WARDSVILLE, Mo. - A good Jamboree is like a good appetizer. It helps whet your appetite, but it really serves to get you ready for what comes after.
Consider the Blair Oaks football team ready for the main course.
The Falcons won both their outings in Friday night's Jamboree at the Falcon Athletic Complex, blanking Tipton 6-0 before notching a 12-6 win over Centralia.
"Like we told the kids, we're looking for three things," Blair Oaks coach Brad Drehle said. "No. 1 is effort, and I think our kids played hard. The second thing we're looking at is we get out of here with no injuries. The third thing is we played just enough that we're hungry to play next Friday.
"I think we accomplished those things."
There was a bit of a hiccup when it came to the second point. Already dealing with a rash of injuries to linemen during the preseason, the Falcons might have taken another hit Friday.
"Clayton Graessle did something to his foot," Drehle said. "I don't know how bad it is, whether he sprained it or what. It's on the top of his foot.
"We don't have enough linemen that we can afford another one being down, so hopefully it's not anything major."
The Falcons got good efforts on both sides of the ball in the Jamboree, which featured each team running 18 offensive plays against each of its two opponents.
Blair Oaks started out on defense against Tipton and allowed just two first downs and 34 total yards on the Cardinals' first nine plays.
The Falcons then got the ball and needed just three plays to record the only score, as quarterback Jordan Hair connected with Haydn Lock on a 36-yard scoring strike.
Blair Oaks' next drive ended in a lost fumble and ran out of plays on the next one, but not before Hair hit Mikel Drehle with a nice 27-yard pass.
On Tipton's final nine plays, the Cardinals gained just 12 yards and had one drive end when Blair Oaks' Adam Schell intercepted a pass.
"I was pleased, I thought our kids did a pretty good job," Drehle said. "We ran our stuff and did a pretty good job with most of it. I'm sure when we watch film there is going to be some good and bad, but that's part of it.
"If the effort's there, we can fix the other stuff."
Centralia took the ball first during the next session and looked to score on a 34-yard pass on the fourth play, but had it called back on a penalty. The Panthers ended up running 11 plays and gained 45 yards, but did not score.
Blair Oaks scored both its touchdowns on its ensuing drive, the first on an 11-yard run by Caleb Bischoff and the next on an 8-yard pass from Hair to Lock.
For the night, Hair connected on 5-of-8 passes for 91 yards, while Bischoff had eight carries for 73 yards and Dominic Jamerson had six carries for 35 yards.
"Jordan stepped up and did a nice job, and I thought our offensive line did a great job," Drehle said. "I thought Caleb and Dominic ran hard, our split ends blocked hard outside, and defensively we ran to the football and played fast."
During Centralia's final time with the ball, the Panthers seemed to score on a long pass, but the ball was ruled down at the 1-yard line after a 37-yard gain. They then started a new drive back at the 40-yard line and eventually got their lone score on a 33-yard run.
The season gets started for real Friday when the Falcons travel to Moberly for a 7 p.m. kickoff. It's their first game since falling in last year's Class 2 state championship game.
"There's a lot of people who think we graduated those kids (from last year) and with everything that's happened (injury-wise) that we're not going to be very good," Drehle said. "But we're still Blair Oaks, there's certain things we do and certain ways we go about doing them and we're going to go out and play hard."