Thursday, 15 Nov 2018

North Point one step closer to 4A East title with 43-13 win over Arundel

About Malik Lawrence in the rain and enjoyed a hamburger on North Point sideline Friday night.

While North Point is a young team, Lawrence is the veteran leader, keeping his teammates calm in pressure situations. Lawrence was the leading receiver on North Point's state semifinal squad last season, so he is not fazed by the playoffs.

A year after North Point beat Arundel by one point, Lawrence led the Eagles to a 43-13 win over the Wildcats in the first round of this year's postseason by making the key plays he has all season. North Point is seeking its second consecutive Maryland 4A East title next week against South River, which upset Broadneck.

"Malik is an All-Met-Caliber player," North Point Coach Tom Petre said. "Put Malik out there, and anything can happen."

Last year, North Point trailed Arundel by 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Lawrence scored a game-winning touchdown with three minutes remaining. The Eagles lost to Quince Orchard in the semifinals and graduated 18 starters from that squad.

With mostly sophomores and juniors starting for North Point (11-0), Lawrence has had the opportunity to become a role model. The senior watches roughly two hours of film each day, sometimes sneaking his phone under his desk in class to do so. His teammates text him daily North Point's system. Often, North Point 's coaches allow you to learn more.

Lawrence also put on her to help the Eagles' young players build chemistry. He arranges team bowling outings and get-togethers to watch college football.

While Lawrence played last year, he was also defensive back this season because the Eagles needed his production on both sides of the ball. When Arundel (9-2) wins momentum near the end of Friday's game, Lawrence returned an interception 100 yards for one of his three touchdowns.

Arundel averaged 42.1 points in the regular season, North Point intercepted Austin Slye quarterback three times.

"The team is leaning on me," said Lawrence. "People look up to me now."

After his pick-six, Lawrence leaned back on a metal bench on North Point sideline to catch his breath. A group of players joined him, trading jokes as the final two minutes of their victory ticked off the scoreboard. Other players danced along the sideline with cheerleaders and fans, a more relaxed scene than the same game a year ago.

At the beginning of the season, Petre was not sure how good he would be, but with Lawrence on the field, he knows how to compete in a Maryland 4A championship.

"We got something special," North Point assistant coach told his team. "Now everybody in the region is about to learn how special we are."


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