Versailles drops close one to Brookville in first scrimmage


VERSAILLES – Coach Adam Miller’s Versailles Tigers finally got to hit someone besides themselves when they locked horns against Brookville on Tuesday at Hole Field.

Brookville, which comes out of the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern division, is coached by Versailles graduate Mike Hetrick whose father is Al Hetrick, the Tigers legendary coach.

Each squad was trying to find any hole it could to put some points up in this defensive-minded scrimmage. The final tally was 14-7 with the deciding score dialed up by a Brookville cornerback on an interception return from around midfield.

Brookville was the first to take possession as the scrimmage started off with the typical 10 plays for each squad. The first 10 plays started off at the 30-yard line of Versailles and the ball did not sail too often in the ground control offense of Hetrick’s heroes. The first six plays were runs off tackle or up the middle with their best play being for 12 yards on a counter to the 32 of Versailles. Brookville then threw their first pass from the shotgun formation and it was incomplete in the end zone. The Blue Devils gained 11 more yards on a run up the gut and a sweep to the Tigers 21. The final play was a pass incomplete much to the delight of the Versailles faithful.

Versailles retaliated with a drive of their own as they started off with two sweeps that garnered no yardage, but the third play was a pass complete for 15 yard to their own 45. Quarterback passing again came into play as on the eighth play it saw the Tigers again move the ball 12 yards down the field to the Blue Devils 40. The last two plays saw the Tigers with an incomplete pass and a 7-yard run to the 33 of Brookville.

Brookville started their second set of 10 plays with a bomb incomplete down the sideline with ample coverage by the Versailles defensive backfield. The next couple plays were running plays that got them into Tiger territory but a sack rejuvenated the Tigers briefly. The fifth play saw the Blue Devils run for their biggest gain of 15 yards on an off-tackle play. Brookville decided to air the ball out and completed two out of three to surprise several of the 100 spectators in the fold at the Hole. However their completed passes did not dent the scoreboard and the ball stalled out on the 15-yard line of Tiger territory.

Versailles vaulted out with a run for their next series of 10 plays and garnered eight yards on the legendary grass field. The Tigers ramped things up with a nice run for a baker’s dozen by the alert running back to the 45. The Tigers were terrific again on a sweep that swept them to the Blue Devil 44. Versailles again started sailing to the Devil end zone highlighted by their most effective pass of the day for 26 yards down to the 11. The final play was for four yards where they were stopped at the seven.

Brookville battled against the Tigers in their next 10 plays before the first and 10 format set in. Brookville’s most significant plays in their third set of downs started off with an eight-yard jaunt off tackle in play number one. Following this up was a run up the gut for 12 yards to get to the 38 of Versailles territory. The next four plays gathered little moss on the plush grassy field and the Devils flamed out on the 28.

Versailles ran three running plays to run off 12 yards to get things geared up for Miller’s elusive eleven. The next three plays saw the Devils defense catch fire in holding the Tigers to negative yardage and a sack. Play number nine saw the Tigers getting out of a tailspin offensively and gain 12 yards to the Devils 48. The last play was a trick play that almost got them to pay dirt, but was nullified by the Devil defensive stalwarts.

First and 10 was the name of the game in the last format of this two hour titanic gridiron struggle. The Devils took over first on the 30 and were flaming down the field with a multitude of runs that had a 9-yarder and a 19-yard scamper to get to the Versailles 34. A quarterback sweep got them to the 18 and four plays later the Blue Devils ran up the middle for a 12-yard score and a 6-0 advantage. The PAT was true and the score read 7-0.

Versailles stumbled out of the gate on their initial series of first and 10 gathering a total of four yards before punting the pigskin away for a fair catch. Brookville baffled the Tigers again by going to the air and getting to the 40 of Tiger land. The Tigers then tightened their tails and caused the Montgomery County squad to give the ball up on downs much to the Tiger nation delight.

The next couple of first and 10s went quickly on a series of one, two, three punt for both squads. The Tigers then started tearing things up as they went 75 yards in only four plays that ended with a 22-yard scamper by Ryan Martin for a touchdown. The PAT was good as well for a 7-all tie.

The deciding score came moments later as an alert Brookville cornerback gathered in an errant Tiger toss and took it to the house for a 45-yard score. The PAT was good again leading to a 14-7 final score in favor of the visitors from down south.

”We had a pretty informative scrimmage today,” Coach Miller said. “It told us where we are at as a squad. It also alerted us to eliminating the mental mistakes and making more informed decisions on the field.

“It is nice to have a large number of kids out in 59 with nine seniors to lead us into the season,” he continued. “Now we just look forward to our next scrimmage on Friday as we head up north to play a bigger school in Van Wert.”

By Ted Landis Jr.

For The Daily Advocate

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