Smith, Heck battle in shootout

Photo courtesy Presentation College

Photo courtesy Presentation College

It was supposed to be a rekindled reunion between two friends who were teammates for the Greenwave.

But the first-ever North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) title was also on the line between the Jamestown Jimmies and Presentation Saints in North Dakota. Fallon grads Charlie Heck (Jamestown) and Mike Smith (Presentation) faced off as foes for the first time in their football careers with the Jimmies winning in a classic shootout that featured 90 points and almost 1,200 yards.

The Jimmies’ defense, though, stepped up in the final quarter after jumping to a two-touchdown lead in the opening quarter as they won, 49-41 on Saturday.

Jamestown improved to 3-1 in the NSAA while Presentation fell to 0-4 with one game remaining in the season. The victory for the Jimmies gave them a share for the conference title with either Valley City State or Mayville State. Both teams face off this weekend while Jamestown’s season is over.

Heck saved his best college performance for his former teammate.

Heck had a career-best 33-yard carry but recorded minus-3 yards on his other two carries. Heck broke free into the secondary on his long run but tripped up 5 yards away from scoring his first collegiate touchdown.

Smith was 10 yards away from the play and paid his friend a visit after he came short of the goal line. Heck also had a block that took out one of Smith’s teammates.

“I ran up to him and helped him up. I said to him ‘You didn’t want to score?’” Smith said. “We run a lot of man defense with the safeties coming into the linebackers’ box. He (Heck) actually broke through on the weak side.”

Smith, who’s having a solid third season at safety, led Presentation with eight tackles, including six unassisted, and he was also in on a forced fumble. The third-year starter said this weekend will be the last time he steps onto the football field as he plans on focusing on his academics during his senior year.

Smith, though, plans on studying to become an athletic trainer and will be on the sidelines next season in a different uniform.

Defense, however, was absent during the first part of the game as eight of the first nine drives resulted in touchdowns. Jamestown scored four touchdowns in the first quarter alone but Presentation kept the pace with two touchdowns and then outscored the hosts in the second quarter to trail by one possession at halftime. Each team matched the other for the rest of the game with both teams scoring touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.

Presentation finished ahead in yards with 618 total on offense and 28 first downs, while Jamestown added 547 yards and 23 first downs.

“It was a good game,” Smith added.


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