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story.lead_photo.caption California's Clayton Winkler carries the ball during a game earlier this month against School of the Osage at Osage Beach. Photo by Alison Schneider/Special to the News Tribune

CALIFORNIA — It's a battle for the first win of the season.

The California Pintos (0-4) are getting ready to face another winless team in the Versailles Tigers (0-4) in tonight's Homecoming game at Riley Field. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

California lost 48-7 last Friday at home to the Boonville Pirates, who moved up one spot to No. 8 in Class 3 in this week's Missouri Media Rankings.

It was the third time this year the Pintos allowed 48 points.

Versailles is coming off a 56-8 loss to Blair Oaks, which is ranked No. 1 in Class 3.

While California is allowing an average of 41 points per game, Versailles has given up 50 or more points in each of its losses. The Tigers are allowing 55.8 points per game.

However, California coach Derek Scroggins said facing a fellow winless team is just another game on the schedule for the Pintos.

"Even though they are 0-4, (Versailles) is a pretty good football team, as they demonstrated last year," he said. "They return most of their team."

Among the returners for the Tigers is senior quarterback Coby Williams, who was named to the Class 2 all-state third team last season with more than 3,200 yards of total offense.

Through four games this season, Williams has 724 yards passing and another 366 yards rushing, totaling 13 touchdowns.

Heading into this game, Scroggins said the Pintos are going to focus on trying to stop Williams.

"He is a pretty skilled athlete, and he is a senior who has started the last three years," Scroggins said. "Basically their offense goes how he goes and so we are obviously going to be keying on him and try to shut him down."

Defensively, senior lineman Quinn Randall leads the Tigers with 28 total tackles, 26 of which are solo stops.

The Pintos have been working on the fundamentals after last Friday's game. Boonville's Avian Thomas rushed for more than 200 yards and scored four touchdowns. He added a fifth score on defense with a pick-six.

"We are spending a large amount of time working on basic fundamentals such as tackling and the same thing with blocking," Scroggins said. "Just continuing to rep the fundamentals that we need to display."

California's offense had some troubles against Boonville's defense, as the Pintos were unable to score until the fourth quarter, when Calen Kruger scored a rushing touchdown. California finished with 112 yards rushing and 41 yards passing.

Kruger was the team's leading rusher with six carries for 52 yards.

Scroggins said Versailles has the smallest defensive front the Pintos have seen so far this year.

"They are much more comparable in size of their players to us," he said. "I feel like our offensive line is going to be able to have a good game and do things well, and our running backs will follow their blocks and keep their hands on the ball and make things happen for us."


Related Media

California Pintos Football Podcast [Versailles preview, Sept. 27, 2019]

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