Saturday, September 25th, 2010
By Mark Ruschau
Cavs hand Tigers first defeat of the season
VERSAILLES - The Coldwater Cavaliers stayed alive in the Midwest Athletic Conference football race chase as they went on the road on Friday night and used a great defensive effort to knock off the number-two state ranked team in Division V.
Coldwater climbs over the .500 mark for the first time this season following a 24-7 win over Versailles at Hole Field. Coldwater is now 3-2 overall (2-1 MAC) and just one-game behind co-leaders St. John's and Marion Local. The loss drops Versailles to 4-1 overall (2-1 MAC).
The Coldwater defense was indeed the difference in this one holding the explosive Tigers to 303 yards on 72 plays for an average of just four yards a play.
"The defense played outstanding tonight," said Coldwater coach Chip Otten. "One of our goals tonight was to make them work the whole field. We wanted to make them work and we did just what we wanted to do defensively."
One of the keys to the success for Coldwater was the play of its special teams which constantly put the Versailles offense in tough field position. Versailles' average field position to start its drives was its own 28-yard line.
Sophomore punter Kyle Bergman, making his first varsity start at punter, averaged 37.5 on six punts with a long of 43 while Troy Otten averaged 54.6 on his five kickoffs, with two touchbacks.
"Our special teams were huge tonight," said coach Otten. "Kyle Bergman did a nice job punting for the first time this season. We were able to a get a couple of nice kick-off returns and Troy kicked a field goal, so it was nice to see the contributions that we got from our special teams."
The Coldwater defense was forced to step up early as a muffed punt on the Cavaliers second return gave Versailles the ball at its 41-yard line. A quarterback sack on third down by Jordan Harlmert stalled the drive.
Taking over at its own 23 on the ensuing possession, Coldwater went the distance in just two plays. A 72-yard pass from Austin Bruns to Kurt Schoenherr got the ball inside the red zone and a five-yard touchdown run by Aaron Rammel broke open the scoring.
The Coldwater defense stuffed Versailles on its next series giving the Cavaliers' offense the ball at their own 45. The offense moved the ball to a first down at the Versailles 20 where the drive stalled and they settled for a 35-yard Otten field goal to make the score 10-0 with 1:55 left in the opening period.
The Coldwater defense had to come up big one more time in the first half as a Mike Rutschilling interception of a Bruns pass gave Versailles the ball at midfield. In eight plays, the Tigers moved the ball to the Coldwater 15. After a personal foul penalty against Coldwater gave Versailles the ball at the seven, the Cavalier defense came up huge as they stopped the Tigers on downs at the two on a nice fourth-down stop by Rammel.
Taking over at the two, Bruns wedged out the four on first down and then on second down, Rammel took a direct snap and rumbled 53 yards to the Versailles 42. Three plays later the Cavaliers were in the end zone with Rammel scoring from 19 yard out to make the score 17-0.
On their next possession, Versailles got on the scoreboard as it went 83 yards in nine plays with Damien Winner hooking up with Mitchell Campbell on a nine-yard scoring pass to make the score 17-7 at the half.
Coldwater put to rest any thought of a Versailles comeback after the Cavaliers took the opening kick in the second half. Coldwater marched 64 yards in eight plays, with Rammel plunging in from a yard out for the final score of the game.
Coldwater returns home next Friday night to take on Parkway while Versailles takes to the road at St. John's.
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Mostly sunny, mild
Mostly sunny, mild