Gladiators win thriller over Lambert in OT

Johns Creek needs late TD to take Longhorns into overtime

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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.