Saints football smashes Dragons
GYPSUM – After her team beat Ridgway Saturday, Vail Christian volleyball’s Kaley Hagerman was ready for some football.”I’m excited,” she said. “I definitely want to see our football guys hopefully kill DeBeque.”The boys did not let Kaley down. The Vail Christian 8-man football team crushed the Dragons, 50-27, in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated. Vail Christian was up 36-0 at the half and as much as 50-14 before Saints coach Tim Pierson flushed his bench.At the half, the Saints had held the Dragons to 11 yards on 18 rushing attempts and allowed all of 64 yards of total offense. Offensively, the Saints were averaging 12 yards per carry.
“I’m really pleased that they started from the get go, did what they were supposed to do,” Pierson said. “I’m also pleased the defense pitched a shutout in the first half. Offensively, we put some points on the board. So, I’m pretty happy with them.”It was the Saints’ day from the start. Caleb Pearson fell on the kickoff at the DeBeque 28-yard line when the Dragons forgot that the opening kick was a live ball. Quarterback Jaryd Francis hit Pearson two plays later for a 20-yard touchdown pass.Francis blocked a DeBeque punt, setting up Vail Christian’s second score. Freshman AJ Burgess was in the house on a 5-yarder, the first of four touchdowns for the freshman. Burgess had three rushing TDs and one via a 100-yard interception return. He even had another 75-yarder called back by a penalty flag.”That’s pretty cool,” Burgess said. “I had no clue. Something came over me. The offensive line was great. (Fellow running back) John Romero had my back.””I’m glad he’s stepping up,” Pierson said. “We need, with some of our injuries, a freshman stepping up and making some plays.”
Senior Jake Blair was making plays, too. He halted a DeBeque drive with a fumble recovery. The Blue Crush delivered six turnovers Saturday afternoon. Needless to say, Pierson was pleased with linemen Blair, Justin Simon, Francis and Pearson, linebackers Bjorn Bauer, Oliver Ristow and Chase Gruber and backs Romero, Blake Gruber and Burgess.Bauer got in on the act with an 18-yard scoring scamper. He also get the conversion to make it 20-0. Burgess had touchdown No. 2, another 5-yarder. A “Jake dive” on the conversion from Blair upped the lead to 28-0.DeBeque got down to the Saints’ 4 with 1:47 left in the half, but Dragons quarterback Seth Counts was picked by Burgess at the goal line and the freshman ran it all the way back.”Coach kept calling for me to look for the slant,” Burgess said.
“I just guessed. I just picked it off. It was a lucky play. It’s a long run. I was exhausted after that.”Burgess capped his big day with a 46-yard rumble in the third quarter. Romero scored the Saints’ final touchdown and Ristow converted, a play that will become greater with each telling.Vail Christian (3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Central League) is at Gilpin County Saturday.Sports editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado