MARIANNA — For the third time in the past year, Marianna and Rutherford matched up on the football field and the Bulldogs came away with a victory.
The Bulldogs held off the Rams 29-20 Friday night to improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Rams fell to 1-3.
Caleb Torbett got the Bulldogs out to the early lead with a touchdown run to make it 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Rutherford was on the verge of tying it up with a drive deep in Marianna territory, but a fumble gave it to the Bulldogs at their own 16-yard line with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
The Rams’ defense held and forced a punt, however, and Brian Edwards returned it 46 yards for a touchdown in the waning seconds of the quarter.
The extra point failed, though, leaving Marianna up 7-6. The Bulldogs added to the lead with a 37-yard field goal by Torbett, but a 27-yard touchdown toss from Markus Hammack to Antwoine Givens followed by a two-point conversion from Edwards put Rutherford in front 14-10 late in the second quarter.
A 45-yard field goal by Torbett brought the Bulldogs to within a point at halftime, and a 50-yard touchdown pass from Brady Donaldson to Bo Hamm put Marianna back on top 19-14 early in the third.
Donaldson added a 2-yard rushing touchdown with 1:44 left in the third to make it 26-14, with Torbett adding his third field goal from 37 yards out to put the Bulldogs up by 15 points with 2:24 remaining in the fourth.
Rutherford tacked on a late touchdown on a pass from Hammack to Edwards.
The Rams will next play host to Port St. Joe at Tommy Oliver Stadium on Friday, while the Bulldogs will head to DeFuniak Springs next Friday to take on Walton.