California uses running game to beat Eldon

ELDON, Mo. — The California Pintos are blessed with a stable of running backs.

Even when the dynamic Dylan Albertson went out in the first quarter with a sprained ankle, there was no drop-off in production. California rushed for 226 yards and benefited from four players finding the end zone on the ground in a 38-0 romp of Eldon on Friday night at Victor Field.

“That was a good sign of a team effort, because even when one of your starters goes out, somebody else stepped up and did the job, and that was good,” California head coach Marty Albertson said.

It didn’t take California long to score on its first possession. The Pintos capped a six-play, 70-yard drive in just 2:47 when Walker Borghardt took a pitch from Jaden Barr and scampered into the end zone from 18 yards out to make it 7-0 at the 6:02 mark of the first quarter.

Starting in great field position after an Eldon fumble on its next possession, California’s Aaron Cuevas eventually drilled a 46-yard field goal to put the Pintos up 10-0 with 2:52 left in the first.

“He’s a good kicker,” Albertson said. “He hit it by like 10 yards, he hit it really well. He’s pretty special.”

Seth Fairchild joined the fun at the 9:44 mark of the second quarter with a 46-yard scamper. He went around the left end, received a block and broke two tackles before taking it to the opposite sideline for the score. That made it 17-0 at halftime.

The ground domination didn’t stop in the second half.

Jerry Lutz scored from 4 yards out with 5:37 to go in the third period before Barr snuck in from a yard out with 3:13 left in the stanza to make it 31-0.

“Their guys were extremely physical up front, which we knew and expected,” Eldon head coach Shannon Jolley said. “When you can’t square up pound for pound and you get outmatched, it makes for a long night, and it did tonight.”

Lutz then capped the scoring with a 2-yard run with 8:06 remaining in the game. Cuevas kicked the extra-point on all five California touchdowns.

“I thought Seth Fairchild ran the ball great,” Albertson said. “Jerry Lutz, we moved him back in the backfield this week, he ran the ball good. All of our backs, Walker Borghardt even ran well.”

Fairchild ran the ball 12 times for 106 yards to lead California. Borghardt had eight carries for 49 yards and Lutz rushed six times for 39 yards. Albertson didn’t have a rushing attempt in his limited time. Barr was 8-of-11 passing for 109 yards.

Eldon rushed 33 times for 130 yards, led by Wyatt Greenwalt and Zack Lemen, who had 42 yards apiece. Greenwalt was 7-of-16 passing for 125 yards and two interceptions.

California closes its three-game road trip to start the season with an unblemished record, while Eldon falls to 1-2.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” Jolley said. “California’s an outstanding team, we just did not match their intensity.”

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