North Point eliminated in 4A East semifinal
Eagles unable to stop Annapolis’ Gough in season-ending loss
ANNAPOLIS — Through most of Friday’s Class 4A East Region semifinal football game, North Point and host An- napolis were hooked in a serious battle, one that saw the hosts take a 24-21 lead into the fourth quarter.
But North Point (9-2 overall) proved unable to reach the region final, however, as it was unable to finish off any drives in the fourth quarter and also could not find an an- swer for Annapolis senior Cameron Hough, who scored four touchdowns, including one on defense, falling 45-21.
Hough made the big- gest play of the night while occupying a linebacker’s spot for the Panthers. With the teams set to go into the locker room at halftime tied at 14, North Point was awarded an untimed down a roughing the passer penalty. It proved to be a play the Eagles perhaps wish they had never run.
North Point quarter- back Jemichael Jones looked to get outside the pocket and throw the ball downfield, but he was sacked by Hough and stripped of the football. Hough recovered the loose ball and raced 30 yards for a touchdown that gave the Panthers a 21-14 halftime advantage.
“It was a big play, but our guys had to realize the game wasn’t over at that point,” North Point head coach Tom Petre said. “We played well at times in the third quarter, but they made the plays in the fourth quarter. It’s definitely disappointing. We had a really good group of guys and we thought we had a good game plan tonight.”
North Point, the third seed in the region, hardly wilted in the early stages of the second half.
Annapolis, the second seed, went 50 yards in nine plays on its first possession of the third quarter, but the Panthers settled for a 30-yard field goal from Carl Tucker to take a 24-14 lead. On its last possession of the quarter, North Point an- swered when Jones con- nected with Malik Law- rence on a 17-yard strike to trim the Panthers defi- cit to 24-21 wth less than a minute remaining in the quarter.
That would prove to be the last highlight for the Eagles on the night and the season.
Annapolis countered by marching 80 yards in 11 plays and Gough plowed forward from two yards out to extend the Panthers’ lead back to 3121. His next touchdown would emphasize the dif- ference between the two squads on this night.
North Point crossed midfield on its next possession thanks largely to a 37-yard run from Jones, but Jones was intercepted in the red zone three plays later.
Annapolis looked for some breathing room starting from its own 2-yard line and got plenty of it immediately when Hough found a huge hole up the middle and raced 98 yards for a touchdown that extended the Panthers’ lead to 38-21 midway through the fourth quarter.
“We always kick [Hough] about his speed, but he never seems to get caught from behind,” said Annapolis head coach Nick Good-Malloy, whose team will now host fourth-seeded Broadneck in the 4A East Region final after the Bruins upended previously unbeaten and top-seeded Old Mill, 20-17, in overtime on Friday. “The offensive coordinator changed the play and it worked out.”
North Point again crossed midfield before turning the ball over on downs on its next possession, then Gough put the finishing touches on the contest when he raced 25 yards for another score.
North Point appeared to score on the game’s final play on a 50-yard pass from Jones to Malachi Mcmillan, but that touchdown was nullified by an offensive holding penalty against the Eagles.