Pintos grab conference title

The California Pintos traveled to Versailles Friday night to wrap up regular season play, where they defeated the Tigers 43-0 to finish with an unblemished 9-0 record, while securing the Tri-County Conference title.

“After the game, I told the kids I'm very proud of them for winning the conference championship and going undefeated,” California Coach Marty Albertson said. “Now it's the second part of the season. We have to stay focused for districts.”

Albertson added, “Versailles played us pretty hard and made us work for it. Overall, I thought we had a pretty good game. We got a lot of our younger kids on the field in the fourth quarter. Ramiro Garcia had 38 rushing yards and was in on some tackles, and Allan Burger had a 29-yard touchdown and six tackles.”

The Pintos wasted no time putting a score on the board as they capped their first possession of the night, a 58-yard drive, with a 1-yard TD by quarterback Jaden Barr. A pass from Dylan Albertson to Logan Rowles nailed the two-point conversion, and California led 8-0 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

California's next possession resulted in a fumble recovered by Versailles, but the Tigers came up empty as they went three and out.

The Pintos' next drive opened with a pass from Barr to Albertson that resulted in a 95-yard TD with 9:00 remaining in the second quarter, however, a California penalty negated the play. The Pintos made up for it with the two possessions that followed. The first was topped off with a 4-yard touchdown by Garret Baquet, and the point after by Aaron Cuevas, while the second ended with a 1-yard TD by Barr. California led 21-0 with :26 left in the first half.

The Pintos opened the third quarter with an 11-play drive that resulted in a fumble recovered by the Tigers at their 48-yard line. Two plays later, however, quarterback Michael Allen threw a pass that was intercepted by California's Scott Porter, who ran in a 48-yard TD. Cuevas nailed the PAT and the Pintos led 28-0.

California's first play of the fourth quarter was a pass from Barr to Albertson that resulted in a 29-yard touchdown. Albertson hit Jason Wolverton with a pass to score the two-point conversion, and the Pintos led 36-0.

California's next possession ended with a 29-yard TD by Allan Burger with 2:02 left to play. After Cuevas' kick for the extra point, the Pintos (9-0) came away with a 43-0 win.

The Pintos had 48 carries for 331 rushing yards and Barr completed 5 of 7 passes for 118 yards. Anthony Price led California with 14 carries for 94 yards. Barr had six carries for 50 yards and Garcia had four carries for 38 yards. Seth Fairchild had six carries for 34 yards, Luke Burger had four carries for 31 yards, and Albertson had four carries for 27 yards.

The Tigers (2-7) had 36 carries for 105 yards. Allen was 0 for 8 passing.

Albertson led Pinto tackles with two solos and eight assists. Rowles had one solo and eight assists. Porter had one solo and seven assists. Jerry Lutz, Allan Burger and Luke Burger each had six tackles.

Top-seeded California will host #8 seeded Missouri Military Academy (0-9) in the first round of Class 3 District 6 play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Riley Field. The cost to attend the district game is $4 per person, including children and adults. (No passes or senior citizen discounts will be honored.)

The Parade of Champions featuring the Pintos will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Regarding the district title the Pintos are aiming for, Albertson said, “I think our kids are playing well. We have as good a shot as anyone.”

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