Versailles falls to Kirtland in State Championship game

I’m extremely proud of the way they conducted themselves on and off the field all year representing Tigerball ... Coach Ryan Jones

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Versailles Tigers State Runner-Up Football Team. (Chuck Runner photo)

CANTON – The Versailles Tigers fell short of a state championship, falling to Kirtland 32-15 in Tom Benson Stadium. The Tigers could not overcome The Hornets’ powerful run game. The ball bounced the Hornets’ way all day as they fumbled four times and recovered all four. Two fumbles were in the end zone that was recovered for touchdowns.

(Chuck Runner photo)

The Hornets jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. The extra point was blocked by James Schmitmeyer. The Tigers were able to get on the board in the second quarter on a 31 yard pass from Michael Osborne to A.J. Griesdorn.

The 13-7 deficit was short-lived as Will Beers returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards and Kirtland quickly had a 19-7 lead.

(Chuck Runner photo)

The Hornets chased the missed extra point going for two but were stopped short. Versailles muffed a punt late in the second quarter giving Kirtland a chance to extend its lead. The Tigers’ defense stiffened and stopped the Hornets inside the five-yard line as time expired.

Kirtland scored in the third quarter to take a 25-7 lead and were threatening again late in the game when they fumbled and the ball rolled into the end zone and again was covered by the Hornets for a touchdown.

(Chuck Runner photo)

Down 32-7, the Tigers never quit, and Michael Osborne was able to score from five yards out with 0:55 left in the game. Osborn hit Jace Watren for a two point conversion making the final score 32-15.

Versailles never quit and battle to the end. Some days the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.

(Chuck Runner photo)

“They put in a lot of time, lot of effort, lot of sacrifice. I love these guys and would do anything for them, “Coach Ryan Jones said. “I’m extremely proud of the way they conducted themselves on and off the field all year representing Tigerball.”

The Versailles seniors were in the playoffs all four years, made two state title appearances and a 43-11 overall record.

Versailles coach, Ryan Jones talks to his team following State Championship loss to Kirtland. (Chuck Runner photo)