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Kirtland Stings Versailles 32-15, Win OHSAA Division VI State Title

Canton, OH - How about a little pigskin with your pancakes? In Canton this Friday (and Saturday) morning, you get just that. With the game kicking off just past 10:30 am, the Kirtland Hornets (15-1) faced familiar foe Versailles Tigers (13-3) in the Division VI State Championship game. Two storied programs who are no strangers to this stage or legendary winning streaks put it all on the line on the field at Tom Benson Stadium.

The scoring got underway in the opening frame when Sophomore QB Jake Laverde took a QB keeper towards the end zone. Prior to crossing the goal line the ball was punched loose but was recovered by Hornet receiver Gino Blasini in the end zone for the games opening score. A Tigers 3 and out followed and the Hornets would again march down the field and reach pay dirt. This time it was RB Will Beers rumbling in from 6 yards out to extend the Hornet advantage. The Tigers were able to disrupt the extra point attempt and block it, keeping the score 13-0. The Hornets amassed 109 yards on the ground in the opening quarter, while holding the Tigers to only 47.

Versailles got on the board in the early moments of the 2nd quarter when Michael Osborne found AJ Griesdorn behind the coverage for the 31 yard touchdown. The PAT cut the Hornet lead to 6 at 13-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, it was Will Beers again leaving a stamp on this game, taking the kickoff 90 yards to the house for the quick answer. Kirtland tried a two point conversion that was stopped short to make it 19-7, which is what it would remain through the rest of the first half.

The 2nd half scoring got started on Kirtland's second drive of the 3rd quarter, when Rocco Alfieri took a run into the end zone from 2 yards out. Kirtland again was unsuccessful on their 2 point try, leaving the score 25-7. Kirtland took over possession in the waning moments of the 3rd quarter and meticulously marched down the field to start the 4th, ending the drive with another Will Beers run, this time from 15 yards out, leaving only 3:07 on the game clock. Nick Barisic was successful on his extra point, extending the lead to 32-7.

Taking over possession with only 3:00 on the clock, the Tigers were able to march down the field and score one last time, with QB Michael Osborne running it in from 5 yards out to cut the deficit to 32-15 following a successful 2 point conversion on Osbornes pass to Jace Watren.

The title is the 7th in Kirtland's rich history, as the Tiger Laverde led program continues to leave it's mark on the OHSAA record books.


Versailles Tigers (13-3)

Passing: Michael Osborne 10/23 124 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: Michael Osborne: 25 rushes, 144 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Lane Bergman 4 rec. 70 yards
AJ Griesdorn 4 rec. 42 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Michael Osborne 15 tackles, 1 FF

Kirtland Hornets (15-1)

Passing: Jake Laverde 2/5, 28 yards
Rushing: Jake Laverde 8 rushes, 124 yards
Rocco Alfieri 23 rushes, 94 yards, 1 TD
Will Beers 15 rushes, 85 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Gino Blasini 1 rec. 15 yards
Defense: Will Sayle 7 tackles, 1 FF


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