Vail Christian football wins opener, taking down Front Range, 34-22 | VailDaily.com

Vail Christian football wins opener, taking down Front Range, 34-22

LITTLETON — No scrimmage? No game in Week 1?

No problem.

Vail Christian football opened 2018 just fine with a 34-22 win at Front Range Christian on Saturday, Sept. 1, in Littleton, as the Saints returned to 8-man football after two years as a Class 1A 11-man squad.

"It's a learning curve to go back," said Tim Pierson, head coach of Vail Christian football, which had played 8-man since the inception of the program back in the 1900s until two years ago. "The defense is where we feel it the most, making sure that we've got everything covered. Otherwise, it hasn't been to bad. There were times in the last two years when we were completely overmatched. Personnel-wise, it's a better fit for us."

That's a nice way of saying the Saints don't miss games against Bennett. That said, Vail Christian (1-0) will have its hands full with familiar foes such as West Grand, No. 2 in the state, and Soroco, a state semifinalist last year, but Saturday was a good start.

20-0 halftime lead

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The Saints got going with quarterback Jamison Lee rolling for 40 yards and a score. The kid can throw, as well, hooking up with Chris Cappel for 7 yards and another score. Roy Valenzuela had a successful run for a two-point conversion and a 14-0 advantage.

Vail Christian went into the half with a 20-0 lead as Alex Hilty rumbled into the end zone from two yards out.

Lee to Cappel for 44 yards and P.G. N'kalangango ran for two points and the Saints were up, 26-6. Lee got his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, a 12 yarder to Jack Powers to wrap the scoring.

"Given that we didn't have a scrimmage or a game coming in, I thought we played really well," Pierson said. "On special teams, we got two onside kicks and didn't allow a big play. Defensively, we gave up a few big plays, but (Front Range has) some really good athletes. Offensively we moved the chains. We executed well in all phases of the game."

Vail Christian will have to be road warriors for the early part of the season. The Saints are at Rocky Mountain Lutheran on Saturday, Sept. 8, followed the league opener at Rangely on Friday, Sept. 14.

Scores of note

Vail Christian 34, Front Range Christian 22

West Grand 38, Caliche 20

Rangely 57, Dove Creek 18

Hayden 52, Justice 26

Merino 58 , Gilpin County 0

Soroco 60, Sangre de Cristo 20