Five hours before the biggest start in his high school career, Arlington Martin quarterback Brodie Lambert was being treated with IVs.
At what level he could function against undefeated Euless Trinity in a Class 5A Division I regional playoff, or even if he could play at all, was in doubt.
To add difficulty to Lambert’s circumstances, conditions for the playoff game at Bedford’s Pennington Field were hardly quarterback-friendly -- an unrelenting 35 mph northwest wind.
But Lambert was able to laugh about all of it, his sudden illness, quick recovery and the conditions, after Martin’s 19-7 victory before a packed house Saturday.
“I can’t believe it happened,’’ the 6-1, 190-pound senior said. “It was crazy.’’
After being plagued by injuries that caused him to miss most of his first two seasons at Martin, there was no way he wasn’t going to be a part of Saturday’s showdown.
Lambert first became ill on Thanksgiving Day.
While Martin went through its final preparations Friday, Lambert was home “curled up in the fetal position,’’ according to updates received by Martin coach Bob Wager.
Lambert was treated for strep infection. He began to recover, but was weak the morning of the game, hence the IVs.
Statistics don’t do Lambert’s performance justice. He was 8-of-16 passing for 80 yards, delivering two vital throws to Eric Hughes, the first for 24 yards leading to Martin’s opening touchdown and the second for 25 yards setting up a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter.
Lambert scored the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run.
As a punter, Lambert finished with a 20-yard average, made more impressive by the fact that he was facing the wind on four of his five punts.
“I’ve never played in wind like that,’’ said Lambert, who has thrown for 1,189 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
Lambert set the stage for his senior success by leading Martin to the Red Bull Game Breakers 7-on-7 national title in the summer. He was named MVP in the finals, played in July at SMU’s Ford Stadium.
Now Martin (12-1) will be back at Ford Stadium in a Region I title encounter with Southlake Carroll (13-0) set for 6 p.m. Saturday.
Reaching the fourth round represents Martin’s deepest playoff run in school history.