MARLIN — A strong first half, stingy defense and plenty of key third-down conversions on offense carried Rogers to a 33-7 win over Marlin on Friday night to put a damper on the Bulldog Homecoming festivities. With the win, the Eagles moved to 2-1 for the season. Marlin fell to 1-2.
The home team certainly had its chances, especially in the second half. The Eagles turned the ball over three times after the intermission — and five times total — but the Bulldogs could only cash in once on the mistakes.
Following a nifty interception by defensive back Tyrese Mayes, Bulldog quarterback Kerry Collins II found Jimmy Quinn in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-2 play early in the third quarter. To that point, it was only the second time Marlin had crossed midfield. The Bulldogs had a fumble recovery and that interception on Rogers first two possessions of the second half.
However, a 26-0 halftime score was too big a hole to climb out of, as a quick turn of events about midway through the second quarter tilted a close game in Rogers’ favor. Eagle quarterback Billy Riley connected with Corey Bruce for a 20-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0 at the 9:10 mark of the second quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, the ball landed in no-man’s land between the returners and the up backs. Rogers pounced on the live ball on the Bulldog 27-yard line. Three plays later, Colby Malovets scored from 5 yards out. The extra point was missed, making the score 19-0.
Then on the next possession, after the Eagle defense stopped Marlin on fourth down, Riley found Matthew Guzman streaking down the middle of the field. The senior triggerman hit his target in stride, extending the lead to 26-0.
Rogers' final score came on another Malovets run, this time from 3 yards out. For Marlin, Collins had an interception on defense, as did cornerback Sir Charleston Lee. Donavon Blakes, a defensive back, recovered a fumble.