AMITY, Ark. – Fouke had to cancel its games with De Queen and Centerpoint because of Covid-19. After a couple of phone calls the Leopards filled their schedule Friday night with a game at Centerpoint.
Class 5A De Queen was not ready for what it faced in the 3A Knights. Junior quarterback Josh Lawson passed for three touchdowns and 183 yards in the first quarter as Centerpoint humbled its visitors, 42-7.
The Knight added three more touchdowns in the second quarter for a 42-0 cushion at intermission.
“This is as well as we’ve played,” said winning coach Cary Rogers. “You’ve got to give our kids some credit for that first half. We also had some breaks with turnovers, and the kids took advantage of it.
“We tried to preach to our kids that De Queen would be coming in here with a bunch of players. They’re struggling, but getting better. I’ve been there, coming here (Centerpoint). We started this season with a loss to 2A Hampton. It matters when you have a big school playing a smaller school, but it’s not the most important thing in the world. You’ve got to go out and play.”
It could have been worse for De Queen
Sadly for the Leopards, the final margin could have been worse. The Knights dropped what could have been an easy touchdown pass in the first quarter. Seconds later they had a touchdown pass nullified by a penalty. Then there was a missed field goal attempt, and a Centerpoint interception at the Leopards’ 5.
It only took the Knights five plays to get on the scoreboard after the opening kickoff. Junior C.J. Fox hauled in a 22-yard strike from Lawson with 9:52 left in the first quarter.
Centerpoint (3-1) scored again with 2:23 left when Kaden Owens turned a short pass into a 70-yard score. Junior Carlos Ponce recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Owens caught a 38-yard touchdown pass on the next play with 2:12 left.
De Queen only had one first down in the first half.
Knights close to perfect in first half
An interception stopped the Knights on their next possession. Centerpoint got the ball right back on an interception by junior Dathan Vaught. Five players later Dillon Fox scored from the wildcat formation from a yard out.
A 25-yard punt return by C.J. Fox set up the Knights’ next score, a 72-yard run by Houston Way. Way finished the first half with 110 yards on 10 carries. C.J. Fox scored Centerpoint’s final touchdown with a 40-yard interception return. Hayden Rogers added all six PAT kicks.
“Josh (Lawson) did a good job, and the pass protection was great,” said the Knights’ coach. “We were supposed to open conference play next week against Fouke, but now we’re off. We play at Horatio in two weeks.”
De Queen avoided a shutout when quarterback Robby Fitzsimmons scored on a fourth down play from two yards early in the second half.