Coming into the Division IV playoffs not many gave Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joe's a chance to advance to the finals. When talking to many who follow football from around the state they spoke about a Versailles team that looked like the teams of old. On Saturday Versailles made everyone remember that they are one of Ohio's all-time best schools.
The road to the championships for the Vikings had a lot of twist and turns. With a #6 seed and a record of 6-4 many felt they should have never made the playoffs. The Vikings proved all of those people wrong. In winning its first round game against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney 26-21, the Vikings road one of the best all-time stories all the way to a finals match-up with multi champion Versailles. The Vikings beat along the way Apple Creek Waynedale 22-17, Sullivan Black River 24-14 and Bellaire 21-14 to reach the finals.
Versailles posted victories against Batavia 42-7, Reading 55-21, Clarksville Clinton-Massie 42-7 and Delta 28-7. While Coach Hetrick is known for winning state titles, this group of players had never tasted a game this big. Coach Hetrick had his team prepared, just like he's done five other times.
In front of 6,943, both teams found slow starts. Not until 00:36 left in the second quarter did Versailles find the end zone and take a 7-0 advantage with a 2 yard run from Ben Shappie. Just when it looked like the quarter would end, they struck again. Shappie hauled in a pass from Kyle Gehle for a 27 yard touchdown and after the blocked extra point the score was 13-0 Versailles.
All day long Cleveland VASJ would find the Tigers defense more then they could handle. The Tigers held the Vikings to a total of 142 yards on 42 offensive plays and never allowed them into the Red Zone during the game. In the early goings of the fourth quarter Gehle showed he was more than just a quarterback by taking a Vikings punt 81 yards for the third Tiger touchdown of the day.
2003 DIVISION IV STATE CHAMPIONS
PHOTO FROM OHSAA
Shappie would add to that score with a 19 yard run and 6 more points on the board, after the kick the scoring would end at 26-0 and a Tigers title. The Tigers would rush for 210 yards on 52 carries and get another 36 yards from its passing game. Shappie would gain 106 of those yards on 22 carries and earn the OhioPrepScene.com / Moe's Minis Game MVP Helmet.
OPS Football Director Craig Schwieterman presented Ben Shappie with his MVP Helmet after the game. Look this week for photos of Ben getting his helmet and other game photos.
You can get special made mini helmets or helmets of your favorite team from Moe's Minis, an OhioPrepScene.com partner. To visit Moe's Minis please click on the link provided.
The title is the schools sixth, all under current Head Coach Al Hetrick.VERS VASJ
FIRST DOWNS................... 17 8
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 52-210 23-65
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 36 77
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 8-2-0 19-9-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 60-246 42-142
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 4-105 1-6
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 1-16 4-51
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-41.7 4-36.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards............... 2-20 3-20
Possession Time............... 27:28 20:32
Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 12 1 of 9
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 4 0 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-3 0-0
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-4 0-0
RUSHING: VERSAILLES-BEN SHAPPIE 22-106; RYAN MCNEILAN 14-58; ERIC STRAUSBAUG 5-33; KYLE GEHLE
6-5; RUSS BEISNER 2-4; ADAM FRANCIS 2-3; TONY BORCHERS 1-1. VILLA ANGELA-ST JOS-ANTHONY RAMOS 8-38;
MICHAEL CVELBAR 13-15; F FRAZIER 1-12; V ANASTASI 1-0.
PASSING: VERSAILLES-KYLE GEHLE 2-8-0-36. VILLA ANGELA-ST JOS-MICHAEL CVELBAR 9-19-1-77.
RECEIVING: VERSAILLES-BEN SHAPPIE 2-36. VILLA ANGELA-ST JOS-DAVID LIGHTY 3-46; DEWAN HOOVER
3-23; ROBERT TILLERY 1-7; CJ KOSTRANCHUK 1-6; ANTHONY RAMOS 1-minus 5.
INTERCEPTIONS: VERSAILLES-ERIC STRAUSBAUG 1-0. VILLA ANGELA-ST JOS-None.
FUMBLES: VERSAILLES-KYLE GEHLE 2-0. VILLA ANGELA-ST JOS-CJ KOSTRANCHUK 1-1; F FRAZIER 1-1.
Stadium: PAUL BROWN TIGER Attendance: 6943
Kickoff time: 3:37 End of Game: 5:52 Total elapsed time: 2:15
Officials: Referee: BRUCE SEABROOK; Umpire: ROBERT DAVIS JR;
Linesman: RICK PFARR; Line judge: GIL VOIGT; Back judge: VAN HUG;
Scorer: JIM BARKAN;
Temperature: 32 F Wind: 15-25 S Weather: CLOUDY