It didn’t come entirely easy for Marietta (3-2, 2-1) as the Blue Devils survived a second-quarter rally by Pebblebrook (0-5, 0-3) to take control of the game in the second half.
“They are one of the better winless teams in America,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “They certainly played harder and played stronger than a team with that record indicates. We knew it would be tough and it certainly was.”
Burton was happy to come out with the win after the Blue Devils last-minute 29-28 loss to McEachern a week ago.
“Every game now is a region game, so every win is huge and the fact that we were able to come out and beat a good team on the road after a tough loss like last week makes our coaching staff proud of what our kids were able to accomplish.”
Marietta got on the scoreboard on only its second play of the game when Anthony Jennings threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Bennett with 11:24 remaining in the first quarter to give the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead.
The Blue Devils increased their advantage to 14-0 when KirVonte Benson scored on a 10-yard run and then added a 2-point conversion run himself with 3:59 left in the first quarter.
Pebblebrook cut the gap as Demetrius Monday scored on a 4-yard run with 11:54 remaining in the first half to reduce Marietta’s advantage to 14-7.
Monday struck again soon after that as he ran back a punt 60 yards for the score to help the Falcons tie the game at 14-all with 11:40 left in the half.
Marietta broke the tie on its next possession as Ian Shannon booted a 15-yard field goal with 4:42 left in the half to put the Blue Devils back ahead 17-14.
Marietta began to assert control of the game early in the second half as Jennings threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Mathis with around 9 minutes left in the third quarter to increase the Blue Devils’ lead to 24-14.
It was Marietta’s special teams that provided the next score as the Blue Devils recovered a fumble on a punt snap in Pebblebrook’s end zone with 2:46 left in the third quarter to push their lead up to 31-14.
The Blue Devils put the finishing touches to their win in the fourth quarter as Drew McCollum’s 1-yard touchdown run with 8:24 left in the game gave them their final margin of victory.
“We played a decent first half,” Pebblebrook coach Tommy Macon said. “We made mistakes as we have been doing all year. We played pretty decent the last couple of weeks, but decent isn’t good enough. We’ve got to continue to work harder.”