VERSAILLES – Last week the word was inconsistent, week four’s word is resilient. The Versailles Tigers never quit attitude proved a winner as the Tigers hit a last second field goal to take down Parkway 30-27.
“That was a great battle, great high school football game.” Coach Jones said “We let some plays go, some opportunities, we’ve done that a couple times but we’re getting better, in crunch time we were able to make them.”
The Tigers came back from being down 27-14 early in the third quarter.
The first half saw the two teams playing even going into the half tied 14 apiece. The Tigers scored on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. The Panthers were selling out against the run allowing the Tigers to throw the ball and loosen up the defense.
Parkway answered right back moving down the field with big plays. A 27-yard pass put them at the Tiger 27, a 27-yard quarterback run and extra point tied the game.
The Panthers would take a 14-7 lead on a 37 yard pass with 2:31 left in the first half. The Tigers answered with an Eli McEldowney run with 26 seconds left in the half.
The start of the second half saw mistakes by the Tigers special teams lead to 13 Panther points. The Panthers took the kickoff 81-yards to pay dirt taking a 21-14 lead.
The Panthers recovered a mishandled punt in the end zone for a 27-14 lead. The extra point was missed but just three minutes into the second half the Tigers were facing an uphill battle down 27-14.
Many would count the Tigers out, but these Tigers never quit.
“They’ve shown all year they never quit.” Jones said “You talk about a punch in the gut, to give up two special teams’ touchdowns at the beginning of the second half but they didn’t quit.”
The Tiger comeback started with a 41-yard touchdown catch by McEldowney to cut the lead to 27-21.
The Tiger defense forced a punt. The Tigers started at their own 48 and quickly moved to the Panther two yard line where McEldowney tied the game on a run with 3:08 left. The extra point was missed setting up the exciting finish.
The Panthers looked like they slammed the door shut on a hook-n-lateral with 1:53 to go. The play worked to perfection for a touchdown except the lateral was ruled a forward pass. The play was called a first down on the field and a five yard penalty was marked off.
The Versailles coaches challenged that the penalty should result in a fourth and one and not a first and ten. The referee went in the field house to check the rule book. The result was a fourth and one for Parkway.
The Panthers would get the first down on the next play. The Panthers were not able to do anything from there and were faced with a fourth and ten. Brayden Keihl picked off a screen pass and returned it to the Panther 44-yard line.
The Tigers were able to move the ball quickly to the three yard line setting up the field goal attempt with 3.8 seconds left in the game. Wes Bruns hit the game winner as time expired.
“Wes Bruns did a fantastic job.” Jones said “He missed one earlier. He bounced back and got it when it counted.”
The Tigers travel back to Delphos next Saturday afternoon to take on the St. Johns Bluejays. The Blue Jays have dropped three straight after winning the opening weekend.