It has been said there are stats to puff any disastrous season for any major league team – NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and the list goes on. Such is not the case with the Marianna High School Bulldogs. Last week, they fought 48 minutes on the field against a resilient Chipley team and came up shy of a win. This past Friday night, the Bulldogs took their game on the road to Port St. Joe and battled the Sharks. If you had asked anyone in Jackson County, the Bulldogs were headed to 0-2 on the season. The loyal fans made the 90+ minute trip to St. Joe to cheer on the Bulldogs and possibly some to wipe the wounds they anticipated coming. They had more than 48 minutes of cheering when the Bulldogs defense stiffened and held the Sharks scoreless throughout regulation, forcing an overtime period. The Bulldogs lost the game 7-6 on the scoreboard but won in every category on the field!
Marianna held Port St. Joe to just ONE first down in the second half, three total on the night with the Bulldogs countering with NINE. The Bulldogs offense racked up 193 yards total offense with 17 of those yards through the air. The Sharks had 164 total yards with seven of those through the air. Marianna ran 57 plays, with St. Joe running off 37 plays. Port St. Joe had two turnovers, with Marianna having one. Marianna played error free ball in the second half with three penalties in the first half for 35 yards total. PSJ committed seven penalties for 73 yards in the game.
The two teams traded possessions throughout the 48 minutes of regulation time before taking it to overtime. Marianna scored from ten yards out on a run by Werlean Pollock. The extra point was wide and Port St. Joe had their opportunity. They went in from ten yards out and the extra point was good, ending the game.
Marianna had a missed field goal earlier in the first half on a 22-yard attempt that was blocked. The Bulldogs made it to the 15-yard line with time running out in the game. A low snap led to a missed field goal and Port St. Joe ran out the clock to force the overtime.
Following the game, coach John Donaldson was obviously drenched from pacing the sidelines for the distance of the game, and disappointed to start the season 0-2, “That was tough. Two years ago, we lost 3-2 so the last two games I’ve been here have been like a war. Right now, I just hope I have enough players for practice on Monday. We let too many balls get away.”
Marianna’s schedule doesn’t get any easier tomorrow as they travel to Blountstown to take on the Tigers who lost 35-21 to Florida High after a sound win over Graceville in their opening game. The Bulldog defense will be asked rise to the occasion one more time against a powerful offense.