BENTONVILLE (KFSM)--If you don't know who Tigers running back Jacob Clark is, it's time to learn.
"Probably one of the more underrated backs in the state but still probably one of the top backs in the state," said head coach Jody Grant. "He's a tough runner, hard to tackle, very powerful. We ask a lot out of him and he gets a lot of our carries."
Clark received playing time as a sophomore, but was small and underdeveloped. "Whenever I was smaller I had to manipulate myself to hit the holes because I was smaller and afraid I was gonna get hurt. But then once I realized I gotta trust my o-line, I started hitting them and it helped out a lot," Clark explained.
The senior's transformation began two years ago, outside of football. Clark ran track, starring in the 100 and 200 meter dashes along with the long jump and triple jump.
"I had coach Washington training me and he was a real good track coach. He helped me with my bursts and speed, my endurance, definitely being able to keep going whenever I'm tired," said Clark.
"Once he sees a hole and gets skinny and gets through it, he can plant that foot and get that acceleration going in a hurry," Bentonville running backs coach David Pollard said. "Good speed, good vision. Ability to read the zone and pick up in pass blocking."
Every skill will be put to the test on Friday against Fayetteville. And a win would mean the world to Clark.
"Been working out with these boys since I was in like 7th or 8th grade, so it would just be cool to finish it through with them all," Clark said.
Bentonville won 24-21 at Fayetteville in week four. The stakes are much higher this time, as the winner advances to face either North Little Rock or Bryant in the 7A state championship game.