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Gladiators win thriller over Lambert in OT
Johns Creek needs late TD to take Longhorns into overtime

by Mike Blum

October 24, 2012

Johns Creek Gladiator Matt Azemar (5) was ready to stop Longhorn T.J. Russell (6). ALIZABETH HAGGERTY/Special.
Lambert Longhorn Jordyn Jean-Felix (5) stopped this play on Johns Creek Friday night. ALIZABETH HAGGERTY/Special.
Lambert Longhorns Trey LeBlanc (66), Dillon Alexander (48) and T.J. Russell (6) had Johns Creek covered. ALIZABETH HAGGERTY/Special.
Lambert Longhorn Brock Maxwell (13) is wide open to run the ball. ALIZABETH HAGGERTY/Special.
Johns Creek Gladiator Skye Overton (17) makes his move for a touchdown. ALIZABETH HAGGERTY/Special.
Friday Night Football with Johns Creek and Lambert high schools was action packed with OT. ALIZABETH HAGGERTY/Special.
Johns Creek 35, Lambert 28

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. After leading 21-0 early in the second half, Johns Creek needed a touchdown in the final minute to tie Lambert 28-28. Then, the Gladiators scored in the first overtime period to edge the Longhorns 35-28 last Friday night.

The victory keeps Johns Creek in a second-place tie in Region 6-AAAAAA with Alpharetta, with the two teams playing each other the final week of the season.

The Gladiators led 14-0 at the half and scored early in the third period to expand their lead to 21-0.

A 38-yard run by tailback Chase Solomon in the first quarter set up the Gladiators' first score. Skye Overton passed 3 yards to Braden Fortin for the touchdown.

Robert Pack's 3-yard run late in the opening period made it 14-0, with Overton keying the drive with a 23-yard run.

Overton's 23-yard scoring run on the Gladiators' first possession of the second half expanded the lead to 21-0, but the Longhorns responded with four touchdowns before Johns Creek could score again.

A Lambert receiver took away a possible interception in the end zone by a Johns Creek defender for a 40-yard touchdown and the Longhorns' first score. An interception return inside the Gladiators' 10 by Lambert led to a second score, and the Longhorns tied the game after stopping the Gladiators on downs in Lambert territory.

The Longhorns broke a 59-yard run to the Johns Creek 1 and scored on the next play to take a 28-21 lead with three minutes to play.

But here, the Gladiators got off the mat and came back with a 56-yard drive of their own. The drive was sparked by a 43-yard kickoff return by Matt Azemar.

Solomon scored his second touchdown from the 1-yard line with 47 seconds to play.

Lambert drove 50 yards to the Gladiators' 23 with the aid of two pass interference penalties, but missed a field goal that would have won the game in regulation.

Johns Creek got the ball first in overtime and scored on Solomon's 1-yard run, then the defense bowed up and stopped the Longhorns on fourth-and-4 from the 9 to preserve the hard-fought win.

Solomon carried 18 times for 99 yards, with Overton adding 92 yards in 17 attempts. He also passed for 90 yards.

The Gladiators are 2-1 in the region and 6-1 overall, with Lambert 2-2 and 5-2.