‘BRIGHT LIGHT SYNDROME’ - Destin Marlins struggle in jamboree, but coach says mistakes are fixable

Destin quarterback Brady Ooten completed five of 10 passes.

The Destin Marlins struggled on both sides of the ball Friday night in a middle school jamboree at Steve Riggs Stadium in Fort Walton Beach.

The Marlins gave up six touchdowns to the Pryor Pirates in 24 minutes of play, while only crossing the goal line one time for a 38-7 loss.

"It was our first live action of the season," said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens, noting that he thought Pryor had already had a couple of live scrimmages.

"I think they got a bit of the bright light syndrome … they were a little nervous," Stevens said.

Plus the game was more up-tempo than the Marlins are used to, only scrimmaging against themselves.

Nevertheless, Stevens said the team’s missteps are fixable.

"It was a learning experience … and we've got some room for improvement and growth," he said.

The Marlins travel back to Fort Walton Beach Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. game against the Bruner Spartans.

In Friday's jamboree outing, Destin gave up two touchdowns to Pryor before they finally hit pay dirt. With less than four minutes to go in the first 12-minute quarter, Destin's Nick Sherer returned a kickoff 75 yards for the score. Madi Phillips, Destin's first-ever female player, kicked in her first extra-point and the Marlins were on the board 12-7 with 3:54 to play.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Pirates answered with a runback of their own for about 75 yards, taking an 18-7 lead at the break.

The Pirates picked up where they left off and scored on a 5-yard run and then converted on a 2-point play for a 26-7 lead.

Pryor scored again on a 30-yard pass play.

In the final seconds of the game, Pryor scored one more time on a 30-yard run.