- September 11, 2022
It didn’t take long for Flagler Palm Coast to establish its offense in the A-1 Officials Association scrimmages on Aug. 13 at Sal Campanella Memorial Stadium.
On the opening drive, Gavin Winkler caught a long pass from D.J. Murray to the Seabreeze 13, and Marcus Mitchell followed with a 13-yard touchdown run up the middle.
FPC went on to defeat Seabreeze 32-21 in one half of action.
“We dressed 51 and played all 51 and we got out healthy,” Bulldogs coach Robert Paxia said.
“I’m real proud of the offensive line. They established the line of scrimmage. And I thought the backs ran really hard with a purpose.”
— ROBERT PAXIA
Mitchell had two touchdown runs. Gerod Tolbert and Benjamin Laurore each scored on interception returns. And backup quarterback Jacob Miller powered into the end zone on 37-yard run with the offensive line pushing back the defense for nearly 20 yards.
“They did a good job pushing the pile,” Paxia said.
Tolbert also had a pick-six in the spring game, and the speedy senior will have opportunities to score in a lot of different ways this season. He’s slated to play defensive back, some wide receiver and return kicks.
“Gerod gets better every single week. He gets better every single practice,” Paxia said.
Mitchell, Rodney Hill and Landin Simmons all got opportunities at running back. Hill ran in a 2-point conversion.
“I’m real proud of the offensive line,” Paxia said. “They established the line of scrimmage. And I thought the backs ran really hard with a purpose.”
Hill, one of the nation’s top linebacker recruits in the 2024 class, said he wasn’t pleased with his own play and there were some aspects the defense needs to work on heading into the season.
“We just have to work on a few little things,” he said. “Our DBs staying in coverage, our linebackers dropping back in coverage and reading the guards playing the run. But the team played well. We really went hard.”
FPC led 24-7 after Laurore’s pick-six, and the Bulldogs began substituting on defense. Seabreeze responded with two TD passes, one a 65-yarder from former Bulldog Zeli Hayworth.
“All the big explosives on defense were on our (second teamers),” Paxia said. “But that’s OK, they’re just learning. Giving them some live action, they have an opportunity to get better.”
The Bulldogs host Atlantic Coast in a kickoff classic on Friday, Aug.19 and then open the season at home on Aug. 26 against Live Oak Suwannee.