VERSAILLES – The Versailles football team played the No. 1 ranked Marion Local Flyers tough but could not pull out the victory, losing 28-18 Friday night.
“Even though we lost, I feel we got better tonight,” Versailles coach Adam Miller said. “If we can bring this attitude and effort every week we are going to do good things the rest of the year.”
The Tigers fell to 1-4 on the season while the Flyers, who are ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press’ Division VI state rankings, improved to 5-0.
The Tigers stopped the Flyers on their first possession when Andrew DeMange intercepted the Flyers on the Tiger 44. The Tigers moved the ball to the Flyer 42 but went backwards and punted.
The Flyers then hit a long pass for a touchdown with 6:14 left in the first quarter.
The Versailles offense would punt on their next possession. The Tiger defense stepped up again with a sack on third down. Evan Hiestand, AJ Ahrens and Derek Cavin met in the backfield and forced the Flyers to punt.
Lightning struck on the Tigers’ next possession in the form of George Grow. Grow ran for a 55-yard touchdown with 1:55 left in the quarter. The extra point was blocked, leaving the score at 7-6.
The Flyers answered the Tiger score with one of their own. A 2-yard run put the Flyers up 14-6 with 7:46 left in the first half.
The Tigers threw an interception at the Flyer 3-yard line late in the half. The Flyers went to work and drove 97 yards, scoring with 22 seconds left in the half.
The Tigers needed to regroup at halftime.
“At halftime we were like what do we need to do?” Miller said. “Things were working; we just got to put them together.”
The Tiger defense stepped up in the third with a second interception on the night. Noah Grisez took the ball to the Flyer 5-yard line. Garrett Thompson then punched it in to make it 21-12. The Tigers decided to try for two, but the conversion failed.
The Tigers closed to within 3 with 3:48 left in the game when Kurtis Rutshilling ran it in from 31 yards out. The timing on the extra point was off and turned into a 2-point try. Holder Andrew DeMange threw a pass, but it was incomplete.
The Flyers closed out the scoring on the night with a touchdown with 47 seconds left in the game. The Tigers created a fumble at their 25-yard line on the drive but were unable to recover the ball.
There are no moral victories, but the Tigers fought hard and did not quit.