Destin falls in final seconds to Davidson Panthers

Destin quarterback Brady Ooten clears a Panther out of the way and heads to the end zone in the third quarter.

Holding a three-point lead with three minutes to play, victory slipped away from the Destin Marlins as the Davidson Panthers struck in the final seconds for a 32-27 win in middle school football action Thursday night in Destin.

Destin, who finished the season 1-7, took the early lead with Nick Sherer scoring in the first quarter on a running play. Mattie Phillips kicked in the point after and Destin led 7-0.

In the second quarter, the Marlins struck again with Ryan Romair on the receiving end of a Brady Ooten pass for the touchdown. Phillips again kicked in the point after for a 14-0 advantage.

Right before the half, Davidson punched it in the end zone right for a 14-8 ball game.

On the opening drive in the third quarter, Davidson scored quickly to take their first lead of the game 16-14.

The Marlins failed to gain a first on their first possession, but turned around and stuffed the Panthers to get the ball back.

Starting from their own 45-yard line, Destin put together a nine-play drive with Ooten capping it off with a 7-yard run for the score. Phillips kicked in the point after, and Destin was back on top 20-16.

Davidson answered with a drive of its own. The Panthers scored on a 15-yard pass play and then went for the two-point conversion to go up 24-21.

In the fourth quarter, Destin marched the ball down the field with Sherer picking up 24 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Ooten picked up 16 yards on a carry and then finally scored. On a fourth-and-10, Ooten scrambled to look for an open receiver then finally opted to hang on to the ball and carry it in himself for the score. Phillips kick went wide left and Destin led 27-24 with 3 minutes left to play.

Starting from their own 35-yard line, the Panthers moved the ball down the field and eventually scored on a pass play with six seconds left on the clock.

Destin got one more shot to do something. After throwing an incomplete pass, Ooten hit Sherer who picked up 55 yards as the buzzer sounded. Destin lost 32-27.