By Drew Terhall
WAPAKONETA — Versailles scored on their opening possession of the game, but couldn’t get anything else going. The Tigers lost to Marion Local High School on Nov. 12 at Wapakoneta Mercy Health Wapak Ford Field, 35-3, in the Division VI Regional Semifinals.
Head coach Ryan Jones said the team had a great week of practice and they competed well in this game. The score may not reflect it, but Versailles was in this game.
“I’m really proud of those guys and how hard they played. Just a great group of kids. I’m proud to be their coach and wouldn’t want to coach a different group of guys,” Jones said.
To start the game, Versailles drove down the field but couldn’t get a touchdown. From the nine-yard line, Joel Gehret kicked the field goal to put Versailles up 3-0 early on.
Marion Local didn’t waste time to claim the lead. On their opening drive of the game, they scored a 20-yard touchdown run to make it a 7-3 game.
After the teams exchanged turnovers, Versailles had the ball just outside the redzone. The Flyers defense stood tall and Versailles tried for a field goal. In the snowy conditions, they missed the field goal.
Marion Local scored from one yard out later on to go up 14-3 entering halftime.
Just like their regular season game, Versailles could move the ball. Senior Connor Stonebraker was able to connect on some passes through the weather conditions and Gehret was able to get some chunk plays.
In the end, Marion Local stopped them when they needed to the most.
To start the second half, Marion Local scored on a 54-yard touchdown run. They added on a one-yard and a four-yard touchdown run to win the game, 35-3.
There was a lot of uncertainty within the team entering this season. Versailles was coming off a State Championship and lost a lot of key guys.
Jones said this senior class did what was asked of them and led the young guys this season. They helped grow and continue the culture of the program.
“Really proud of the senior class. Just an amazing year for those guys. A lot of unknowns going into this year for sure and those guys really stepped up,” Jones said. “They got better and better each week. They continued to play better.”
Versailles ends their season 9-4 with a 5-3 conference record.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]