Vail Christian rally falls short against Eagles |

Vail Christian rally falls short against Eagles

Chris FreudVail, CO Colorado
SPT VCFB Larry Cavanaugh 1 DT 9-18-09

GYPSUM, Colorado – The first to speak after Friday night’s football game was not Vail Christian coach Tim Pierson, but Saints seniors Kieran Hurtt and Larry Cavanaugh.The seniors pulled no punches. The effort in practice and in games has to get better. Each and every player has to contribute and so on.”If this thing’s going to turn around, it’s going to be from them,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said glumly afterward. “It’s their senior season, and they know we’re better than this. They know they’re better than this.”The Saints showed flashes of why Hurtt and Cavanaugh have high expectations in a 34-20 loss to Rocky Mountain Lutheran in Gypsum Friday night. Vail Christian came every close to coming back from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter, only to be undermined by mistakes which are characteristic of the the type of young team that the Saints are.”It’s tough. The seniors are trying to step up and lead,” Cavanaugh said. “We’ve got some guys who haven’t played in a while. Everybody is stepping up. Everyone is getting better. I’m happy with everyone getting better. Everyone’s trying hard. It’s just tough when we have losses like this.”Vail Christian, the defending Central League champions, fell to 0-3 with the loss.Too much CatoWhile the Saints’ offense scuffled early, Rocky Mountain Lutheran had running back Jamal Cato. With the exception of series in the third quarter when the Saints’ Ryan Berry knocked him out of the game with a clean hit, Cato gave Vail Christian fits all night. The Lutheran senior rumbled in from 55 yards out and had a 17-yard touchdown with 4:28 left in the first half giving the Eagles a 16-0 lead.The Saints’ ground game got going with Barry, now playing running back, and Cavanaugh marching the Saints 68 yards down the field. Cavanaugh ran the final 20 yards to the house, courtesy of a big block from Hurtt.Vail Christian turned this into a game at the start of the third quarter. Cavanaugh called his own number and turned the corner for a 75-yard scoring scamper to make it 16-14 with the conversion.Cato answered with a 32-yard touchdown run. While he was out of the game after Barry’s hit. Kevin Wagner gave the Eagles a 28-14 advantage with a 4-yard run.The Saints defense got a much-needed stop in the fourth quarter when Cavanaugh intercepted a pass from Josh Brown and returned it 14 yards to the Eagles’ 30.”First pick ever in high school. It was nice,” Cavanaugh said. “I was focusing on catching the ball and make sure I didn’t drop it.”Cavanaugh dove in from two yards out to close the gap to 28-20, but a face-masking penalty started Rocky Mountain Lutheran’s final scoring drive which iced the game. Back to workMistakes were the theme of the evening for Vail Christian. Cavanaugh was not always spot-on accurate with his throws, but there were definitely some balls the Saints should have caught. Penalties were also serious problem for Vail Christian, stalling its drives or prolonging those of the Eagles.”There’s a ton of potential. We just make so many dang mistakes,” Pierson said. “We’ve just got to stop making so many dang mistakes.”Vail Christian will try to right the ship next Saturday at Maranatha Christian.”All this week, it’s straight focus,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s straight work. Hopefully, we come out with a win.”VolleyballVail Christian 3, Meeker 0MEEKER – Quick now, name the local volleyball team with the best record in 2009.It’s Vail Christian, the team which was supposedly rebuilding after the loss of a bunch of key seniors. While coach Cathy Alexander will tamp down this talk quickly, the Saints upped their record to 7-1 with a three-game sweep of Meeker in their 2A Slope opener Friday night.”We struggled through the match,” Alexander said. “We just were not on. We were down 8-1 in third game, but we won. We showed the right maturity that goes along with a situation like that. It wasn’t pretty, but we didn’t give Meeker a game.”And this is quite a turnaround from last year when the Saints lost to the Cowboys twice in lopsided fashion.The Saints return home today for a 5 p.m. varsity start against Hayden. Please note the time change.SoccerBattle Mountain 4, Moffat County 1CRAIG – No looking ahead. No looking back.After a 1-1 tie against Eagle Valley Tuesday night and a huge game today at Steamboat Springs, Battle Mountain soccer made sure there was no letdown Friday at Craig against Moffat County.The Huskies overcame a 1-0 deficit to knock off the Bulldogs, 4-1. Battle Mountain’s strikers Ubaldo Trujillo and Jack Sunderland got back into the action after tough night Tuesday. Trujillo had two and Sunderland scored once. Sergio Sifuentes added one as the Huskies raised their record to 2-0-1 in the 4A Slope and 3-0-1 overall.”I was really happy with the way the fells responded in two ways,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “They could have let some doubt creep in after Moffat scored, but the group stuck together and came back. They also could have been looking ahead to Steamboat and they focused on the task at hand.”The Huskies and Sailors kick off today at 11 a.m.FootballMoffat County 45, Battle Mountain 7CRAIG -Battle Mountain football had a tough evening up in Craig, falling to Moffat County, 45-7.The loss dropped the Huskies to 0-2 in the 3A Slope and to 0-3 overall.The Huskies return home to open their new stadium in Edwards Friday night against Highland.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or Slope footballFriday nightRocky Mountain Lutheran 34, Vail Christian 20Moffat County 45, Battle Mountain 7Steamboat Springs 49, Cortez 6Rifle 33, Brush 26Delta at Glenwood Springs, (n)Thursday nightPalisade 43, Eagle Valley 6

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