Destin flag football team pulls off win over Davidson, falls to Pryor

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Destin Lady Marlins wrapped up their middle school flag football season Friday night with a record of 4-4. 

“It’s been a great year,” said Destin coach Ron Griffiths. “We had two shutouts to start the season.”

Destin Marlins' Kate Black tries to evade a Pryor Pirate during a flag football game Friday night in Destin.

And then the next night they went one-and-one. 

“Our defense has stepped up this year and kept us in every game. We were so competitive all season long,” he said. 

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And Friday night was no different. 

The Lady Marlins beat Davidson Middle of Crestview 24-6, but then lost to the undefeated Pryor Pirates of Fort Walton Beach 35-0. 

Destin's Avery Cowles (center) comes up with an interception against the Davidson Panthers. Cowles had three picks in the 24-6 victory.

In their first game, it took the Marlins a little bit to settle in. With 4 minutes to go in the first half, Avery Cowles picked off a Davidson pass. A few plays later, the Marlins scored on a 15-yard pass play from Ashley Bouck to Gabby Ianni.  

Right before the half, Davidson tied the score on a 4-yard run up the middle. 

In the second half Destin got off to a good start, with Kate Black breaking away for a 45-yard run for the TD. 

Destin's Gabby Ianni pulls in the catch for a touchdown against the Davidson Panthers. Destin won 24-6.

About three minutes later, Cowles, a fifth-grader and the smallest player on the team, picked off her second pass of the game. A minute later, Destin was in the end zone on an 18-yard run by Keelie Kleppinger. 

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On Davidson’s next possession, Destin’s Avery Emmick picked off a pass. Black rushed for 19 yards before Bouck scored on a 1-yard run up the middle. Destin led 24-6 with 6:18 to play. 

Destin's Keelie Kleppinger breaks away for a 18-yard TD run against the Davidson Panthers. Destin won the flag football game 24-6.

In the last four minutes, Cowles pulled down her third interception of the game.  

Destin walked away with the win, holding an 18-point lead. 

“Little Avery … everybody rallies around her,” Griffiths said. “You can’t get her to say two words, but she’s such a competitor.”

Destin coach Demetris Stevens gives his quarterback Ashley Bouck the play.

In the second game, Destin was dominated by the Pryor Pirates, taking a 35-0 loss. 

Even in the loss, Cowles pulled down her fourth interception of the night.