FLORENCE — The similarities were hard to miss as Florence and Marlin High Schools took the field Friday evening.
From their purple uniforms to identical 1-2 records, each team entered Week 4 seeking a pivotal win to turn their seasons around.
Only Marlin left satisfied, with a dominating 45-0 win.
“I think the score on the scoreboard shows how well we played tonight,” said Florence coach Paul Smith. “We need to clean up all the errors. Those are keeping us from playing good football right now.”
Coming off a 56-2 trouncing at the hands of Thorndale, the Florence Buffaloes continued their sloppy play. After a 4-yard gain by running back Lendell Freeman, Buffs quarterback Joseph Ramirez fumbled back-to-back hikes from his center and Florence was forced to punt from its own end zone. The Marlin punt return squad tackled the Florence punter on another botched hike and scored a safety for the first points of the game. The resulting kickoff was returned by Marlin’s Roemello Brooks for a 62-yard touchdown, pinning the Buffaloes in an early 9-0 deficit.
The domination continued. The Marlins potent rushing attack scored two more touchdowns in the first half, one off a 40-yard scamper by Bulldogs junior quarterback Paul Humphrey. The half ended with Marlin up 23-0. Florence’s offense accounted for 89 yards in the half, all on the ground.
“I thought we played really well tonight,” said Marlin coach Bennie Hulitt. “This was a good win for us.”
Marlin received the ball to start the second half, increasing its lead to 30-0 after a 33-second, three-play, 50-yard drive was capped off with a rushing touchdown.
Marlin went on to score two more touchdowns in the half.