By Kurt Main
For the Forsyth County News
On a night when the Longhorns had to be wondering if this was actually a home game, Lambert was able to overcome the size of the Meadowcreek Mustangs, numerous questionable calls and several penalties to ride the Mustangs out of The Horn, 38-20.
When Lambert sacked Meadowcreek quarterback Malachi Watkins in the first quarter to bring up a fourth down, the Mustangs brought in their punt team.
On the ensuing snap, the ball went over the punter’s head and the Longhorns recovered on the 4-yard line.
Longhorn quarterback Ashton Smith then threw a perfect touchdown pass to wide receiver Jack Stewart, only to have it called back by an illegal formation penalty.
Not to be deterred, Smith once again dropped back on the next play and hit wide receiver Kojo Antwi for a touchdown that would stick this time, making the score 7-0 after the conversion.
After another three-and-out by the stellar Longhorn defense, Smith threw a perfect 39-yard pass to Braden Bamburowski for another touchdown, giving Lambert at 14-0 lead.
The Longhorn defense once again stood up to the Mustang challenge, forcing another fumble. This time, after a great run by Bamburowski, Smith found Antwi in the corner of the end zone for another touchdown, increasing the Longhorn lead to 21-0.
The Longhorns, with just over two minutes in the first half, thought they had forced another fumble and recovery, but there was a roughing the passer penalty on the play, allowing the Mustangs to maintain possession.
On third-and-9, Watkins completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-7 at the half.
The second half began with the same kind of controversy that the first half ended with.
On Lambert’s first possession in the second half, the Mustangs recovered a fumble that was originally ruled as down by contact.
With the Longhorns on their heels, Meadowcreek took advantage of the short field and took the ball in from 4 yards out. The extra point conversion failed leaving the score 21-13.
On their next possession, Lambert took the ball down to the Mustangs' 23-yard line, where the Mustang defense held. But on fourth down, kicker Max Chapa Ponce banged a 40-yard field goal through the uprights, making it 24-13.
The Longhorn defense gave up only one more score, but quarterback James Tyre answered on the very first play when he laid out a perfect 56-yard bomb to Brandon Jones.
Not to be outdone by the offensive and defensive effort the Horns gave for three-and-a-half quarters, the Lambert special teams decided they wanted in on the action.
Lambert twice on kickoffs landed a knockout blow to the Mustang returners and recovered two fumbles.
One possession took almost three minutes off the clock and the other possession led to a Robert Riddle 10-yard touchdown making the final score 38-20.
"We had a great plan in the first half and executed well," Lambert head coach Tommy Watson said. "They came out with a different plan in the second half, and we had some players that weren’t matched up correctly, and they were able to be effective. But give our team credit for straightening those things out and getting the win.”
It was a night where it seemed everything was going against the Longhorns, but they overcome every obstacle and came out victorious. In the words of Coach Watson – “3-0. That’s what matters tonight.”