Versailles topples state-ranked Southern Boone

A drought has come to an end.

Playing its home and conference opener on a Thursday night to avoid even more inclement weather on a Friday, Versailles was ready to go against Southern Boone and it showed as the Class 2 Tigers outlasted the Class 3 state-ranked No. 9 Eagles 30-22 for the program’s first win over the Tri-County Conference foe since 2012.

“Our guys played a great game. It was not entirely flawless, but it is safe to say that this is the biggest upset for us in the past six years,” Versailles coach Broc Silvers said. “No win is bigger than a playoff victory, but beating a state-ranked team a class above ours is huge for our team.”

Versailles struck first to gain the early lead and the Tigers never let it go, despite Southern Boone repeatedly knocking on the door. Versailles held a slim 15-13 advantage at halftime and continued to outpace the visitors over the final 24 minutes, outgaining Southern Boone with 350 yards of total offense to 229.

Versailles junior quarterback Coby Williams led a balanced attack offensively, putting up 159 of the team’s 202 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground while completing 13 of his 21 passes for another 148 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.

Senior wideout Wyatt Espinosa led the receiving corps with seven receptions for 86 yards and a score while senior receiver Colbey Boicourt hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass for his only catch of the night. However, Williams was able to find six different receivers for at least one catch to keep the Eagle defense on its toes.

“Coby had a another huge game for us and our wide receivers had big games as well, but our offensive line was key to us winning this game. We had the best pass protection we have had this year,” Silvers noted. “We played in wet conditions and were still able to throw the ball when we needed to. We had a huge time of possession difference because we were able to sustain drives and convert six fourth downs including four on our last touchdown drive.”

On the defensive end, junior defensive back Brayden Morrision led Versailles with five tackles while Trotter turned in four from his position at linebacker. The Tigers managed to give Southern Boone some fits in the backfield with seven tackles for a loss, including a sack, and junior defensive lineman led the way with 2.5 of them.

“Other than a few deep touchdown passes, our defense played as well as we could have expected against an offense that has not really been challenged this year,” Silvers pointed out. “Waller had his best game as a defensive end and was a big reason we played so well on defense.”

Now, with two straight wins in its pocket against larger Class 3 opponents after last week’s win at Buffalo, Versailles (2-1, 1-0 Tri-County Conference) sits second in the district standings trailing only undefeated Lamar who is currently the top-ranked team in the state.

“I could not be more proud of our guys to get this win and hopefully that will give us more confidence going against the rest of our conference schedule,” Silvers said. “This win will also be big for us in terms of district standings and our goal of hosting a playoff game week 10.”

The Tigers will seek to keep the momentum going and knock off another state-ranked opponent when they visit the Class 2 No. 2 Blair Oaks on Friday at 7 p.m.

Osage secures road win on rainy night in California

For the second straight week, Osage set out for a gridiron battle under less than ideal conditions.

This time, the Indians were prepared as they took down host California 13-7 to bring home a win in the Tri-County Conference opener.

Special teams led to an early break for Osage as a blocked punt from Osage junior Drew Edwards early in the first quarter was recovered at the 1-yard line and Edwards proceeded to run in a short 1-yard touchdown to make it 7-0. Later near the end of the first quarter, Osage extended its lead to 13-0 on a 3-yard run from senior quarterback Dalton Depeé.

That proved to be all Osage needed as the Pintos’ only score of the night came on a 67-yard touchdown pass near the end of the third quarter. The Indian defense stood its ground the rest of the way and once again, it was Edwards who showed up big for Osage as the linebacker ended any threat from California with a big sack on 4th-and-14 at the California 41-yard line with under a minute left in the contest.

It was not a clean game in the messy conditions as Depeé completed just one of his eight passes for a negative yard and lost two fumbles, but the running game was solid as the team totaled 177 yards on the ground. Senior running back Hunter Neiman paced Osage with 95 rushing yards while Depeé finished with 37 to go with his score and junior tailback Jack Dulle put up 26 respectively.

Depeé also helped his own cause defensively at defensive back as he led the team with 15 total tackles while forcing a fumble. Meanwhile, senior defensive lineman Mason Etter had a big game on the defensive end as he recorded 12 tackles, a sack, forced two fumbles and had an interception. Both Edwards and junior linebacker James Hutchcraft added 11 tackles each to help keep the Pintos quiet as well.

It was a solid rebound for Osage after last week’s disappointing 34-0 shutout on a rainy night in Moberly. The Indians (2-1, 1-0 Tri-County Conference) currently sit fourth in the Class 3 District 5 standings behind Eldon, Springfield Catholic and Salem and will return to action with a visit to Hallsville on Friday at 7 p.m, to complete its three-game road trip before returning home for a showdown with Southern Boone the following week.

Miscues lead Camdenton to tough defeat at West Plains

The rain in West Plains Friday night also rained on Camdenton’s parade as the Zizzers took advantage of five Laker turnovers on their way to a 41-7 win in a battle of state-ranked Class 4 teams.

The night started off well for the Class 4 No. 5 Lakers, who came into Friday night’s matchup unbeaten after cruising to wins over Waynesville and Parkview, as an 83-yard strike from junior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent to senior wideout Jaben Shockley had the Lakers knocking on the door. A few moments later, DeLaurent found junior running back Jase Nicklas on a 2-yard touchdown toss on 4th-and-goal to make it 7-0 early in the first quarter.

Then, West Plains responded with 41 unanswered points as the Class 4 No. 6 Zizzers marched past Camdenton with 384 rushing yards and 71 yards through the air while the Laker offense struggled to find its footing with three fumbles and a pair of interceptions. It was just a 21-7 game at halftime, but the advantage was more than enough as West Plains did not skip a beat after an hour-long rain delay before the fourth quarter.

DeLaurent finished his night completing 18 of his 38 pass attempts for 187 yards in the Lakers’ pass-heavy offense. Shockley led the receiving corps with five receptions for 91 yards while Nicklas also hauled in five passes for 33 yards and a score and senior wideout Gabe Kurtz added two catches for 37 yards respectively.

Camdenton (2-1, 2-1 Ozark Conference) is currently second in the Class 4 District 5 standings behind undefeated St. Francis Borgia and the Lakers will look to get back on track when they host Ozark Conference newcomer Springfield Central on Friday at 7 p.m.