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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I have been watching film all week. They played ML very very tough. Since then have been not playing as tough. It won’t be a running clock but I still stick to my prediction.
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
I have been watching film all week. They played ML very very tough. Since then have been not playing as tough. It won’t be a running clock but I still stick to my prediction.
I would be careful what you say though…I am optimistic about the Hornets no doubt about it, but also know neither team will hold anything back or leave any stone unturned.

That being said, I wouldn’t question anyone’s toughness, especially from the MAC, going into a state title game. This is another ML game for them (and with bigger stakes on the line), so they will likely play the Hornets very very tough…we shall see!

Anybody else counting down the hours until kickoff? ⏳
 
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…
HP threw the ball effectively. Ryan Jones has the Tigers playing hard-nosed football and currently enjoys a mostly senior team with size, strength, speed AND depth. You will see the D line rotate between a total of 6-8 players keeping them fresh. I’ve watched the KL and OG game. KL is very disciplined, athletic and have great fundamentals. A running play which looks to be stopped for little to no gain ends up getting 5-8 yards. Rarely did OG stop a running play for no or little yards. That grind demoralizes defenses. I’ve also watched Vers do this the last two years and defenses ultimately fold. IMO, the team to effectively throw the ball wins.
 

wobycat

Active member
HP threw the ball effectively. Ryan Jones has the Tigers playing hard-nosed football and currently enjoys a mostly senior team with size, strength, speed AND depth. You will see the D line rotate between a total of 6-8 players keeping them fresh. I’ve watched the KL and OG game. KL is very disciplined, athletic and have great fundamentals. A running play which looks to be stopped for little to no gain ends up getting 5-8 yards. Rarely did OG stop a running play for no or little yards. That grind demoralizes defenses. I’ve also watched Vers do this the last two years and defenses ultimately fold. IMO, the team to effectively throw the ball wins.
Preps QB was really good. He had a cannon. And was very fast. He wasn’t overall accurate but he had the ability. You could tell.
 

Bluestreak1980

Active member
I would be careful what you say though…I am optimistic about the Hornets no doubt about it, but also know neither team will hold anything back or leave any stone unturned.

That being said, I wouldn’t question anyone’s toughness, especially from the MAC, going into a state title game. This is another ML game for them (and with bigger stakes on the line), so they will likely play the Hornets very very tough…we shall see!

Anybody else counting down the hours until kickoff? ⏳
I couldn’t agree with you anymore. This is our 7th title game against a MAC school. Each team with 6 titles looking for that 7th. This is like the Super Bowl of small schools. Pride, Grit and determination will be on display this Saturday night. Go Hornets!!!
 

Msfootball

Well-known member
I'd be a little more confident if it was Marion Local's defense going against Kirtland Saturday, as I believe the Marion D is a bit quicker and more swarming than Versailles. MSML linebacker play is the best of the best at this level. Versailles has more brute force on the line however (they have some big strong guys). Overall, I think Versailles and MSML are on fairly equal terms and Kirtland will be facing the best the MAC has to offer. Looking at the seven common opponents of MSML and Versailles, they both scored the exact same total of 258 points, with Versailles giving up 59 and MSML giving up 60. I didn't include Marion's rematch with St. Henry in those stats since Versailles didn't have a chance to play St. Henry a 2nd time.
I predict Kirtland will hold the Versailles offense to fewer than 21 points. Probably 14 to 17 points more likely. Versailles defense vs the Kirtland offense is the key for me. I'm not sure how that will shake out. As a Kirtland fan pointed out, the first one to 20 may just be the winner in this game.
 
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Bball216

Well-known member
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.

None. There is no open enrollment for one and there is no apartments (if there is it's very few). If you want to play for Kirtland you need to move into the district and based on home prices it will take about $300,000 or more to become a Hornet. The secret to their success is simple - a ridiculously good youth program that is overseen by the HS Head Coach and an insane weight lifting program. The kids in the community grow up wanting to be Hornets and because of their success they do not lose any kids to the area privates. As for the weight program - there might be (not many) schools that lift as much, but none lift more. These kids lift 350+ days a year. Example - during Covid last year parents had home gyms installed at their homes and kids got together and lifted on their own. Football is an obsession in Kirtland.
 

Raylan_Givens

Well-known member
HP threw the ball effectively. Ryan Jones has the Tigers playing hard-nosed football and currently enjoys a mostly senior team with size, strength, speed AND depth. You will see the D line rotate between a total of 6-8 players keeping them fresh. I’ve watched the KL and OG game. KL is very disciplined, athletic and have great fundamentals. A running play which looks to be stopped for little to no gain ends up getting 5-8 yards. Rarely did OG stop a running play for no or little yards. That grind demoralizes defenses. I’ve also watched Vers do this the last two years and defenses ultimately fold. IMO, the team to effectively throw the ball wins.
This made me think of a the title game from a couple years ago. Ironton came into the game with only a loss to out of state team & hadn't given up more than 20 until the state semifinal game. They had ginormous line & OSU bound LB/RB. Frankly, we went to the game to watch THEM play and it just happened they were playing Kirtland.

What resulted was the ugliest/beautiful 17-7 game you've ever seen. Ironton's only score came on a long broken play scramble by their QB. Everything else "schemed" didn't work. Thinking we'll have more of the same Saturday night with these two teams.
 

fini316

Active member
HP threw the ball effectively. Ryan Jones has the Tigers playing hard-nosed football and currently enjoys a mostly senior team with size, strength, speed AND depth. You will see the D line rotate between a total of 6-8 players keeping them fresh. I’ve watched the KL and OG game. KL is very disciplined, athletic and have great fundamentals. A running play which looks to be stopped for little to no gain ends up getting 5-8 yards. Rarely did OG stop a running play for no or little yards. That grind demoralizes defenses. I’ve also watched Vers do this the last two years and defenses ultimately fold. IMO, the team to effectively throw the ball wins.
One thing to keep an eye on is Kirtland doesn’t just do the slow, time chewing drives. There are times where they go into hurry up offense, while still predominantly run plays, just to negate DL substitutions and wear the defense down
 

dnis30

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!
If Harvest Prep can get 22, Kirtland can get one TD more. We shall see! Good luck to both teams!
 
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fini316

Active member
Absolutely! That's why I made my prediction so lopsided. Anything less than a 30 point blowout is a win for Versailles.

From what I'm gathering it seems highly unlikely Kirtland will go to a passing style offense, so Versailles has a marked increase in the potential for a few turnovers to make a huge difference in the game.

The key to the game in my mind is field position (special teams ) and tigers offense vs Kirtland defense. Kirtland offense is likely going to do their ground and pound and Versailles will not have a great chance of stopping the slow, long, drives.
I would say it depends on what Kirtland DC Beeler sees on film. Everyone knows Kirtland is a run dominant team, but they do have an elite WR in Gage Sullivan. And against Ironton the last 2 years they went to the passing game out of the gate…you never know
 

D4fan

Well-known member
If Harvest Prep can get 22, Kirtland can get a TD more. We shall see! Good luck to both teams!
Harvest prep went away from what Versailles was expecting in passing effectively and it certainly made the game a much closer contest. That was why I started off with Kirtland scoring 66 points, as they will see the same thing on film and realize its through the air not over the ground that will yield points.

Since it sounds like Kirtland will not be changing their offense, I am thinking 16 points sounds more reasonable, and I don't think that will be enough to win.
 

dnis30

Well-known member
Harvest prep went away from what Versailles was expecting in passing effectively and it certainly made the game a much closer contest. That was why I started off with Kirtland scoring 66 points, as they will see the same thing on film and realize its through the air not over the ground that will yield points.

Since it sounds like Kirtland will not be changing their offense, I am thinking 16 points sounds more reasonable, and I don't think that will be enough to win.
I can't wait to watch it.
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
Harvest prep went away from what Versailles was expecting in passing effectively and it certainly made the game a much closer contest. That was why I started off with Kirtland scoring 66 points, as they will see the same thing on film and realize its through the air not over the ground that will yield points.

Since it sounds like Kirtland will not be changing their offense, I am thinking 16 points sounds more reasonable, and I don't think that will be enough to win.
As long as the weather is fair & it’s not snowing as hard as it was last week, Kirtland’s offense can be more fluid. Two of the last three weeks though have been played in a snowstorm & hail; preventing them from trying very many passes, if any at all.
 

mono79

Active member
This made me think of a the title game from a couple years ago. Ironton came into the game with only a loss to out of state team & hadn't given up more than 20 until the state semifinal game. They had ginormous line & OSU bound LB/RB. Frankly, we went to the game to watch THEM play and it just happened they were playing Kirtland.

What resulted was the ugliest/beautiful 17-7 game you've ever seen. Ironton's only score came on a long broken play scramble by their QB. Everything else "schemed" didn't work. Thinking we'll have more of the same Saturday night with these two teams.
Kirtland was actually with out their 2 best players in that game.
 

Kirtland4580

Well-known member
My memory is failing…I know they were without their starting RB (Luke Gardner), who is the other?
Kaleb Stephenson, their leading tackler, had a torn ligament in his knee.

Imagine playing a state title game without your leading rusher & leading tackler. For Ironton, that would have been like taking Reid Carrico out of the game altogether. Crazy that the Hornets were able to pull that one off…
 

fini316

Active member
Kaleb Stephenson, their leading tackler, had a torn ligament in his knee.

Imagine playing a state title game without your leading rusher & leading tackler. For Ironton, that would have been like taking Reid Carrico out of the game altogether. Crazy that the Hornets were able to pull that one off…
I think Tiger and the Hornets have done an outstanding job over the years with the next-man-up…just this year in the playoffs they had to play a game where they played freshman at center and nose tackle.

Have you heard anything about injuries this week? Will Phillip LaVerde be back for the game? I think he is underrated and him and Rus in at linebacker just wreak havoc behind the LOS
 

mono79

Active member
I think Tiger and the Hornets have done an outstanding job over the years with the next-man-up…just this year in the playoffs they had to play a game where they played freshman at center and nose tackle.

Have you heard anything about injuries this week? Will Phillip LaVerde be back for the game? I think he is underrated and him and Rus in at linebacker just wreak havoc behind the LOS
My memory is failing…I know they were without their starting RB (Luke Gardner), who is the other?
Yes it was him. I actually emailed Tiger LaVerde the next day to congratulate him and the team. I administer one of the Facebook pages for Kirtland fans. The majority of the page members are say from the classes of the early 1950's up till now. I wanted to let him know the reaction it was getting for winning another state title. It was he who told me about the 2 down players and the group should be proud of how everyone stepped up. Never got the names.
 
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Kirtland4580

Well-known member
I think Tiger and the Hornets have done an outstanding job over the years with the next-man-up…just this year in the playoffs they had to play a game where they played freshman at center and nose tackle.

Have you heard anything about injuries this week? Will Phillip LaVerde be back for the game? I think he is underrated and him and Rus in at linebacker just wreak havoc behind the LOS
I have zero idea. I am hoping it’s a perfectly-timed thing where everyone is back & healthy this week…we will find out on Saturday for sure!
 
I think Tiger and the Hornets have done an outstanding job over the years with the next-man-up…just this year in the playoffs they had to play a game where they played freshman at center and nose tackle.

Have you heard anything about injuries this week? Will Phillip LaVerde be back for the game? I think he is underrated and him and Rus in at linebacker just wreak havoc behind the LOS
I am pretty sure we will be back at 100% this week. From what I have been told.

The two freshman that have been playing are freaks. Nose guard has been playing all playoffs and having great games. Also heard the one how played Center went into that game never playing the position before. Not In Youth or middle school he has about 20 snaps that week to get ready. And he turned 14 that day he had his first start. That is pretty cool to see tiger has such confidence in his players.

The two kids I read were also the first two freshman ever to reach it into the Hornets exclusive 900lb club.
 

fini316

Active member
I am pretty sure we will be back at 100% this week. From what I have been told.

The two freshman that have been playing are freaks. Nose guard has been playing all playoffs and having great games. Also heard the one how played Center went into that game never playing the position before. Not In Youth or middle school he has about 20 snaps that week to get ready. And he turned 14 that day he had his first start. That is pretty cool to see tiger has such confidence in his players.

The two kids I read were also the first two freshman ever to reach it into the Hornets exclusive 900lb club.
I did hear that about the 900 club.

Even crazier, from what I heard their RB from a few years ago (Luke Gardner) ran almost a 4.3 and was the only (or one of a few) in the 1,200 club. If true, insane
 

jdemell2

New member
Interesting tid bit for everyone:

Cal Preps has it 27-17 Kirtland

When I played around with the site and mixed and matched teams Cal Preps would have South Range winning this game also 28-24.
 
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