ROSWELL — Lambert never saw it coming.
The Longhorns entered Friday’s game unbeaten and averaging 28 points per game, while Centennial was winless and giving up an average of 43 points.
This game was very different.
The Knights allowed only one scoring drive as they shocked the Longhorns 26-7 for their first win on Friday night at The Fortress during homecoming.
"They jumped on us and we shot ourselves in the foot," Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell said. "We just made mistakes that were uncharacteristic and [ones] a football team can’t [make]. We dropped the ball and [had] bad snaps and mishandles and misreads and just couldn’t get everything on track.
"... We panicked some."
With the game tied 7-7 in the second quarter, the Knights (1-5, 1-2 Region 6-AAAAAA) took control. Quarterback Chase Rosenberg connected with Christian Robinson for an 86-yard touchdown strike over the top of the defense to give Centennial a 13-7 lead.
On Lambert’s ensuing possession, quarterback Brock Maxwell fumbled the option pitch to the running back, and Centennial recovered the ball at the Lambert 28. The Knights took advantage of the turnover, as Rosenberg found Robinson for his third touchdown pass on a 6-yard slant pattern to make the score 20-7 at halftime.
The Knights tallied 216 yards from the line of scrimmage, while Lambert mustered only 62 rushing yards and was 0-for-5 passing at the half. Rosenberg finished the game 15-for-22 with 186 passing yards and three touchdowns.
The Longhorns (5-1, 2-1) looked like they were poised for a comeback, as the defense forced consecutive three-and-outs to start the third quarter, but the offense couldn’t capitalize and had to trade punts with the Knights.
With the Lambert offense on its own 48-yard line, the snap got away from Maxwell and Centennial fell on the ball at the 28. Lambert fumbled the ball four times and lost possession twice. Lambert’s only effective offensive weapon was running back Daniel Myers, who had 75 rushing yards on 16 carries.
With the short field and after a Lambert penalty, Centennial running back Cyril Teal powered his way through the line for a five-yard touchdown run, making the score 26-7 to close out the third quarter.
Lambert’s only score came in the first quarter when Maxwell (1-of-11, 6 yards passing, 24 rushing yards) capped a seven-play, 40 yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown to tie the game at seven apiece after Rosenberg threw his first touchdown pass to Robinson for 21 yards.
"[Centennial was] good, not to take anything away from them, but we also had a lot of misreads, miscommunications, missed blocks, missed snaps," Sid Maxwell said, "and when you add that to [Centennial] playing strong and hard and being excited about homecoming and the momentum, nothing good happens, usually."
The Longhorns will try to rebound when they travel to Johns Creek on Friday night.