CANTON, Ohio — The Badin High School football team will have countless memories of the 2021 season.
The Rams completed their season as the Division III state runner-up Friday in a 21-14 loss to Chardon in front of 6,430 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
As Badin coach Nick Yordy gathered his team on the field for the last time this season, someone mentioned how Badin didn't lose but simply ran out of time.
The disappointment didn't subside, but perspective of a truly memorable season is of the utmost priority.
Badin was a regional champion and a Greater Catholic League Co-Ed champion for the fourth consecutive season.
"These 25 seniors — that's the reason why we're here," Yordy said. "I think these seniors have kind of shown the way over the past four years of what our expectations are, how to work in the off-season and having six extra weeks of the season with the whole team you know for those younger guys they know there is a challenge ahead of them and we're going to get to work and try to get back here."
Chardon senior running back Sean Carr scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left to lift the Hilltoppers (16-0) to their second straight D-III state title. Chardon is the first 16-0 team in Ohio High School Athletic Association history.
Badin (14-1) was in the state final for the first time since winning the state championship in 1990. The Rams made their fourth state final appearance overall (1990, 1980, 1978).
Chardon struck first when junior quarterback Alex Henry found senior Nathanel Sulka for a 36-yard touchdown pass connection with 7:40 left in the first quarter.
Badin tied the game late in the second quarter when senior running back Jack Walsh scored on a 3-yard touchdown run and senior Jackson Niesen added the extra point.
The Rams' touchdown was set up after Badin converted a fourth-and-6 three plays earlier in the drive. Walsh's 20-yard run set up the touchdown.
Chardon went ahead 14-7 with nine minutes left in the third quarter when sophomore Andrew Bruce scored on a 27-yard run.
Badin responded less than three minutes later when junior running back Carter Russo scored on a 6-yard touchdown run and Niesen's extra point tied the game at 14.
Walsh had 27 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, senior linebacker Ely Emmons had 11 tackles. Senior defensive end TJ Hayes had nine tackles. Sophomore Carson Cheek and senior defensive lineman Logan Neu had eight tackles each.
Badin is 31-25 in 26 playoff appearances. This was the Rams’ ninth trip to the Final Four and the first since 1998.
Badin was the third Greater Cincinnati team to compete in the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football finals. Winton Woods (Division II) and Clinton-Massie (Division IV) won state titles.