Out of five touches, Maddax Fayard scored four times to lead the Destin Marlins to a 30-26 win over the visiting Lewis Falcons Thursday night.
Fayard had two rushes for 45 and 54 yards for touchdowns. He also had two catches, one for 7 yards and then a big one for 45 yards and the score. His other touchdown came late in the game on a pick-six. Fayard intercepted a Lewis pass and ran it back about 40 yards for the score.
Fayard wasn’t the only Marlin to step up for a pick-six. Harrison Orr intercepted a pass right before the half and exploded down the field for 78 yards and the score.
“Our defense made some big plays,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan. “To pick a few and take it to the house was good.”
Those weren’t the only two interceptions; Destin’s Brandon Harnish snagged a couple of Lewis passes for good returns, but no TDs.
To start, Lewis got on the board first with the Falcons driving the ball down the field capping off an 11-play series with a 7-yard pass completion to Davontae Robinson for the touchdown. The Falcons fumbled on the 2-point try.
Destin didn’t strike until right at the end of the first quarter. After Jared Cutts, who finished with 42 yards, picked up 15 yards on the ground, Orr gained about 2 more yards. With the ball on the Lewis 45-yard line, Fayard ran a sweep around the left end breaking a couple of tackles for the score. The extra-point try failed for a 6-6 game.
Lewis didn’t waste anytime answering. On their first play from scrimmage, quarterback Myles Masengale hit Robinson on the right side who took it 57-yards for the score. The Marlins intercepted the ball on the 2-point try.
Late in the second quarter, Destin evened the score with Fayard breaking loose for another big run, this time hugging the right sideline for a 54-yard score. The extra-point kick attempt failed for a 12-12 game.
With less than 3 minutes to go in the first half, Lewis was on the move again with Robinson gaining 25 yards on a reception from Masengale. However, Masengale’s next attempt to the air was picked off by Harnish who ran it back about 30 yards.
Destin punched the ball in the end zone in three plays. Orr connected with Fayard for a 45-yard catch and run for the score. Destin led 18-12.
The Falcons got the ball one more time in the first half and was again on the move before the Destin defense interrupted. Destin’s Orr picked off a pass and took it home for a 78-yard TD as time ran out. Destin led 24-12 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Destin’s Fayard picked off a Falcon pass for a 40-yard pick-six and a 30-12 game.
In the last two minutes of the game, Lewis scored twice. Robinson scored on a 20 yard run and then again on a 33-yard run in the final seconds.
Destin got the ball back and took a knee for a 30-26 win.
“Lewis is a much improved team … and they didn’t quit,” Hinterthan said. “Our kids just lose focus. We’ve got to get more focused on the way we execute. But we did enough to win.”
For the game, Destin had 238 yards on offense, 182 on the ground. Orr was four-of-nine through the air for 56 yards.
Lewis had 335 yards total offense of which 226 came through the air.
Up next for the Destin Marlins is a 6:30 p.m. game Sept. 26 at Baker.