The Versailles Tigers haven’t won a game since 2012, but that streak ended Friday night with a dominating 26-0 win at Knob Noster.
“We haven’t had that taste for a really long time, so it’s really special,” said Versailles senior quarterback Michael Allen.
Last season’s Versailles-Knob Knoster game saw a combined 67 points with Knob Noster winning 35-32, but it was one-sided Friday.
Both teams had some success on defense, but the Tigers were able to put enough drives together to pull out the victory.
But it was the Tigers defense that showed up on the road and limited the Panthers to nine total yards in the first half.
The Panthers turned it over on downs twice, punted twice and fumbled once in the first half. The half ended on the Panthers’ sixth drive.
The Panthers started their first two drives deep in Tiger territory, but turned the ball over on downs both times.
Freshman Casey Marc returned the opening kickoff to the Tigers’ seven-yard line and junior Darryl Davis recovered a fumble at the Versailles 26-yard line to give the Panthers good field position on the second drive.
Knob Noster’s defense was shutting down the Tigers at first, but freshman Kooper Wilson scored from 21 yards out to put Versailles up 7-0 early in the second quarter.
“I was a little bit surprised I came in this early,” Wilson said. “I was expecting to play, just not this much.”
On the Tigers’ next drive, Allen escaped a sack and connected with sophomore Drake Lewis for 57 yards.
“I was going to roll left and then I had my shoulder grabbed,” Allen said. “I just tried to run away from it and find something. I just threw it to Drake and he tried to trek down that field.”
It gave them a first and goal at the nine-yard line and Allen kept the ball on an option to the left on third down and scored from four yards out with 1:41 left in the first half.
Versailles wasted no time in the second half. Freshman Taylor Dobbins found room on the left side and ran down the sideline for a 67-yard score on the first play of the third quarter. The extra point was missed, but the Tigers still had a 20-0 lead.
Late in the third quarter, a mishandled snap allowed junior Dalton Schmidt to recover the ball for Versailles at the Knob Noster 29.
The ensuing drive resulted in a 19-yard touchdown throw from Allen to senior Kaden Wilson on a slant. The PAT was blocked, but the Tigers led 26-0 and never looked back.
“It shows the growth and all the hard work that we’ve done,” Allen said.