With 9.4 seconds left in Lambert’s first preseason scrimmage Friday, it looked like the Longhorns had victory right at their fingertips.
Instead, Creekview’s Trey Peppers caught a touchdown pass from Kyle Wilkie to spoil Lambert’s night with a 19-14 loss at home.
Up until then, the game stayed relatively even. Lambert led 7-6 at the half and 14-13 at the end of the third quarter.
The Longhorns displayed a well-balanced attack. They were able to connect through the air behind sophomore quarterbacks Richie Kenney and Reid Martin. Kenney was 11 of 19 passing for 91 yards and two touchdowns, one to Hunter Shepherd in the first quarter and another to Daniel Thornton in the third quarter. Martin went 6 of 10 passing for 57 yards. Senior running back Trevor O’Brien rushed for 93 yards in the two quarters he played.
Meanwhile, Lambert’s defense shut down Creekview’s running game, holding running back BJ Smith to only 7 yards.
Creekview’s defense put up a fight, forcing two fumbles and an interception. But despite the turnovers, Lambert appeared confident on both offense and defense.
It was a good sign for Longhorns’ first-year head coach Louis Daniel after taking over for Sid Maxwell, the only football coach Lambert had known since the program opened in 2009.
“I expect to have a group of young men that are going to lead us. Our No. 1 goal is to end up in the playoffs,” Daniel said. “Second goal is to win the region championship.
“We set our goals high. I don’t know if we’ll attain every goal we set, but the boys have to have something to aim for.”
Kenney said the team is prepared for their opening game against Lanier in two weeks as well as the rest of the season.
“We have a little bit to work on,” Kenney said, “but with some practice we’ll be ready.”
The opposing teams had very different strategies.
Creekview put lots of emphasis on their quarterback, Wilkie, who was 18 of 39 passing for a total of 237 yards and three touchdowns.
Lambert spread the ball around to several playmakers. Eight different players had at least one carry, led by O’Brien and Shepherd (nine carries, 36 yards). Seven different Longhorns had at least one catch, led by Tanner Hall (five catches, 41 yards), Evan Lamb (four catches, 29 yards) and Drew Cole (three catches, 26 yards).