North Point football rolls a doughnut on Chopticon; Lackey shuts out Westlake
Eagles blank Braves in critical matchup
It may not have been the start the North Point Eagles were looking for, offensively speaking, when the team hosted Chopticon in an important clash between hopeful Class 4A East Region playoff qualifiers on Friday night.
But then the way the Eagles’ defense has been playing, the team’s offense was afforded a little bit of time.
Eventually, North Point got things figured out, scoring 20 second-half points to turn a tight game into a comfortable 26-0 homecoming win in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division matchup. Jemichael Jones threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, while Malik Lawrence was on the receiving end of all three touchdown passes.
And then there was the defense. The hosts limited Chopticon to just one first down in the first half and were not much less stingy in the second half as they posted their second shutout in as many weeks.
“We made some changes a couple of weeks ago and the kids have really bought in,” North Point head coach Tom Petre said. “They had to learn some new things and they’ve done a good job with it. They take pride in it, the whole doughnut thing. They try to earn their doughnuts. They’re taking pride in playing good defense.”
North Point (5-1, 2-0 SMAC Potomac) needed the strong start on that side of the ball as the offensive unit struggled to finish drives over the first two quarters. The Eagles turned the ball over in Chopticon territory on the game’s first series, and later had a drive stall on the Braves’ 8-yard line. But in between Jones and Lawrence hooked up on their first score of the night, an 8-yard pass with 8 minutes 12 seconds still left in the first quarter.
“The first half was frustrating,” Petre said. “We kept kicking ourselves in our own butt. Whether it be flags, missed blocks, missed opportunities, dropped passes. That was the first 24 minutes. We were able to still get to the half with a lead, albeit a small one.”
The Eagles were able to double their lead to 12-0 on their second possession of the second half. Jones capped a 43-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring jaunt to allow the team to take a firm grasp on the game. A 98-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Lawrence with 7:15 left in the fourth quarter effectively put the game away, while the hosts put the finishing touches on the win with one last touchdown connection between the two — a 1-yard pass — with 3:14 remaining.
“We started a little slow, during halftime we cleaned some things up,” Lawrence said. “We came out in the second half prepared and ready to close out the game. Shoutout to the O-line and shoutout to Chopticon, we just got a good win tonight . ... It was a pretty big game. This game was going to determine our season.”
Even with all the distractions a homecoming week can provide, the Eagles had a good week of practice leading into Friday night’s game. The significance of the game in terms of the chances either ultimately have on reaching the postseason in a 4A East Region they share primarily with Anne Arundel County programs was well understood by the players.
“All week at practice we focused on how much this game was going to affect
North Point quarterback Jemichael Jones passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another in the Eagles’ 26-0 win over the visiting Chopticon Braves on Friday night.