The scoreboard may not have shown it, but the Jefferson City Jays were tested Thursday night.
The Harrisonville Wildcats brought a physical style to Eddie Horn Field, something Jefferson City hadn't seen this season. And that tested not only their physical toughness, but how they would mentally deal with it.
Toss in a downpour that left the field slippery and it was a night that things were just a little unusual.
"Obviously, we were good, but I was never really comfortable tonight," Jays coach Scott Blake said after Jefferson City's 7-2 victory against Harrisonville.
"As lopsided as the score got, I didn't feel like it was that type of game."
A total of 23 fouls were called in the game, with both teams getting a pair of yellow cards.
"Any time you play a physical team, it can bait you into doing the same," Blake said. "So we have to match them and you're going to pick up some fouls, that's how it is."
But Blake wanted to see how his team would react in that situation.
"Can we match them physically and still play good soccer?" he asked. "I think a majority of the time, we did. The quality of the soccer was good, except for about 15 minutes when things got a little sloppy late."
It was all Jefferson City early.
Ethan Blake got the Jays on the board less than two minutes into the game, curving in a corner kick into the far side of the Wildcat net.
Jefferson City doubled its lead at the 23:00 mark of the first half on a penalty kick by Darby Hall. Less than two minutes later, Blake tallied his second goal. The senior charged down the field, despite six Harrisonville players on the defensive end, before lining a shot into the back of the net.
"He struck those hard," Scott Blake said.
Cale Heiberger then scored twice in the final five minutes of the half to give Jefferson City a 5-0 advantage at intermission. The first came on a shot from the top of the box, the second on a rebound of his own shot with :12 on the clock.
Heiberger has turned into a scoring threat in the early going this year, thanks to a lot of work in the preseason.
"Once we got him to turn his shoulders correctly, he's got the angles right, shots are going on target," Blake said.
Ethan Blake picked up his third goal of the night about 10 minutes into the second half. Jefferson City's final goal was an own goal by Harrisonville, with the score being credited to Zach Leary.
It's the third time in five games this season Jefferson City has scored seven or more goals. The Jays had done that only twice in the last four seasons.
Harrisonville got its first goal about a minute later, then scored with less than four minutes to play. The goals were scored by Monte Schroeder and Kobe Norris.
"There will be moments this season where we are tested mentally," Blake said. "The strongest teams, not only in playing perspective, but a mental perspective, will shine.
"Harrisonville played a different kind of style and that's good for us, this game will only make us tougher."
Jefferson City will host Southern Boone on Monday for Senior Night.
In Thursday's JV game, the Jays blanked the Wildcats 5-0.