After a bit of a struggle, the Destin Marlins took care of business and posted a 35-12 win over the Davidson Panthers in Crestview last Thursday.
“For the first time this season, we failed to put it in on the first drive,” said Destin Coach Ron Griffiths.
The Marlins got it down to the 10-yard line and dropped a pass on the scoring attempt.
However, Destin’s Skyler Shoumaker picked off a Davidson pass getting the ball back for the Marlins. Destin then drove down the field on their second possession with Deonte Sheffield scoring on a 1-yard run.
In the second quarter, Destin hit pay dirt once more on a Jack Bruner pass to Tyler Gilley for the score. Bruner was five-of-six through the air for the night. Gilley kicked in the point after for a 14-0 lead.
Right before the half, Davidson punched one in the end zone but missed the extra point attempt for a 14-6 game at the break.
At the start of the third quarter, Davidson put the ball in the end zone again and missed the point after but closed the gap at 14-12.
After that early third quarter score, “Our defense was lights out after that,” Griffiths said. He said the Marlin defense didn’t let the Panthers get past midfield the rest of the game.
On the Panthers next possession, Destin’s Jackson Cooper and John Hess forced a fumble and Sheffield made the recovery. Seconds later, Sheffield busted off a more than 50-yard run for the score.
Sheffield scored one more TD on another long run, before he returned a punt for 6-points as well.
The last three Destin touchdowns were scored in the last 4 ˝ minutes of the third quarter.
When the Panthers had closed it down to a 14-12 game, “that was kind of a wake up call. Our defense said enough is enough,” Griffiths said.
This Thursday the Marlins (5-0) play host to another Crestview opponent, Shoal River Middle School (3-2). Game time is 6:30 p.m.