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Johnson's big plays help Lambert football rebound against Johns Creek
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Lambert senior Jeremy Johnson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the Longhorns win Friday at Johns Creek. Johnson also added an interception in the end zone. - photo by Kevin O'Brien

Lambert 41, Johns Creek 7

Lambert 24 17 0 0–41

Johns Creek 7 0 0 0–7

First Quarter

L: Johnson 94 kick return (kick good), 11:46

L: FG Hall 28, 5:31

L: O’Brien 17 run (kick good), 5:11

JC: Nalecz 1 run (kick good), 1:31

L: Johnson 92 kick return (kick good), 1:13

Second Quarter

L: FG Hall 31, 8:08

L: O’Brien 2 run (kick good), 5:35

L: Martin 68 pass to Hall (kick good), 0:13

JOHNS CREEK – The Lambert Longhorns, looking to bounce back from a defeat last week, dominated all facets of Friday night’s game at Johns Creek. The Longhorns were jolted seconds into the game by a 94-yard return from senior Jeremy Johnson, and went on to a 41-7 win.

The victory opened a new era for Lambert football as it was head coach Louis Daniel’s first victory. After the game, Daniel commented on how great it felt to get the win.

"They work so hard," Daniel said. "They needed a win tonight."

The Longhorns (1-1, 1-0 Region 6-AAAAAA) hard work seemed to pay off, and it was evident early. After Johnson’s long return made it 7-0, Lambert forced a three-and-out and went up 10-0 on a 28-yard field goal by Tanner Hall.

Lambert recovered a Johns Creek fumble on the Gladiators’ following possession that set up a 17-yard touchdown run by Trevor O’Brien. Johnson closed the first quarter with his second kickoff return for a touchdown, this one 92 yards to put Lambert up 24-7.

"It’s all on the blocking," Johnson said. "When my teammates create a hole, I take it."

Lambert continued its display going into the second quarter. Hall added a 31-yard field goal. Lambert capitalized on another Gladiators fumble with O’Brien’s second rushing touchdown, a 2-yard score.

Johns Creek responded with a good drive behind senior quarterback Kevin Nalecz, but the drive didn’t end well for the Gladiators. Johnson intercepted Nalecz in the end zone, and Lambert scored on its ensuing possession on a 68-yard pass from quarterback Reid Martin to Hall, putting the Longhorns up 41-7 at half.

Lambert was efficient on both sides of the ball. Offensively, O’Brien accumulated 81 yards on 16 carries, along with two touchdowns. Senior Hunter Shepherd was also effective on the ground, putting together 11 carries for 51 yards coupled with a three yard reception. Through the air, Hall hauled in two passes for 78 yards. Junior Trevor Nunes also contributed, taking a short swing pass 51 yards early in the game.

Defensively, the Longhorns held Johns Creek under 60 rushing yards and recovered four fumbles throughout the game, setting up their offense with good field position.

"Our goal is to win the region," Johnson said. "We knew tonight was our first region game, and we had to come out and make a statement."