Vail Christian football starts the postseason | VailDaily.com

Vail Christian football starts the postseason

Saints host Dove Creek at 1 p.m. in Gypsum

Simon Nowicki and Vail Christian football host Dove Creek at Eagle Valley in Gypsum for the first round of the state playoffs today at 1 p.m.
Kelly Getchonis | Special to the Daily

It was a strange sight in last week’s regular-season finale between Vail Christian football and Byers.

And, no, we’re not referring to defensive-lineman Slater O’Brien returning an interception for a touchdown in magnificent fashion.

With the game long decided — Vail Christian led, 44-0, at the half, and the clock was running — Saints coach Tim Pierson left in his starters. The coach was in no way trying to run it up against the Bulldogs.

He said after the game that he was trying to get his regulars as full of a game as possible, even with the running clock, in anticipation of the playoffs, which start today with No. 13 Dove Creek coming to Eagle Valley in Gypsum at 1 p.m.

One of the few challenges during a perfect 9-0 regular season is that Vail Christian really hasn’t played the full 48 minutes since a Week 4 12-6 win at West Grand. The Saints outscored Hayden, Soroco, Gilpin County, Plateau Valley and Byers, 266-70, during the last five weeks, and the upperclassmen were generally rooting on the youngsters by the third quarter.

Vail Christian expects to have its hands full for 48 minutes today against the Bulldogs, as opposed to last week’s Bulldogs.

Meet the Bulldogs, er, Dove Creek

Dove Creek comes into today’s game on a three-game losing streak, which is a little bit deceptive. All of those defeats came against Mountain Conference foes who start the playoffs in the top 10 of the division.

Keeping in mind that the Saints are No. 4 in the state, No. 2 Sanford decked Dove Creek, 64-12, but the Bulldogs were quite competitive in a 14-6 loss to No. 6 Mancos and in a 26-24 defeat at the hands of No. 10 Sargent.

In the common-opponent department, Dove Creek took down Norwood, 65-30, while the Saints beat the Mavericks, 40-14. Both Vail Christian and Dove Creek bludgeoned Plateau Valley, but the Saints did beat Rangely, 34-22, while the Bulldogs lost to the Panthers, 42-33.

Ironically, the winner of today’s game advances to the quarterfinals to play the winner of No. 5 Dayspring Christian and No. 12 Rangely.

While we don’t know if the Bulldogs run out of the single-wing, like the Saints, their offense is oriented around their quarterback. He’s sophomore Chorbin Cressler who threw for 678 yards and ran for 1,157 yards on 141 carries for 15 touchdowns. If Cressler isn’t running it, junior Gauge Thompson (679 yards off 74 carries), likely is.

Thompson is also Cressler’s favorite target in the passing game with 16 snags for 327 yards.

News and notes

Sedgewick County, champions of the Plains League, aka the SEC of 8-man football, is the No. 1 seed. … West Grand is No. 9 and at No. 8 Merino in what should be an exciting matchup. … As noted, Rangely is the third team from the Northwestern League. … Soroco (6-3) finished 19th in the rating-percentage index and was left out of the bracket.