The Tolton Trailblazers kicked off their 2019 football season Friday night in a Jamboree at California R-1 High School, taking on the Pintos and Marshall Owls.
The Trailblazer offense started both matchups with a run by senior Connor Fogue. Competing on both offense and defense, the running back and linebacker played for a majority of the night.
In spite of an early, aggressive offensive effort led by Fogue, the Trailblazers were unable to score and allowed two touchdowns against the Pintos. The team was then quick to turn their play around against the Owls, with Fogue breaking through the Marshall defense time and time again.
“In the first game, we came out just a little bit rough. Our line wasn’t put together so we weren’t working well as a team,” Fogue said. “But you could see the change in between the two games, and after that we just started rolling.”
The Trailblazers eventually scored a touchdown on a pass reception by junior Dylan Block and ended the night with an unwavering defensive performance to keep Marshall scoreless.
The unusual style of play in the Jamboree saw each team allotted 18 consecutive offensive plays per “game”. Once both teams hit that number, the matchup was complete, and another would begin until every team had played each other.
New head coach Michael Egnew approached the Jamboree with no set strategies but two simple goals in mind: play “sound” football and don’t turn the ball over.
“Our players played hard, they did some things they haven’t ever done before,” Egnew said. “I saw a lot of positives there, but there’s a lot of things we’ve gotta work on and a lot of things we’ve got to get better at.”
Though far from perfect, the Trailblazers demonstrated great potential.
“Ultimately, we did a decent job of at least playing hard and taking care of the football,” Egnew said.
The Jamboree presents a promising start for both Egnew and the team as the Trailblazers move forward into their season and hope to finish with a winning record, their first since 2015.
“Tonight we did okay, now we gotta get a lot better,” Egnew said. “We have to bring everything we’ve got in order to be successful.”
Egnew’s thoughts were echoed by his players as they approach another week of practices before next Friday’s upcoming game.
“We’re ready to win, we’re playing to win,” Fogue said. “We’ve been practicing a lot. We’ve been getting our mental right, getting our game on the field right and just trying to be better teammates and work together.”
At 7 p.m. on Friday, Tolton will travel to Hallsville to take on the Indians in their first regular season game.