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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaDrake Schlup gains some yards Sept. 11 during the Pintos’ game against Blair Oaks.

The California Pintos football team (2-1) suffered its first loss of the season Sept. 11 after losing to the Blair Oaks Falcons 50-6.

California received the ball first to start the game but had to punt after a three-and-out. The Pintos trailed 8-0 early in the game as Blair Oaks scored on its first possession of the game with 8:39 left in the first quarter, thanks to a seven-yard touchdown run by Dylan Hair. It was the first touchdown the Pintos had given up in the first half of a game this season.

On the Pintos' next possession, California lost the ball on a fumble near its own 49-yard line and Blair Oaks recovered it. A couple of plays later, the Falcons scored on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Hair to make it a 15-0 lead.

California lost another fumble on its next possession, and again, the Falcons were able to recover it and use that turnover to their advantage as they scored again to make it 22-0 with 2:47 left in the first quarter. The Falcons scored one more time as they took a 29-0 lead with less than 10 seconds left in the quarter.

Fumbles were a problem for the Pintos in the game, as they fumbled six times in the game. Blair Oaks was able to recover three of them.

Head coach Derek Scroggins said there were a couple of different reasons for the fumbles.

"The first fumble, we went to tuck the ball and it just slipped out of our hands. The second one I believe was on a snap, and we had that one on a kick off return that (Blair Oaks) made a good play on the ball and took it from us," Scroggins said. "It was a combination of all three."

The offense had multiple low snaps during the game, but Scroggins said he is not worried about that.

"It shouldn't affect us a whole lot. We've got a good quarterback that does a great job of scooping those up, and it was just one of those unfortunate things that ended up costing us a couple of times," Scroggins said. "But I am really not that worried about that. It is something that we work on a daily basis, but it was just not a great day from that standpoint for us."

Blair Oaks made it 36-0 after another touchdown with 8:47 left in the second quarter. The Falcons then made it 43-0 with 4:31 left in the first half. California finally got on the board as Drake Schlup took the following kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown with 4:17 left in the quarter, but the Pintos were unable to score the two point conversion. Blair Oaks threatened to score again right before halftime as the Falcons had the ball in the red zone, but California's defense forced a turnover on downs after stopping Blair Oaks on fourth and sixth at the Pinto 15-yard line with just over a minute left in the quarter. The game went into halftime with Blair Oaks leading 43-6.

The score remained the same heading into the fourth quarter, as neither team found the endzone in the third. Blair Oaks scored one more time to give the game its final score of 50-6 after a 26-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Hair with 11:04 left in the game.

The Pintos can learn from this game, Scroggins said.

"Blair Oaks demonstrated where we hope to be as a football program, and so that is where we (have) to make sure we are grinding and working towards that," Scroggins said. "Last year, we were able to catch them off guard a little bit and came out aggressive, and this year, they were ready for us. Our start to the season helped that as well, how we played them last year. So we told our boys to make sure they were ready for a fight and Blair Oaks came out fired up. Credit their coaching staff and players, they came out aggressive and went hard."

The Pintos' next game is at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at home for the Homecoming game against Osage (2-1). Osage is coming off a 41-26 win over Eldon.

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