WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- The Houston County Bears kicked off their 2013 season Thursday with a 25-14 victory over the Harris County Tigers in the first game for Von Lassiter as the Bears' head coach.
"It's just awesome," Lassiter said. "What a great night for football, and Harris County is a great team. You see all the athletes they've got, and we're just very fortunate. Thank God we won, and I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for putting me here and giving us the chance to be here at HOCO and coach these great kids."
The Bears trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 5-yard touchdown run from Esaias Chapman.
Houston County tied the game eight minutes later on a 15-yard scamper from junior Romarcus Williams, but Harris County took the lead again with 3:10 remaining in the half on a run by quarterback TaQuon Marshall.
Never miss a local story.
The Bears came back just more than a minute later on a 12-yard touchdown by Kenny Gant after a pair of Tigers personal fouls helped Houston County drive 73 yards.
Gant also ran up the middle to convert the two-point conversion and give the Bears a 15-14 lead that they never relinquished.
After a 38-yard field goal from Jordan Strevig to end the half and put the Bears up four, quarterback Taylor Boyett gave them a two-score advantage with a 5-yard touchdown scamper just seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Bears' defense pitched a shutout in the second half due in part to a Marshall injury that kept him on the bench for the final two quarters.
"That was huge," Lassiter said. "He's a great player, and I hope he's well. We may see him again in the playoffs hopefully."
Houston County will now enjoy a few extra days of rest before traveling to Tift County next Friday night.
"Our goal at the end of this game and every game is to get better before the region starts," Lassiter said. "We want to improve every week, and there's no doubt that we did that (Thursday)."