Vail Christian steamrolls Hayden
Saints move to 5-0
GYPSUM — Happy 76th or 78th, coach.
Vail Christian football, No. 1 in the ratings-percentage index, rolled past Hayden, 54-16, on Friday night at John Ramunno Field in Gypsum to move to 5-0.
Depending on whom you ask, that was coach Tim Pierson’s 76th or 78th career win. If you ask the coach, it’s No. 78, meaning that he picked up the 75th win of his career in a 40-14 pasting of Norwood during Week 2.
Then, there’s head of school Steve O’Neil, who went digging through the records this week and from compiling year-by-year records dating back to 2004, Pierson’s first season, and believes that the coach won No. 75 last week, a huge 12-6 victory over West Grand.
However the math works — where is Doug Bruce when you need him? — Pierson passed a big number this season, and his squad seems to be rolling to more.
Keep in mind, the eight-man squads only have nine regular-season games, so 76 or 78 is a little more than eight straight years of winning.
During Pierson’s 16 years, the Saints have won three Northwest League titles and took another step toward No. 4. The Saints are 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the league with their two most formidable rivals — Rangely and West Grand — for the honor in the rearview mirror.
Vail Christian scored on every one of its first-half possessions except for the last. Saints running back Chris Cappel and quarterback Jamison Lee did most of the work on a 10-play, 65-yard opening drive. Cappel did the honors on a 10-yard rumble.
Simon Nowicki followed with a 36-yard run to the house. The Saints went to the air for touchdown No. 3, Lee to Cappel for 47 yards. Vail Christian’s defense got in on the act with Vinny Nowicki picking up a 22-yard pick-six. Lee to Cappel on a bubble screen went 48 yards to the house for a 38-0 lead during the second quarter.
Hayden went into its bag of tricks late in the first half with a reverse and a halfback option as Hunter Planansky hit Kyler Campbell for 42 yards and a score.
The Saints’ Slater O’Brien started the second half with a safety. Vail Christian needed little time to convert the ensuing free kick. Lee to Andrew Stojkovich ate up 14 yards. Lee to Simon Nowicki — yes, it’s still a world gone Nowicki — made it 46-8.
Vinny Nowicki blocked the Hayden punt minutes later, and Simon came up with it. Cappel scored his second touchdown of the night to kick in the running clock.
As well as the Saints played, they still need to work on discipline. Vail Christian was flagged multiple times — again — for personal fouls.
Vail Christian heads north for its annual grudge match against Soroco. Hayden (2-3) is at Rangely.
Tigers 0 8 8 0 — 54
Saints 16 22 16 0 — 16
V – Chris Cappel, 10 run, run good, 7:17
V – Simon Nowicki, 36 run, run, good, 1:01
V – Jamison Lee to Nowicki, 12 pass, pass failed, 9:33
V – Vinny Nowicki, 22 interception return, run good, 7:31
V – Lee to Cappel, 47 pass, pass good, 4:50
H- Hunter Planansky to Kyler Campbell, 42 pass, run good, 0:00
V – Safety, 11:42
V – Lee to Simon Nowicki, 24 pass, pass failed, 10:17
V – Cappel, 11 run, pass good, 7:06
H – Hunter Slowik, 19 run, pass good, 2:49