It didn’t come as a surprise to see who was the more seasoned team on the field Friday night in the season opener between the Boonville Pirates and California Pintos at Gene Reagan field.
While the Pirates returned only a handful of starters on both sides of the ball, the Pintos on the other hand returned almost their entire lineup back from last year after finishing 13-1 overall.
With the game pushed back an hour due to the heat, the Pintos had little trouble gearing up for a big night offensively while scoring on all five possessions in the first half to lead 35-0.
California also out-gained Boonville 227-43 in the first half with 12 first downs compared to just two for the Pirates en route to a 42-7 victory.
“We just have to get better,” said Boonville Pirates football coach Devin Brown. “It was a rough game to start with, that’s for sure. You can’t come out and have two turnovers on your first-two possessions when you are actually moving the ball. That just killed us, and then we couldn’t stop them on defense. We completed some balls but you have to be able to run the ball to win.”
Of course it didn’t help that Boonville fumbled the ball on its first-two possessions, giving the Pintos great field position at the Pirates 29 and 45. It took only six plays to hit paydirt on the first score when junior quarterback Jaden Barr took the plunge from the 2 with 10:28 left. Meanwhile, after getting the ball back again at their own 45 after another turnover, California struck again after an 8-play drive when Barr crossed the goal line from the 1 with 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter to make it 13-0.
The Pirates could do little offensively after that while punting the ball on three straight possessions. As for the Pintos, they continued to score at will while hitting paydirt for a third time on a 1-yard run by Barr with 8:05 left in the half to extend the lead to 20-0. Then, after another three and out by Boonville, California came back and hit paydirt for a fourth time on a 30-yard pass from Barr to junior Andrew Norton with 4:49 left to make it 26-0.
The Pintos also went deep into their playbook by faking the PAT and scoring on a two-point conversion when Cuevas ran up the middle to push the lead to 28-0.
Unfortunately for Boonville, the Pintos weren’t done yet. After forcing another punt, California marched the ball 43 yards on six plays for the score when Barr hooked up with senior Dylan Albertson on a 9-yard scoring strike with 50 seconds left to make it 35-0 at the half.
The second half was pretty much a carbon copy of the first, as California hit paydirt on its first possessions of the second half by moving the ball 51 yards on six plays for the score. Junior Walker Borghardt took the plunge on a 15-yard run to extend the Pintos lead to 42-0 with 8:38 left in the third quarter.
Boonville and California exchanged possessions after that to closeout the third quarter. Meanwhile, with a running clock in place in the fourth quarter, the Pirates had their best offensive possession of the game by moving the ball 47 yards on 10 plays for the score with 4:59 left. The touchdown came as a result of a 29-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jacob Francis to Josh Judd, who turned in a great run after the catch.
Francis also had a hand in the extra point attempt while barely clearing the upright to cut California’s lead to 42-7.
The Pintos, meanwhile, took the rest of the time off the clock while moving the ball to the Pirates 12-yard line on seven plays to end the game.
Brown said you never go into a game thinking you are going to get beat by 35 points. “I knew it was going to be rough but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad,” Brown said.
For the game, Boonville had five first downs along with 58 yards rushing and another 58 passing for a total of 116. California, meanwhile, closed out the game with 22 first downs, 335 yards rushing and another 107 passing for a total of 442.
Senior running back Andreas Boykin, meanwhile, led the Pirates in rushing with 12 carries for 47 yards. Francis completed 5 of 10 passes for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Judd was on the receiving end on three of those passes for 44 yards and one touchdown while senior Tyler Peterson had two catches for 11 yards.
For California, Luke Burger had 11 carries for 59 yards while Walter Borghardt added seven carries for 55 yards and one score. Barr, meanwhile, completed 7 of 8 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for three scores. Albertson had four catches for 49 yards and one touchdown.
On the defensive side of the football for Boonville, Tyler Peterson had a total of 17 tackles with 11 solo stops and six assisted tackles.
Jacob Francis finished the game with five solo stops and one assisted tackle while Brenden Meyer added three solo stops and three assisted, Grady Kay with two solo stops and three assisted, Jordan Weaver with one solo stop and four assisted, Austin Hulbert and Andrew Broyhill each with two and two, Remington Hammers with two and one, Ezra Perry with two solo stops, Brett Kenney and Tyler Polk each with one and one, Josh Judd and Tim Price each with one solo stop and Nick Zeitlow, Greg Harris and Nolan Murray with one assisted tackle each.