Set­ting the tone

Cava­liers shut out by Ea­gles in Week 9 foot­ball matchup

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @cfh­philly

On the av­er­age Fri­day night, North Point’s foot­ball team is com­pletely con­tent to start the game with its de­fense on the field, fig­ur­ing that unit can set the tone for the night.

But host­ing Calvert for their homecoming game, the Ea­gles felt dif­fer­ently.

“Tonight we wanted to set the mo­men­tum,” North Point’s Ma­lik Lawrence said. “Usu­ally we de­fer, but tonight if we won the coin toss, we said we wanted to re­ceive and set the tone, score right away. We did that and ev­ery­thing went well for us for the rest of the game.”

North Point dom­i­nated from the open­ing kick­off to keep its record spot­less through nine weeks, de­feat­ing the vis­it­ing Cava­liers 43-0 in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cross­over game that was played in rainy, windy con­di­tions.

Calvert had en­tered the game on a five-game win­ning streak dur­ing which it had outscored its op­po­nents 230-60. The Cava­liers were also the most re­cent SMAC team to earn a win over North Point, that com­ing in a 28-7 de­ci­sion at Calvert on Sept. 16, 2016. But the vis­i­tors came nowhere close to claim­ing an­other win at the Ea­gles’ ex­pense, as North Point won its 23rd straight against SMAC com­pe­ti­tion.

“Our kids have a ton of re­spect for this pro­gram. They talked about them for the last cou­ple weeks,” North Point head coach Tom Pe­tre said. “They were ex­cited about get­ting to this one. [Calvert head coach Rick] Sneade does an awe­some job with his kids. His kids are tough, they’re big up front, they’re weight room kids and they play hard. It’s a hard 48 min­utes when you play Calvert foot­ball.

“Our kids are aware of that. They’ve had some good games with them over the last cou­ple years, so our prepa­ra­tion this week was good. I’m proud of them and ob­vi­ously happy with the re­sult.”

Start­ing the open­ing se­ries at its own 40-yard line, North Point (9-0) used 12 plays to march down the field and into the end zone for the game’s ini­tial score. Lawrence did the honors, haul­ing in a 10yard pass from Asa Wil­liams to get things started.

Mo­ments later, the

Ea­gles re­cov­ered a fum­ble on just the sec­ond Calvert of­fen­sive snap, hand­ing the ball back to their of­fense at the Calvert 17. Three plays later, Wil­liams reached the end zone on a 6-yard rush and with Evan Pat­ter­son’s point-after North Point’s lead was 14-0, still just mid­way through the open­ing quar­ter.

There was plenty of scor­ing by the hosts that fol­lowed, but any drama the game may have held had ef­fec­tively been elim­i­nated.

“Over­all, we did what we were sup­posed to do,” Lawrence said. “We trusted our coach­ing, we trusted what we prac­ticed. We

watched a lot of film and our coaches al­ways put us in the right po­si­tion to be suc­cess­ful.”

In the sec­ond quar­ter, Corey John­son scored on a 3-yard run to push the North Point lead to 21-0, while Wil­liams, Lawrence and John­son com­bined on a 37-yard hook-and-lad­der play just be­fore half for an­other touch­down with John­son do­ing the honors of car­ry­ing the ball across the goal line. An Ea­gles 2-point pass gave them a 29-0 half­time lead.

Lawrence was on the re­ceiv­ing end of an­other touch­down pass in the third pe­riod, this one cov­er­ing 31 yards from

Wil­liams, while War­ren Whi­taker sup­plied a fourth-quar­ter touch­down on a 6-yard run.

Knocked into an early hole, Calvert (6-3) was never able to re­spond and never threat­ened to score.

“North Point is a pretty good foot­ball team and they’re a big play foot­ball team,” Sneade said. “When they got on top and got some big plays early it was hard for us to get any mo­men­tum back or get the chance to move the ball at all. But our kids fought and played hard to the end.”

Calvert is sched­uled to host West­lake at 7 p.m. Fri­day in what es­sen­tially boils down to an elim­i­na­tion game in the race for a spot in the Class 2A South Region play­off field. Also, both teams are tied atop the SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion stand­ings at 5-0, so the win­ner will get a divi­sion ti­tle. West­lake (7-2) over­came a fourth-quar­ter deficit to de­feat Thomas Stone 21-19 in its Week 9 matchup on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

North Point will close out its reg­u­lar season at home against Great Mills at 7 p.m. Fri­day night against a Hor­nets team that shut out Leonard­town in Week 9, 22-0.

The Ea­gles’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 4A East play­offs is se­cure, but a win will com­plete an­other per­fect reg­u­lar season and en­sure the team will open its post­sea­son at home.

Last year’s North Point squad claimed the first re­gional ti­tle in pro­gram his­tory to make its first 4A state semi­fi­nal ap­pear­ance, but the gen­eral per­cep­tion open­ing this season seemed to be that the team might take a step back given the se­niors grad­u­ated from that group. Through nine weeks, the Ea­gles have proven oth­er­wise.

“The out­side noise is ac­tu­ally funny to us,” Lawrence said. “We come to prac­tice, talk about it, laugh at it and do what we have to do and im­prove ev­ery week. It’s all about us, not any­body else.”

PHOTO BY DEB­BIE MCIN­TOSH

Calvert’s Dre Mack­all car­ries the ball be­hind the block­ing of Gus Aufder­heide dur­ing the Cavai­iers’ game at North Point on Fri­day night. North Point de­feated Calvert 43-0.

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