North Point beats Hunt­ing­town to re­main un­beaten

Ea­gles re­main un­beaten, thrash Hur­ri­canes 31-6

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

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.”

PHOTO BY DAR­NELL MARBURY

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.

PHOTO BY DAR­NELL MARBURY

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.

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