Senior running back Trevor O’Brien muffed the opening kickoff, then picked it up and ran 72 yards.
It was that kind of night for Lambert, which could do no wrong in rolling past Habersham Central 51-6 at The Horn on homecoming night.
Senior running back Hunter Shepherd scored the game-winning touchdown 33 seconds into the game on the drive set up by O’Brien’s return.
Lambert did not punt once and scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions. The only drive not to result in a touchdown ended with a fumbled handoff as Lambert was driving deep into Habersham Central territory early in the fourth quarter.
“All year I kept telling the guys we just got to execute,” Lambert coach Louis Daniel said. “You don’t know what you can do until you execute, and we played a clean football game.”
The Longhorns’ easy night offensively was made even easier by a defense and special teams unit that allowed Lambert to have an average starting field position at the Habersham 48-yard line.
Five three-and-outs, a couple good kickoff returns by O’Brien and a fumble recovery returned by senior defensive back Jeremy Johnson helped account for the Longhorns’ great field position.
“Defensively, we’ve been solid all year,” Daniel said. “We expect a shutout every week on defense, but the offense has to do their part.”
The Longhorns only outgained the Raiders 289-201, somewhat surprising in a 51-6 rout.
“We’re getting more cohesive on offense,” Daniel said. “The offensive line is improving every week.”
O’Brien led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Eric Kohlins had a 56-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage for the Longhorns in the second half. Kohlins burst through a hole in the middle of the line and outran the rest of the Raiders defense, scoring on his first carry for the varsity team at The Horn.
The play of the game, however, came with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Drew Cole handed the ball of to Shepherd on a reverse. Shepherd ran wide, turned and threw the ball back to an open Cole, who had escaped to the flat on the opposite side of the field for the halfback pass and a 16-yard touchdown.
“I was pretty excited when I heard the play call,” Cole said. “We’ve been practicing it all week. Every day in practice we practiced it and it worked.”
“We want perfection, we shoot for perfection,” Daniel said. “We won’t be happy until we get close to perfection.”