Football: Lambert outlasts North Forsyth

The Longhorns take an audible from their coaches on the sidelines during a game.

The Longhorns take an audible from their coaches on the sidelines during a game.

Nick Schwarzmann, Staff Writer

Following Lambert’s colossal upset of South Forsyth, the Longhorns kept their momentum going, eking out a 48-40 road victory against the Raiders of North Forsyth.

Both squads set season highs for points scored, as defense was largely missing Friday night on Coal Mountain. The scoring started early and occurred often, as the first touchdown of the game was scored within five real-world minutes of the kickoff when Justin Bruno ran one in for a score. Bryce Christensen missed the following extra point attempt, and that one point would end up looming large throughout the game.

Following that touchdown, the two squads traded punts before North scored its first touchdown of the night. The Raiders converted the PAT, so they took a 7-6 lead. Both teams scored on their next two drives, making the score 14-13 early in the second quarter. Lambert would punt on its next drive, and North took advantage of that rare defensive stop by scoring on its next drive, extending their lead to 20-13, but North’s kicker missed the extra point, possibly out of solidarity, keeping the deficit at seven for the Longhorns.

Lambert would pounce on that Raider flub by tying the game on its next drive via another Justin Bruno touchdown run. 20-20 would be the score until there were five minutes left in the first half, when North Forsyth experienced a scoring eruption right before heading to the locker rooms. The Raiders would make a field goal, return an interception for a touchdown, and hit another field goal right before time expired to go into halftime with a 13-point lead and all of the momentum.

Both teams came back out onto the field with their offensive juices still flowing, as the Longhorns quickly scored right out of the gate. The Lambert D made a stand, forcing the Raiders to punt, however, a fumble on the return resulted in North Forsyth ball. The Raiders, ever so grateful for their second chance, would score a touchdown, pushing their lead to 40-27 midway through the third quarter.

With the third quarter coming to a close, the game was officially entering crunch time. The Longhorns, down by two scores and with time becoming a major factor in the game, got a necessary touchdown when Brian Wright found the end zone with a minute left in the third. This score was especially huge for Lambert, as the Horns had all of the momentum in the game. Noah Beck would intercept a Raider pass at the North Forsyth 11-yard line, and the Longhorns took advantage of the turnover by scoring a touchdown via the ever-popular Kenney-Gillis connection.

Following the touchdown, the score was 41-40, and Lambert held the lead for the first time since the first quarter. Another Longhorn interception, this time by Jaryd Jean-Felix, led to the game-sealing touchdown, another Justin Bruno run, with eight minutes left in the game. The Raiders would try to tie the game up late, but they failed to score, and the Longhorns escaped Coal Mountain with a victory in an instant-classic shootout.

This game was unique for the Longhorns due to the fact that in their three losses, the Longhorns held first half leads that they blew in the second half. In Friday’s game, the Longhorns were able to come back from a first half deficit to snatch the victory from the Raiders. Lambert has been on a roll lately, winning their last three games. The Horns will have to keep the momentum rolling as they play big rival and top-10 ranked West Forsyth this Friday.