VERSAILLES — Versailles’s relentless teamwork paved the way to victory Friday against National Trail during their first playoff game.
The Versailles Tigers (7-3) faced the National Trail Blazers (6-4) Oct. 28 at their own H.B. Hole Field. With 7 minutes left in the first quarter, the Tigers could taste the goal line, as Titus Gehret rushed the ball 13 yards before being taken down at the five-yard line.
The Blazer’s defense knew they had to work together if they were going to stop the persistent Tiger offense from scoring. Blazer’s own Drew DeWitt understood the assignment, as he was able to stop Versailles’s Joel Gehret just short of the endzone at the one yard line. Celebrations for National Trail didn’t last long, as Gehret rushed into the endzone on the next play, allowing Versailles to take the lead in the first quarter.
The Blazer offense was no match to Versailles’s defense as they failed to take the lead back for the rest of the game. Versailles was able to read National Trail and block the ball with each play. Agility was Versailles’s strong suit.
The Tiger’s agility enabled them to keep the Blazers at bay with little to no yardage gains at a time. The quarterback was being pressed hard and it led to incomplete passes. Due to the Tiger defense being quick, National Trail’s offense needed longer passes in order to gain yardage.
During a Blazer punt in the second quarter, Mitchell Bey of Versailles was able to block the ball and recover a fumble at National Trail’s 19-yard line, creating an opening for another Tiger Touchdown. With 6:40 left in the first half, Michael Osborne upped the score, 21-0 Versailles.
Pushing forward, the Tiger’s defense pressed National Trail hard. The Blazer’s knew they needed to pass the ball instead of rushing, but the passes fell incomplete. Versailles had found the Blazer’s Achilles heel.
The Blazer’s defense was a strong line of defense; however, the Tiger offense worked together to create openings and back up fellow teammates as they rushed the ball. Every time National Trail pushed the Tiger offense back, the team would help propel their teammate forward, fighting back against the Blazer defense.
This offensive teamwork and defensive agility is what enabled Versailles to keep the lead well into the fourth, and they ended the game with a victory of 47-0.
The Versailles Tigers’ next playoff game is home against the Twin Valley South High School Panthers on Friday, Nov. 4 starting at 7 p.m.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].