DELPHOS – The Versailles football team lost another close game Saturday night, ultimately falling in triple overtime at Delphos St. John’s.
The Tigers held a 14-6 lead only to have Delphos St. John’s tie the game with four minutes left. The Blue Jays would finish off the Tigers in three overtimes, 24-21. The Blue Jay kicker hit a game-winning 35-yard field goal in triple overtime after missing his two previous attempts.
The Tigers’ defense played lights out all night but could not hold the Blue Jays in the final minutes. Andrew DeMange intercepted a pass in the first quarter and returned it to the Blue Jay 40.
With good field position, the Tigers could not capitalize as the next play the Blue Jays returned the favor and the ball to the Tiger 23-yard line.
St. John’s was called for holding and started with a first and 20. The Blue Jays faced a third and 15 and completed a pass to the 2-yard line. The next play resulted in a 1-yard loss.
Blue Jay coach Todd Shulte called a timeout to assess the situation. The next play was a quarterback keeper for a touchdown. The Tigers blocked the extra point but were in a 6-0 hole early in the second quarter.
Turnovers, penalties and miscues plagued both teams the rest of the second quarter. The game became a defensive battle with both teams struggling to gain yards.
The Blue Jays forced a punt from the Tigers and had the ball at the Tiger 36. George Grow seemingly stopped the possession with an interception but was called for pass interference. Grow would get an interception three plays later at the 9-yard line.
The ensuing possession ended in a punt. Delphos started at its 35 and moved to the Tiger 24-yard line. The Blue Jays attempted a 41-yard field goal that came up a few yards short. The half came to an end with the Tigers down only 6-0.
St. John’s took the kickoff to open the second half and started at its own 15-yard line. A quarterback keeper was called back on a hold, and the Jays were backed up to their 7-yard line. A 50-yard run put the Jays at the Tiger 43, but the Tiger defense stiffened and the Jays punted.
Versailles had to start on its own 2-yard line. The Tiger offense was able to move the ball with a couple passes mixed in with runs by Grow, Kurtis Rutschilling, Garrett Thompson and Noah Grisez. With a first down at the Delphos 38, Rutschilling took an inside reverse to the end zone. With 5:13 left in the third, the Tigers had the lead as Jeffrey Ware’s extra point was good.
Grisez intercepted a pass on the Jays’ next possession, but the Tigers turned the ball over on downs at the Delphos 21-yard line. The Blue Jays were forced to punt on their possession.
Versailles took a 14-6 lead with 9:20 left in the game. Grow returned the punt to the 46-yard line. The Tigers were faced with a fourth and 5 at the Blue Jays 17 when Noah Waymire hit Grow in the end zone for a touchdown.
Delphos took possession at the 21 and drove down the field, scoring on a 22-yard pass. A pass interference penalty on the play gave the Blue Jays the ball at the one-and-a-half-yard line. The Blue Jays ran the ball in and tied the game.
The Tigers had one last chance to win the game in regulation. They drove to the St. John’s 15-yard line but fumbled the ball. Delphos ran a couple plays and ended regulation.
Versailles had possession first in overtime and fumbled, which Delphos recovered. The Blue Jays started their possession and were forced to attempt a 33-yard field goal. The kick was wide left, forcing a second overtime.
The Blue Jays scored on a fourth-and-2 play, taking a 21-14 lead. The Tigers answered with a 1-yard run by Waymire. The extra point snap was high, but Andrew DeMange was able to get it down, and Ware kicked it through to force a third overtime.
The Tigers fumbled on a fourth down play, giving the Blue Jays the opportunity to win the game with a score in the third overtime. With a fourth down at the 18, the Blue Jay kicker won the game on a 35-yard field goal. The Tigers fought hard but came up short 24-21.