WARSAW, Mo. — After falling behind early in each of its first two games, California didn't get the chance to showcase its run game.
That changed Friday night against Warsaw.
The Pintos forged an early 7-0 lead and kept the run game rolling all night on their way to a 33-7 win against the Wildcats.
"I thought we did a lot better on the offensive line," California head coach Marty Albertson said. "We found some things and when we went to the wishbone and had three backs in there, we started blowing some linebackers out."
The Pintos racked up 268 yards on the ground through a four-man rushing attack. Quarterback Jacob Wolken led the way with 125 yards, which included a 23-yard score on the first series of the second half.
Running back Cory Friedmeyer consistently gashed the Warsaw defense, finishing with 86 yards on 15 carries. Friedmeyer opened the game's scoring with a three-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
After Wolken's touchdown scramble put the Pintos up 20-7 in the third quarter, the California offense didn't do anything fancy. Everything was straight ahead.
Sophomore Dakota Henry tallied 42 yards on nine carries, while senior fullback Sam Kirby had 15 yards on the ground, including a pair of 1-yard scores in the fourth.
With the running game firing on all cylinders, the Pintos didn't drop back much against the Wildcats. Wolken finished 5-for-12 passing with 67 yards and a pick.
Wolken's contributions extended to the defensive side of the ball as well. Midway through the second quarter in a tie game, Wolken snagged an errant pass from Warsaw quarterback Matt Luebbert and took it the other way for a 72-yard pick-six.
"I saw Jackson (Trachsel) squeezed down and had him wrapped up, so I was floating back to see what the quarterback was going to do," Wolken said. "I just waited for him and once he laid up the ball, I just made a play on it."
Wolken also recovered a fumble on the Wildcats' opening series of the game. California's defense allowed Warsaw's Keegan Glenn to run for 97 yards and Luebbert to total 66 on the ground, but the Pintos didn't break.
Warsaw's only points came when Trenton Simons returned a kickoff for a touchdown immediately following California's opening score.