Raiders rise to No. 8 in poll

Navarre’s football team moved up one spot in this week’s 6A Associated Press poll, rising from ninth to eighth.

The Raiders (3-0) were off last week and return to action Friday night when they battle Choctaw (2-1), which fell from fifth to ninth after a 36-35 overtime loss to Tallhassee Rickards.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bennett C. Russell Stadium in Navarre. The Raiders and Indians played twice last season, with Choctaw winning both meetings, including a 35-14 win in the second round of the playoffs.

“They have had a good start and have had a lot of success the last couple of years,” Navarre head coach Jay Walls said after practice last week. “It’s a big game, the biggest of the year (up to this point). We’re excited about playing it.”

Choctaw opened its season with a 48-32 win over Gulf Breeze and defeated Pine Forest 31-28 in week two.

The Raiders, off since a 42-0 win over Washington Sept. 4,  have scored 142 points and have allowed only 36. They will be seeking their first win over the Indians since Oct. 18, 2013 when they earned 35-28 victory. But the Indians avenged that loss in the postseason, handing Navarre a 28-21 loss in the second-round of the playoffs.

Considering the history, it’s no surprise senior center Brent Short said last week that this game is an opportunity for the Raiders to make a statement.

“It’s a statement game,” Short said. “We’re on fire about this game. We want to win badly.”

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