ARLINGTON — Quarterback Charlie Baird tossed four touchdowns, and the Arlington Lamar defense played lights out in the second half Thursday night as Trent Fuller became the second football coach to win a playoff game in the schools 43-year history, a 37-30 victory over Justin Northwest at Cowboys Stadium.
The win gave Fuller, who admitted after the game the win was a monkey off his back, his first postseason win as a head coach after replacing the legendary Eddy Peach, who won 311 total games in 40 seasons at Lamar.
The Vikings (6-5) meet Abilene or El Paso Montwood in the area round.
I have pictures in my office commemorating my first win here from my first group, and last years group winning a share of the district title, Fuller said. I told the guys this year from the very beginning theres two things I want: one is a picture commemorating my first playoff win, and the other thing is the sign on the wall.
"Its kind of embarrassing my name next to coach Peachs name hes got a hundred signs on the wall. I guess we need to add one more.
Lamar overcame a 27-17 halftime deficit behind Baird, who passed for 212 yards and threw four touchdowns, to three different receivers.
Wide receiver Kavonta Mayweather was his favorite target. The 6-foot-2 senior finished with six grabs for 90 yards and two scores. DaQuan Thomas caught four passes for 89 yards and a score, and Andrew Johnston caught an 8-yard score.
Ive got an arsenal of weapons and Im just lucky enough to have them, Baird said. They are all exceptional receivers.
Lamar also churned out 190 rushing yards, led by senior Cameron Smith who finished with a game-high 102 yards on 25 carries.
Northwest (8-3) took control early on a pair of scoring runs by Dakota Chavis and the play of Dylan Stubbe. He scored on a 1-yard plunge, then caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Draze Lawliss just before the half to give the Texans the 10-point lead at intermission.
Northwest's offense struggled in the second half. Lamar forced the Texans to punt on their first three possessions after the break, and the Vikings proceeded to outscore Northwest by 17 in the final two quarters.
Lamar junior kicker Ryan Jacobs iced the game with a 43-yard field goal, his third of the game, giving the Vikings a 10-point lead with 2:19 remaining.
We do it every day in practice and I wasnt nervous, Jacobs said. No one believed in us but ourselves and we went out there and we did it.
Thursdays win was Lamars first playoff victory since 2003, when the Vikings made a run to the Class 5A Division I semifinals. Northwest fell to 0-7 all-time in the playoffs.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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