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story.lead_photo.caption Athletes prepare Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, before a game pitting the Jefferson City Jays against the Southern Boone Eagles at the 179 Soccer Park. Photo by Tom Rackers / News Tribune.

Circumstances left the Jefferson City Jays scrambling just a bit.

Three yellow cards in a 15-minute span in the second half Tuesday night tested the depth of the inexperienced Jays in their game against the Southern Boone Eagles at the 179 Soccer Park.

And while they didn't pass with flying colors, they got a passing grade as Jefferson City defeated Southern Boone 2-1.

"We were feeling good about where we were with guys being added to the roster and everybody being healthy," Jays coach Scott Blake said. "But we went from a confident feeling to a little bit of a precarious situation.

"But credit to our young guys for how they did out there. They contributed good minutes when we needed them to."

The Jays used a pair of first-half goals to take a 2-1 lead into halftime against the Eagles.

But then three yellow cards in a 15-minute span midway through the second half had Jefferson City digging deep to survive.

"Those were all guys who can play in the middle of the park," Blake said. "That left our midfield a little bit open and while they weren't getting all that far in, they were getting some shots on frame.

"We were really open defensively at times."

Parker Gourley came up big in goal for the Jays in the second half. He made pair of diving saves to his left to turn away good scoring opportunities for the Eagles.

"Parker did very well to stop those," Blake said. "He reads shots well, that's his strength.

"We most definitely needed him tonight."

The Jays did a good job of not allowing the Eagles to get deep into their defensive end as Southern Boone had to shoot from distance in an attempt to tie the game.

"We did not let them get to our end line and cross some balls to where Parker might have gotten lost, which can happen to most keepers," Blake said.

Gourley finished with six saves in the victory.

Owen Ramelb got the Jays on the board about 14 minutes into the first half, knocking a shot off the far post and into the net.

"Owen's got some energy and some offensive flair," Blake said. "He's got flashes, we've seen that ever since he got into the program."

Mason Ahern of Southern Boone (4-4) tied it about five minutes later on a header.

The Jays got the eventual game-winner with about six minutes to play in the first half.

Lennox Quainoo, seeing his first action of the season, got the ball on the end line and used his strong physical presence to get to the front of the Southern Boone net. He then showed a deft touch, using his left foot to knock a 5-footer into the net.

"A little outside of the foot," Blake said. "He can get the ball where he needs it to go."

Quainoo, a junior, moved with his family from Ghana last year.

"I wish he would have come to us earlier," Blake said. "I'm sure he's going to get better as the season progresses."

This was the first of nine straight home games for the Jays.

"We wanted to get this homestand off on the right foot," Blake said.

Jefferson City (3-2) is back in action at home Thursday against Rolla. The JV game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity contest around 7 p.m. It will be Senior Night for the Jays.

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