VERSAILLES — Broc Silvers knew the opening four-game run to begin the season was going to be a bear for his Versailles Tigers.
And the big bear awaits them tonight.
Versailles ends a murderous stretch to start the campaign by hosting defending Class 2 state champion Blair Oaks tonight (7 p.m. kickoff).
The Blair Oaks Falcons, many-time defending Tri-County Conference champions, is 3-0 overall and 1-0 in league play after winning a battle of state-ranked teams at Boonville 38-21 last week. It was the 41st consecutive regular-season victory for the Falcons, now in Class 3 and ranked No. 1 in the Missouri Media state poll.
Blair Oaks has not lost a game of any kind since the 2017 state playoffs. And the Falcons are already battle-tested three weeks into this season, having already defeated a pair of state-ranked opponents.
Versailles is 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference after losing a 61-41 shootout to Southern Boone last week.
That game was tied at 35 midway through the third period when state-ranked Southern Boone went on a 26-0 run to take control.
During the game Tiger senior quarterback Coby Williams added to his many school records, completing 35-of-55 passes for a whopping 352 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 104 yards and two TDs.
And his favorite target throughout the season, senior wideout Dallas Waller, flirted with the state record in single-game receptions, catching 22 passes for 219 yards and three TDs. That ranks him No. 2 in the state record book for single-game catches.
Versailles finished with 520 offensive yards.
"It was a shootout," Silvers, Versailles coach, said. "It was like the first team that didn't score on a possession was going to lose. We ran 90 offensive plays. We were just physically unable to stop them up front.
"I told Dallas after the game he had 22 catches. He said he'd trade them all for a win. They were a good club, no doubt."
Now the Tigers face the club that has been the measuring stick in the conference in recent years.
"They have a little wrinkle this year, as coach (Ted) LePage is letting his freshman quarterback read one guy and go," Silvers said. "They have been very efficient; it's not how many plays you run, it's how well you run them."
That freshman quarterback certainly has the pedigree, as Dylan Hair follows his brothers. A Hair has been under center for the Falcons for seven straight seasons.
Dylan Hair has completed 37-of-60 passes so far with 549 yards. Junior wideout/cornerback Jake Closser has 179 receiving yards as well as five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Senior Riley Lentz is the running back in the Falcon spread attack and has 236 rushing yards on 43 carries. Junior Cade Stockman, Hair's backup QB, has 92 rushing yards.
"Their offensive line comes off the ball extremely hard," Silvers said of the Falcons. "The question for us is can we match their intensity. Coby has got to make good decisions. Blair Oaks sends more people than you can block.
"The Hair kid can make a couple of freshman mistakes, but to beat them you've got to come up with a couple of turnovers."
Among the single-game school records set by Versailles last week were passing yards, total yards by Williams and receptions and receiving yards by Waller.
Williams now has hit on 48-of-82 passes for 663 yards, six interceptions and six touchdowns this season while rushing for 361 yards on 59 attempts and seven TDs.
Waller has 34 of those catches for 358 yards and four TDs while senior wideout Brayden Morrison has 11 catches for 107 yards and a TD.
To have any type of chance to compete with Blair Oaks the Tigers are going to have to solve their leaking defense, which has allowed an unsightly 55.7 points per game so far. Versailles has not allowed fewer than 50 points in a game yet.
Senior linebacker Quinn Randall leads the Tiger defense with 21 total tackles while Williams, a safety, has 13; Waller, a defensive end, 11, and junior safety Michael Bell and senior end Ryan Chamberlain 10 each.
Silvers certainly wants to snap Blair Oaks' regular-season winning streak. But he said more important is building momentum as the regular season goes on for a run in the Class 2 state playoffs.
"When we get to Week 10, we may be 4-5 or 0-9," Silvers said. "But we want to be ready. I think we're a top-three team in our district. When you play Blair Oaks you don't worry about the scoreboard, you worry about what you can control. We try to simplify as far as goals go."