It took some time, but when the Jefferson City offense got going, it went.
Breck McGrail got his first career hat trick Saturday for the Jays, scoring three goals in Jefferson City's 6-0 victory against the Camdenton Lakers at Eddie Horn Field.
"I don't remember when the last one was, it's been a hot minute," McGrail said. "For sure not in high school."
The Jays peppered the Laker defense with good shots early and often, but couldn't find the back of the net.
"It was important to get good chances, even if they weren't going in," McGrail said. "It's about team chemistry right now and everybody was feeling good and getting their chances.
"We were all there for each other."
In preparation for the season opener against C.B.C., Jays coach Scott Blake said the team concentrated on the defensive end.
"Now it's time to work out some of the kinks offensively, and that's what we did in practice this week," he said. "I didn't expect a masterpiece, spacing was off at times and we weren't really fluid as much as I would like.
"But once we got going, it looked good."
Jefferson City got on the board about 22 minutes into the game when Darby Hall scored off an assist by Will Kuster.
"That got our confidence up and got us going," Blake said.
A minute later, the Jays doubled their advantage when McGrail scored off an assist by Bassil Ahmed. McGrail then got his second goal of the game about four minutes later.
"Breck is making better decisions when to turn and when to play underneath," Blake said. "He wants to play physical, it's just a matter of picking the right times to do it.
"And today, he was on it."
The Jays took a 4-0 lead into intermission when Sam Allen scored with a little less than five minutes remaining on the clock.
Jefferson City scored its final two goals in a two-minute span early in the second half.
Ethan Blake made it 5-0 before getting an assist on McGrail's third goal of the contest.
"We are a possession team that's still trying to figure things out," McGrail said. "We were able to take advantage of some opportunities today getting forward."
Kuster finished with two assists for the Jays. Elam Antonio and Allen joined Ahmed and Blake with one assist each.
With the big lead early in the second half, it was time for the reserves to get on the field as everybody on the roster played significant minutes Saturday.
After putting in the work on the offensive end, Jefferson City didn't want the defensive effort to suffer. It didn't, as Toby Hughes and Eli Chapman split time in goal in the shutout.
"A clean sheet is always good," Scott Blake said. "Any time you can work on our offensive scheme and not give up anything defensively while you're doing that, it's a very good day."
Jefferson City (1-1) is back in action Tuesday at Hickman. The JV game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity contest around 6:45 p.m.
In Saturday morning's JV game, Jefferson City blanked Camdenton 7-0. Owen Ramelb, Kole Kauffman, Ethan DuBois, Luke Ivy, Cole Heller, Ryan Gerke and James Meyer scored a goal each for the Jays (1-0-1). Deandreis White had two assists, while Remelb and DuBois had one each.
Chapman and Parker Gourley each played in goal in the shutout.