Destin Marlins rally in scrimmage

TINA HARBUCK
Destin quarterback Harrison Brice dives across the goal line for a two-point conversion at the end of the second quarter.

The Destin Middle School Marlins scored on their first seven possessions to beat the visiting Lewis Falcons 54-0 in a preseason scrimmage Tuesday evening at Regatta Bay.

"Overall we did well, I have to acknowledge how hard Lewis continued to play regardless of the score," said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens. "I really respect what Coach Donaldson is doing over there and wish them the best of luck on their season."

As for the Marlins performance, "There are many positives that can be taken from Tuesday’s win," Stevens told The Log.

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"We moved the ball well on the ground. Jack White and Nick Greer both had big yardage plays," he said.

White ran for four touchdowns, 3, 11, 19 and 32 yards, and completed a13-yard pass to Cameron Gagliano for another score.

"We were disciplined and didn’t receive much penalty yardage, which was something we couldn’t simulate in practice," Stevens said. Destin was hit with only 10-yards of penalties.

"Our perimeter players had some big blocks in the run game and down field after the catch, which led to a couple of our scores," Stevens said.

"Our secondary played well led by Cameron Gagliano’s two picks. They were in position to make plays and they executed, when the opportunity presented itself."

To start, Destin drove down the field with Harrison Brice completing a pass to Jackson Stanford for the score.

The Marlins stuffed the Falcons on defense and took over with good field position at the 18. Three plays later, the Marlins were in the end zone on a pass from White to Gagliano. The duo also connected for a 2-point conversion.

On Lewis' next possession, the Destin defense stepped up again with Riley Martine picking off a pass and running it back for the score.

At the end of the first quarter, Destin led 20-0. The Marlins went on to score three more times in the first half, two TDs from White and one from Greer, for a 46-0 advantage at the half.

The last Destin score came early in the third quarter after White picked off a Lewis pass. Two plays later, White was scrambling to the end zone for a 32-yard TD. White hit Stanford on a route for the two-point conversion.

"We still need to work on our execution in the passing game and pre-snap positioning of linemen," Stevens said.

"Our penalties were procedural mistakes, which can be fixed. We also need to continue building depth through more players gaining experience and I think tonight was a step in the right direction."

Up next, the Marlins will take on the Meigs Wildcats at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Joe Etheredge Stadium in the Okaloosa County Middle School jamboree.