By MacKenzie Bates
For the Forsyth County News
They say that bad things come in threes.
For Lambert, it came in the form of North Forsyth’s offense.
Senior wide receiver Cedric Touchstone hauled in 10 receptions for 149 yards with three touchdown catches, and Tristan Howard and Charlie Aiken both went over the century mark as well to help the Raiders defeat the Longhorns 45-21 Friday night in Cumming.
“We’ve got four really good receivers, and they alternate which one’s going to have the big night,” North head coach Robert Craft said. “Tonight, it was Cedric’s night.
“The yards after contact were big and credit our offensive line. They gave Ben the protection to make those passes.”
Touchstone had never caught three scores in a game. He gave all the praise to his quarterback, Ben Bales. Bales was 27-of-35 for 413 yards and four touchdowns.
“All of us worked together tonight,” Touchstone said. “Ben and I have played together since fourth grade so we have a lot of chemistry and it showed tonight.”
Aiken caught six passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. Howard had 105 yards on six receptions.
The game started with a score by both teams. A big kickoff return by Lambert’s Marcus Chatelain deep inside Raider territory gave way to a 35-yard screen pass from Bobby Gabriel to Peyton Rich who found Drew Dockter for a score on the game’s first play.
North (5-2, 2-0 Region 5-7A) had an answer on their first play from scrimmage. Bryson Trigg broke through several tackles and showcased his speed with an 80-yard touchdown.
After a Chatelain 57-yard score at the end of the first quarter, North took over, scoring 35 straight points, starting with a Trigg 66-yard score, who broke upwards of five tackles along the way. Bales tossed two touchdowns, a 48-yard score to Aiken and a 2-yard pass to Touchstone.
Trigg gained 227 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns. The Raiders had 641 yards of total offense, 419 of them in the first half.
“We played horrible,” Lambert head coach Louis Daniel said. “They came out and had a great game-plan, and they took it to us. We don’t tackle and we don’t defend the pass. It’s hard to play football when that’s going on.”
Chatelain produced 144 yards on the ground on 16 attempts with two touchdowns. Rich was 9 of 18 passing for 108 yards.
Craft said after the first play of the game, his defense settled in to the game.
“It just came down to who is going to execute better,” Craft said. “We battled through the early touchdown and a lot of emotion to start the game. We settled in during all three phases.”
“Tackling takes heart and want a lot of teaching,” Daniel said. “We didn’t tackle tonight. We tackled in the fourth quarter but not the first, second and third.”
This was North’s first win over Lambert (2-5, 0-2) since the school opened in 2009.
“We’ve never beaten Lambert in football, and it was a big region win,” Touchstone said. “This puts us in a position to make the playoffs, and that was a big goal for us this year.”