GULF BREEZE — Dylon Kelley rolled to his right and threw the ball as far as he could.

Spencer Segal was there, launching his 5-foot-11 frame high above a horde of Viking defenders to come down with it in the end zone as the clocked read “0:00.”

The Vikings were already half a step toward the halftime locker room.

In a 31-23 Fort Walton Beach loss Friday night in Dolphin Stadium, that play, a prayer at then of the first half, completely changed the tone of what had been a competitive first half against Gulf Breeze.

“That one begins the difference in the game,” Fort Walton Beach coach Phil Dorn said.

With 1:40 left in the first half, the game was deadlocked at 7. Then the Dolphins scored back-to-back touchdowns as Fort Walton Beach looked on dumbfounded.

Try as they might, the Vikings never recovered.

Fort Walton Beach running back Kenyon Redmon opened the second half with a 70-yard touchdown to make it 21-14.

Gulf Breeze (5-1) answered with a 55-yard, play-action touchdown pass.

On the ensuing possession, Redmon took off again, running another 70 yards before fumbling at the goal line and turning the ball over.

The Viking’s star running back finished his night with 183 yards, the touchdown and a pair of fumbles, though 140 of those yards came on two of his 17 carries.

Dorn was pleased with Redmon's effort, calling him a "spark" after halftime.

Gulf Breeze milked the clock, and kicked a field goal to go up 31-14. The Dolphins took advantage of their every opportunity. Not for lack of effort, Fort Walton Beach simply couldn’t.

“We had guys trying to step up,” Dorn said. “We just couldn’t get it done.”

The Vikings battled, forcing a three-and-out with eight minutes left before Jacob Cabatana kicked a 30-yard field goal to cut the score to eight. He had routinely missed the same kick in warm-ups.

Then, the Vikings (3-3) forced Tyler Dittmer, the Dolphins’ star running back, to fumble, his only mistake of the night. With 1:10 left, Fort Walton Beach had a chance. Quarterback Brendon Carter completed four passes, marching his team to midfield. Then he threw and interception, and it was over.

Carter, usually the steadying force behind the Fort Walton Beach offense, was hurried into bad throws Friday. He finished 14-of-27 for 157 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran seven times for 51 yards, including a 29-yarder in the fourth quarter to keep the team’s field goal drive alive. He was visibly disappointed after the game but resilient.

“I feel like if we play to our best ability, no one can beat us,” Carter said. “I feel like we put in the work, we got better over the summer time. It sucks not winning these games as close as they get, but we’re thankful for the opportunity to play ’em.”

For the second week in a row, Fort Walton Beach was on the wrong side a one-possession game. The Vikings lost a 55-45 shootout with Niceville a week ago. Points were easy to come by and mistakes were limited.

That was not the case against Gulf Breeze. The Vikings turned the ball over three times, and penalties set back several drives in the first half.

“You can’t beat a good team playing one half of football,” Dorn said. “We didn’t really play our best in the first half, and we really dug ourselves a hole. When you do that you really put pressure on yourself to come back … You can’t make those mistakes.”

Gulf Breeze struck first Friday night. Dittmer took a pitch left 49-yards for a touchdown on the Dolphins’ first drive, his first of several big plays.

The Vikings answered with a 14-play, 71-yard drive. Carter capped it off, hitting Hudson Robinson on a slant for a 12-yard score.

Then the scoring stopped.

Each team traded long drives and momentum changing interceptions for most of the second quarter.

Then, the unfathomable scoring flurry.

After Dittmer took another pitch 33-yards to the Vikings’ 15, Kelley hit Segal for an 11-yard score to put the Dolphins up 14-7 with 24 seconds left in the half.

With a timeout left, Fort Walton Beach tried to make something happen. Instead, the Vikings went three-and-out and punted the ball back to Gulf Breeze with 10 seconds left.

It was too much time.

The Viking coaches called out to their defense, expecting a double pass. The secondary played back.

From his own 35, Dittmer gashed the Vikings for 34 yards.

Then it was Kelley, hitting Segal with a Hail Mary to the end zone. The pair hooked up for three touchdowns Friday.

Dittmer, coming off a 303-yard, four touchdown performance against Milton, had 153 yards on 12 carries at halftime. Fort Walton Beach held him to 65 yards and a fumble on 16 carries in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.

Up next, the Vikings head to Crestview at 7 p.m. Friday. They’re still in the playoff hunt, but Dorn said he knows they have to win their district games to get in.

“We’ll got out there, and we’ll compete,” Dorn said. “Crestview’s a good team, and they’re on a roll right now. This football team right here can do a lot of really good things. We just gotta play four quarters better than we did tonight.

“If we do that, we’ll be able to be in the game.”