Jack Tenholder rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Destin Marlins in a 46-6 win over the visiting Emerald Coast Stingrays in middle school football action.
Thursday night’s victory was the Marlins second and first home game.
“I thought they came out and played hard in the first half. They executed well,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan.
Destin didn’t waste any time getting on the board scoring on four of five possessions in the first half.
The Marlin defense knocked the ball loose on the Stingrays third play of the game. Destin’s Carter Tobik came up with the ball. Six plays later, the Marlins were in the end zone on a 6-yard rush from Tenholder, who carried the ball five times on the drive.
On the Stingrays next possession, they were again interrupted by a tenacious Destin defense. On a fourth-and-six situation, Destin’s Allen Collins picked off a Stingray pass.
However, the Stingrays returned the favor and got the ball back on the next down with Maddux Porter intercepting Destin’s Harrison Orr.
Destin stopped the Rays and scored four plays later. Maddax Fayard broke loose on the left side for a 28-yard dash to the end zone. Orr scored on a fake punt and Destin led 14-0 at the start of the second quarter.
The Marlins managed to score two more times in the first half. Anthony Ordonez, who had 11 carries for 61 yards for the night, scored on a 3-yard run and Trip Scannell’s extra-point kick was good.
The next TD came in the last minute of the first half. Orr connected with Pavel Baturyn for a gain of 34 yards before Tenholder broke loose for a 5-yard run across the goal line. Destin led 27-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Destin came out moving the ball with quarterback Dylan Matekovich connecting with Ethan Davis for a gain of 8 yards, then Ordonez picked up 16 on the ground. However, Matekovich was picked off by the Ray’s Carter Youngblood.
The Rays made a couple of first downs before having to punt.
Destin took over at midfield and scored in six plays. The drive was capped off by a 35-yard dash to the end zone by Fayard, his second of the night. Scannell’s PAT was good and Destin led 34-0.
In the last minute of the third, there were a couple of quick turnovers. First the Ray’s quarterback Nolan Watson was picked off by Destin’s Collins. But on the very next play, Destin’s QB was picked off by Alex Rusynyk for a pick-six of about 40 yards and the Ray’s first TD.
Destin scored two more times in the fourth, Ordonez scored on a 2-yard run and Tenholder, who had 12 carries on the night scored his last TD on a 44-yard run.
“In the second half we made some mental mistakes. When you get up you tend to let loose a little bit,” Hinterthan said. “We’ve got to learn how to keep our edge and not lose focus. But overall I’m real proud of the guys."
Up next for Destin is a 6:30 p.m. game Sept. 6 at Meigs Middle School in Shalimar.