayden Carter also tipped a red-zone Alter pass to himself and returned it five yards for another score.

Switzer riddled the Knights for a career-high 248 yards passing.

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That added up to the most lopsided loss by Alter since a 42-6 loss to Chagrin Falls Kenston in last season’s D-III state championship at Canton.

“At times we looked like we hadn’t played a football game all year,” said a glum Alter coach Ed Domsitz. “It was embarrassing. They played a whale of a ballgame. Their kids were extremely intense. If we don’t match that intensity, you’re not going to be able to beat a team that’s on a roll like that. We let it begin to happen early and we were never able to turn it off.”

Alter junior Branden McDonald finally put Alter on the board with a 30-yard dash as the third quarter closed.

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This might not be the last time these rivals play this season. That’s what happened last year when Alter swept the regular-season and regional semifinal matchups. The loss likely leaves Alter in rare win-out mode, because only the top eight teams in each region advance to the playoffs.

“From 0-2 to 4-2, it’s been one heck of a ride,” Switzer said. “I think it means more because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year, too. That was on our mind. We really wanted it.”

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