FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Lambert used a strong defensive performance, moved the ball effectively on offense and had timely special teams play to improve to 2-0 with a 34-19 win over Lassiter at home Friday night.
Though the final score could suggest a closely matched contest, the Longhorns were in control throughout the night. Two of Lassiter’s touchdowns came against some backup Longhorns defenders in the fourth quarter, and their defense had their only score prior to those points.
Lambert’s defense allowed just one first down through the opening three quarters of the contest and forced a three-and-out on eight Lassiter possessions.
With Lassiter failing to move the chains, the Longhorns also had the benefit of a short field. Eight of their possessions started beyond their own 40-yard line.
After their first offensive possession ended with Lassiter recovering a Longhorns fumble, Lambert started the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ashton Smith to sophomore Brandon Jones, who was left all alone in the Lassiter secondary.
Some help from the Trojans, including a pass interference penalty and a personal foul, set up a 41-yard field goal from Ryan Degyansky early in the second to push the score to 10-0.
Lambert’s next drive extended their lead to 17-0 following two third-down conversions leading to a 4-yard touchdown run from Darren Guy.
With their offensive drives stalling out, Lassiter’s defense put the Trojans’ first points on the board with a 29-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Lambert blocked the ensuing PAT.
The Longhorn’s most electric score came late in the third. After penalties backed Lambert to its own 12-yard line, Smith launched a ball to midfield to hit 4-star prospect Kojo Antwi. The junior receiver had blasted by Lassiter’s secondary and was off to the races for an 88-yard touchdown, extending Lambert’s lead to 24-6.
Though he did not show up on the scoresheet, Robert Riddle had several notable rushes for the Longhorns, including a 15-yard scamper to set up Lambert on the Trojans’ 9-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Following a hard hit on Smith that sent him to the sideline, James Tyre stepped behind center and delivered a touchdown pass to Braden Bamburowski for a 31-6 Longhorns lead.
With some second-team defenders on for Lambert, Lassiter moved the chain for the just the second time in the game with a 45-yard pass that set up a long touchdown throw.
Lambert responded with a 39-yard field goal from Max Chapa Ponce midway through the period.
With just under three minutes remaining Lassiter found the end zone again but did not convert their 2-point play.
Bamburowski recovered the ensuing onside kick to ice the game. It was the second onside kick recovery by the Longhorns after the Trojans tried to catch Lambert off guard to open the second half.
Friday’s contest was another positive result for the Longhorns who are off to a promising start after Lambert was winless last season. Lambert, now under the direction of head coach Tommy Watson, has scored 34 points in both of its opening games, a mark they did not reach all of last season. They have also held Campbell and Lassiter to a combined total of 28 points after allowing an average of 40 per game in 2019.
Lambert will look to continue their optimistic start at home Sept. 18 against Meadowcreek.