Awesome! Amazing! Indescribable!

Words spoken by first-year head coach Mark Sanders as his Victory Christian Lions easily defeated the Class 2A Holy Spirit Catholic Titans 49-17 Friday night in the season opener for both squads.

Victory Christian used a powerful running game sparked by junior Shawn Traywick. As a team, the Lions totaled close to 500 yards on the ground, and Traywick had five touchdowns on runs of 53, 47, 40, 45 and 20 yards. Traywick finished with right at 300 yards rushing.

Holy Spirit took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter as, on fourth down, Victory Christian attempted to punt, but the ball sailed over the punter’s head out of the back of the end zone.

Traywick scored his first touchdown from 53 yards out to make it 7-2.

Traywick added his second touchdown in the second quarter on a 47-yard run. This came after the Lions' defense held the Titans on fourth down and goal from the one-yard line. They drove 99 yards, but the key play in the drive was a fake punt where Christian Brown rumbled 45 yards for a first down. Brodie Holliday had two PATs in the first half to make it 14-2.

Titans quarterback Jay Slate scored on a 20-yard run to make the halftime score 14-9.

“It is a good feeling to be ahead at halftime,” Sanders said. “We do have to make some corrections on defense because they are busting us on the outside.”

Victory Christian scored 22 points in the third quarter to put the game way out of reach. Traywick scored on runs of 40, 45 and 20 and also caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Harrison Cheatwood to make the score 36-9 headed into the final quarter.

David Smith got in on the scoring act as he scored on a 50-yard touchdown run to make it 42-9.

Kyle Roberson then scored on a 40-yard run and Ben Abel added the PAT to make the score 49-9.

Late in the game, Slate scored again for the Titans, and with the two-point conversion, the final score was 49-17.

Traywick was a very happy young man on the sidelines.

“This was our first win since we beat ASD last year in the opener,” Traywick said. “I do not want a repeat of last year when we then lost nine games in a row.

“Coach Sanders is an amazing man and coach. He is a great influence on all of us players. He is a great Godly man.”

Victory Christian, 1-0, has the week off next week before hosting Appalachian Sept. 5 in a region contest.

Contact Gary Hanner at