Not that the Pintos needed any help going into Friday night's game against Versailles, but the fact that it was Senior Night on their home field, and the last game of the regular season certainly didn't hurt, and the result was a 63-12 victory for California.
"I feel good about how we played," California Coach Marty Albertson said. "We worked on our passing game, which was very effective, and we still had an excellent running game. I think we're right on track."
While the Pintos scored on nine of 13 possessions, and capitalized on both of Versailles' turnovers, the Tigers scored on only their first and last possessions, missing both 2-point conversion attempts.
California ended up with 20 carries for 363 yards and Jaden Barr completed 5 of 7 passes for 186 yards, for a total of 549 yards of offense.
"Jaden had a great game," Albertson said.
The Senior Night ceremony was held prior to kickoff, in which senior members of the cheerleading squad, Pinto Marching Band, cross country team and varsity football team were recognized along with their parents. The Pintos then opened Friday's contest with a 3-play drive that started off with Barr connecting with Ramiro Garcia on a 54-yard pass play. Two plays later, Luke Burger ran in a 1-yard touchdown. Aaron Cuevas nailed the first of nine extra points, and California led 7-0 with 11:10 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers answered with an 8-play, 61-yard drive capped with a 50-yard TD run by Johnathan Cunningham, and Versailles trailed 7-6 with 8:15 remaining in the first quarter.
The Pintos tacked on 14 more points in the first quarter via a 45-yard TD by Walker Borghardt at the 3:51 mark, and a 26-yard TD by Barr at the 1:24 mark, to lead 21-6.
Scoring for California in the second quarter included a 51-yard TD pass from Barr to Drew Norton at the 11:36 mark, a 66-yard TD by Borghardt at the 9:55 mark, a 56-yard TD pass from Barr to Allan Burger at the 7:35 mark, and a 24-yard pass from Barr to Norton at the 1:06 mark to lead 49-6 at the half.
The Tigers opened the second half with a 13-play drive that consumed most of the third quarter, but came up short. The Pintos answered with a 4-play, 67-yard possession capped with a 9-yard TD run by A.J. Kendrick, and California led 56-6 with 11:56 left to play.
The Pintos' next drive consisted of three plays including a 30-yard TD by Kendrick at the 4:44 mark to put the lead at 63-6.
The Tigers answered with a 3-play drive that had Michael Allen connecting with Sean Varner on a 71-yard pass play for a TD at the 2:47 mark, and the Tigers trailed 63-12.
California rushing was led by Borghardt with five carries for 160 yards and two TDs. Jerry Lutz had three carries for 57 yards. Luke Burger had six carries for 52 yards and one TD. Kendrick had three carries for 45 yards and two TDs.
Nathan Squires led Pinto tackles with 15, and two sacks. Garcia had nine tackles and Lutz had five. Landon Mouse and Dylan Norton each had an interception.
California's JV traveled to Versailles Monday night, where the Pintos captured a 42-0 win to finish the season undefeated.
"The JV defense only gave up six points all season," California Coach Rich Matzes said.
Scoring for the Pintos consisted of a rushing touchdown by Hunter Heimericks; Alex Dalbey scored a rushing TD and threw two TD passes, one to Dylan Norton and one to Dylan Ratcliff; A.J. Kendrick had a 90-yard TD run; Clayton Percival recovered a blocked punt in the endzone for a TD (Sam Clenin blocked the punt); and Aaron Cuevas kicked six extra points.
Cuevas and Dalbey each had an interception.
"I'm really proud of our JV," Albertson said. "They played really well. It's nice to see our younger kids do so well."
Top-seeded California (8-1) will host #8 seeded Missouri Military Academy (0-8) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Riley Field in the first round of the Class 3 District 6 Tournament.
"We will be focused on taking care of business," Albertson said. "Hopefully we'll get our younger kids in and get on a roll for a playoff run."
The cost of admission to the district opener will be $4 for all ages, and no passes will be accepted. The Parade of Champions will begin at 5:30 p.m.