BOONVILLE, Mo. — Nothing counted in an official capacity, the offense and defense were bland by design, and key starters were on a restricted snap count to protect them from injury.
Regardless, first-year Fulton head coach Blake Logan welcomed the chance to test-drive his Hornets football team before it breaks the seal on the 2017 season.
Fulton revealed little in the way of its playbook and guarded the health of its primary personnel in jamboree scrimmages with the Boonville Pirates and Odessa Bulldogs on the FieldTurf at Boonville High School on Friday night.
The teams alternated on offense, starting with an eight-play series from their own 35-yard line, followed by a six-play possession and then a four-play set from the opponent's 40 and 15, respectively.
"It was extremely exciting to get out here and be able to pad up and hit somebody in a different-colored jersey on," Logan said. "This last week, and I think every coach within the state would probably agree, it gets kind of — you know — long.
" We finally got some adrenaline going this week and I think it was good. We made some good plays — we had some positives, we had some negatives, but I think we're making some strides. I think the kids have bought in and I'm excited to see what we can do next week."
The Hornets scored twice in their first scrimmage against Odessa, both on touchdown runs by sophomore running back Zaylin McNeil. A 25-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Tyler Sayler to junior wide receiver Joe Hinchie set up McNeil's 1-yard scoring burst on Fulton's second series. McNeil then raced into the end zone from 7 yards out on the Hornets' third possession.
Fulton's lone score against North Central Missouri Conference foe Boonville came on its last series when Sayler flipped an 8-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver AJ Henderson.
Junior quarterback Evan Gray completed 7-of-11 passes for 67 yards and Sayler was also 7-of-11 for 37 yards. Neither quarterback threw an interception.
Hinchie had two catches for 32 yards, senior wide receiver Tre Vaughn supplied three receptions for 20 yards, and junior wide receivers John Holtkamp and Garrett Johnson grabbed two catches apiece for 16 and 12 yards, respectively.
"Our game plan offensively was to be extremely vanilla, we weren't going to show much," Logan said. " We have a 12-percent rule, we want to keep less than 12 percent of our offensive plays should be penalties, turnovers, sacks or dropped balls.
"We had one sack and one dropped ball, so that was under 12 percent — I think it was about 8. I like what our athletes showed, we didn't drop very many passes that hit us in the hands, and the quarterbacks made good decisions."
On the defensive side, the Hornets combined to surrender five touchdowns but also recorded two sacks and recovered a pair of fumbles. Fulton allowed touchdown passes of 30 and 15 yards against Odessa, while giving up touchdown runs of 29, 13 and 2 yards against Boonville.
"A couple of them were miscommunications," Logan said. " I wasn't putting a lot of stock in what happened late, because they still had a couple of their ones and twos (starters and backups) against our threes. We just wanted to get them some work out there."
Logan and the Hornets will do it for real this Friday night when they open at home against the Osage Indians. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Robert E. Fisher Jr. Stadium.
"You're never ready enough, but we're all excited to get going," Logan said. "I think the kids are champing at the bit."