TROTWOOD – Versailles clashed with Preble Shawnee for the OHSAA Region 20 Regional State Football Title. The game was played in the trenches and ultimately the Tigers overwhelmed the Arrows for a 28-0 win sending them to their first State Semifinal appearance since 2004.
The Tigers forced the Arrows into a punt on their first possession and promptly put together a time-consuming drive that eventually reached the endzone at the 5:15 mark on a 12-yard run by senior running back Jack Osborne with the extra point by Chase McEldowney making the score 7-0.
Preble Shawnee won a league title in the newly formed Western Ohio Athletic Conference and reached the regional finals with a 13-0 record including upsetting Cincinnati Roger Bacon the previous week 35-28.
The Arrows rushed for 463 yards in the game with Roger Bacon behind DV Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year senior running back Hunter Crockett. Crockett rushed for 1889 yards on the year along with quarterback Brayden Doran who also rushed and passed for over 1,000 yards each this season.
But the Tigers countered with senior quarterback and outside linebacker Carson Bey. Bey was the Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year.
Preble Shawnee was looking to answer put together a nice drive of their own and moved the ball down to the 19-yard line only to turn the ball over stopping the drive.
The Arrows forced Versailles to punt and got the ball back with another chance to tie the game.
Senior Landon Henry put a stop to the drive intercepting Brayden Doran’s pass and the Tigers went back their ground game.
It was another time-consuming drive one where they would score just before the end of the first half this time on a 15-yard run by Carson Bey. McEldowney’s kick put the Tigers up 14-0 heading into the break.
Preble Shawnee would have to kick to start the 2nd half and tried to pull off an element of surprise with an onside kick that they recovered only to be whistled for an illegal touch before the ball traveled the full 10-yards to set-up Versailles at midfield.
The Tigers took advantage and after running the football down to the 16-yard line they surprised the Arrows on a Bey pass to tight end Trey Mills on a post pattern who hauled it in at the 1-yard line and walked into the endzone putting Versailles in complete control 21-0 just minutes into the 3rd quarter.
Preble Shawnee was never able to put together an effective drive in the 2nd half while the Tigers would add one more score in the 4th quarter this time a 7-yard run from Landon Henry for a final score of 28-0.
The Tigers rushed for 297 total yards in the game with 281 coming on the ground and 16 first downs in the game.
Preble Shawnee had a 145 total yards with 116 on the ground and 11 first downs in the game.
On this night it was the play in the trenches making the difference led by 1st team All-Southwest District linemen Taran Tyo a 6’2’ 305 Ball state commit. Tyo had a lot of help from senior Ryan Knapke and Brayden Keihl to shut off the interior running of Hunter Crockett.
The Tigers also were very good in pursuit and limited the big plays from quarterback Brayden Doran from getting outside with Carson Bey and Landon Henry making big stops.
The Tigers now 13-1 move on to play in the DV State Semifinal game next Saturday 7pm against 10-2 Canal Winchester Harvest Prep at London Bowlus Field in London, Ohio.