CALIFORNIA — The California Pintos will have to drive a long way to face their first round Class 2 District 4 opponent in the Lamar Tigers.
The Pintos (1-8) are coming off of a 41-0 loss to Blair Oaks, while Lamar (7-2) downed Cassville 14-10.
California coach Derek Scroggins said he does not think the three-hour travel time will have an impact on the Pintos.
"We are going to leave early enough and we are taking enough precautions to try and ensure that we play this game and have no excuses," Scroggins said. "It is unfortunate that we have to drive so far but the positive side is that we will get some good team building out of it."
California had a few injuries heading into the Blair Oaks game and the team did not suffer any additional injuries last Friday night. Scroggins said most of the injured players will be back for tonight's game.
Scroggins said the Pintos know they are facing a good team in Lamar, but the team is confident it in what they are capable of doing.
"We went through the gauntlet of our regular season and it prepared us for facing a team like Lamar," Scroggins said. "Lamar, as good as they are, is probably the fourth- or fifth-best team that we will play all year. We have seen higher end teams and I feel that our kids are ready for the challenge."In their last three games, California has played Hallsville, Southern Boone, and Blair Oaks who combined have a record of 23-4 this season. The team has seen different types of players thanks to facing these teams.
"We saw pretty good athletes, we saw big kids, strong kids," Scroggins said. "I feel that what we have faced has prepared us for districts."
California plans to play a physical game against Lamar.
"We are a physical football team and it is going to come out and play like we have all year where we are going to be physical and not be afraid to hit them in the mouth and let the chips fall where they may," Scroggins said.
"Individual match-up wise, I feel like we are pretty even teams compared to each other."
Scroggins said the Pintos are going to have to play disciplined and play assignment football to deal with Lamar's running game and use of misdirection.