Destin dominates for big win over Bulldogs

Tina Harbuck

The Destin Marlins scored and scored often Thursday night as they put the visiting Freeport Bulldogs away 54-14 in middle school football action.

With the win the Marlins finished up their regular season with a 5-2 mark and as the No. 3 seed in the county.

Destin will play Pryor Middle School at Joe Etheredge Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the playoffs. The winner of that game will advance to take on the Meigs Wildcats for the championship title.

In Thursday’s regular season final, the Destin Marlins dominated the Bulldogs.

“We were clicking on offense,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan. “Harrison (Orr) made some good progressions … and he found that number one guy a couple of times tonight."

Orr completed six of 11 passes for 113 yards and five touchdowns. Maddax Fayard had two catches, both for touchdowns, a 12-yarder and a 20-yarder. Brandon Harnish, Erik Scott and Christian Harnish all had catches for TDs.

“The passing game was good and we had good protection,” Hinterthan said. “He made some good reads and good throws.”

On the Marlins' first possession, Orr hit Christian Harnish for a gain of 15 yards and then went to Scott on a route for a 10-yard TD. Rudy Arick was good for the kick after and a 7-0 game.

Freeport picked up two first downs before turning it over on downs.

Destin took over on its own 38-yard line and scored in less than a minute. After a penalty against the Bulldogs, Jared Cutts broke loose for a gain of 34 yards. Freeport was hit with another penalty giving Destin the ball on the 12-yard line. Orr then connected with Fayard on a slant for a TD reception. Arick's extra-point kick hit the upright and was no good. Destin led 13-0 with 2:29 to go in the first quarter.

On the Bulldogs' next possession, Freeport fumbled and Destin’s Brick Larabee made the recovery. Orr aired it out on the first play connecting with Brandon Harnish in the right corner of the end zone for a 31-yard TD catch. Destin went for two and failed.

At the start of the second quarter, Destin got the ball again after pushing the Bulldogs backwards.

This time, Orr connected with Christian Harnish in the left corner of the end zone for a 25-yard TD strike. Rudy was good the PAT and Destin led 26-0 with 8:37 to go in the first half.

Freeport got the ball and fumbled on the first play with Ethan Ramsey making the recovery.

Destin scored in short order with Fayard breaking away on the right side for a 36-yard scamper to the end zone. Arick kicked in the point after for a 33-0 game.

About three minutes later, Larabee made another fumble recovery for Destin. The Marlins cashed in quickly again with Cutts picking up 3 yards on the ground and then Orr, on a keeper, rambled right up the middle for a 17-yard run for the score. Arick kicked in the extra point for a 40-0 game.

On Freeport's next possession, Destin’s Brandon Harnish picked off a Bulldog pass. Five plays later, the Marlins were in the end zone again. Orr connected with Fayard on a route for a 20-yard TD catch. Rudy kicked in the point after and Destin led 47-0 at the half.

With a running clock the second half, Freeport scored quickly in the third with Memphis Carter scoring on a 55-yard run.

Destin came back with a TD of its own. Fayard broke loose for a 48-yard run to the goal line. Arick kicked in the point after for a 54-6 game.

Freeport scored one last time on another big run from Carter. Freeport converted on a 2-point pass play for a 54-14 game.

Destin got the ball down inside the red zone on a couple of big runs from Scott but ran out of time.

“I think we got better tonight,” Hinterthan said, noting everybody got to play and everybody contributed.

The win brings the Marlins record to 12-2 in regular season play over the last two years.

Click to the listen: