Vail Christian crushes Gilpin County, 54-16
GYPSUM – Ten plays.
“A lot of teams go out hard for the first 10 plays so we challenged our kids, no matter what the opponent is like, you’re playing your best football and it sets the tone for the rest of the game,” Vail Christian football coach Tim Pierson said.
However one slices the first 10 plays of Saturday’s Vail Christian-Gilpin County football game, the Saints did set the tone. The Saints led 7-0 after 10 plays total against Gilpin. The Vail Christian defense chalked up two three-and-outs in its first eight plays. And the Saints offense had 11 offensive touches in racking up 21 points early on the way to a 54-16 win against the visiting Eagles.
Life is generally better now for Vail Christian football after a tough league-opening loss to Soroco last week.
“It’s a great feeling. Coming back from Soroco was tough,” Saints sophomore Mack Cooper said. “We were looking to hit at them hard. We were told the first 10 plays, they were going to come out hard, so we had to come out at our best. We did.”
Saints senior Teller Emmer did the honors with a 19-yard run to put the Saints up, 7-0. Quarterback Austin Ellsworth hooked up with Gunnar Hamina for a 39-yard scoring strike to make it 14-0.
After the Eagles’ Kevin Robertson put his team on the board with a 40-yard scamper, the Saints were rolling again. This time, it was Ellsworth to James Currey for 38 yards and a score.
The Saints put up 28 points in the first quarter, led 48-8 at the half and never looked back in evening their Central League mark at 1-1.
“It was good,” Pierson said. “We were a little down today. We didn’t have Granger (Moch) full-go. We didn’t have Nigel (Johnsen). We held Braden Dalbow out. So were a little short on players, but we had guys step up and rally. They played well. It was good to have Austin in there. He’s a sophomore who does a good job as a natural leader.”
Ellsworth missed the Soroco game with a hand injury, but was back in fine form against Gilpin. Saturday’s emphasis seemed, however, to be on the running game. Cooper rolled 39 and 59 yards for touchdowns in the first half. Cole Caynowski had his drive – three plays for 27 yards and six – after the Saints got a safety.
Branden Currey’s running set up Cooper’s third of the day to end the first half. Hamina had a 5-yard score in the second half.
Next up for the Saints is a road game at North Park Saturday.
“We’re going to have to step it up in practice,” Cooper said. “We can’t get cocky after a win any sort.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.