Division V State Championship: AP #1 Kirtland (14-0) vs. AP #8 Versailles (14-1)

Kirtland or Versailles?

  • Kirtland by 17+

    Votes: 20 13.8%
  • Kirtland by 10-16

    Votes: 49 33.8%
  • Kirtland by 0-9

    Votes: 32 22.1%
  • Versailles by 0-9

    Votes: 39 26.9%
  • Versailles by 10-16

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • Versailles by 17+

    Votes: 4 2.8%

  • Total voters
    145
  • Poll closed .
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GoTitans

Member
Versailles has 18 seniors on football team, 16 of them play.
10 seniors, 1 junior starts on Offense. 10 returning starters from last year.
9 seniors, 1 junior, 1 sophomore starts on defense. 8 returning starters.
Every boy on the team has went to 1st grade at Versailles.
The JV team,scout team, won all its game this year. Toughest jv game was against St. Henry.

Kirtland's oline is very well-coached, and good technicians. Their best blocker was their TE, dude was strong as hell.

Their skill kids are really what's impressive. Apparently their WR/TE/RB #20 is a D1 commit to Pitt from what I hear? IMO he was the best player on the field against OG. Very athletic AND deceptively strong and physical. Assume he's a TE at the next level?

Wondering how many kids transfer to Kirtland to play football from schools in the area? How many of them went to Kirtland in the 1st grade up? Just curious.

Certainly not blaming kids wanting to go there to play football. We used to have a similar situation in the WBL with Kenton when they were at their peak.
 

fini316

Active member
Kirtland's oline is very well-coached, and good technicians. Their best blocker was their TE, dude was strong as hell.

Their skill kids are really what's impressive. Apparently their WR/TE/RB #20 is a D1 commit to Pitt from what I hear? IMO he was the best player on the field against OG. Very athletic AND deceptively strong and physical. Assume he's a TE at the next level?

Wondering how many kids transfer to Kirtland to play football from schools in the area? How many of them went to Kirtland in the 1st grade up? Just curious.

Certainly not blaming kids wanting to go there to play football. We used to have a similar situation in the WBL with Kenton when they were at their peak.
I would think their best blocker is #73 (Prusoch, Jr). Was all Ohio last year and should be this year as well. #20 (Gage Sullivan, Sr) is the teams top WR. I could be wrong but I don’t believe he has an offer from Pitt but wants to go there. Doubt he would be a TE in college unless he puts on a lot of weight (he is 6’4”, 200lbs).

I believe all the kids on the team have played together since 1st grade. There may be kids from the area that want to play for Kirtland, but it is closed enrollment and a fairly expensive city to move to.
 

mono79

Active member
Kirtland's oline is very well-coached, and good technicians. Their best blocker was their TE, dude was strong as hell.

Their skill kids are really what's impressive. Apparently their WR/TE/RB #20 is a D1 commit to Pitt from what I hear? IMO he was the best player on the field against OG. Very athletic AND deceptively strong and physical. Assume he's a TE at the next level?

Wondering how many kids transfer to Kirtland to play football from schools in the area? How many of them went to Kirtland in the 1st grade up? Just curious.

Certainly not blaming kids wanting to go there to play football. We used to have a similar situation in the WBL with Kenton when they were at their peak.
Kirtland has closed enrollment. You have to live there in order to go to school there.
 

bigkat

Well-known member
I would think their best blocker is #73 (Prusoch, Jr). Was all Ohio last year and should be this year as well. #20 (Gage Sullivan, Sr) is the teams top WR. I could be wrong but I don’t believe he has an offer from Pitt but wants to go there. Doubt he would be a TE in college unless he puts on a lot of weight (he is 6’4”, 200lbs).

I believe all the kids on the team have played together since 1st grade. There may be kids from the area that want to play for Kirtland, but it is closed enrollment and a fairly expensive city to move to.
All State teams should be coming out today or tomorrow....
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
Kirtland's oline is very well-coached, and good technicians. Their best blocker was their TE, dude was strong as hell.

Their skill kids are really what's impressive. Apparently their WR/TE/RB #20 is a D1 commit to Pitt from what I hear? IMO he was the best player on the field against OG. Very athletic AND deceptively strong and physical. Assume he's a TE at the next level?

Wondering how many kids transfer to Kirtland to play football from schools in the area? How many of them went to Kirtland in the 1st grade up? Just curious.

Certainly not blaming kids wanting to go there to play football. We used to have a similar situation in the WBL with Kenton when they were at their peak.
Thanks for the comments @GoTitans. You guys had a very fine team & I actually thought your offensive line performed rather well in the snowy conditions. Once the plays became broken was when Kirtland took advantage with tackles for loss and sacks in my eyes.

#20 appears to have a walk-on offer from Pitt, but no official scholarship offers from what I have heard. He may need to put on some more weight to be a tight end, unless he plays D3 college ball.

In terms of transfers, we have had this debate for a number of years on this forum & it never seems to go away. Kirtland is a closed enrollment school, meaning they don’t pull from outside their community zone & like @fini316 said, you must live in the town to play there. That being said, I recall only two players to ever transfer into Kirtland under Tiger; & that was about five years ago when two backups from Mentor came over & couldn’t even win a state title.

Surprisingly, we have had all of our success without transfers or open enrollment, something the Kirtland faithful like to hang their hat on.

It is not like transfers or open enrollment are bad things either; I don’t blame families one bit for trying to put their kid(s) and themselves into a better situation. It’s just that Kirtland has never had to deal with that very much before, if at all.
 

kirt88

Member
I would think their best blocker is #73 (Prusoch, Jr). Was all Ohio last year and should be this year as well. #20 (Gage Sullivan, Sr) is the teams top WR. I could be wrong but I don’t believe he has an offer from Pitt but wants to go there. Doubt he would be a TE in college unless he puts on a lot of weight (he is 6’4”, 200lbs).

I believe all the kids on the team have played together since 1st grade. There may be kids from the area that want to play for Kirtland, but it is closed enrollment and a fairly expensive city to move to.b
Being a Kirtland Alumni, living in Kirtland and having my kids go to Kirtland, I am so tired of hearing people talk about Kirtland recruiting. Even the announcer last week at Clyde said, "there's way around that!" So my daughter is currently a junior so I went back to her 4th grade year book. So that would include this year's senior on down. 89% OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM WENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. THAT LEFT ROUGHLY 6 KIDS WHO DID NOT. OF THE 6, ONLY TWO ARE STARTERS ON THE TEAM. QB AND CORNER BACK. THE QB MOVED IN 6TH GRADE AND THE CB MOVED IN FIFTH GRADE.

PEOPLE, GET OVER IT!!!
 

Move The Chains

Active member
Being a Kirtland Alumni, living in Kirtland and having my kids go to Kirtland, I am so tired of hearing people talk about Kirtland recruiting. Even the announcer last week at Clyde said, "there's way around that!" So my daughter is currently a junior so I went back to her 4th grade year book. So that would include this year's senior on down. 89% OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM WENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. THAT LEFT ROUGHLY 6 KIDS WHO DID NOT. OF THE 6, ONLY TWO ARE STARTERS ON THE TEAM. QB AND CORNER BACK. THE QB MOVED IN 6TH GRADE AND THE CB MOVED IN FIFTH GRADE.

PEOPLE, GET OVER IT!!!
Maybe they are just THAT good at recruiting.... back in 2014 they knew they would need a QB and CB for the 2021 season.
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member

Ultimate Guide to the OHSAA football state finals: A look at the teams coming to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

Division V, 7:30 p.m.​

A look at the Versailles Tigers​

Head coach: Ryan Jones (22-11 in his third season)

Record: 14-1

How they got here: Defeated Summit Country Day 49-14, Carlisle 34-8, Taft 14-0, Preble Shawnee 28-0 and Harvest Prep 28-22

Offensive player to watch: Senior Carsen Bey is the definition of dual-threat quarterback. Bey doesn’t necessarily throw it a lot per game, averaging around 13 pass attempts per game, but is very effective when he does pass. However, it’s his ability to take off and run that makes him truly dangerous.

Defensive player to watch: Senior linebacker Landon Henry is just one cog in what has been an all-for-one defensive effort from the Tigers this season. That said, Henry has stood out with his ability to get his hands on the football. The last two weeks, in both the regional final and state semifinals, Henry came up with key interceptions to either preserve a shutout or flip momentum.

Specialist to watch: Senior Chase McEldowney has been steady with his leg this season, going 55-of-59 on PATs.

Keep an eye out for ... the different backs who will have to make plays to help out Bey. Henry, Jack Osborne and Gabe Thompson have all carried the ball quite a bit for Versailles. They’ve been the ones who have complimented their talented quarterback, preventing opposing defenses from just keying on him. Against a defense such as Kirtland’s, that’s going to be extra important.

Quick hits: Versailles is in its first state championship game since losing to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the 2004 Division IV title game. The Tigers are in their 10th state championship game all-time. … Versailles is looking for its seventh state championship, and first since 2003. The Tigers won five in the 1990s — 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. That’s the second-most state titles for a school in that decade, behind the sixth titles St. Ignatius won. … Versailles is in its 20th playoff appearance. The Tigers are 52-13 all-time in the postseason. … The lone blemish on Versailles’ record is a Week 3 loss to fellow state finalist Marion Local. … Versailles had a 54-game win streak from 1993-1996, one which was ended by Marion Pleasant in the state championship game in 1996. The Tigers are trying to end Kirtland’s 55-game win streak. … The 22 points Versailles gave up in the state semifinal against Harvest Prep are a season high. The previous high was the 19 allowed in the loss to Marion Local, as well as a 24-19 win over New Bremen.

A look at the Kirtland Hornets​

Head coach: Tiger Laverde (199-17 in his 16th season)

Record: 14-0

How they got here: Defeated Harrison Central 56-0, Manchester 37-0, Garrettsville Garfield 25-7, South Range 38-15 and Ottawa-Glandorf 28-6

Offensive player to watch: Senior running back Mason Rus is the man to watch when the Hornets have the football. Rus has rushed for a school-record 1,959 yards, rushing for more than 100 yards in all but one game this season. Rus has scored 25 TDs.

Defensive player to watch: Kirtland’s defense has been nasty all season, with a lot of quality players. Rus, though, is also the standout on that side of the ball. The Northeast Lakes District Division V Defensive Player of the Year made 18 tackles for loss and 78 total tackles in nine regular-season games.

Specialist to watch: When you score as many touchdowns as Kirtland does, it’s good to have someone who can make sure you can get the full seven points. Johnny Raguz is 58-of-64 on PATs this season. Raguz also has made all four of his field goal tries.

Keep an eye out for ... what quarterback Ramon Lescano can do to be the counter to Rus. The first-year starter isn’t asked to throw the football a lot, having completed 55-of-98 passes for 1,175 yards. However, he’s effective when he does throw it, with 20 TD passes and just three interceptions. Lescano can also tuck the ball and run it, with 456 yards and seven TDs on 94 carries.

Quick hits: Kirtland has won 55 games in a row, the longest active win streak in the nation. The last time the Hornets lost came in the 2017 Division VI title game to Marion Local. The 55-game win streak is the second longest in Ohio history behind the 57-game streak by Delphos St. John’s from 1996-2001. … The last deficit Kirtland faced was in the third quarter of a 2019 first-round playoff game against Sandy Valley. Since rallying for a 38-24 win in that game, the Hornets have not trailed for the next 1,408 minutes and one second. … Kirtland is looking for its seventh state championship, and fourth in a row. The Hornets are in their 10th state final. … Only three offensive and three defensive starters returned from last year’s title team. … Kirtland is in its 17th playoff appearance. The Hornets have posted a 54-10 all-time playoff record. … Ashtabula Lakeside scored 28 points in a 35-point Week 8 loss to Kirtland. That’s one of only two teams to score double figures against Kirtland. The other was South Range in the regional final.
 

mono79

Active member
Being a Kirtland Alumni, living in Kirtland and having my kids go to Kirtland, I am so tired of hearing people talk about Kirtland recruiting. Even the announcer last week at Clyde said, "there's way around that!" So my daughter is currently a junior so I went back to her 4th grade year book. So that would include this year's senior on down. 89% OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM WENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. THAT LEFT ROUGHLY 6 KIDS WHO DID NOT. OF THE 6, ONLY TWO ARE STARTERS ON THE TEAM. QB AND CORNER BACK. THE QB MOVED IN 6TH GRADE AND THE CB MOVED IN FIFTH GRADE.

PEOPLE, GET OVER IT!!!
Hey, I've seen some of the post about this but the number is very few. This is just a dark part of success. If you stay successful for so long then there must be some shady reason excuse. It's easily provable that this doesn't happen but your always going to a few people not believe it regardless of the evidence. A rumour here and there and it becomes the truth to some people who are more syndical. Have often been asked this outside of Yappi and the internet about it. The kids just work the asses off the day after their last game and they don't stop ever.
 
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BelowTheLine

Active member
Being a Kirtland Alumni, living in Kirtland and having my kids go to Kirtland, I am so tired of hearing people talk about Kirtland recruiting. Even the announcer last week at Clyde said, "there's way around that!" So my daughter is currently a junior so I went back to her 4th grade year book. So that would include this year's senior on down. 89% OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM WENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. THAT LEFT ROUGHLY 6 KIDS WHO DID NOT. OF THE 6, ONLY TWO ARE STARTERS ON THE TEAM. QB AND CORNER BACK. THE QB MOVED IN 6TH GRADE AND THE CB MOVED IN FIFTH GRADE.

PEOPLE, GET OVER IT!!!
This stability and continuity are huge, huge, huge advantages for Kirtland and the MAC schools.

My school is a good, rural public school district. Last year we looked back at the kindergarten yearbook for the senior class. Of the 101 kids that started school in kindergarten, only 52 graduated from our school. So that meant 49 moved away. The graduating class ended up with 99 kids so 47 moved in at some point.

Every year the Marion Local student newspaper publishes an article on all the kids that started in kindergarten and moved away at some point. They find the kids and give an update on what they are doing. It's like 4-5 kids total.

I think my school is the norm and the stability of schools like Kirtland and the MAC schools is just an incredible asset for them.
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
The Kirtland streak continues...

Kirtland 31, Versailles 17
If Kirtland puts up 30 points on Versailles, I will be dancing in the visitors stands. With that being said, I am a bad dancer & do not see the Hornets hitting the 30 point mark. It is remotely possible, but I think Versailles’ defense is dynamite & both defenses will try to make life difficult for each offense. In my opinion, the first to 20 points wins. We shall see if that holds up on Saturday!
 

VTJGball

Well-known member
At first glance, both teams want to run the ball and stop the other teams runs. I can see both teams D stopping the rushing attack and making the other team put the ball in the air. I think both teams can do this also, plus both teams have plays they haven't shown all year and have no reason to save them. Could see some fireworks!
 

Raylan_Givens

Well-known member
If Kirtland puts up 30 points on Versailles, I will be dancing in the visitors stands. With that being said, I am a bad dancer & do not see the Hornets hitting the 30 point mark. It is remotely possible, but I think Versailles’ defense is dynamite & both defenses will try to make life difficult for each offense. In my opinion, the first to 20 points wins. We shall see if that holds up on Saturday!
This is spot on. Both teams have given up over 20 exactly one time each this year. For me, this is a race to 15 points. Wouldn't be surprised to see them go for 2 when they do score just because there will be so few chances to score.

Kirtland has had some turnovers the last few weeks. Hasn't hurt them yet, but this is the week where lost possessions will be extremely painful.
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
This is spot on. Both teams have given up over 20 exactly one time each this year. For me, this is a race to 15 points. Wouldn't be surprised to see them go for 2 when they do score just because there will be so few chances to score.

Kirtland has had some turnovers the last few weeks. Hasn't hurt them yet, but this is the week where lost possessions will be extremely painful.
Agreed. I predicted a 17-14 final score earlier in this thread (around page 5), so that goes hand-in-hand with your race to 15 points.
 

BelowTheLine

Active member
I've watched both teams once. I saw the Versailles-Marion Local game and the Kirtland-South Range game.

I could definitely see a game where Kirtland plays mistake free and grinds out a victory like they always do but I'm going to say there will be a little MAC magic this weekend and TigerBall will take down Tiger. I am going with Versailles 17 - Kirtland 14

BTW, trying to pick between a MAC team and Kirtland is excruciating. It's so hard to convince yourself that one of them can get beat.
 
I am saying with a very strong sense. Not only would this be 56 straight 4th in a row but will also be Tigers 200th win at Kirtland. These kids will not accept anything but the W. These seniors want to go undefeated in there High School Career.

Kirtland 35
Versailles. 7
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
I am saying with a very strong sense. Not only would this be 56 straight 4th in a row but will also be Tigers 200th win at Kirtland. These kids will not accept anything but the W. These seniors want to go undefeated in there High School Career.

Kirtland 35
Versailles. 7
WOW, that is a bold final score. All great stat finds for Kirtland too. I will flip the coin for Versailles who wants to stop those streaks. Their senior class has taken its lumps & probably could have knocked off Roger Bacon last year, but fell just short. After losing to Marion Local Week 3, they don’t want that feeling again.

Again, I anticipate a four quarter low-scoring thriller. Kirtland has a lot of talent; but so does Versailles. I just have a hard time believing the margin of victory would border a running clock given the toughness, talent, & discipline of these two teams.

I am certainly pulling for a Hornet win, but I would be shocked if they were to win by more than two scores. Same goes for the Tigers too.
 

YTOWN

Well-known member

A look at the Versailles Tigers​


Quick hits: Versailles is in its first state championship game since losing to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the 2004 Division IV title game.

It's funny how things always seem to come around again.

I distinctly remember prior to that 2004 D4 title game a few Versailles fans saying how they should have an advantage in the title game because they were the defending champion and Mooney had not been in a title game in 17 years. They said that was a really long time between title game appearances. Even though Versailles graduated a lot of players from the prior year they did have guys returning that played in that title game. That could provide an advantage. It was true, Versailles was the defending champ & Mooney had not been there for 17 years.

Fast forward to 2021. Kirtland is the defending champ, 3-time defending champ at that and on a 55-game winning streak, and Versailles has not been to a title game in how long? That's right 17 years, a really long time. I wonder if those Tiger fans have the same take before this game as they did in 2004? :)

Kirtland's streak has to end sometime and nobody would be surprised if a MAC school did the deed. I am leaning toward the Hornets winning a close hard-fought game and continuing on with their streak. Having said that I would not be surprised if Versailles wins but I think the Hornets will get it done. Personally I'm hoping Kirtland wins this game and goes on to break the state record of 57 straight wins.

BTW Carey says "17 years between title games? Nothing! We can do 17 years standing on our heads!" McComb and Cincinnati Wyoming agree. :)

Good luck to both teams.

GO HORNETS!!
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
It's funny how things always seem to come around again.

I distinctly remember prior to that 2004 D4 title game a few Versailles fans saying how they should have an advantage in the title game because they were the defending champion and Mooney had not been in a title game in 17 years. They said that was a really long time between title game appearances. Even though Versailles graduated a lot of players from the prior year they did have guys returning that played in that title game. That could provide an advantage. It was true, Versailles was the defending champ & Mooney had not been there for 17 years.

Fast forward to 2021. Kirtland is the defending champ, 3-time defending champ at that and on a 55-game winning streak, and Versailles has not been to a title game in how long? That's right 17 years, a really long time. I wonder if those Tiger fans have the same take before this game as they did in 2004? :)

Kirtland's streak has to end sometime and nobody would be surprised if a MAC school did the deed.
Add in the fact that Kirtland just passed Versailles’ 54 game streak from the mid-90’s & that both schools have six state titles & three runners-up; and I swear…this matchup was destined to be!
 

bigkat

Well-known member
This stability and continuity are huge, huge, huge advantages for Kirtland and the MAC schools.

My school is a good, rural public school district. Last year we looked back at the kindergarten yearbook for the senior class. Of the 101 kids that started school in kindergarten, only 52 graduated from our school. So that meant 49 moved away. The graduating class ended up with 99 kids so 47 moved in at some point.

Every year the Marion Local student newspaper publishes an article on all the kids that started in kindergarten and moved away at some point. They find the kids and give an update on what they are doing. It's like 4-5 kids total.

I think my school is the norm and the stability of schools like Kirtland and the MAC schools is just an incredible asset for them.
gosh that is a lot from your school, may i ask what school is that?
 

fireflyer

Active member
Versailles 21-14. If anyone could hang more than 30 points on the Versailles D, I'll eat my bloomin' hat. Have you seen them play? I'm a Marion Local fan, but until the last moments of the game, I was sure Versailles would beat us. In many moments, ML looked helpless against them. I was stunned and in disbelief. We won by 2 points, 19-17. Nope, Special K ain't gettin' no 30 points...
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
Versailles 21-14. If anyone could hang more than 30 points on the Versailles D, I'll eat my bloomin' hat. Have you seen them play? I'm a Marion Local fan, but until the last moments of the game, I was sure Versailles would beat us. In many moments, ML looked helpless against them. I was stunned and in disbelief. We won by 2 points, 19-17. Nope, Special K ain't gettin' no 30 points...
Harvest Prep putting up 22 points last week concerns me, but not in the way you might think. I find it difficult to see the Tigers allowing more than 20 points in back-to-back contests. But then again, I still have faith in the Kirtland offense who hasn’t been held below 25 points this season! One trend will have to be broken on Saturday…
 
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