Destin Marlins beat Emerald Coast Stingrays on the road

Execution was the name of the game for the Destin Marlins Thursday night as they beat the Emerald Coast Stingrays 25-8 in middle school football action in Santa Rosa Beach.

“We executed better tonight,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan. “The defense did a good job at getting their feet set and reacting.”

The Marlin defense held the Stingrays to 80 total offensive yards, 67 on the ground and 13 through the air.

The Stingray’s had a hard time holding on to the ball.

“We fumbled the ball too much. We dropped receptions, dropped catches after the catch … we just fumbled the ball. You can’t win with turnovers,” said Emerald Coast Coach Christopher Mayer.

As for the Destin offense, “They executed well and had a few more higher level plays," Hinterthan said. "We had more time to throw the football and the pass protection was better.”

Destin quarterback Harrison Orr completed seven of 20 passes for 112 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown reception by Maddax Fayard. Fayard was his go-to guy for the evening with six catches for 87 yards. One of Fayard’s catches would have been good for another 28 yards, but was called back on a penalty.

Not only did Orr get it done in the air, he carried the ball 16 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns, a 39-yarder and a 12-yarder. Second leading rusher was Jared Cutts with 11 carries for 84 yards. Fayard had one carry for a 56-yard TD.

The Stingrays won the toss and elected to receive the ball, however, they fumbled the kickoff away and Destin took over on the Stingray 39-yard line.

The Marlins scored on the second play from scrimmage with Orr breaking loose around the left end for a 39-yard scamper to the end zone. Rudy Arick was good for the extra-point kick for a 7-0 game.

On the next kickoff, the Stingrays again bobbled the ball but regain possession. Emerald Coast made three first downs before fumbling the ball away. Garrett Fancher picked up 10 yards on the first play and Hugh Boudreaux picked up nine on a carry. With the ball down inside the Destin 20-yard line, Caleb Hawk completed a pass but then the receiver fumbled it and Destin’s Brandon Harnish was there to make the recovery.

Starting deep in their own territory, the Marlins drove 96 yards in 11 plays for the TD. Orr connected with Fayard for a couple of big gains of 20 and 29 yards. Orr also had a couple of big runs of 9, 11 and 25 yards before taking it on in on a 12-yard run. The point after attempt failed. Destin led 13-0.

Destin scored one more time before the half. With 29 seconds on the clock and the ball around midfield, Orr handed off to Fayard who took it down the left sideline for a 56-yard score. The extra point attempt again failed. Destin led 19-0 at the half.

Midway of the third quarter, Emerald Coast scored it’s only touchdown of the night after stopping the Marlins on the 1-yard line. Fancher plunged up the middle for the 1-yard TD. He also took the ball in for the two-point conversion and a 19-8 game.

On Destin’s next possession, the Marlins picked up a couple of first downs before turning it over on downs. Christian Harnish had a catch for a gain of 25 yards and Orr picked up 17 yards on the ground.

The Stingrays took over on the 23-yard line and picked up 4 yards before quarterback Hawk was picked off by Destin’s Brandon Harnish. Seven plays later Destin was in the end zone. Fayard had a catch for a gain of 9 yards and Cutts rushed for 10. Orr found Fayard two more times, one for a gain of 23, then a 6-yard TD reception. Destin led 25-8.

Emerald Coast got the ball one last time and again turned it over. Hawk completed a pass to Alex Rusynk who picked up a few yards before he fumbled it away. Destin’s Maddox Hayles came up with the ball.

Destin picked up four more first downs before time ran out.

“It was a real team effort. I’m real happy with these guys … 2-0,” Hinterthan said.

Up next for Destin is a 6:30 p.m. home game Sept. 5 against the Meigs Wildcats.