Pintos win opener at new stadium

Democrat photo / April Arnett
California's Drew Norton (25) breaks free from Boonville's Alec Viertel (7) with help from teammate Walker Borghardt (11) during the second quarter of Friday's varsity game at Riley Field.

Democrat photo / April Arnett California's Drew Norton (25) breaks free from Boonville's Alec Viertel (7) with help from teammate Walker Borghardt (11) during the second quarter of Friday's varsity game at Riley Field. Photo by April Arnett.

Despite the sweltering heat that resulted in an 8 p.m. kickoff rather than the usual 7 p.m. time Friday, the night was all about shiny new things for the California Pintos. It was the first game of the 2014 season, and it was the first official game to be played on the new football field. So it was only fitting that the Pintos come away with a nice big win, which they did as California rumbled to a 44-0 victory over the Boonville Pirates.

"Everyone's excited about the new field," California Head Coach Marty Albertson said. "It's a beautiful facility and it was great to have a good crowd at our first game."

Though the Pintos started off with a fumble in their opening drive, they made up for it the remainder of the game as they capitalized on two Boonville turnovers and racked up 291 rushing yards.

"We started off slow, especially on offense in the first half," Albertson said. "Naturally for the first game that happens, but we made adjustments and got our running game going and then we played much more efficiently."

Albertson added, "You have to feel good about 300 rushing yards and 170 passing. That's pretty good. I was extremely happy with our defense. They hardly gave up anything."

The Pintos ended up with 31 carries for 291 rushing yards, and Jaden Barr completed 6 of 9 passes for 170 yards.

Boonville had 20 carries for a total of two rushing yards, and Nick Zeitlow completed 4 of 12 passes for a total of 52 yards.

After California's opening drive resulted in a fumble recovered by Boonville, the Pirates ensued with a four-play drive that resulted in a safety to put the Pintos on the board 2-0 with 6:42 left in the first quarter. With :50 remaining in the first quarter, Boonville's drive ended with another safety and California led 4-0.

The Pintos opened the second quarter with a 9-play series capped with a pass from Barr to Drew Norton for a 9-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but California led 10-0 with 7:30 left in the second quarter.

The Pintos' next possession spanned 83 yards and was topped with a 15-yard TD by Barr. Ramiro Garcia scored the point after and California led 17-0 with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter.

Boonville answered with a drive cut short when Dylan Norton intercepted Zeitlow's pass. The Pintos ensued with a 65-yard drive capped with a 37-yard field goal attempt by Garcia that had plenty of distance, but went a little wide and failed.

The Pirates opened the second half with a drive cut to two plays when Allan Burger intercepted Zeitlow's pass and ran in an 18-yard TD. Landon Mouse scored the PAT and the Pintos led 24-0 with 11:46 left in the third quarter.

Boonville's next possession was over before it got started as Drew Norton intercepted Zeitlow's pass on the first play, which left the Pintos to start their series at the Pirates' 18-yard line. Two plays later Barr scored a 9-yard TD. Garcia scored the extra point and California led 31-0 with 10:47 left in the third quarter.

California's next drive consisted of one play that had Barr tossing a short pass to Walker Borghardt who ran in a 65-yard TD. After Garcia's kick for the PAT, the Pintos led 38-0 with 8:55 remaining in the third quarter.

The final points of the night were scored with 7:51 left to play when California's four-play drive was topped off with a 33-yard TD by AJ Kendrick. After the PAT failed, the Pintos led 44-0.

Barr led California rushing with nine carries for 147 yards and two TDs. Kendrick had 14 carries for 72 yards and one TD. Burger had six carries for 37 yards, and Borghardt had eight carries for 27 yards.

Nathan Squires led Pinto tackles with six and one sack for a loss. Mouse had four tackles. Burger, Drew Norton and Dylan Norton each had an interception.

"Overall I was pleased with everyone's efforts," Albertson said.

California will host Mexico Friday at the new Riley Field.

"Mexico will be a tougher game," Albertson said. "I think we wore them out last year; it was really hot."

(The Pintos defeated the Bulldogs 42-14 last season.)

"Mexico is a lot better than Boonville," Albertson said. "They have size and speed in the backfield."

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Friday.

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