Versailles outlasts El Dorado Springs in district semifinals and Eldon's season ends at Springfield Catholic

Versailles outlasts El Dorado Springs in district semifinals

Versailles showed some determination Friday night.

The third-seeded Tigers were on the road at No. 2 El Dorado Springs for the semifinals of the Class 2 District 4 playoffs and no matter how many times the Bulldogs found the end zone, the Tigers usually had an answer. Holding on to a slim 27-22 halftime lead, Versailles countered every punch and the result was a 48-36 win that sent the Tigers to a district championship for the first time since 2009.

When Versailles coach Broc Silvers took the reigns of the program back in 2013, the Tigers did not win a single game. Now, the team finds itself just 48 minutes away from the state playoffs.

“It’s been a great ride this year, but the work began six years ago. A lot of these players were participants in our first football camp we held that first year and have been in the weight room for all six of those years,” the coach said of the journey. “We cannot forget the previous players that helped build this foundation to where this program is today. This success did not happen overnight and I’ve got to thank our school board and administrators for continuing to have faith that we could get the job done.”

The Tiger offense compiled 475 yards of offense on a night where the team only punted twice and never trailed after the first quarter. A big reason for that was the play of junior quarterback Coby Williams who proved to be a thorn in the Bulldog defense with a team-leading 114 rushing yards and two touchdowns while completing 22 of his 35 passes for another 281 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception.

The Versailles offensive line also paved the way for junior rusher Dallas Waller to add 77 rushing yards and a touchdown on just five carries and Williams had no trouble spreading the pigskin around to a quartet of receivers. Freshman wideout Kannen Wilson led the way with four receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown while senior Wyatt Espinosa added three catches for 31 yards and a score, junior Brycen Reynolds recorded two receptions for 40 yards and junior Brayden Morrison finished with two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown.

El Dorado Springs did not make things easy, bulldozing for 367 rushing yards and 146 passing yards for a total of 513 on the night, but the Tigers made just enough stops to keep the Bulldogs down. Espinosa recorded two interceptions for the Tigers and Williams had one to frustrated El Dorado Springs and senior linebacker Michael Trotter led the tackling department with 17 on the evening while junior linebacker Gage Tessier finished with 11 and both Williams and Reynolds totaled nine.

Standing in the way of a district championship is Lamar (10-1) and Versailles (7-4) will visit the top-seeded fellow Tigers on Friday night at 7 p.m. 

“Each week we talk about surviving and advancing in the playoffs. We don’t want this season to end,” Silvers said. “It’s been a great run and our coaches are grateful we get to coach this group of kids for at least one more week.”

The next opponent may be the best in the state. The success of Lamar has been no secret in the state of Missouri as the program has won seven straight state championships with a combined record of 98-5 since 2011 including three straight undefeated seasons before this year. However, that is no reason for Versailles to be intimidated.

“We know what we are up against and Lamar is the king of Class 2, but we have played teams in our conference that we hope gets us prepared for games like this against teams like Lamar,” Silvers noted. “We beat a great Class 3 state-ranked team in Southern Boone and have played a great Blair Oaks team this year. The last two years we have taken another step in building this program at Versailles.”

Time will soon tell who holds up the hardware in this round.

“We have always played our best games in the playoffs and I look forward to the challenge of playing Lamar this week. Our players earned the right to be in this game and we will give everything we have to try to knock off Lamar,” the coach added.

Eldon falls in district semifinal bout at Springfield Catholic

The third time was not the charm for Eldon on Friday night.

For the third straight season the Mustangs were paired up with Springfield Catholic in Class 3 district playoff action and this time, the Fightin’ Irish would not be denied as they avenged their prior playoff woes with a 40-14 win over the defending district champions. Springfield Catholic jumped out to an early 20-0 lead before Eldon could respond and it proved to be too steep a hill for the Mustangs to climb.

Eldon had a tough time slowing down senior quarterback Tyson Riley who rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for another 98 yards and another touchdown. The Mustangs managed to take advantage of a botched snap on a punt late in the first half to set up a three-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Isaiah Parsons, but the Fightin’ Irish defense was resilient for most of the evening. Eldon’s only other score came on another Parsons run in the third quarter.

Eldon ends its season at 6-5.

This story will be updated with stats as soon as they become available