PALMETTO -- Dave Marino has the utmost respect for Venice's football team.
But Palmetto's head coach thinks things may have gone a bit differently Friday night at Harllee Stadium had his Tigers played a little better.
Instead, Palmetto will look to improve following a 32-7 loss to the Indians during each team's regular-season opener.
"We turned the win over to Venice," Marino said. "They did a great job, they're a great football team. ... But we know we can play with anybody. We had our chances in the first half."
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The Tigers committed five turnovers, with the first one coming when Dearius Washington fumbled following a 20-yard catch that moved the ball to Venice's 29.
The next one came in the second quarter, when a Josh Hicks fumble gave Venice,
which led 12-0, the ball on its own 30.
But perhaps the biggest one came fewer than 30 seconds before half, when Palmetto quarterback Jack Allison fumbled the snap and the Indians recovered on Palmetto's 13. One play later, Venice quarterback Dom Marino -- Dave's nephew -- hit Tyler McKenzie for a 13-yard scoring strike and an 18-0 Venice lead.
"We gave them that one right before half. That was really a momentum killer," Dave Marino said.
The turnover bug carried over into the second half, when Langston Provitt stepped in front of an Allison pass and returned to Palmetto's 3. Terry Polk, who rushed for 224 yards on 27 carries, scored on the next play.
Polk also scored on a 77-yard touchdown run in the second half, while Dom Marino ran for the game's first score and accounted for 132 yards of offense.
Provitt picked Allison off again in the fourth quarter and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown.
"We have the players to go a long way," said Venice coach John Peacock, whose Indians head to Manatee next week. "That doesn't mean that it's going to happen -- it's going to depend on their actions and what they do. If they are committed to this team and committed to preparing every week ... ."
Brian Waiters rushed for Palmetto's lone touchdown, and Allison threw for 170 yards.
The Tigers head to St. Petersburg Lakewood next week in a game that will be broadcast live on Bright House Sports Network.
"That's the beauty of this game; it teaches the values of life," Dave Marino said. "We're confident our kids are going to come fighting back, ready to go work (today)."