Setting the tone
Cavaliers shut out by Eagles in Week 9 football matchup
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.”
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.