Destin Marlins fall prey to Bruner Spartans

Tina Harbuck

After Destin defeated the Bruner Spartans in the first game of the season, the Spartans turned the tables on the Destin Marlins for a 30-6 win last Thursday in middle school football action.

Bruner got on the board first with a scoring drive late in the first quarter. Verran Betts was the main ball carrier on the drive picking up 21 and 20 yards in a couple of rushes. The Spartans capped off the nine-play drive with quarterback Zach Marquis connecting with Zach Rushford on a 5-yard pass play for the score. Betts ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 start.

On the ensuing kick, the Spartans went for the onside kick and it worked to their advantage with the Marlins losing control.

Bruner took over at midfield and struck quickly in three plays, with Marquis completing a 30-yard pass for the TD. Betts ran in the two-point conversion for a 16-0 lead with 50 seconds left in the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter, Destin had the ball and made two first downs before turning it over on downs. Payton Kerle was the workhorse on the drive, carrying the ball five times for 26 yards.

Bruner took over on downs, but failed to gain much ground getting hit with a couple of penalties.

Destin got the ball back and punched it in, in two plays. Kerle barreled up the middle for a 3-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed. But Destin was on the board with 2:24 to go in the first half.

On Bruner’s next possession, the Spartans picked up two first downs before Destin’s Johnny Chang picked off a Marquis pass and ran it back about 10 yards before being taken down.

Destin got off one play before time ran out on the first half.

In the third quarter, Destin got the ball first but fumbled it away with Bruner taking it 33 yards for the score. The two-point conversion was good and Bruner was on top 24-6.

Destin had the ball for three plays, then punted it away. Bruner fumbled and Luke Pounds came up with the ball for the Marlins. Destin made a couple of first downs on the runs by Jamison Brundidge, Kerle and Nick Greer, but eventually turned it over on downs.

The Spartans put together one last scoring drive with Betts finishing off a 15-play drive with a 16-yard dash across the goal line.

For the game, Destin had 113 yards rushing with Brundidge the leading ball carrier with 62 yards. Bruner had 160 yards rushing with Betts picking up 115 on 18 carries.