CMS Pintos end season with wins at home

The California Middle School football teams hosted Versailles Oct. 18 for the Pintos’ final games of the season, where California’s seventh and eighth grade teams defeated the Tigers. The eighth grade Pintos were also recognized along with their parents at the Eighth Grade-Parent Night ceremony.

California’s seventh grade defeated Versailles 35-0.

“The seventh grade Pintos came in motivated to end their season with a victory and they played a very good game,” California Coach Bob Staton said.

California’s offense gained 395 yards and scored five touchdowns.

“A.J. Kendrick has been our leading ground gainer all season and this game was no exception,” Staton said. “He had 94 rushing yards, 35 yards in pass receptions, and 15 yards in kickoff return yards.”

Kendrick also scored four of California’s five touchdowns. Aaron Cuevas was the next leading rusher with 44 yards and 30 punt return yards. Cuevas also scored the other touchdown and kicked three PAT’s.

“Aaron has a very strong kicking leg, the strongest in seventh grade that we have had or seen since I’ve been coaching,” Staton said.

The next leading rusher was quarterback Landon Mouse with 32 yards. He passed for 51 yards. “Mouse is a good ball carrier and passer and solidified our offense,” Staton said.

Kendrick and Tyler Fast led Pinto tacklers with five each, followed by D.J. Burkett with four, Dylan Ratcliff with three, and Mouse, Gump, Daniel Jasso and Andrew Bland with two tackles each. Jasso also had a quarterback sack.

The seventh grade Pintos end the season 4-2.

“We are proud of how much our seventh graders progressed through the season and how well they played as a team,” Staton said. “ We look forward to watching this team next year.”

The eighth grade Pintos defeated Versailles 26-6.

“This was Parent’s Night where we introduce the eighth grade football players and cheerleaders and their parents or guardians,” Staton said. “We owe a lot to the parents, family members and friends that see that these students get to and from practices and games and encourage them to participate.”

Quarterback Jaden Barr led all rushers with 43 yards. Walker Borghardt and Ramiro Garcia both had 13 rushing yards, while Allan Burger had nine. Barr completed 8 of 12 passes for 188 yards.

“Barr is a very good passer,” Staton said, “But what really makes him special and goes beyond his passing skills is his ability to find the open receiver.”

Barr connected on a pass to Alex Dalbey for a 25-yard touchdown, then scored a TD on a run, and Borghardt picked up a fumble and ran it in for a 55-yard touchdown. California’s other touchdown resulted from defense when Evan Hays recovered a Versailles fumble in the endzone.

“We had several touchdowns and long plays called back by penalties,” Staton said.

Nathan Squires led all tacklers with nine, followed by Barr with 6, Allan Burger with five, and Eli Freeman, Borghardt, Hays, Dalbey and Zach Cummings with four tackles each.

The eighth grade Pintos end the season 5-1 loss.

“Their only loss came from a 5-A Waynesville team that scored in the final 30 seconds to defeat the Pintos,” Staton said. “In my opinion, this California team was undefeated and all the coaches were proud of how they played the entire season. This is a special group of boys who play the game well, as good sportsmen, and as a team. They will be fun to watch as freshmen. Sooner than later, we will be watching a lot of this team contribute to the varsity Pintos on Friday nights to come.”

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