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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City's Devin White shoves Stefan Scroggins of Sedalia Smith-Cotton to the turf during a game earlier this season at Adkins Stadium. Photo by Jason Strickland / California Democrat.

In many cases, this has been a season of firsts for the Jefferson City Jays.

The Jays earned their first win under first-year head coach Scott Bailey in Week 4 against Sedalia Smith-Cotton, which was also the team's first victory in the newly formed Central Missouri Activities Conference.

Jefferson City also played Capital City and Helias in varsity football competition for the first time.

Tonight's opening-round of play in the Class 5 District 4 Tournament will also be the first time Jefferson City and Camdenton have faced each other on the football field.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Adkins Stadium.

"We're going to play a Jeff Shore football team," Jefferson City coach Scott Bailey said of the Camdenton coach. "Hard to know what to expect. He's not a guy that's not afraid to do something that may be a little unorthodox, so you have to be prepared for those kind of things, especially in the special teams."

Tonight's game between the No. 4 seed Jays (3-6) and No. 5 seed Lakers (4-5) is the first time Jefferson City has hosted a district game since a 46-28 win against Blue Springs South in 2016.

The winner will advance to face No. 1 seed Washington (8-1) next Friday night on the road.

Both teams are coming off a loss in the regular-season finale: a 23-30 defeat against Fort Zumwalt West for the Jays and a 28-10 loss at Rolla for the Lakers.

Camdenton was unable to put a stop to Rolla's rushing attack, allowing 324 yards and three scores on 58 rushing attempts.

That's been a theme in the Lakers' losses this season.

In a 52-38 defeat against Lebanon in Week 7, the Yellowjackets racked up 426 yards on 61 rushes, scoring all eight of their touchdowns on the ground.

Two weeks earlier, Bolivar ran the ball 75 times for 390 yards and six touchdowns in a 38-26 win against Camdenton.

Against West Plains in Week 4, the Lakers allowed the Zizzers to gain 257 yards on 38 rushing attempts in a 28-6 loss.

A solid push up front from the Jefferson City offensive line could mean a big night for running back David Bethune, who's gained 798 yards on 128 carries this season.

"I kind of like what our offensive line has been able to do recently," Bailey said. " They're making quite a few adjustments on their own. They're understanding how to get certain guys blocked and change the combinations a little bit to get them blocked."

Bethune also reached 10 rushing touchdowns last week with a 77-yard score on the second play of the game. Six of his touchdowns have come on runs of more than 40 yards.

Jays quarterback Seth Brooks will hope to continue pushing ahead for tough yards after a regular season of 211 yards and four touchdowns on 72 rushing attempts.

Bailey said he'd also like passing the ball be more of an option in the postseason.

"I've been in situations where you could run the ball this time of year and put games away and normally the pass plays were those big chunk type plays, those home run type plays," he said. "I've also been in situations this time of year where you couldn't get your run game going and you needed to have something to go to. For me, going into district play, I'd like to be able to do both effectively well."

Running the ball can sometimes be an afterthought for the Lakers, who have thrown the ball more than 300 times this season.

Camdenton quarterback Jacob Wormsley has completed nearly 68 percent of his passes (149-of-220) for 1,722 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.

He's also ran it 66 times for 242 yards and five scores.

"They like to spread it out and they'll go to multiple formations," Jefferson City defensive coordinator Jeff Jacques said. "They'll still get in a power-I formation and a polecat formation and they do a good job of mixing it up back and forth. We've got to be able to adjust and make sure we contain their quarterback."

The majority of Wormsley's completions and touchdowns have been to 6-foot-3 receiver Cooper Ezard, who's caught 86 passes for 1,054 yards and 11 scores.

"Big, physical kid and gets a lot of yards after catches," Jacques said. "He positions himself well for the ball. He goes up and he fights for it, so we're going to have to be in good position and we're going to have to get those jump balls."

Camdenton's leading rusher is Jadin Faulconer, who has 643 yards and 13 touchdowns on 110 carries.

Notes: Battle (6-1) is the No. 2 seed in District 4. The Spartans will await the winner of No. 3 seed Rolla (4-3) and No. 6 seed Capital City (1-6). The Cavaliers and Bulldogs are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. tonight in Rolla. Capital City is coming off its first win in program history, a 13-7 defeat of Kirksville at Adkins Stadium.

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