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story.lead_photo.caption Drake Schlup tries to get away from defenders during the Pintos' game vs Blair Oaks Oct. 25, 2019. Photo by Kevin Labotka / California Democrat.

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — The California Pintos football team finished the regular season with a tough 41-0 loss Oct. 25 to the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3, the Blair Oaks Falcons. The Pintos finished the regular season with a record of 1-8.

Head coach Derek Scroggins said the Pintos played hard.

"I felt like the team did a good job," Scroggins said. "They came out and were able to capitalize on some mistakes made by Blair Oaks. We played the ranked No. 1 team in Class 3, a division above us, and our kids played to the wire with them, played a more physical game. I thought that they played a pretty good ball game."

California was able to keep the Falcons off the board in the first quarter, as the quarter ended with the teams tied at 0-0. The Pintos had a chance to take the lead, but the kick attempt was blocked. The Pintos also had a punt blocked in the game.

"Looking at this season, Blair Oaks hadn't been shut out of a quarter all year long," Scroggins said. "Our kids were flying around and doing a good job of doing the things they needed to do. We just struggled to capitalize on offense."

Blair Oaks took advantage of the blocked punt, as the team scored on the following possession with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Hair to Jake Closser to take a 7-0 lead with 11:54 in the second quarter.

Later in the second quarter, the Pintos lost a ball on a fumble near their own 30-yard line. Blair Oaks recovered the ball and used the short field to its advantage as the team went into the red zone. The Falcons got to California's one-yard line, where the Pintos were able to stop Blair Oaks on first and second downs, but the Falcons scored on a third-down touchdown run to make it 14-0 with 8:38 left to go in the first half.

Blair Oaks scored once more to make it a 20-0 game with a 26-yard touchdown run with 5:18 left in the first half. The Falcons had another chance to add to their lead near the end of the first half, but Clayton Winkler picked off the pass on California's eight-yard line with less than two minutes to go before halftime to keep the score the same. It was the second takeaway for California, as the Pintos also recovered a fumble earlier in the first half.

The Pintos tried to catch Blair Oaks off guard at the start of the second half, as California attempted an onside kick to start the half. The Falcons were able to recover the kick. California's defense was able to force a turnover on downs in the same drive as the Pintos stopped Blair Oaks on a fourth down and short attempt to get the ball on their own 34-yard line.

California's offense was able to get a drive going after they got the ball, but the Pintos had to punt the ball on Blair Oaks' 45-yard line. The Falcons then began to pull away after another touchdown to make it a 27-0 game with 4:17 left in the third quarter. Blair Oaks scored one more time right before the end of the quarter to make it 34-0 with 1:22 left.

The Pintos were without quarterback Calen Kruger for the game, so Bryant Davis took over for him. There were times the offense was able to get a couple of drives moving.

"In spurts, we did OK," Scroggins said. "We had a couple of chances we were just not able to connect on. We dropped a deep ball, we broke a couple of long runs. Unfortunately, we had a couple of miscues. We were prepared to take our three-yards in chunks per play because if we do that four times we are getting first downs. But we had a couple of miscues that kept us from being able to do that and when we got behind we had to take a couple more shots, and so we could not stick with what we were hoping to do because of those things. But I felt like they did well."

Blair Oaks added on the score in the fourth quarter to make it 41-0. That would be the only score in the fourth quarter.

The Pintos will face Lamar (7-2), the No. 2 seed in the Class 2 District 4 Tournament, at 7 p.m Nov. 1 at Lamar. Lamar is coming off of a 14-10 win over Cassville (7-2).

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