The Marianna Bulldogs had their way with the Blountstown Tigers Friday night at Bowles Field jumping out to a 28-0 lead before the Tigers woke up. A four yard pass from Charles Buggs, Jr. to Leon Broxton on the final play of the first half cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 28-6 at intermission.
The Tigers could have quit, but they didn’t. Instead, they came out in the second half and played their hearts out. They outscored Marianna 18-14 in the second half, but the Bulldogs’ lead was too much to overcome. The Tigers lost their first game of the season, 42-24, leaving their overall record at 5-1 and 2-0 in the district.
“We just couldn’t stop their running attack,” coach Greg Jordan said Monday. “They were big on the line and their backs were good, too. We fell too far behind and couldn’t catch up despite our strong effort in the second half.”
Marianna racked up 307 yards on the ground on 43 plays and never attempted a pass in the game. Touchdown runs of 19, 1, and 8 yards and a fumble return for a touchdown gave the Bulldogs a 28 lead before the Tigers got their first score following a short Bulldog punt.
The Tigers took the second half kickoff and put together an impressive 9 play 78 yard drive capped off by a 2 yard Jawon Mosley TD. A try for two points failed.
After an exchange of punts, Marianna scored on a 32 yard run and built their lead to 35-12.
The Tigers answered following a 19 yard run by Broxton when Princeton Grant raced 25 yards for a touchdown. Another two-point play failed and the score was 35-18.
The Tiger defense forced the Bulldogs to punt and the Tigers took over at their own 32. Runs of 24 by Broxton, 9 by Grant and 13 by Alexander Garrett led to a 2 yard blast into the endzone by Broxton. The two-point play failed and the score was 35-24.
Marianna marched 80 yards in 9 plays to stretch their lead to 42-24 late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers fumbled on the kickoff and Marianna was able to run out the clock.
Buggs had a good second half and ended the game with 82 yards on 7 of 22 attempts, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Broxton and Grant each had two receptions. Darren Huff, Garrett, and Paul Mosley each had one catch. Huff’s reception covered 31 yards.
The Tigers managed 124 yards on the ground with Broxton leading the way with 68 yards. Grant had 25 yards, Garrett 14, Buggs 8, and Jawon Mosley 9.
Marianna did not comit a turnover while the Tigers lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions.
Garrett and Ryan McIntyre led the Tiger defense with 10 tackles each. Dowling Lee had 8 tackles followed by Jawon Mosley with 7 and Jason Money with with 5. Stafford Dawson, Frankie Murrell, Princeton Grant, Byron Hall, Cory McClellan, Anthony Curry and Paul Mosley were all in on defensive plays for the Tigers.
The Tigers will host the Port St. Joe Sharks Friday night in a key district matchup. Both teams are undefeated in district play. St. Joe has some outstanding athletes and the Tigers will have to play their best to win.