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Davis starts behind center for Pintos tonight against Southern Boone

Davis starts behind center for Pintos tonight against Southern Boone

September 29th, 2017 by Kevin Labotka in Sports Prep

The California Pintos lost to Hallsville 38-8 on Sept. 22, 2017.

Photo by Kevin Labotka /Fulton Sun.

CALIFORNIA, Mo. — The California Pintos will have a new face under center tonight as Bryant Davis, a freshman, will start for the banged-up Pintos, who will be without quarterback Alex Currens.

After suffering a 38-8 Homecoming loss last Friday to Hallsville, California will play its fourth home game in the past five weeks tonight against Southern Boone. Kickoff for the Tri-County Conference matchup is at 7 p.m. at Riley Field.

California head coach Mikel Gragg said the offensive game plan will be slightly different for Davis, who is making his first start.

"Bryant has been playing quarterback for us all year," Gragg said. "He knows the system and in some cases he knows it a lot better than some of our older guys. We will be able to do a lot of things. He'll play a big game."

Gragg said he feels the offense has made a lot of improvements from last week.

"We are getting better with our young guys," Gragg said. "Although we didn't put the points on the board we did play our best game last week. We just need to get some stuff cleaned up with our backs, our O-line is much improved."

Southern Boone (3-3, 1-3 Tri-County) lost 30-7 last Friday on the road against Blair Oaks, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 3 and is atop the Tri-County standings.

The Eagles struggled offensively against Blair Oaks, one week after posting 55 points against School of the Osage.

Tristan John scored on a 21-yard run in the first quarter to give Southern Boone a 7-6 lead against Blair Oaks, but the Eagles were unable to reach the end zone the rest of the game. Blair Oaks held Southern Boone to 94 total yards: 78 yards passing, 16 yards rushing.

Leading Southern Boone's offense this fall are Sam Stichnote at quarterback and Jackson Sartain at running back.

Gragg is expecting Southern Boone to run often and he wants the Pintos defense to force their opponents to try to throw the ball.

Offensively, Gragg said he wants the Pintos to have a strong running game to get pressure off their young quarterback.

Southern Boone is averaging 23.2 points per game and allowing an average of 29.7 points. California (1-5, 1-3 Tri-County) is averaging 10.0 points per contest, but has yet to score three touchdowns in a single game this season. The Pintos are allowing 26.8 points per game.

Related media:

California Pintos Football Podcast [Southern Boone preview, Sept. 29, 2017]