The Bulldogs are a win away from being undefeated heading into their showdown with 5-0 Spruce Creek on Oct. 13.
Flagler Palm Coast football coach Travis Roland is always hard on his young — but talented — running back Marc Genis.
“Sometimes he thinks he’s a speed back instead of running like he is,” Roland said of the 215-pound sophomore. “He’ll tell you, I yell at him all the time to hit the hole because he won’t go.”
However, on the night of Monday, Oct. 2, Genis finally did what his coach has been asking him to do all year.
Taking the place of resting starter Jimmie Robinson in the backfield, Genis, in his first start of the season, bruised Seabreeze’s defense for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 36-0 rout over the Sandcrabs (2-3) at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach.
On the second play of the game, Genis took a handoff from quarterback Ryan Freeman and went 59 yards untouched into the end zone from the first score of the game.
“My mindset always is nobody can stop me but me,” Genis said. “I knew coming out in this game, they were gonna have to put the pads on everybody and I was, too, so I just followed my blocking, and it was my time.”
In addition to Genis, FPC quarterbacks Freeman and Donovan Montoyo picked up scores on the ground.
But despite the punishing rushing attack, the Bulldogs’ offense, marred by untimely penalties and a young offensive line, periodically struggled to march the ball down the field.
The Bulldogs (5-0) were called for a total of 20 penalties, and Freeman and Montoyo were sacked a combined six times throughout the night.
“That big 'P' word started rearing its ugly head again,” Roland said of the team’s numerous penalties. “We’ve gotta capitalize. As our schedule gets meaty and these games get more important — because the more you win, the more important they get — we’re going to have to make sure we capitalize on that stuff.”
The Bulldogs’ defense, however, was able to capitalize on several mistakes by the Sandcrabs, forcing five Seabreeze turnovers, led by defensive back Marquise Gilbert, who came down with two of FPC's four interceptions in the first half.
In addition, barely two minutes into the game, the Bulldogs' Savigone Murphy picked off a dump pass by the Sandcrabs’ Jadyn Nirschl and took the ball 22 yards to the house to give his team a 14-0 lead.
“We’re confident in the defense,” said junior cornerback Dennis Shorter, who came down with a leaping interception of his own in the second quarter. “My secondary is young, but we all trust each other. If we all talk and we all communicate, nobody can get a pass on us.”
Next up, the Bulldogs — who also defeated a tough Sandalwood team on Friday, Sept. 29 — host Deltona for their homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. A win against the Wolves would make FPC undefeated heading into its game against 5-0 Spruce Creek on Oct. 13.
“We’re looking forward to winning the game,” Shorter said. “We’ve gotta go to practice, work, watch film, play more together. We’ve got a lot of penalties to clean up.”