Vail Christian knocks off Lake County, 26-12
Vail Christian football
Lake County 0 0 0 12 — 12
Vail Christian 0 8 12 6 — 26
V — Jake Nowicki, 1 run, (Tom Engleby to Tracy Prindiville), 10:49.
V — Engleby to Nowicki, 15 pass (run failed), 8:34.
V — Engleby to Jack Powers, 5 pass, (pass failed), 2:47.
L — Bryce Allen to Matthew Espinoza, 29 pass, (Kick failed), 7:45.
V — Nowicki, 59 run, (run failed), 7:34.
L — Allen to Isaiah Martinez, 25 pass, (Kick failed), 2:30.
EDWARDS — Sometimes, all an offense needs for a kick start is a mediocre punt.
Vail Christian football got such a boost during a 26-12 win over Lake County on Friday night in Edwards.
The Saints went three-and out on its first possession and were punting from its own 4-yard line. Quarterback Tom Engleby, with not much room with the shadow of his own goal, got the kick off in what turned out to be a pivotal 11-yard punt.
The kick glanced off a Lake County player and Sal Gonzalez recovered the fumble for a new set of downs on the Vail Christian 15.
first score of the game
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From there, the Saints (1-1) launched a 15-play drive for the game’s first score.
That drive had its adventurous moments, including a 3-and-17 caused by an intentional-grounding penalty. Engleby recovered from that with a 19-yard pass to Jack Powers, international man of mystery.
After a five-interception night against Grand Valley, Engleby bounced back against the Panthers. He hit Gonzalez three times on the drive. Having opened up the pass, Jake Nowicki rumbled 15 yards to the Panthers’ 1, and scored on the next play.
Engleby to Tracy Prindiville for the 2-point conversion was good for an 8-0 halftime lead.
Credit the Saints’ defense for stiffening and getting a stop on the Panthers’ opening drive. Lake County (0-3) started the game with a 15-play march, but got no points. After that, the Blue Crush was efficient.
Vail Christian started the second half with a whole bunch of Nowicki on the ground. His first touch of that drive was a 17-yard gain. Engleby to Powers, international man of mystery, was good for another 12 yards. Engleby to Nowicki for 15 yards made it 14-0.
Vail Christian extended its lead, converting a 4-and-5 with and Engleby pass to Joseph Emmer for nine yards. The Saints ripped off another 13-yard chunk with a nice catch by Powers. (Yeah, baby.)
Engleby scrambled for three yards and drew a face-mask penalty, a personal foul. Nonetheless, the Saints had a curious fourth-and-goal from the Panthers’ 5, and capitalized anyway. Engleby to Powers — we’re out of appropriate “Austin Powers” jokes — made it 20-0.
Lake County got on the board midway through the fourth quarter, but the Saints had the answer. Nowicki rumbled for 59 yards to the end zone.
The Saints head to Cedaredge next week for more nonconference play.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org, and @cfreud.