VERSAILLES – Versailles football coach Adam Miller saw a lot of progress from the Tigers during their scrimmage against Van Wert on Saturday morning.
The Tigers showed a lot of progression on Saturday from their first scrimmage against Brookville four days earlier, Miller said.
“Definitely very pleased that we had progression from Tuesday to today,” Miller said. “And we told the kids after Tuesday we definitely have some things to fix, but we want to see Tuesday that we got them fixed. We’re still not perfect, but I was definitely pleased that we have taken a step forward.”
In addition to improving since their first scrimmage, the Tigers also showed improvement during Saturday’s scrimmage after a slow start. That’s to be expected, Miller said, as the team doesn’t game plan for scrimmages, and it takes a while for everyone to figure out what to do.
“It’s all about the adjustments,” Miller said. “Whoever makes the adjustments usually comes out on top.”
Versailles and Van Wert started out Saturday’s scrimmage with both teams’ varsity offenses getting a pair of 10-play series starting at their own 30-yard line. Van Wert scored a touchdown on the fourth play of its second series while Versailles went scoreless in both of its possessions.
The teams then switched to a down-and-distance format with both varsity offenses needing to gain 10 yards for a first down like in a game situation. The down-and-distance portion included two 12-minute quarters.
Van Wert started with the ball from its own 30 and drove down the field, covering 70 yards in 1:33 for a score and a 7-0 lead.
After the teams traded punts, Versailles mounted an 80-yard touchdown drive with Collin Peters capping off the possession with a short touchdown run to tie it up at 7-7 with 4:42 left in the quarter.
“Van Wert was very stout up front so I was glad to see that the kids could adjust to it and be able to execute,” Miller said.
Versailles forced turnovers during Van Wert’s next three possessions with two Tanner Bey interceptions and an Eric Knapke fumble recovery. Versailles’ offense twice got the ball into the red zone after turnovers but couldn’t come up with a score.
After turning the ball over on downs at the Van Wert 1-yard line, Versailles forced a punt and got great field position again. That led to a touchdown pass from Jared Niekamp to Corey Dieringer to put Versailles up 13-7.
Dieringer then intercepted a pass during Van Wert’s next possession, and the Tigers ran out the clock to finish off the varsity portion of the scrimmage with the junior varsity and freshmen squads also getting some reps.
“I thought the defense played well,” Miller said of his team, who forced four turnovers in the varsity portion of the scrimmage. “We gave up a couple big plays, and we’ve got to take that away. We don’t want give away those big ones. We want to make them earn it down the field. I’m sure those are things we can get corrected and move forward.”
Versailles will play in its final scrimmage of the season at 7 p.m. Friday when the Tigers play host to Covington. Then one week later they will begin the regular season against Celina.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.