Destin Marlins make a mark in the win column with victory over Bruner

Tina Harbuck

After a slow start, the Destin Marlins put it in gear and ran over the Bruner Spartans 42-20 in middle school football action Wednesday night at Steve Riggs Stadium in Fort Walton Beach.

The win was a long time coming for the Marlins, who failed to capture a victory last season.

But with the win over county-rival Bruner, Destin can now put a mark in the win column and move forward.

“It means we are moving in the right direction,” said Destin Coach Daniel Griffin.

“It’s been a process, but I think we’re a little bit ahead of the curve as to where we thought we would be right now,” he added.

“But obviously we’re very excited for the team and the community, it’s something we’re going to enjoy for the next couple of days,” said Griffin as he walked off the field.

Leading the way for the Marlins Wednesday night was quarterback Jamison Brundidge with 198 yards and three touchdowns.

“Jamison had an incredible night,” Griffin said. “And I think the offensive line did a tremendous job blocking.”

Destin tallied 360 yards on offense while the Spartans had 202.

Payton Kerle had five carries for 71 yards for the Marlins and one touchdown, while Dylan Ogle rushed three times for 55 yards and one touchdown. Nick Greer gained 31 yards on the ground plus picked off a Bruner pass and retured it 40 yards for the score.

In the 2 ½ hour game, Destin got the ball first and fumbled it away. Bruner took over on the 23-yard line and scored on a 10-yard run up the middle by Patrick Adams. The two-point try failed.

On Destin’s next possession, the Marlins didn’t waste any time getting on the board. Kerle picked up 3 yards on the first play, then Brundidge broke loose for a 61-yard dash to the end zone for a 6-6 tie.

Bruner answered in less than a minute with a 75-yard kickoff return to the 1-yard line. The Spartans scored on the next play. Again the two-point try failed.

At the start of the second quarter, Destin answered with a another long dash from Brundidge, 75-yards for the TD. Kerle was good for the two-point conversion and Destin took its first lead of the game, 14-12.

On Bruner’s next possession, they fumbled on the first play, however Destin did as well.

With Bruner back in possession, the Spartans put the ball in the air with Greer making a pick-six for Destin giving the Marlins a 20-12 advantage.

Before the half, Destin scored two more times. Brundidge broke away for a 64-yard TD run and then in the final seconds, Kerle scored on a 62-yard run. Brundidge ran in a two-point conversion and Destin led 34-12 at the half.

Early in the fourth quarter, Destin scored one last time on a 49-yard run by Ogle, with Kerle taking it in for the two-point conversion and a 42-12 showing.

In the last minute of play, Bruner capped off a 75-yard drive with a one-yard plunge for the touchdown. The two-point play was good for a 42-20 finish.

Up next for Destin is a 6:30 p.m. game Tuesday at home against the Emerald Coast Middle School Stingrays.

Destin Marlins play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against the Emerlad Coast Middle School Stingrays.