North Point foot­ball rolls a dough­nut on Chop­ti­con; Lackey shuts out Westlake

Ea­gles blank Braves in crit­i­cal matchup

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

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

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

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.

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