The Lamar Vikings beat the Justin Northwest Texans for a 41-20 victory on Friday night at NISD Stadium.
Heading into the rematch of last year’s bi-district playoff matchup, many expected a showdown between Lamar quarterback Shane Buechele and Northwest quarterback Jesse Drummer, two of the top passers in DFW. However, it was the Lamar running attack and defense that stepped up to seal the game in the second half.
Up two scores in the third quarter, running back Ali Lancaster marched the Vikings down the field and scored on a two-yard punch-in to increase the Viking cushion. After a punt on the ensuing Lamar possession, defensive end William Paige recovered a Texan fumble and returned it to the house to give the Vikings a 34-7 lead.
Paige’s fumble return was the fourth turnover for the Lamar defense. Safety Diontez Champion recorded an interception in the first quarter, and defensive back Dejaun Hutchinson recovered a fumble and intercepted Drummer in back to back possessions to start the second half. The Viking D held Northwest to 213 yards after the Texans averaged 469 yards in their first two contests.
Lancaster finished the game with 119 yards on 20 attempts and one touchdown. After a record game vs. Keller Central in week two, Buechele threw for 174 yards on 16 completions with three touchdowns and ran for another score. Receiver Kofi Boateng led all receivers on the field with six catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings have an open week before facing Martin in the District 4-6A opener on Sept. 26.
The Lamar Vikings fell victim to turnovers and a late Keller Central surge in a 38-31 loss at Cravens Field.
Central scored 31 second half points to erase a 13-point lead halftime lead for the Vikings. Running back K.T. Smeby tied the score on a six yard run late in the fourth. Driving with the ball into Charger territory, Lamar quarterback Shane Buechele fumbled after a seven yard scramble and gave the ball back to Central. Keller scored four plays later on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jake McClurg to Nick Rischer.
Buechele completed a few short passes on the following drive, but overthrew a hail mary attempt as the final horn sounded.
Wide receiver Kofi Boateng continued an early season hot streak with nine receptions for 136 yards and two touchdown catches. Marshawn Nash added another nine catches and 97 yards as the game’s leading receivers.
The Viking running attack stalled as the team totaled only 31 yards on the ground. After a clutch second half performance against Richland in week one, the Viking defense allowed 308 yards passing and 166 yards rushing to Central. McClurg, a three-year starter for the Chargers at quarterback, was also Central’s leading rusher with 80 yards and touchdown.
The Vikings end a season-opening, two-game homestand with a win vs. Richland and loss to Central. Lamar will travel to Justin Northwest next Friday followed by a bye week before district play starts.