The Eagles had a lot riding on the Week 9 contest as CJ entered the game ranked No. 6 in the Division III, Region 12 Harbin computer rankings.
The top eight squads in each region qualify for the playoffs, and No. 4 Alter, which beat McNicholas to improve to 8-1, will visit CJ’s new home field for the first time next Friday to end the regular season. Both teams are 6-0 in the Greater Catholic League Coed North Division.
CJ’s victory over Badin dramatically increased the Eagles’ chances of qualifying for the playoffs, no matter the result against the Knights.
It wasn’t easy, as Colvin’s actions suggest. Badin feverishly worked to eradicate CJ’s nine-point lead with 1:27 to play.
Chaminade Julienne’s Jonathan Bell looks to get past Bryan Henson (55) of Badin on Friday night at Roger Glass Stadium in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY NICK DUDUKOVICH
The Rams got a shot to steal the game. Following a 3-yard touchdown from Jordan Flaig with 35 seconds remaining, Badin successfully executed an onside kick.
A defensive holding call on a pass play moved the Rams into scoring range.
“That’s why you play ’em,” Badin coach Nick Yordy said. “We recovered the onside kick. That was big. Our kicker can make those, and I thought we had a shot. I can’t complain about being in a game like that with a chance to win.”
The Eagles, who have won seven straight, entertained the home crowd with a sense of urgency from the outset.
“We know the league we play in. We looked at our schedule and thought we could get seven or eight wins this year.” Colvin said. “We understood what was on the line, but we understood the challenge we had. I’m just proud of the kids finishing the game and giving me a heart attack with the way we finished.”
CJ didn’t waste any time stepping on the gas as quarterback Ryan Peltier scored on a 1-yard run just 9:24 into the game. The score was set up by a 32-yard pass to Matthew Willis and a 16-yard run by Keshaun Owens.
Badin answered 11 plays and five minutes later with 4-yard TD run from Luke Tabler. The sequence was motored by senior halfback Lavassa Martin, who carried the ball three times for 23 yards during the drive.
Halfway through the second quarter, Badin took the lead after Martin scampered for 38 of his 225 yards en route to a touchdown.
“He’s a special kid and a special football player,” Yordy said. “Our line blocked well for him, and he runs hard.”
CJ took control just before halftime, with Jonathan Bell cashing in a 3-yard touchdown. To start the second half, CJ built its lead to 21-12 after Peltier added his second rushing score of the game (4 yards).
“Our QB gets us where we need to be,” Colvin said of his senior field general. “I’m always glad he’s our quarterback.”
Badin outscored CJ 7-3 in the final 9:23 and fought like its playoff life depended on it, mostly because it did. Despite being ranked No. 19 in Region 12, the Rams still had an outside shot of qualifying.
“We knew that it was a long shot to get in the playoffs, but we’re still going to come out and compete,” Yordy said. “A lot of credit to our kids. Their effort’s been tremendous, and we’re going to keep battling.”
As for CJ, the student section chant of “We want Alter,” will soon become reality.
Badin’s Kegen Rogers breaks into the open during Friday night’s game against Chaminade Julienne at Roger Glass Stadium in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY NICK DUDUKOVICH
“The goal’s always the same: Beat Alter,” Peltier said. “That’d be amazing to cap off my senior year like that.”
The GCLC Central Division title will be on the line next Saturday afternoon when Badin (5-4, 3-3) visits McNicholas (5-4, 3-3).
C: Ryan Peltier 1 run (Zachary Bridget kick)
B: Luke Tabler 4 run (Kick blocked)
B: Lavassa Martin 38 run (Run failed)
C: Jonathan Bell 3 run (Bridget kick)
C: Peltier 4 run (Bridget kick)
B: Ethan Krug 20 field goal
C: Bridget 29 field goal
B: Jordan Flaig 3 run (Krug kick)
Badin’s Lavassa Martin finds himself surrounded by Chaminade Julienne defenders Friday night at Roger Glass Stadium in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY NICK DUDUKOVICH
Chaminade Julienne wide receiver Keshaun Owens picks up yardage after the catch during Friday night’s game against Badin at Roger Glass Stadium in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY NICK DUDUKOVICH