Marlins drop one on the road to Ruckel

Tina Harbuck | 315-4466 | @DestinLogTina |
Destin's Brady Bachman goes up for the catch late in the game against Ruckel. Destin lost to the Ruckel Rams 40-8 in middle school football Thursday night in Niceville. TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG

Although they didn't give up, Destin Marlins lost 40-8 on the road to the Ruckel Rams in middle school football action in Niceville Thursday evening.

“I’m glad we picked up a score,” said Destin Coach Daniel Griffin. “We didn’t quit and it was great not getting shut out.”

With a running clock and down 40-0 late in the third quarter, the Marlins pulled off a crazy trick play. Destin ran a reverse with a double pass for a 57-yard strike. Trey Wainwright handed off to Jamison Austin who reversed it to Max Moran. Moran passed it back to Wainwright who then launched it down field to a wide open Blake Orr for the score. Wainwright connected with Brady Bachman for the two-point conversion.

Destin had the ball one more time late in the fourth quarter and got it down inside the 10-yard line, but time ran out before they could punch it in the end zone.

Earlier in the game, Destin held Ruckel on their first possession, but not the second. Michael Carruthers scored on a 43-yard run for the Rams. The point after attempt was no good.

After the Marlins failed to make a first down, Ruckel took over on their own 36-yard line. TW Key completed a pass to Kendall Mosley for a 64-yard catch and run for the goal line. The two connected again for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 game as time ran out on the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Ruckel scored again on a Key to Carruthers connection for a 66-yard strike. The kick after was good for a 21-0 game.

Destin had the ball deep in its own territory and failed to complete a pass. On fourth down, Ruckel blocked the punt and recovered the ball in the end zone for a Ram TD and a 27-0 lead.

The Rams scored once more in the first half on a big play. With the ball on the 5-yard line, Key hit Joshua Ortiz, who made the catch then sprinted down the left side of the field to the end zone for a 95-yard touchdown. The point after attempt was no good but the Rams led 33-0 at the half.

On Ruckel’s first possession of the second half, they scored on a 29-yard pass play from Key to Mosley. The kick after was good for a 40-0 score, starting a running clock on the game.

Destin scored on their trick play for the last score of the game.

“They battled back,” Griffin said. “(The trick play) is definitely something they’ll remember the rest of their lives."

Although Destin lost, they are still in the small school playoffs.

Next Thursday, the Marlins will travel to Meigs in Shalimar to take on the Wildcats at 6:30 p.m.

“The records don’t mean anything,” Griffin said.

The last time the two teams met, Meigs won by two points.

“I like to think we’ve gotten better defensively since we played them. I think we’ll have a good game plan,” Griffin said.