The California Pintos most likely went into Friday night's game against Eldon seeking a little redemption since it was the 38-0 loss to the Mustangs that ended California's season last year (Oct. 27) in round three of district play.
After that loss, Albertson had said, "Hopefully our younger kids learn from this and play every game in the future like it's their last."
It appears that's exactly what the Pintos are doing. With two wins in their pocket, California added another with a 44-12 win Friday at Riley Field.
"Overall, the kids played great," Albertson said. "Eldon is a pretty good running team, but our defense was tough and we shut them down. I think another key is the fact that we had 13 ball carriers, which enables us to stay fresh. I think we ultimately wore them out."
The Mustangs fumbled on the first play of their opening drive, which was recovered by California's Efrain Torres. Just three plays later, California's Jerry Lutz ran in a 6-yard touchdown. The kick for the PAT failed, but the Pintos led 6-0.
California's next possession consisted of one play, a 56-yard TD pass from Jaden Barr to Dylan Albertson. After the PAT failed, California led 12-0 with 8:40 left in the first quarter.
The Pintos' next drive included a 32-yard run by Seth Fairchild and a 12-yard run by Anthony Price, and ended with a 1-yard TD by Barr. Garret Baquet ran in the two-point conversion and California led 20-0 with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
After a scoreless second quarter, the Pintos' opening drive of the second half was capped with a 17-yard TD pass from Barr to Fairchild. Torres nailed the kick for the extra point and California led 27-0 with 6:05 left in the second quarter.
The Pintos' next possession ended with a 23-yard field goal by Torres with 11:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs ensued with a 4-play drive that resulted in a 57-yard touchdown by Sheyne Stafford. The PAT failed and Eldon trailed 30-6 with 9:57 left to play.
California's next possession consisted of just four plays, ending with a 49-yard TD by Walker Borghardt. Torres nailed the extra point and California led 37-6.
While California's younger players got some time on the field, including sophomore quarterback Alex Dalbey, Eldon's Raymond Kwok scored a 23-yard touchdown with 3:21 left to play. The two-point conversion failed and Eldon trailed 37-12.
California's next and final possession ended with a 38-yard TD by Borghardt. Torres scored the PAT and California led 44-12 with 35 seconds remaining.
"Our younger kids did okay," Albertson said. "They gave up a couple, but they're getting experience they need and with more time, they will play better."
California had 59 carries for 458 yards and Barr completed 3 of 6 passes for 95 yards including two touchdowns.
Fairchild led Pinto rushing with nine carries for 99 yards. Borghardt followed with four carries for 97 yards. Price had 11 for 72 yards. Albertson had seven for 64 yards, and Lutz had 10 for 44 yards.
Eldon had 29 carries for 164 yards and Wyatt Greenwalt completed 2 of 6 passes for 8 yards.
California tackles were led by Logan Rowles with four solos and nine assists. Scott Porter had two solos and five assists. Curtis Fulks had two solos and four assists. Albertson had one solo and four assists. Lutz had two solos and three assists and Jacob Kueffer had one solo and four assists.
California will play at Hallsville at 7 p.m. Friday.
"They're probably the most improved team from last year," Albertson said. "I look for them to come out strong. This should be our toughest game so far this season, but we'll be ready."