LONGMONT -- Looking at the schedule before the season began, the Longmont Christian football team knew Friday night's home game against Vail Christian presented a good opportunity for a victory.
When the Warriors lost 36-22, they couldn't hide their disappointment.
"It was really upsetting," junior quarterback Michael Rampson said. "It's pretty frustrating, but I know in the future we will try harder. As a team we will do better and we will be better."
Big plays and costly mistakes hurt the Warriors (1-1) in the second half. They took a 16-14 lead into halftime, but Vail Christian's Mack Cooper returned the third quarter kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown, giving the Saints a 22-16 lead.
"At halftime, you're trying to get everybody refocused and ramped up and to come out of the locker room and to make something happen momentum wise early, and it did the wrong way," Warriors head coach Jerry Martin said. "When you get all emotional coming out of the locker room and something like that happens, it's hard to recover sometimes."
The Warriors were forced to punt on their next possession. Then, they caught a break. Vail Christian lined up to punt, but a snap over the punter's head resulted in a 26-yard loss. That gave Longmont Christian a golden opportunity with a first down at the Saints' 13.
On the next play, however, Rampson's pass was intercepted. The Saints went 80 yards in eight plays the other way for another touchdown and a 28-16 lead.
Longmont Christian's next possession ended in disaster, too. The Warriors tried a reverse, but coughed up the football and Vail Christian's Chase Caynoski scooped it up and rambled 28 yards for a touchdown. Just like that, the Warriors were down 36-16.
"Mistakes, at any level, kill you," Martin said.
The Warriors did start strong, scoring a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. Rampson ran in from 28 yards out and then added a two-point conversion pass.
"It started out great and then we just sort of slipped," Rampson said.
Filling in for injured quarterback Michael Charles, Rampson did well. He ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns and threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Austin Jauregui.
Still, the Warriors look at their schedule and see a tough Haxtun team on the schedule next and know Friday's performance won't cut it.
"It looked like we didn't practice this week," said Martin, whose team was flagged 10 times and fumbled four other times (losing one). "It was really sloppy.
"We've got a lot of work to do, because it goes dramatically up competitively starting next week."
Brian Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VAIL CHR. 36, LONGMONT CHR. 22
At Sandstone Ranch Park
Vail Chr. (2-1) 8 6 14 8 -- 36
Longmont Chr. (1-1) 8 8 0 6 -- 22
LC -- Michael Rampson 28 run (Austin Jauregui pass from Rampson), 7:46.
VC -- Branden Curry 23 pass from Austin Ellsworth (Cole Caynoski pass from Ellsworth), 1:47.
VC -- Mack Cooper 14 pass from Ellsworth (pass failed), 7:25.
LC -- Rampson 8 run (run failed), 5:27.
LC -- Safety. Ellsworth down in end zone, 3:04.
VC -- Cooper 89 kickoff return (Ellsworth run), 11:47.
VC -- Clayton Davis 29 pass from Ellsworth (pass failed), 2:57.
VC -- Chase Caynoski 28 fumble return (Cooper pass from Ellsworth), 11:49.
LC -- Jauregui 21 pass from Rampson (run failed), 3:35.
First downs 12 14
Rushes-yards 28-21 42-229
Passing yards 223 54
Comp-Att-Int 11-20-1 4-13-1
Punts-Avg. 0-0 2-35.5
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-1
Penalties-Yards 5-32 10-60
RUSHING -- Vail Christian: Cooper 12-62, Cole Caynoski 2-5, Curry 2-3, Mike Lange 5-(-7), Ellsworth 4-(-13), Team 3-(-29); Longmont Christian: Rampson 22-148, Parker Liske 14-60, Aaron Rodarte 5-21, James Dick 2-0.
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) -- Vail Christian: Ellsworth 11-20-1-223; Longmont Christian: Rampson 4-13-1-54.
RECEIVING -- Vail Christian: Curry 5-118, Cooper 2-49, Davis 2-47, Lange 1-5, Cole Caynoski 1-4. Longmont Christian: Jauregui 2-32, Dick 1-13, Rodarte 1-9.