SJ Central tops NKC for third straight win
By Cody Thorn The St. Joseph News-Press
Izzy Smith played his best game in a Central uniform in his last game at Noyes Field.
The Indians standout running back posted a career-high in rushing yards and scored five touchdowns in a 47-22 romp against North Kansas City.
“He is awfully special,” Central coach Phil Pitts said of Smith, who ran for 336 yards. “You are sitting on the sideline thinking what play we should call or what formation we should be in. It doesn’t matter. Just give the ball to No. 25. Give Izzy the ball. He made a lot of plays. I’m super happy and proud he got a chance to go out a winner.
“He is a hell of a player.”
Smith broke his personal record in yardage of 272, set last year against Blue Springs, in the third quarter and went over the 300-yard mark in the fourth quarter.
He ran for 218 yards in the first half on 12 carries and finished with 23 totes for 336 yards, which pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in his career.
Unofficially, he is up to 3,390 yards in his career with at least one game left to play. The five touchdowns is one shy of his career-high set his sophomore year against Park Hill South.
His first score came on a 71-yard run in the second quarter to make it 14-0 and, three carries later, his 43-yard jaunt made it 20-0.
Central (4-5) took a 27-0 lead at the break against North Kansas City (2-7) with other scores coming from Khalik Henderson on a 3-yard run and Cade Musser on a 10-yard pass from Dawson Page.
Smith’s 30-yard score made it 34-0 in the third quarter, the largest lead of the night.
The senior finished the game coming up short of the school record of 367 in a game, set by John DeLeon in a six-touchdown effort against William Chrisman in 1999.
“I don’t like to play selfish and play for records,” Smith said. “Being a senior, through the whole week it was in my head this is my last game. I wanted to ball out for my friends. It means the world to me that we won. Winning this game is everything. Central is what developed me into the athlete I am.”
The win capped a big turnaround for a Central team that not long ago stood at 1-5 following a disheartening 51-48 loss at home to Truman
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