There may have been better games played Friday night, but none were more bizarre then Versailles 26-20 win over Minster. For the first 27 minutes of the game it was all Wildcats. Minster built a 20-6 advantage with just over seven minutes to play in the third quarter. But, then like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, the game was turned upside down and Versailles transformed into an unstoppable machine.
MINSTER – There may have been better games played Friday night, but none were more bizarre then Versailles 26-20 win over Minster.
For the first 27 minutes of the game it was all Wildcats. Minster behind the legs of new quarterback Brian Mueller did almost whatever it wanted for two quarters and built a 20-6 advantage with just over seven minutes to play in the third quarter. But, then like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, the game was turned upside down and Versailles transformed into an unstoppable machine.
In desperate need of something, Versailles got it from junior quarterback John Richard, who darted off on a 62-yard touchdown and the comeback was on. Richard, who had two touchdown runs on the night, ignited something in his teammates and an unlikely comeback.
The other key component in the comeback was the punishing Tiger running attack. Six different players carried the ball for Versailles coach Jason Schondelmyer, tallying unofficially 322 yards on the ground on 46 carriers. It was everything Schondelymyer wants from the option offense, with the exception of being down 20-6.
“For whatever the reason we are practicing better then we are playing,” Schondelymyer said. “But, the good thing was we fought back in that second half. I told them at the half we needed to play as a team.”
In the early going the problem for Versailles was special teams and unnecessary penalties. After being forced to punt on their first possession, the Tigers watched Minster drive down the field. However, a defense led by Ethan Oliver who tallied 12 tackles, forced the ball over on downs.
The problem for Versailles was they did little on offense and had to punt deep from their own territory. A short punt and 15-yards tacked on for unsportsmanlike conduct put Minster on the Versailles 15-yard line. A couple of plays later, Mueller darted over from 3-yards for his first of three scores, making 6-0 Minster.
Versailles answered the challenge on their next possession when Richard darted in from 31-yards. The kick failed and the game was tied at 6-6.
The second quarter was all Minster, specifically Mueller. The converted fullback willed his team to another score before half. This time the kick was good and Minster took a 13-6 advantage into the half.
When the two teams re-emerged the Wildcats were sensing an opportunity. Staring their opening drive from the Versailles 48-yard Mueller sliced through the Tigers defense and eventually scored from 7-yards out. The extra point made it 20-6 ‘Cats and everything was going there way.
That all changed in a blink with 9:24 left in the third period. Richard kept the ball, sprinted up the middle and was gone 62-yards. The two point conversion failed, but things were starting to shift.
The real game changer came when Versailles recovered a fumble on Minster’s 45-yard and now it was the Tigers’ turn to play on a short field; play they did.
The Tigers bolted down the field and senior fullback Ethan Oliver bulldozed in from 5-yards out and just like that the game was now 20-18 Minster.
“We finished drives better this week than we did last week. It is great to have a group of kids like this that never give up,” commented Schondelymyer.
Desperate for something the Minster offense managed very little and was forced to punt for the first and only time in the game. Versailles took over on their own 33-yard line and began the game winning march.
Running behind the lead blocking of Oliver and 275 lb guard Mike Treon, the Tigers were machine like. After converting a fourth and long, Minster seemed helpless to stop Versailles .
The drive was capped by Shawn Winner’s 3-yard run and for the first time all game, Versailles was on top 26-20 after the successful two point conversion.
Minster was able to mount a minor threat, but as the clock ticked away they were forced to the pass. After getting just inside Versailles territory Winner intercepted a would be Minster pass and the game was over.
“Hopefully this will help out with some confidence, because we have a nice football team,” noted Schodelymyer.