Jays and Cavaliers meet on soccer field for exhibition

The Jefferson City Jays and Capital City Cavaliers both got what they wanted from Tuesday night’s football scrimmage.

In fact, they had to face each other.

“It was a good game for us,” Jays coach Scott Blake said after Jefferson City shut out Capital City 7-0 at Capital City. “We were pretty good with the ball and I think in the second half we showed how good we can be with the ball.”

The result was not unexpected. The Jays are bringing back a slew of talented seniors, while the sophomore Cavaliers are still trying to gain a foothold at the college level.

“For us, I think we got more out of it than them,” Cavaliers coach Travis Cairor said. “The more we can play against quality teams like this, the better we can build to be.

“You have to play against teams like that to get the visibility you need to improve.”

The Jays scored four times in the first half. The goals came from seniors Bassil Ahmed, Darby Hall, Breck McGrail and Ethan DuBois.

“We know we had the advantage of having a group of experienced seniors versus a group of juniors and sophomores,” Blake said.

Toby Hughes, another senior, was in goal for the Jays in the first half.

Logan Barger, Ethan Blake and Ahmed scored in the second half for Jefferson City. Eli Chapman was in goal.

The Cavaliers will only have three classes at school this fall, with sophomores making up the majority of the Cavaliers roster.

“The junior and freshman classes aren’t as big and so in training it’s hard to get the competition we need,” Cairor said.

While the Jays were happy to pick up the win, they also had things they wanted to work on.

“We’ve had very few games this summer, so we have to work on all thirds of the pitch,” Blake said. “Usually at this time of summer we’ve played at least eight games and up to 12.

“This year we had played three before tonight.”

Jefferson City aims to get something out of every game this summer. And with the calendar short, due to the cancellation of events due to the coronavirus, this is more important than ever.

“We don’t wait for moments to happen in scrums like this, we create them,” Blake said. “We tell the guys they can only play in the back half or the front half, they can only defend here and not here.

“We do things like that, so we make sure we work on what we need to work on.”

The Jays focused on ball movement on Tuesday night.

“I thought we would be fine defensively, so we wanted to work on building up the offensive end,” Blake said. “In the first half we worked on building from deep within our attacking side. In the second half we tried to build on the attacking side.”

The Cavaliers understood how good the Jays could be this season. And Cairor, who recently made some changes to their game system, was happy for that to happen,

“We talked before the game about whether we had nonchalant play or bad passes or bad traps, this was a team that was going to exploit that,” he said. “Honestly, playing someone as good as them is a good thing for us because I can count on less than one hand on the number of teams we will face during the regular season, that’s what kind of quality.

“When you’re trying to learn a new system against that kind of pace, that kind of speed, that kind of skill, when you’re running into a lot of other teams on your schedule, you should be prepared.”

Jefferson City, who had five players playing their first-ever 11-11 game, won Tuesday’s short JV scrimmage 2-0.

“We looked good and that was encouraging for the young players,” Blake said.

The Jays and Cavaliers have about a month until the start of the regular season.

On August 29, the Jays are scheduled to take on CBC in St. Louis while Capital City are scheduled to play Southern Boone.

The Jays and Cavaliers meet in the regular season on Sept. 1 at Eddie Horn Field.