Destin Marlins bring home win over Meigs Wildcats in middle school football

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Destin Marlins held on for a 30-20 over the Meigs Wildcats in middle school football action Thursday night in Shalimar. 

Destin jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first half, and then widened the gap even more at the start of the third to go up 30-0.  

But the Wildcats roared back, putting up 20 unanswered points in the last 17 minutes of play. 

“It was two separate games,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan. “The first quarter, first half we executed well. Much better than we played last week. 

Destin's Gabe Escalarea carries the ball for the Marlins late in the first half against Meigs. Destin won the middle school game 30-20.

“The offense executed well, (I) thought defense played well,” Hinterthan said.

He also had high praise for special teams and how they kept the Marlins in good field position. 

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“First half, I can’t complain. They played hard,” he said. 

As for the second, “We just made a lot of mental mistakes. I don’t know if these kids aren’t used to being ahead and learning how to seal the deal. But they took their foot off the gas and when you do that, bad things happen,” he said. 

With rain coming down during the first half, Destin got on the scoreboard with a quarterback sneak from Jordan Figueroa. Landon Ullrich ran in the two-point conversion. 

Destin's Jordan Figueroa breaks free for a 53-yard run to the end zone at the close of the first half against the Meigs Wildcats. Destin won the middle school game 30-20.

Tracen Trahan intercepted a Meigs pass and then a few minutes later was on the receiving end of a pass from Figueroa for the touchdown. Franco Corban kicked in the extra point and Destin led 15-0.

With 2:36 left in the first half, Figueroa broke loose for a 53-yard scamper to the end zone. He also kept the ball for the two-point conversion and Destin was up 23-0 at the break.

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To start the third, Destin had the ball first and scored in three plays. Figueroa connected with Trahan on the left side. Trahan hugged the left sideline all the way to the end zone for a 59-yard touchdown. Corban's kick was good and Destin was on top 30-0. 

Meigs made two first downs on its next possession before Destin’s Griffin Cann stepped up and intercepted the ball.  

The Marlins failed to gain any ground after being hit with multiple procedure penalties. On the third down, Destin’s Figueroa took a hit to the knee and fumbled the ball with Romier Montgomery picking it up and running it in for a Wildcat touchdown. 

Tracen Trahan for the Destin Marlins made a catch for a 59-yard score at the start of the third quarter. Destin beat Meigs 30-20 in middle school football.

Figueroa was pulled from the game due to concerns about his knee. With him out, Destin fumbled the ball away on its next possession. Meigs scored in two plays with Carter Marraco connecting with Jayden Phillips on a 30-yard pass play. The two-point conversion was good and Meigs had 14 points on the board. 

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In the fourth quarter, Destin’s Brody Ray recovered a Meigs fumble but the Marlins failed to capitalize. 

Meigs scored one last time on a 39-yard run by Phillips for a 30-20 finish. 

“I think we just got lax and complacent,” Hinterthan said about the second half. “We didn’t come off the ball well. This team has the potential to do well if they play sound football. 

“The second half kind of went out the window,” he added, noting they had to move four or five guys around when Figueroa went down. 

Nevertheless, “it’s a win … I’m proud of these guys. 

“We’re very young and this was their first adversity and I think they did well,” Hinterthan said. 

Up next for the Marlins, 1-1, is a 6:30 p.m. game Sept. 9 at home against the Bruner Spartans.