A win is the only thing that matters to Sid Maxwell.
"As long as we win by one, I don't care about the score," Lambert's head coach said.
It wasn't that slim of a margin, but the Longhorns had to stop the bleeding in the second half to pull out a 38-34 victory against Woodland Friday night at The Horn.
Lambert was outscored 20-7 after halftime.
"We were pretty solid in the first half, but we sort of fell apart a little bit in the second half. [Woodland] made some plays," Maxwell said.
Leading 31-14 coming out of halftime, Lambert tightened its control of the game after forcing a Woodland three-and-out and a short punt from Brandon Thompson.
Starting on Woodland's 27, quarterback David Broadus (1-of-3, 30 yards passing) connected with a wide-open Chandler Register on third-and-13 for a 30-yard touchdown completion.
But Woodland began cutting into the lead on its next possession with an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, capped off by Josh Young's (6 rushes, 78 yards) 30-yard reverse run. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
"Woodland has a lot of explosion, a lot of big plays, and obviously when they get ahead of you, you're not going to catch them," said Maxwell.
A Broadus fumble on the third play of the Longhorns' next possession kept Woodland's comeback bid churning.
The Wildcats recovered the ball on Lambert's 37-yard line.
Lambert's defense forced a third-and-15 after two sacks, but Woodland quarterback R.J. Williams (18-of-27, 218 yards passing, 2 TD) hit Young (3 receptions, 50 yards receiving) down the middle of the field for a 42-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to two scores, 38-27.
The Wildcats kept the momentum going by recovering a squib kickoff on Lambert's 31-yard line.
"We should have gotten a return on the kick. We were in position for it, we just didn't and they had good execution," Maxwell said.
Lambert's defense stood strong yet again for two plays, leaving Woodland looking at another third-and-15 on Lambert's 19.
But Williams found the end zone again, this time connecting with Xavier Niblett (6 receptions, 61 yards) edging it in on the right sideline to cut the Longhorns' lead to 38-34.
Following a Lambert three-and-out, Woodland took the ball on its own 14 with 11:44 remaining in the fourth and a chance to take the lead.
The Wildcats made their way to the 50, but the Lambert defense held them on the ensuing series, forcing two Williams incompletions on first and second down and keeping Niblett from gaining the first down after a five-yard reception.
Woodland received the ball again on its 33-yard line with 6:06 remaining following a Lambert punt.
Though a pass interference penalty on the second play of the drive put the ball on the Woodland 49, Lambert's defense dug in again, sacking Williams for a nine-yard loss that led to a punt.
With 3:30 remaining in the game, the Lambert offense put together its best drive of the half.
Starting on the Lambert 25, Daniel Myers (17 carries, 89 rushing yards, TD) ran the ball three consecutive times for 22 yards.
Broadus then took the ball eight yards on two carries.
Facing a critical fourth-and-1, the Longhorns went for it but didn't even need to snap the ball.
The Woodland defensive line jumped offside with 2:02 remaining, resulting in a first down.
With the Wildcats out of timeouts, a few kneel-downs allowed the Longhorns to escape the Woodland comeback.
"We picked it up when we had to. It wasn't pretty, but the boys finished and that's probably because they had the mental toughness to do that," Maxwell said.
"That's what we're looking for."
Tied 14-14 heading into the second quarter, Lambert scored 17 points to take what seemed like a commanding 31-14 lead into halftime.
Lambert spread the scores around in the first half, with touchdown runs from Myers (10-yard inside handoff), Broadus (one-yard sneak), Register (49-yard run), and Reid Gill (12-yard counter run).
Wingback Brock Maxwell left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.
Lambert travels to Sequoyah this Friday to face the Chiefs.
"This win gives an opportunity to at least be in the hunt [for a region title]," Maxwell said. "We've got to take care of business the next few weeks, but this was a big, big game tonight."