CINCINNATI – The Versailles football team’s playoff run came to an end with a 31-28 loss to the Roger Bacon Spartans Saturday night. The Tigers fought back from a 28-14 halftime deficit, but a late field goal by the Spartans would seal the game.
Roger Bacon entered the game undefeated and led by LSU commit Corey Kiner. Kiner proved early why he was heavily recruited scoring on a 27 yard run putting the Spartans up 7-0 on their first possession.
The Tigers were faced with a third and three at their 39 yard line, but a false start pushed them back to third and eight. The Tigers could not convert and were forced to punt. A 51 yard punt backed the Spartans up inside their own 20 at the 18 yard line. Kiner again showed his ability to make tacklers miss and raced 82 yards for a touchdown giving the Spartans a quick 14-0 lead.
The Tigers running game was struggling so they took to the air. Starting from their own 17, the Tigers used the pass to quickly move down the field. A 40 yard pass to jack Osborne set the Tigers up at the three yard line. “We had to open it up.” Coach Jones said “We were able to hit that long pass to Jack Osborne that helped a little bit.” Titus Gehret would bull his way in on a one yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 14-7.
The Tiger defense tightened up on the run, but was hurt on two big pass plays. A 52 yard pass put the Spartans at the Tiger 21 yard line. The Tigers forced a fourth down at their 25 yard line, but could not stop them on fourth down. A pass that was perfectly placed to the receiver resulted in a 25 yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
The Tigers were playing catch up the first half, but continued to battle. The Tigers again cut the lead to 21-14 on a three yard Osborne run with 3:45 left in the first half. The Spartans took a 28-14 lead with 59 seconds left in the first half going 68 yards in one minute and 47 seconds. Versailles took the ball at their 20, and moved to the 48 before running out of time in the half.
Versailles made half time adjustments only allowing the Spartans a field goal, while the Tigers passing game scored twice. Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter. The Tigers opened the fourth with a halfback pass Landon Henry to Alex Kaiser for a 48 yard touchdown. “It was great execution; Landon made a heck of a pass.” Jones said “Our guys blocked well gave him time and Alex made the play.” The Tigers were within striking distance 28-21 with 11:32 left to play.
The Tigers forced a punt. The punt was partially blocked and the Tigers were 59 yards from tying the game. The Tigers moved to the Spartan 28 yard line, but Alex Wolf intercepted a pass and the Spartans took over at their 22 yard line.
The Spartans drove to the Tiger 20 yard line before facing a fourth and three situation. They elected to kick a 37 yard field goal that put them up by ten with 2:36 left in the game. The Tigers never gave up, driving 75 yards in a minute and twenty five seconds to close within three points.
The Tigers lined up for an onside kick. The kick bounced off a Spartan player but landed in front of him and he was able to recover it. “I just got to thank all of our players and our coaches for a tremendous effort this week.” Coach Jones said “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. They battled to the bitter end, and we came up short tonight. The Spartans lined up in the victory formation and ran out the clock.