John Marshall running back Lequan Swain scored from 7 yards out with five minutes remaining to tie the game, but the Bears missed the chance to take the lead when kicker Josue Carillo's extra point attempt was blocked.
Receiver Devion Smith, who finished with eight catches for 136 yards, continued his strong season and ignited the offense with three touchdown catches to help close the early gap.
Even with the loss, new John Marshall coach Rashaun Woods was pleased with his players' performance and start to the season after going 0-10 in 2012.
“It means a lot because the guys haven't had that kind of adversity yet,” Woods said. “They had it last year and they folded. It means a lot to see those guys fight the way that they did. I told them, ‘It's what I needed to see. You didn't get the win, but I saw exactly what I needed to see to know that this thing is going in the right direction.'”