Centennial 28, Lambert 21
Lambert 7 14 0 0–21
Centennial 0 7 7 14–28
L: Cole 15 run (kick good), 9:07
L: O’Brien 7 run (kick good), 5:37
L: Shepherd 1 run (kick good), 2:13
C: Conway 32 pass to Beck (kick good), 0:00
C: Conway 1 run (kick good), 4:27
C: Conway 2 pass to Muhammad (kick good), 7:45
C: Conway 5 run (kick good), 1:31
ROSWELL — Centennial rattled off 28 unanswered points to erase a 21-0 deficit and beat Lambert, 28-21, at The Fortress in Roswell on Friday night.
Centennial (1-2, 1-1 in Region 6-AAAAAA) turned the ball over on the opening possession when the Longhorns’ Houston Earnest intercepted Luke Able to give Lambert great field position.
Then came the lightning.
After just two minutes of action, the game was delayed for an hour and fifteen minutes. But after it started, it appeared it was going to be all Lambert.
"The lightning made no difference really," Lambert head coach Louis Daniel said. "They played with it just like we did. We came out and went up 21-0 after that happened, so there’s really no excuse. It was about mental toughness and discipline."
When the game resumed, the Longhorns (1-2, 1-1) wasted no time and got on the board with a 15-yard touchdown run by Drew Cole.
Senior running back Trevor O’Brien got the second score of the game for Lambert midway through the second quarter to put the Longhorns up 14-0. O’Brien did his part to carry the load for most of the day, tallying 154 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
It wasn’t quite enough.
"Execution. That was the difference," O’Brien said. "The defense played great, but we failed to execute. We just have to practice harder and execute. That’s really what it came down to."
After Able struggled in the first quarter, the Knights turned to sophomore quarterback Casen Conway, and he was the difference.
On Centennial’s final play of the first half, Conway escaped a sack, rolled to his left, and delivered a perfect strike to Marcus Beck in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown with triple zeroes on the clock. That made the score 21-7 in the Longhorns’ favor, but the Knights had captured the momentum.
"We preach discipline," Daniel said. "We preach running the football. We missed some assignments. We struggled to run the football in the second half. Once we lost momentum we had a real hard time trying to get it back. I just need to look at the film."
The Longhorns were held to just 62 yards from scrimmage in the second half.
On fourth-and-goal, with just under eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Conway connected with senior wide receiver Malik Muhammad from two yards out to tie the game at 21. Muhammad finished the game with six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
The comeback was complete when Conway ran it in from 5 yards out with 1:31 left to put the Knights up 28-21. Conway finished the game 19-of-24 for 212 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also tallied 12 carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Whether it was lack of discipline, execution, or just running out of gas, the Longhorns didn’t look like the same team in the second half.
"We just didn’t stay focused," senior defensive lineman Trevon McSwain said. "We didn’t come out with the same intensity in the second half and lost sight of our goals."