Howard’s passing game during the first half of Friday’s season opener against Lamar County was virtually nonexistent.
Given a halftime adjustment or two, however, the Huskies took control of things against Lamar County in the season opener for both teams at the Ed DeFore Sports Complex. Despite giving up two early touchdowns, Howard fought back and claimed a 28-19 victory against an opponent it tied last year.
After going 1-for-6 with two interceptions in the first half, Howard quarterback Courvoisier King found his passing game in the second half. He completed the first three passes he attempted in the second half, setting the stage for a pair of scoring strikes to Alphonso Stephens.
“Lamar County did a great job with its defense against our run, so we had to do something to change that in the second half,” Howard head coach Barney Hester said. “We knew at halftime we needed to go out there throwing in the second half. I thought our receivers did a great job, our quarterback did a great job, and the quarterback had the time to throw the ball. The offensive line did a great job.”
King finished with 211 passing yards, going 8-for-14 in the second half. He found Stephens for a 34-yard score on the opening drive of the third quarter that gave Howard a 14-13 lead. After his 1-yard scoring run early in the final quarter, King connected again with Stephens (four catches, 134 yards) on an 85-yarder with 5:40 to go that gave the Huskies a 15-point lead.
Lamar County ran off a 12-play drive after the long touchdown pass, capping it with a 4-yard scoring run by Juan Tucker with 2:43 left, but a missed extra-point kick attempt prevented the Trojans from making it a one-score game late.
The Trojans, who played several of their skill players both ways, jumped out quickly. Quarterback LJ Smith led a 97-yard drive to start the game, capping it with a 1-yard scoring run. Smith then picked off King’s first pass attempt, quickly setting up a 4-yard touchdown run by Tucker less than eight minutes into the game.
Lamar County couldn’t get much going after that. Jerin Means broke open a 63-yard touchdown run for Howard midway through the second quarter, and momentum swung toward Howard from there.
“Everything a team needs to do to win football games, we did not do,” Lamar County head coach Jamie Abrams said.