DENVER — OK, how hot was it, Vail Christian?
It was 95 degrees at kickoff down in Denver for Vail Christian-Rocky Mountain Lutheran football on Saturday in Denver, and got as steamy as 101 as the afternoon progressed.
“We changed our warm-up routine,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said. “We brought as much water as we could. We had ice packs for the kids. We had mini-misters. We don’t have a lot of depth. It was definitely and early-season challenge.”
But the Saints were up to it in a 52-18 win over the Eagles.
The hosts got a healthy dose of running back Cole Caynoski. The senior had 17 carries for 185 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns, and had a fifth through the air, for good measure.
Caynoski started his rampage with TD runs of 29 and 60 yards. Quarterback Mike Lange had the temerity to break up the Caynoski-fest with a 13-yard scoring run of his own. No. 9 was back at it with a 12-yard trip to the house and a 25-yard reception from Lange at the end of the half.
With a 38-18 lead at intermission, Branden Currey got in on the action with a 4-yard scoring plunge. Caynoski scored again, and the Saints were on their way. Lange finished with 72 yards on the ground, while Currey had 51 as Vail Christian continues to transition from a pass-happy attack to a ground game.
“They’re a well-coached team. They’re very disciplined,” Pierson said of the Eagles. “They gave us a different look, sending guys (defensively) in different areas. They tested us and we had to adjust. We have growing and learning to do. We have to keep getting better. We need to improve our depth by getting our young guys in a position to play. We’ve got 15 guys and we need them all to be able to play. That’s our goal.”
The defense also got the job done. Ethan Ellsworth was his traditional terrifying self with 11 tackles and an interception. Lange also picked a pass. Max Schramm had two sacks, and Alex Davis also dumped the Rocky Mountain Lutheran quarterback.
Vail Christian (2-0 and undefeated during the Lief Pierson era) hosts Longmont Christian on Friday at Battle Mountain High School.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.