North Point beats Huntingtown to remain unbeaten
Eagles remain unbeaten, thrash Hurricanes 31-6
When Huntingtown rolled into North Point on Friday night, the ensuing game between the two unbeaten squads had all the makings of a classic Southern Maryland Athletic Conference football encounter.
The visiting Hurricanes brought with them the top scoring defense in the conference, having allowed just a garbage-time touchdown in the season’s first week before following with three straight shutouts, while the Eagles consistently boast one of the most explosive offenses in the conference and had scored 119 points through their first four games.
For a half on Friday night, the matchup lived up to its billing, as just one point separated the two teams at the second quarter’s conclusion. But North Point proved too much over the game’s final 24 minutes, exploding for 21 third-quarter points on the way to a decisive 31-6 SMAC Potomac Division victory over the Hurricanes.
“We talked about in halftime about peeling back a little bit and just executing,”
North Point head coach Tom Petre said. “We didn’t execute well in the first half, missed some blocking assignments, dropped the ball, broke down in some protections. So the second half was really just coming out with a clear head and executing. I thought they did a great job.”
Huntingtown (4-1, 1-1 SMAC Potomac) struck first on Friday night, capping a 47-yard drive with Hunter Bray’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Josh Stokes. The Hurricanes were unable to convert the point-after, but led 6-0 with 4 minutes 36 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
North Point (5-0, 2-0) struck back late in the period when Asa Williams connected with Deandre Beverly on a 46-yard scoring strike that, with Evan Patterson’s successful extra point, gave the Eagles the lead for good with 52 seconds left in the quarter.
A scoreless second quarter followed, but North Point quickly extended its lead in the third, marching 73 yards to the end zone on seven plays. Williams and Beverly again combined to deliver the touchdown, this time on a 34-yard reception. The hosts followed with touchdowns on each of their next two possessions, both coming through the air with Malik Lawrence on the receiving end of 19- and 13-yard passes from Williams.
With the second of the Lawrence’s two touchdown receptions, North Point’s lead stood at 28-6 with 2:42 remaining in the third. Patterson added a field goal late in the fourth quarter to account for the game’s final margin.
Williams completed 15 of 19 passes for over 200 yards and four touchdowns, with 11 completions and three touchdowns coming in the second half.
“We just watched film and watched what they were doing,” Williams said regarding the Eagles’ second-half success. “They were doing a lot of rolling coverages. We made adjustments and it took off from there.”
“Asa had a hell of a night tonight,” Petre said of his quarterback’s performance. “It was an overall good team effort. I thought in the second half the defense really played well and gave us great field position. We were able to move the ball and do some things.”
Williams spread the ball to five different receivers, with Lawrence hauling in seven passes for 83 yards while Beverly caught four for 104 yards.
“We talked to the coaches to see where we had to adjust and we came out and dominated,” Beverly said. “It was a really tough game. They were undefeated, we were undefeated.”
At the end of the first half, Huntingtown trailed by a point but had outgained the Eagles by close to 100 yards. The Hurricanes were unable to maintain that effort through the second half, struggling mightily on both sides of the ball.
“They ran their hurry-up, which we knew they’d do,” Huntingtown head coach Paul Friel said. “We worked on it. We figured we could handle it, but for some reason we were getting out of position and they made some good plays and we weren’t there to stop them. Offensively, we thought we had some things going in the first half and we couldn’t get it going again, couldn’t get in a rhythm.”
Huntingtown is scheduled to host Thomas Stone at 7 p.m. Friday versus a Cougars team that fell 48-20 to Calvert in Week 5. Having struggled to three straight losing seasons prior to the current campaign, the Hurricanes had been enjoying a resurgence this year harkening back to the near-decade when the program made the playoffs every year from 2007-14.
“We just didn’t have our best game, but we have the second half of the football season to work on and I’m sure this group will work hard,” Friel said. “It was exciting, a great atmosphere. It was great game for a while and then it got away from us, unfortunately. We’ll learn from it.”
While North Point entered this season on the heels of a regional-championship 2017 campaign, the Eagles were not without their questions after graduating more than a few key contributors. Through five weeks the team has passed every test — its next test is at 7 p.m. Friday at home versus Northern, which fell from the unbeatens in a 12-0 loss to St. Charles in Week 5 — but Petre has been clear in the message to not look beyond the task as hand.
“These guys, they’re a young group, we’re a team in transition,” Petre said. “It’s a week-in, weekout thing. I told them to enjoy this one, but at the end of the day Monday it’s back to work. They’ve gotten the message and understand it’s a week by week thing and not to look too far ahead.”
North Point quarterback Asa Williams runs away from Huntingtown’s Connor Bobo during action at North Point on Friday night. Williams passed for over 200 yards and four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 31-6 victory.
North Point’s Deandre Beverly, right, celebrates with teammate Jimmy Warner after hauling in a his second touchdown reception of the night early in the third quarter of the Eagles’ 31-6 win over the visiting Huntingtown Hurricanes on Friday night.