- Local News
--By Chas Arnold on --
It was “Elementary School Night” at The Horn against Roswell, but there was nothing elementary about the outcome in the wild affair that was decided in the final 4.9 seconds. Lambert eked out a 19-17 victory in this cliff hanger that Longhorn Nation will be talking about for some time to come.
Trailing 17-16 following a 38 yard field goal by Ryan Karjala at the 8:09 mark, the Longhorns forced the Hornets into a three-and-out situation and took possession of the football on its own 44 with a fair catch by Brandon Miller on a Roswell punt. Only 5:59 remained in the game, but strong runs by James Little, Brock Maxwell and Daniel Myers were nullified by penalties during the Lambert possession forcing the Longhorns to attempt a 53 yard field goal with 2:33 to play. Maxwell, the Lambert all-purpose quarterback, who also handles punting situations as well as long distance field goals, barely missed the mammoth try, giving the ball back to the Hornets, who would try to kill the clock in its final possession.
Roswell’s strategy was simple. Give the ball to its workhorse tailback Andrew Kwateng, who registered over 100 rushing yards in the contest. Kwateng gained 14 yards in two plays, but was denied a game winning touchdown on a tackle by Nick Topper. The Lambert defense then stiffened and pushed Kwateng backward in two more running attempts before a crucial third down at the Roswell 33 yard line and 11 long yards to go for a first down. Hornets quarterback Ryan Monty tucked the ball neatly into the hands of Kwateng and the speedster gained 8 of the 11 yards needed for a first down before being run out of bounds at the Roswell bench by Mitchell Gargosh, Russell Monyette and Danny Edgeworth. Only 40.3 seconds remained in the contest and the move by Kwateng, which stopped the clock, would prove fatal for the Hornets.
Again, Miller called for a fair catch of a Roswell punt at the Lambert 24 yard line. Only 32.6 seconds were showing on the scoreboard clock, causing many in the capacity crowd to question the prowess of the Longhorns to forge a late came comeback. Maxwell’s pass to T.J. Russell slanting toward the middle of the field from the left end was incomplete with 28.4 seconds remaining, but showed something to the Lambert coaching staff that would prove successful two plays later. After another unsuccessful pass attempt to Russell on the Lambert 37 yard line, Maxwell went to his fleet receiver on the slant pattern once again. The agile Russell caught the ball in stride on the 30, stopped, pivoted toward the near sideline and found Chandler Register sprinting toward the Longhorn goal line with a nifty lateral. The “Hook and Lateral” play netted nearly 58 incredibly huge yards for Register as Lambert continued its march just short of the Roswell 18 yard line with just 10.6 seconds left.
Maxwell spiked the football on the first play from scrimmage forcing a second down, but stopping the clock with 9.8 seconds remaining. Karjala entered the game for a 35 yard field goal attempt, but was stymied twice by Roswell timeouts. When play ensued after the second stoppage Karjala sent Longhorn Nation into delirium with his strong kick that pushed Lambert on top 19-17.
When Karjala’s squib kick was downed quickly at the Roswell 20 yard line with only 2.5 seconds still to play it set up a pass play that resulted in two laterals by the Hornets before being tackled to close out the game and send Lambert into the night with its incredible comeback victory.
“When we tried the play earlier (hook and lateral),” noted Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell, “we were hoping their corner would bite. They didn’t notice it so we tried it again since we needed a big chunk of yardage. Sometimes luck helps. You’ve gotta have skill to make luck work, though. Our boys battled all along. We were fortunate to pull out the win.” The Longhorns extended its young season unbeaten streak to two games and will turn its sights toward winless Northview in next week’s game.
Roswell opened the scoring with a 27 yard field goal by Bennett Barton late in the first quarter (5:19), but Lambert answered when senior running back Jake Vasquez busted through the Roswell defensive line, found himself in the secondary and then turned on the speed to score on a dandy 53 yard touchdown run. Karjala’s kick made it 7-3 with just 52.7 remaining in the stanza.
From that point the two teams slugged it out until the Hornets lit up the board with only 13.8 seconds to be played in the half. Monty connected with Barton in the far left corner of the end zone when Roswell found itself with a third and goal situation on Lambert’s seven yard line. The two teams entered halftime with Roswell on top, 10-7.
The Hornets extended their lead to 17-7 at the 10:21 mark of the third frame when Kwateng barreled into the end zone from two yards away after a march that began on its own 33. Lambert then began a march of its own midway through the quarter when Maxwell, Myers, and Little went to work again and gained yardage that placed the ball on the five yard line, first and goal. Little pounded the ball into the end zone from three yards out on the second play from scrimmage to close the gap to 17-13. A high snap on the conversion led to a scramble by Register that resulted in an errant PAT attempt setting up the incredible ending for Lambert.
Coach Maxwell also felt something special about his team in just the second outing of the year that has the capacity to make this season a memorable one for everyone who follows the exploits of this gridiron gang. “We have great team unity,” explained the venerable mentor. “With this kind of unity you can make magic happen.” On Elementary School Night the Lambert Longhorns treated their followers to a truly magical evening, one that will be remembered for a long time.
IMPORTANT: We’re asking the entire Longhorn Nation to join us at LHS on Tuesday, September 11 at 6:15pm just prior to the Riverwatch vs Lakeside Middle school game and join us for the game.
We’ll be holding a ceremony with special contributions from President George W. Bush, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and CNN honoring our American Heroes. This will be a moment that you will behold and we are honored to have gained the support from our local, State and National dignitaries.
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