Lanier's Taylor Grant (10)
WATKINSVILLE — Playing its first full varsity season, Lanier traveled to Oconee County Friday night seeking their first win of the year. It was a historic trip.
The Longhorns (1-1) rode the hot arm and slippery legs of quarterback Taylor Grant to prevail 17-14 in a see-saw affair over Oconee County (1-1) in Watkinsville.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Lanier defense produced the first big play of the game. With Oconee County driving deep in Longhorns' territory, Lanier's Onyx Berrios picked off a pass by Connor White in the end zone to repel the threat.
"That was Onyx's second interception of the season," said Lanier Head Coach Billy Wells, "our entire secondary has really played well this season and they were forced to go back to his side. That was a big play."
The play loomed larger three plays later as Grant connected with Marty Sanders on a short pass. Sanders shook two tacklers and set sail for a 73-yard touchdown reception and 7-0 Longhorn lead early in the second quarter.
Oconee responded two possessions later as Ikwaan Jones capped a 14-play drive with a 1-yard TD run late in the quarter to knot the score 7-7 at half.
On the opening possession of the second half, Mason Harwood ended a long Lanier drive with a 42-yard field goal to give the Longhorns a 10-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
"He has a 40-yarder for us last week as well, and for a sophomore that's quite a weapon to have," said Wells.
Oconee refused to yield, marching 78 yards and regaining the lead on a 27-yard TD strike from White to Keenan Brown to nudge ahead 14-10 with 3:45 remaining in the quarter.
Lanier absorbed the blow and responded on the next drive marching 80 yards on 16 plays. Grant ended the drive tossing is second TD of the evening for 3 yards to Jahbril Jones in the back of the end zone as Lanier once again assumed the lead at 17-14 with 10:03 remaining.
The Longhorns defense repelled the Warriors on their next final possessions to secure their first victory of the year.
"Oconee played a great game," said Wells, "it was back and forth all night. We are very happy with the effort our kids gave tonight."
Grant led the Longhorns going 12-for-18 for 228 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT.