With music blaring from the press box, Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan said, “You want to see something nobody around here has ever seen before?” Then he proudly holds up four fingers on his right hand and makes his left into a fist, signifying a 4-0 start of the season.
For the fourth straight week, the Destin Middle School Marlins have come out on top on the gridiron. This week the Marlins defeated the Pryor Pirates 26-14.
“They had a lot of athletes,” Hinterthan said of Pryor.
However, the Marlins withstood the test.
“They stood up to the challenge and got it done and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” he said.
Destin had 278 yards total offense, with 189 coming on the ground. Anthony Ordonez was the workhorse with 13 carries for 71 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown.
Destin’s Maddax Fayard had one carry for a 42-yard touchdown and a catch for a 67-yard TD. He also pulled down two interceptions.
Jack Tenholder, who had seven rushes for 41 yards, scored the other Destin touchdown on a 1-yard plunge.
Pryor had first chance at the ball, but was stopped when Destin’s Harrison Orr recovered a fumble. Five plays later Destin was in the end zone. Orr connected with Tabious Thompson for a gain of 22 yards, and then Tenholder broke loose for 18 yards. Ordonez picked up four yards, before Tenholder ran around the right end for the score. Trip Scannell kicked in the point after for a 7-0 game.
On Pryor’s next possession, the Pirates made three first downs before having to punt.
Destin got the ball at midfield and scored on the third play. The offensive line opened up a whole up the middle and Fayard took advantage for a 42-yard run for the score. The two-point conversion failed.
Pryor got the ball again and made a first down before Fayard picked off a Brooks Padgett pass.
Destin failed to make a first and punted the ball away.
This time Pryor put together a scoring drive with Erik Armstrong capping off a 13-play series on a 6-yard run up the middle. Jashawn Armstrong ran in the two-point conversion for a 13-8 game at the half.
At the start of the third, Destin didn’t waste any time getting in the end zone. On the third play from scrimmage, Orr found an open Fayard on the left side for a 67-yard TD strike. The point-after kick was no good.
Destin scored again before the period was over on a 29-yard run by Ordonez. Scannell kicked in the extra point for a 26-8 advantage.
Pryor scored one last time late in the fourth quarter after a turnover. Padgett connected with Jayce Brown for a 20-yard touchdown for a 26-14 finish. Padgett finished with 100 yards through the air, completing eight of 24 attempts.
Up next for Destin is a 6:30 p.m. game next Thursday in Niceville against the Lewis Falcons.