Try as they might, the Marathon Dolphin football boys (1-1) could not pull off a win against the Panthers of Everglades Prep Academy Friday night at home.
The non-conference Panthers (2-0) left Marathon with 19 points over the Dolphins in their 56-37 victory.
“We just had too many mistakes on defense and there were too many long pass plays. We were there, we just didn’t get much pressure on the quarterback and didn’t play the ball and that’s what beat us,” said Marathon coach Paul Davis.
Under a minute into the first quarter, the Panthers scored on a third down and followed with a failed attempt at a two-point conversion. Long passes from quarterback Demetrius Burns would help put the Panthers up by 22 points in the first quarter with three touchdowns. A safety and a two-point conversion added four points for the Everglades boys to end the quarter.
They started the second quarter with a touchdown. A false start against the Panthers with about five minutes to go in the half pushed the Everglades Prep boys into their own end zone, resulting in two points for Marathon.
With just under two minutes to go in the half, Marathon scored its first touchdown off a 40-yard pass from quarterback Jackson McDonald to Jamal Qualls, who would sprint seven yards into the end zone for six points. A complete pass by the same pair, McDonald to Qualls, added another two points after a successful two-point conversion to make the game 28-10.
Burns added his fifth touchdown pass with under a minute to go after the Panthers inched toward the end zone with a personal foul against Marathon. Burns was 28-yards out when he threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game to make it 34-10. With a two-point conversion, the Panther boys ended the half up by 26 points, 36-10.
After a half-time pep talk, the Dolphin boys added six points to their score with a touchdown pass from McDonald at the 20-yard line to Roberto Garces in the end zone. Kicker Robert Gonzalez added an extra point to make the score 44-17 with three minutes to go in the third quarter.
Another touchdown by the Dolphin boys after driving the ball 95 yards in a dozen plays helped the boys get a touchdown by Qualls to make the score 44-23.
The Panthers would not let the quarter end without another touchdown, this time by Burns to make the game 50-23.
Off a 23-yard pass from McDonald, Marathon’s Steven Hernandez brought the score up another six points for Marathon to make it 50-29, but the Panthers, upon kickoff, would score another touchdown with a 70-yard carry by Kavon Holmes to make the score 56-29.
With three minutes to go in the game, Hernandez scored another touchdown off a 62-yard pass from McDonald to end the game at 56-37.
“This was a beatable team,” McDonald told the Keynoter.
Davis agreed and said the Panthers were “pretty good.”
“But what happened tonight is not going to happen again,” he said. “It was a humdinger experience for us. The guys are going to go back to work and work on little mistakes.”
Information was not available about Friday’s scheduled away game at Fort Meade High School, south of Lakeland, against the Miners (1-1).
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219