Larry's Lede Art of Carson Bey.jpeg

Versailles quarterback Carson Bey unleashes a deep pass against Kirtland during Saturday night's 20-16 state championship upset of the Hornets at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

UPDATE: This story was updated at 11 p.m.

CANTON -- Versailles authored a stunning upset on Saturday night in Canton, one heard around the national high school football scene.

The 8th-ranked Tigers shocked No. 1 Kirtland 20-16 to claim the Division V state championship and snap the Hornets' 55-game winning streak, the longest active mark in the nation.

Versailles' dual-threat quarterback Carson Bey served notice early that his team would not be intimidated. Bey pushed the Tigers on top in the first quarter by dashing 15 yards to finish a 63-yard drive for a 6-0 edge. That was the first time Kirtland (14-1) trailed in a game since the 2019 playoff opener against Sandy Valley. Coach Tiger Laverde's club would never lead this contest.

Kirtland, which had won three straight state crowns, countered on Johnny Raguz's 38-yard field goal to slice the deficit to 6-3 with 2:52 showing in the first quarter.

But the Tigers (15-1) regained momentum in the second period on Bey's 24-yard TD pass to Michael Osborne for a 13-3 halftime lead.

The third quarter belonged to Versailles, too. Jack Osborne's 1-yard plunge capped a 13-play, 80-yard march that chewed 7:22 off the clock and made it 20-3.

In the fourth period, Kirtland finally mounted a rally. Running back Gage Sullivan broke off a 29-yard TD dash to make it 20-10 with 9:03 remaining. Teammate Mason Rus scored from four yards out to finish a 65-yard drive, but only 37 seconds remained at that point. It was too little and too late.

The Tigers' Titus Gehret covered the ensuing onside kick to finish it.

The game was fairly even from a statistical perspective. Each squad registered 263 total yards. Coach Ryan Jones saw his Versailles team throw for more yards (129-101) and gain more first downs (19-12). The Hornets had the rushing edge (162-134), but managed just 1-of-8 on third-down conversions.

Kirtland quarterback Ramon Lescano connected on 5-of-11 passes for 101 yards. Sullivan ran for 118 yards and a TD.

The Tigers followed Bey's lead. The spirited quarterback hit 8-of-12 passes for 129 yards and a score. He also ran for 86 yards on 27 attempts and a touchdown. Noah McEldowney caught four passes for 68 yards.

NOTES: Kirtland brought a 55-game winning streak into this contest, the longest active streak in the nation and two short of Delphos St. John's 57-game Ohio record from 1996 to 2001. The Hornets last loss was in the 2017 Division VI title game to Marion Local.

Kirtland had not trailed since the third quarter of a 2019 first-round playoff game against Sandy Valley. The Hornets rallied for a 38-24 win that night, but fell behind in the first quarter of this state title matchup and never recovered. Versailles' first score ended that incredible streak at 1,413 minutes and 37 seconds.

Laverde's team made it to Canton by beating Harrison Central 56-0, Manchester 37-0, Garrettsville Garfield 25-7, South Range 38-15 and Ottawa-Glandorf 28-6.

This marked Versailles seventh state crown, but the first since 2004.

The Tigers had a 54-game win streak of their own from 1993-1996. Marion Pleasant ended that stretch in the 1996 state championship game.

Versailles' path to Canton included beating Summit Country Day 49-14, Carlisle 34-8, Taft 14-0, Preble Shawnee 28-0 and Harvest Prep 28-22.

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I've lived in Richland Co. since 1990, married here, our children were born here. This is home. I have two books published on a passion topic, Ohio high school football. Others: Buckeyes, Cavs, Bengals, Reds, History, Disney.