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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City Jays players warm up for their soccer match against Rock Bridge Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Photo by Tom Rackers / News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Jays were perfectly fine with it.

The Jays had the better of play in the first half of Tuesday night's game against the Rock Bridge Bruins at Eddie Horn Field, but the scoreboard still showed zeroes for both teams.

"It was good we had to grind a little bit," Jays coach Scott Blake said. "There's nothing wrong with that. We played well enough to score, we had good opportunities."

Those opportunities carried over into the second half and the Jays were able to convert on two of them as they posted a 2-0 victory against the Bruins.

"We continued to be composed and we played the way we wanted to play," Blake said.

Jefferson City finished with an 11-1 edge in total shots in the first half, including having all seven shots that finished on goal.

Their best chance to score came in the final :15 when Ethan Blake drilled a shot off the post.

"That may have moved the goal six inches he hit it so hard," Scott Blake said.

Jefferson City got on the board 13 minutes into the second half. Ethan Blake drilled a liner from outside the box Rock Bridge keeper Dylan Foote was able to stop. But Breck McGrail of the Jays was the lone player on the field to follow the shot and he put back the rebound for the goal.

"That was a heads-up play," Scott Blake said. "That was a blue-collar goal that we need to get because it was outworking the opponent. We always have to follow our shots. It's a free ball just sitting out there, somebody has to want to go get it.

"It can be one of the easiest goals you'll ever get."

Rock Bridge's best chance to score came midway through the half. The Bruins had a breakaway and Jays keeper Toby Hughes came out of the net to make a save and the ensuing Rock Bridge shot on the rebound went just wide of goal.

The Jays added an insurance tally with 17 minutes remaining when Bassil Amhed found the back of the net. The goal came after a series of short, purposeful passes by the Jays in front of the Rock Bridge goal.

"It was probing, trying to find that opening," Blake said. "Bassil squared it up good."

Hughes had a pair of saves as Jefferson City posted its 10th shutout of the season.

The game featured the final two undefeated teams in Central Missouri Activities Conference contests this season.

"We don't focus 100 percent on the conference, but if we're going to play in the conference, we'd like to be the first one to win the CMAC," Blake said.

The Jays are No. 6 in the initial Class 4 power rankings by the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association.

"It's great recognition for the kids and our program, but we have to continue to show we belong there," Blake said.

Jefferson City (12-1) is back in action Friday and Saturday in the Rock Bridge Invitational. The Jays start at 7 p.m. Friday against Fort Zumwalt South (11-0), who has wins this season against Chaminade and C.B.C.

"They are legit good," Blake said.

On Saturday, Jefferson City will play Francis Howell at 9:45 a.m. in Columbia before facing Ozark at 5 p.m. at Eddie Horn Field.

"This will be a good week for us," Blake said.

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