Jace Clark rallies Knights past Bismarck in thriller, 22-19

Senior Jace Clark ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Knights' 22-19 win over rival Bismarck.


AMITY, Ar. — A packed house Saturday night at Diamond State Bank witnessed a thriller as host Centerpoint beat a pass-happy Bismarck team, 22-19.

The win secured second place and a second seed in 3A-4 for the Knights, who will play Lavaca in the first round of the playoffs next Friday. Bismarck (6-4, 4-2) willl also be at home next week against Manila.

It was Senior Night and Jace Clark could have won an Oscar for his performance on both of the ball. Clark scored two touchdowns and rushed for 205 yards. His name was heard over-and-over on the public address for plays made on defense. Also the Knights’ punter, he averaged more than 40 yards.

“Clark is a warrior,” said Centerpoint coach Cary Rogers. “He carries the ball around thirty times every game, and then he’s there on defense making tackles. He also does a great job punting for us. Several times tonight he kicked the ball deep, and had Bismarck starting inside the ten. He’s just a hard-nosed kid who loves the game, and a good kid to coach.”

Bismarck passes 43 times

Bismarck quarterback Ian Smith started the game with a hot hand, completing five of his first six passes. Smith scored on a 3-yard run with 4:58 left in the first quarter to put the Lions on top. Centerpoint’s sophomore quarterback Drew Diggs answered with a 7-yard scoring run with 1:18 left in the opening period.

Penalties hurt both teams as they combined for more than 300 yards.

“The penalties were tough,” said Rogers. “The boys kept persevering. It’s hard to explain, but the kids kept playing hard to overcome the penalties.


Rogers pleased with Knights’ defense

“Our defense did an incredible job. It was one of our best games in the secondary. Chris Hill had two interceptions. Our d-line did a great job controlling their running game.”

The Lions’ Smith passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns, including a 96-yard play Kelem Rorie early in the second quarter to make it 13-7. The PAT kick was blocked. Smith finished the game 16 for 43. He threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Daniels, who led Bismarck’s ground game with 66 yards on three carries.

Bismarck had to punt late in the second quarter, with the Knights taking over at their own 30. On first down Clark broke free for 65 yards to the Lions’ 5. Two plays later Clark plunged over from the 2 with 1:45 remaining in the first half. The PAT was good an Centerpoint led 14-13 at intermission.

One of Hill’s interceptions set up the decisive score in the third quarter. He returned the ball to the Lions’ 9. Clark scored on the next play running out of the Wildcat. He also scored two points afterwards.

Bismarck finished with 447 yards, while the Knights had 359.