It took Bill Nelson all of 30 seconds to rebound after a last-second loss to Mandan and formulate a game plan for the Jays' next test against Minot.

"We're going to rebound, we're going to go up to Minot and we're going to play a heckuva football game," Nelson, JHS head football coach, said after the Jays' 17-14 loss to Mandan on Oct. 8. "That's the way it's going to be."

Whatever specifics were added to Nelson's initial game plan were evidently executed to near perfection against the Magicians on Oct. 15.

The Jays shut out the 2-6 Class AA Magicians 21-0 to improve to 6-2 overall. The tilt against the Magicians was the team's last Class AA test of the season. In the Class A, West Region division, the Blue Jays have churned out a perfect 4-0 record.

The Blue Jays' final test of the regular season is slated to come against Devils Lake on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Firebirds' home venue.

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Up in Minot, the Blue Jays authored a seven-play drive in under two minutes to take an early 7-0 lead. Quarterback Jackson Walters took the snap on second and goal from the Minot 11 yard line and found his receiver Preston Kroeber on an 11-yard pass.

The Blue Jays doubled their score in the third quarter with a nine-yard touchdown run by Jakob Schempp. Schempp was the team's leading ground gainer with 107 yards gained on 19 carries. Walters picked up another 33 yards on 14 rushes. Adam Kallenbach was the team's leading receiver with two catches for 47 yards.

Kroeber got a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth to secure the 21-point victory. Kroeber was also the team's leading tackler with seven solos. Aden Braun and Walters combined for another 10 solo tackles.

Devin Beach and Thomas Allmer each recorded a sack of Minot quarterback Jayden Speraw.

"The kids played really hard and they stayed together like usual and we had some other kids step up," Nelson said. "We've been executing tremendously well, the kids are playing at a very high level. They work hard, they believe in what they are doing, they get after it and they each do their job,"

If the Jays do what they did against the Magicians up in Devils Lake, they will end up with a perfect Class A record.

"When you lose a game, it's easy to work hard and come back and try to be successful," Nelson said. "Once you start stacking successes on top of each other, it is a challenge to manage that success. You are constantly working on the little things, sharpening up the things that can make you better, because ultimately those will probably be the difference makers."

While the Jays will be focusing on the "little things" and not making any wholesale changes to their lineup, the team will still have to be fully cognizant of what the Firebirds are doing upfront.

"They lost a pretty good running back a while back, but their quarterback is a pretty dynamic athlete," Nelson said. "He can run it, he can throw it -- everything is going to go through him. They have some size up front so it's going to be their size versus our speed."

The Firebirds are sitting in the middle of the pack of Class A, East Region teams at an even 3-3 in conference and 4-4 overall. The team's three conference losses came against this season's top-three East Region teams: Fargo North, Wahpeton and Fargo South. All three games were lost by at least one touchdown.

The Jays' only other experience with East Region competition came against Valley City on Oct. 1, a game the Blue Jays won 32-12. Devils Lake defeated Valley 7-6 on Sept. 3.

"Going up to Devils Lake will be a challenge," Nelson said. "It's a tough place to play, but the kids will be locked in and ready to go. That's the thing with this group, they're pretty sharp. Doesn't matter what you throw at them -- they keep evolving and getting better."