Lambert running back Marcus Chatelain carried the ball 43 times for 181 yards, but the Longhorns couldn’t overcome the big plays from Milton, falling 34-10 to the Eagles on Senior Night at The Horn.
“(Missed assignments) is our M.O. this year for some reason,” Lambert coach Louis Daniel said. “When we get in a good position, we just seem to do something dumb.”
Milton’s first play from scrimmage was an end-around to wide receiver Syaire Waters that went 71-yards for the game’s opening score.
Waters was also on the receiving end of a flea flicker from quarterback Jordan Yates that went 41 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and running back Solomon Vanhorse ripped off a 67-yard touchdown run the drive prior.
“I wish I knew,” Daniel said. “I wish I could put my hand on it. I really don’t know. If I had a better answer, I would’ve done something about it before now.”
Despite the big plays, Lambert was able to hang with Milton throughout most of the first half behind the running of Chatelain. The senior running back touched the ball on 65 percent of Lambert’s offensive plays (46 of 70), in route to eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.
“I think it’s mostly me trusting the (offensive) line,” Chatelain said about his ability to handle such a workload. “They make big holes every time. They don’t get enough credit. They know what they sign up for, but I appreciate them as much as anyone could ever.”
In the first quarter, Chatelain scored on a 14-yard run, one play after running for 21 yards, to answer Milton’s first score and tie the game at seven.
Lambert added a field goal before failing to convert on a fake field goal in the closing moments of the second quarter to make the score 21-10 at the half.
“First half, offense is rolling,” Daniel said. “Defense couldn’t stop anybody. Second half, we’re playing good defense, and we struggled on offense.”
The Longhorn offense not only struggled in the second half, they turned the ball over, giving Milton short fields to work with. The defense, however, only allowed Milton three points off the two turnovers: a fumble and an interception.
In addition to that, Milton had the ball first and goal from the Lambert 4-yard line on two separate occasions and only came away with three points (a field goal and a turnover on downs).
Milton’s final touchdown came after Lambert mishandled the snap on a punt. The Eagles took the football over at the Longhorn’s one-yard line and, this time, where able to punch it in on a QB sneak.
With the loss, the Lambert Longhorns are officially out of playoff contention leaving Chatelain and the rest of the seniors just one more chance to take the field next Friday against Forsyth Central to close out their high school careers.
“(Chatelain) has been everything to this program for the last four years,” Daniel said. “He’s a 3.9 (GPA) student. He has 1290-1300 on the SAT. I don’t know that he’s missed but a handful of workouts or practices in four years.
“He’s as high character individual as you’ll ever meet, and he’s having a good year this year.”