Saints lose league opener
LAKEWOOD – It was a tale of two halves for Vail Christian 8-man football team Saturday at Christian Fellowship.In the first half, the Saints’ offense was rolling. In the second half, lack of experience and bad tackling caught up with Vail Christian. The result was a 48-30 loss to Conquerors in the Saints’ Central League opener.”They just started covering our receivers a little better,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said. “We just weren’t as sharp in the second half. We were out-experienced. We made some silly mistakes, missed some tackles and didn’t recognize some formations. But, they played with a lot of heart and character.”That will happen to a team with only one returning starter from the previous year. But in the first half, the Saints looked like veterans. Quarterback Jonathan Armstead fired a 59-yard pass to Jaryd Francis and the Saints converted the two-pointer to start the game with an 8-0 lead.Down 14-6 in the second quarter, Armstead to James Graef put the Saints on the Christian Fellowship 5. From there, Armstead went up the middle for the touchdown to tie the game.It got a little crazy late in the first half, Down 20-14. Armstead hit Graef for 50 yards and then another 14 for a touchdown. The duo hooked up on the conversion and the Saints led, 22-20.After a one play drive by the Conquerors, Armstead had a 30-yard run, aided by a crushing block from Francis. Armstead returned the favor by tossing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Francis and Vail Christian was up, 30-28, at the half.Though the Saints took their lumps in the second half, there were plenty of good performances to go around. Armstead ran 16 times for 216 yards and had a passing day of 10-for-17 for 253 yards. He threw for three TDs and ran for one more. Francis hauled in 110 yards on three receptions. Graef was also a popular target with five catches for 127 yards.On defense, Oliver Ristow had five tackles and 11 assists, while both Jake Blair and Josh Glandorf wrapped up four times. Josh Sibley added a fumble recovery.Vail Christian (0-1 in league and 1-1 overall) hosts Christian at Eagle Valley Saturday at 2:30 p.m.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or email@example.com.