In its two preseason scrimmages, Mainland's football team showed that it can put points on the board in a hurry. The Bucs displayed their quick-strike ability again in their season-opener against DeLand on Aug. 26.
They scored three touchdowns on seven snaps in the second quarter and came back from a 15-0 deficit, and a one-hour lightning delay, to defeat DeLand 42-29 at Daytona Stadium.
"The kids fought hard," Mainland coach Travis Roland said. "We keep talking about last year. If we went down 15-0, we might have given in. Now, we're showed resolve like Mainland of old. Even though we do go down, we fight back and win the game."
Spruce Creek transfer Damarcus Creecy had a memorable regular-season debut for the Bucs, completing 13 of 18 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns.
Future Division I receivers James Randle and Ajai Harrell accounted for seven touchdowns, scoring in a variety of ways.
Harrell caught eight passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns and also ran a reverse 52 yards for a score. Randle hauled in four passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns and tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Harrell.
Randle's reverse pass and Harrell's end-around are typical of new offensive coordinator Snap Wood reaching into his bag of tricks, Roland said.
"That used to be his M.O. as a coordinator at New Smyrna Beach and DeLand. He wasn't afraid to take chances. He made you cover the whole field."
— TRAVIS ROLAND on new offensive coordinator Snap Wood.
"That used to be his M.O. as a coordinator at New Smyrna Beach and DeLand," Roland said. "He wasn't afraid to take chances. He made you cover the whole field. You'd have to defend five or six trick plays a game, and you'd have to use practice time preparing for them."
It's much easier to prepare when you know what's coming, Roland said.
It will be Flagler Palm Coast's turn to prepare for the Bucs' dynamic offense this week. Mainland will play host to FPC, Roland's former team, on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Daytona Stadium. FPC ran for 373 yards in a 38-10 win against Live Oak Suwannee on Aug. 26.
"They're another physical football team," Roland said. "We've got some advantages in certain spots, but we've got to play our best."
The Bulldogs defeated the Bucs 17-13 last season.
The bad news for Mainland is they could be without senior guard Malcolm Curry, who left the DeLand game with a right knee injury.