Vail Christian football rides J-Train to win
Way to go, Pavs
The J-Train, baby. It’s new, happening play for Vail Christian football.
On a 2-point conversion midway through the first quarter on Thursday night in Edwards against Gilpin County, the secret weapon came out of the playbook.
Andrew Flynn lined up at center and snapped the ball to the Saints’ new quarterback, John Pavelich, and the J-Train is a nonstop route to the end zone. As an FYI, if lineman Pavelich wants to bust some tackles, those aren’t considered stops.
Starting quarterback Jamison Lee is probably sensing a quarterback controversy in upcoming weeks.
That was one of the highlights in Vail Christian’s 46-22 win over the Eagles as the Saints moved to 7-0.
The J-Train was drawn up by the players and coach Tim Pierson had his fingers crossed during its running.
“You roll with it,” Pierson said. “John is too valuable to get hurt, but he ran people over. It’s one of those things where the kids are being creative and laughing a bit. That was their call.”
The score was a lot closer than the game. Vail Christian led 40-0 in the first quarter, kicking in the running clock. The Saints rightly played their kids, with the exception of the front lines, the rest of the way.
As good as a quarterback as Pavelich appeared in his play, Lee’s probably keeping his job. The senior fired two touchdown passes to Hayden Sticksel, one for 18 yards and the other for 60.
Chris Cappel took over from there with 10- and 40-yard rushing scores. Lee to Andrew Stojkovich made it 40-0.
In the second half, Cappel had a strip-sack and Vinny Nowicki came up with the ball and ran it to the house.
While the Eagles were very much outmanned in this one, Vail Christian had positive non-J-Train developments. One was that the Saints did not allow a first down while the first-team defense was playing.
And given that Gilpin County features running-back Stephen King, that’s an accomplishment. King was averaging more than 100 yards per game, entering Thursday night. Blue Crush stuffed him.
Vail Christian also got after it. That’s what teams with aspirations for a deep playoff run do against struggling opposition.
And once the Saints had a 40-0 lead, they played their kids. In the bigger picture, this is important. As much as any team in any sport tries to simulate it in practice, there is nothing like younger kids getting varsity playing time. It’s invaluable for when it’s their turn as starters in the future.
The Saints head to Plateau Valley on Oct. 26 to close out Northwestern League play.
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