A failure to get rolling on offense cost the Destin Marlins a 42-3 loss to the visiting Ruckel Rams Thursday night in middle school football action.
“We just didn’t match their intensity and we didn’t match the physical play,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan. “Offensively, we just couldn’t get going. We weren’t physical, we didn’t come off the ball, and mentally we weren’t here. We couldn’t put a drive together and the drive we did put together we couldn’t finish. Offensively it was very disappointing.”
In the first quarter, both teams struggled at first going three and out on their first two possessions. However, on Ruckel’s third possession with time running out on the period, quarterback Addy Moore broke loose for a 39-yard run around the left end for the score. The kick after was good for a 7-0 start.
Destin sputtered on their next possession only gaining 3 yards before having to punt.
Ruckel put together a five-play drive for the score. Moore connected with a Ram in the right corner of the end zone for a 13-yard strike. The extra-point kick was good for a 14-0 lead.
On the Marlins' next possession, they picked up a first down with quarterback Max Moran connecting with Luke Edelman for a gain of 17 yards. Edelman was rattled on the play and had to come out of the game. Destin gained two more yards before having to punt.
Late in the quarter, both teams turned the ball over with Aiden Garrity picking off a Ruckel pass. The Rams reciprocated with an interception.
The half ended at 14-0.
At the start of the third quarter, the Marlins put together their best drive of the game. Starting from their own 40-yard line, Destin put together a 13-play drive that resulted in a 17-yard field goal by Nathan Stepp. On the drive, Jackson Crews had a carry for 16 yards and a catch for another 33 yards. Parker Hill rushed six times for 26 yards. The Marlins got down to the 1-yard line put couldn’t punch it in and settled for a field goal for a 14-3 game.
Ruckel came right back with 60-yard TD run by Moore on the first play from scrimmage. The PAT was good for a 21-3 game.
The Rams scored again on a 55-yard run up the middle for a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Ruckel scored two more times on a 26-yard run and then 60-yard dash to the end zone for a 42-3 finish.
“They got tougher and we’re not very tough right now,” Hinterthan said. “(Ruckel) did a good job. We knew they had a couple of guys that could break away at any given time and we ran past a few things on defense.”
Up next for the Destin Marlins is a 6:30 p.m. game Thursday at home against the Meigs Wildcats in the first round of the Okaloosa County Middle School playoffs.