By Josh Holland
For the Forsyth County News
On fourth-and-18, Lambert’s football team had a chance to spoil Forsyth Central’s senior night and win its first game of the season, but Peyton Rich’s pass to the back corner of the end zone just evaded his receiver’s hands for the touchdown that would have tied the game.
Central was able to run out the remaining two minutes of time on the clock to win 29-22 over Lambert in both teams’ final game of the season on Friday night.
Central opened the game with an offense that looked virtually unstoppable, led by quarterback Bronson Landreth, who scored the Bulldogs’ first two touchdowns. The offense was in such a high gear they went for two following the second touchdown, with lineman Max Johnson making the catch in the end zone to extend the Central lead to 15-0.
Lambert inherited great field position after forcing Central to punt out of their own end zone, and Rich was able to complete a 7-yard touchdown pass to close the gap to eight points with five minutes remaining in the first half.
On the following drive, Central had an 80-yard touchdown run called back for holding, and on fourth down opted for the fake punt, which was unsuccessful. This gifted Lambert a drive that started on the Central 29 just before the half.
The Longhorns cut the Central lead to one, thanks to a touchdown reception by Kojo Antwi before halftime.
Central opened the second half with the same offensive power they showed they were capable of in the first half, only needing three plays to score. The Bulldogs took a 22-14 lead two minutes into the third quarter.
Lambert responded with a drive that received a massive boost thanks to two Central penalties, and was finished off by Chase Bombard, who came out of the backfield to make the touchdown catch from Rich. The Longhorns used that momentum to convert the two point conversion, which evened the score at 22 apiece.
Landreth fumbled early in the next drive and Lambert’s offense took over on the Central 28. Antwi brought down an impressive catch over a Central defender to set up the Longhorns on the 1-yard line, but a fumble on the snap gifted the ball to Central.
Central took the ball 99 yards to score what became the deciding touchdown in the game after Lambert cornerback Anthony Newton picked up two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one play, resulting in a 30-yard penalty. Noah Chol carried the ball into the end zone on a simple sweep.
Lambert’s final drive to respond included a third and long and a fourth-and-3 conversion to break into the end zone. Central’s Brandon Redecker came up with a huge sack that forced fourth-and-18 with two minutes remaining in the game. Rich found Braden Bamburowski in the back corner of the end zone, but the wide receiver was unable to haul in the pass that would have tied the game.
Central ran out the clock to finish the season 4-5 overall and 1-4 in Region 5-7A, while the Longhorns finished their season winless.