ROCKFORD – The Versailles Tigers went back above .500 on the season with a 29-18 victory over Parkway in a Midwest Athletic Conference game on Friday.
The Tigers used the legs of Collin Peters to grind out 200 rushing yards while Jared Niekamp rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another.
The night did not start out well for the Tigers as Parkway quarterback Justin Barna scored on a 54-yard run to put the Panthers up 6-0 early.
The Tigers cut into the lead when the defense came up with a safety to close within four at 6-2.
The Tiger offense would score as Niekamp gave the Tigers a 9-6 on a sneak from 1 yard out with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
The Panthers would retake the lead 12-9 with 1:59 left in the second quarter. Barna hit Logan Huff on a 41-yard touchdown pass.
“The kids are playing hard,” Versailles football coach Adam Miller said. “We put ourselves in holes; we got to dig ourselves out of it.”
The Tigers did just that, scoring in just 1:09 to retake the lead before the half 16-12. Niekamp flipped the ball to Alex Wendel, who went 14 yards to the end zone.
The Tigers used field position to score in the third quarter. A bad punt set the Tigers up at the Parkway 30. Peters ran in for a 7-yard touchdown, but a holding call kept the Tigers out of the end zone. The Tigers gave the ball up on the 3-yard line.
The Tigers defense rose to the occasion, holding the Panthers to -1 yard before another bad punt gave the Tigers the ball at the Panther 17.
Several runs by Peters set the Tigers up inches from the goal line. Niekamp scored on a keeper to give the Tigers a 23-12 lead late in the third.
A Panther fumble set up the Tigers’ final score of the night. The Tigers took over at the Panther 30, and Peters capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. With under four minutes left in the game, the Tigers had a 29-12 lead.
Parkway scored with 1:13 left in the game to close out the scoring. A 2-point conversion failed, making it 29-18. The Panthers attempted an onside kick, but the Tigers covered it and ran out the clock.
The Tigers, who improved to 4-3 with the win against Parkway, host Coldwater Friday night. The undefeated Cavaliers won against four-time defending state champions Marion Local on a last second field goal on Friday.