GYPSUM - The Vail Christian Saints finally got a taste of what it feels like to be behind in a football game on Friday night in a 30-6 loss to Rangely.
The game began as a defensive standoff, without much action from either squad until the end of the first quarter, when a Rangely drive, coupled with a few-penalty calls against the Saints, led to a second-and-goal situation as the clock expired.
The Panthers picked up where they left off to start the second quarter, with the fullback Colton Coombs running into the end zone untouched on the first play of the quarter. The Rangely coaching squad,called the exact same play on the following two-point attempt, with the exact same result to put the Saints down 8-0.
With less than three minutes remaining in the half, the Panthers capitalized-on a 15-yard punt return by Chas Byerly, starting the possession on the Saints' 40. Byerly followed up with a 20-yard carry down to the Saints' 9, allowing Panthers quarterback Toby Gasper to sneak it into the end zone a few plays later. The Panthers were unable to convert, making the score to 14-0 at halftime.
The Panthers spent much of the third quarter driving downfield in a possession that began on the 5-yard line. Using their run-heavy offense, Rangely slowly drove downfield, converting on fourth down at several key points before finally failing to convert where it mattered most - in the red zone.
The Panthers turned the ball over on the Saints 18 with 3 seconds left in the third quarter. At the onset of the fourth quarter, the Saints turned the ball over on downs to Rangely and the star back Coombs, who completed a 40-yard run into the end zone to lead off the final quarter.
Saints quarterback Austin Ellsworth, who was announced as the Vail Christian Homecoming King as halftime, threw his first interception of the season on the followingpossession.-But it may have been for the best, as Ellsworth, who plays free safety on defense, responded by picking off his rival quaterback Toby Gasper on the 2-yard line in the ensuingpossession.-
Ellsworth then proceeded to throw a 98-yard completion to Mack Cooper for the Saints only touchdown of the game.
A final touchdown by the Panters' Byerly made it 30-6 with three minutes remaining in the contest. The Saints did what they could to get the ball down field in the final minutes of the game, to no avail.
"Rangely had us well scouted," Saints coach Tim Pierson said after the game. "They definitely had a game plan to attack us up front and play to their strength, and they did a good job with that.
Next Friday the Saints have the day off school for end of first quarter. They'll spend it traveling to Kremmling, where they'll face West Grand.