Blair Oaks uses Jamboree as opportunity to test itself

Blair Oaks quarterback Tyler Bax scrambles away from the Southern Boone defense during Friday night’s Jamboree at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville. (Josh Cobb/News Tribune)

WARDSVILLE -- The Blair Oaks Falcons had been planning for the Maryville Spoofhounds all week.

They took a break for a few hours Friday night to face the Helias Crusaders and the Southern Boone Eagles in a Jamboree at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

“It was good to go against someone else,” Blair Oaks coach Ted LePage said. “I thought our effort was good at times, but I think we were a little passive at times.”

  Gallery: Blair Oaks Football at 2023 Blair Oaks Jamboree

Quarterbacks Tyler Bax and Wyatt Meldrum shared time behind center, a position that has been held the past four season by Dylan Hair.

Bax completed 6-of-12 passes for 150 yards, including a 66-yard strike down the sideline to Joey Wilde during the first scrimmage against Helias.

“He’s one of our leaders this year, and we look for him to do even bigger and better things,” LePage said of Wilde.

Meldrum was 4-of-8 passing for 95 yards with the second-string offense, including a 47-yard touchdown throw to Jett Quirouet on his first play of the scrimmage against Southern Boone.

“Wyatt threw extremely good balls tonight,” LePage said.

Running backs Hayden Lackman and Elijah Luckett split the carries with the first-string offense.

“The big thing tonight for both of them was to get up to game speed,” LePage said.

Luckett suffered a season-ending ACL injury in last year’s Jamboree. He scored a 2-yard touchdown run for the Falcons’ only points against Helias.

“I wanted to give him the ball a couple times,” LePage said. “… Eli’s got that next gear, and that’s something you can’t teach.”

Lackman added a 21-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass from Bax against Southern Boone for the Falcons’ remaining touchdown.

The Falcons used the 30-minute break between scrimmages to serve as a mock halftime session.

“Learning is part visual, part auditory,” LePage said. “We’re getting the auditory, we’re speaking to them. At halftime, we watched the film and we can coach the visual.”

Helias scored on a pair of touchdown passes against the Blair Oaks defense, while Southern Boone also scored on a 47-yard pass.

“People aren’t going to run the ball on us,” LePage said. “We really have to hone in and find ways to get pressure on the quarterback better than we did.”

Defensively, Jake Hagner finished with three tackles against Helias and Brady Kerperin added two tackles for the Falcons.

Parker Bennett had a pair of tackles against Southern Boone and Jackson Houston had a pair of pass deflections.

“We went nine snaps with our No. 1s instead of 12, because we really want to get a good look at our No. 2s,” LePage said. “We’ve got to have depth. Somebody’s going to get injured, something’s going to happen, so we’ve got to find that next guy.”

Blair Oaks will get back to game-planning against Maryville today. The Falcons’ season opener against the Spoofhounds is at 7 p.m. next Friday at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

“Our gears have been for Maryville for about two weeks now,” LePage said.