Century and Bismarck had to settle for a soccer outcome neither team wanted.
The two teams, ranked 1-2 in the preseason coaches' poll played to a 1-1 standoff Tuesday night at the Bowl. Ties are nasty business that nobody appreciates.
They sit there like a half baked loaf in the West Region soccer standings, and both teams walk away about the missed opportunities that cost them a win.
BHS coach Ricardo Pierre-Louis said there were a couple of upsides to the deadlock, however. He noted that his second-ranked Demons played the top-seeded and defending state champion Patriots even for 80 minutes.
And, he pointed out, the Demons didn't let their nemesis, Chance Bowlinger, do them in.
"Century is a good team, and Chance Bowlinger is fantastic. ... He's that kind of player. I'm happy we solved that problem today," Pierre-Louis observed.
At 10:47, Century struck first, taking advantage of a long upfield kick into the easterly wind. Anthony Cleary headed the ball to Kaiden Campbell, who went in unopposed and scored on a low shot against goalkeeper Drew Henriksen.
Bismarck responded at 28:30, but Remington Richardson's goal was waved off on an offside call.
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The Demons finally broke through on a corner kick at 49:36. Owen Haase launched the ball from the right corner, setting up a header by Babu Ramadhani.
Century outshot Bismarck 2-1 the rest of the way, and the Patriots had a couple of good opportunities get away in the final 12 minutes.
Kevin Jia found himself open with the ball on the left post with 11:40 remaining, but a BHS defender made a last-second block, sending the ball out of bounds.
A header by Century's Ryan Ketterling went wide of the goal with 3:05 to play, the last real scoring opportunity of the game.
Century built a slim 8-6 edge in shots on goal and finished with a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.
Each team received a point in the West Region standings, a meager payoff compared to the three points awarded for wins.
Pierre-Louis said his team worked hard for their point.
"We earned the tie. They scored on a mistake by our back line. For most of the game we had possession of the ball, but we didn't put our chances away," Pierre-Louis noted.
Bismarck stands 0-0-1 in the region and 0-1-1 overall. Century is 0-0-1 and 1-0-1.
Century returns to action on Thursday, playing host to regional foe Minot. Bismarck visits Williston on Thursday.