Marianna picked up their first win of the season last week and they liked the taste that left in their mouth, especially after two losses to start the season. Friday night, the Bulldogs took the field with an air of confidence and it showed from the opening kickoff. Marianna picked up a solid 38-7 win with the Braves only score coming on a kickoff return. The defense kept the Braves out of the end zone the entire 48 minutes.
Marianna kicked off to start the game with the Braves starting their drive on the 49-yard line. Marianna held Walton on a fourth down to take over on their 30-yard line. The Braves held and Marianna was forced to punt. Maleak Wimes found himself in the right place at the right time for an interception at their 46-yard line. Ryley Lipford broke tackles to pick up a first down. Following a fumble by Marianna that the Bulldogs recovered, Marianna drove deep into Walton territory with the first quarter coming to an end with the score knotted at zero. On a fourth down call, coach John Donaldson and his Bulldogs went for the gusto, putting the ball in Werlean Pollock’s hands. Pollock drug tacklers with him to the four-yard line. Marquis Kelly went the four yards into the end zone, and Len Nobles picked up where he left off last week sending the PAT through the uprights. Marianna led 7-0 with 10:57 to go in the first half.
Marianna’s defense held the Walton Braves again on their next possession, forcing them to punt. The Bulldogs took over on offense. Werlean Pollock turned on the speed with a 53-yard run into the promised land to make it a 13-0 game. Nobles came on and remained perfect giving Marianna a 14-0 lead with less than eight minutes in the first half.
Defense stayed solid and Marianna found themselves in possession of the ball after a three and out. After a punt back to the Braves, Marianna found themselves in possession of the ball on the Walton 38-yard line. A fumble gave the ball back to Walton but time expired in the first half with Marianna in control 14-0.
Marianna received the ball to open the second half. Deontre’ Rhynes scurried for 28 yards to pick up a touchdown with Nobles nailing it through the uprights to make it a 21-0 game with 8:41 left in the third quarter.
Marianna recovered a fumble to take possession. Kelly completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Trey Freeman, Nobles stays perfect and the Dogs were in control 28-0. Walton’s lone score came on the next play when they returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to make it a 28-7 game. Three scores came with less than a minute off the clock.
With Nobles executing all night long, the Bulldogs opted for a field goal attempt on their next drive. Nobles didn’t disappoint with a 32-yarder straight through the crossbars to put Marianna up 31-7 and time down to 4:40 to go in the third quarter.
Coach Donaldson gave his second string and bench some much deserved live action in the fourth quarter. They did what they had been groomed to do, with Jeremiah Castro finding his way into the end zone. Nobles capped off the night and the Bulldogs had a 38-7 win to move to 2-2 on the season.
Marianna had 372 yards total offense while holding Walton to just 75 yards. Of Marianna’s 372 yards, 341 came on the ground, led by Pollock with 138 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. Kelly had 119 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Rhynes had three carries for 31 yards, with Ryley Lipford picking up 31 yards on ten carries. Castro had four carries for 20 yards and a touchdown while Malachi Adeyolette had one carry for two yards.
The Bulldogs will have an open week next week before going on the road to Gadsden County to take on the Jaguars.