Tate stuns Navarre in playoff opener

Some players wore looks of shock as they walked off the field Friday night. Others cried. Fans absorbed the loss in similar fashion.

Friday night was supposed to be the start of a special 6A playoff run for Navarre’s football team after the first unbeaten regular season in school history.

Instead, on a chilly November night at Bennett C. Russell Stadium, the No. 3 Raiders saw their dreams of a championship come crashing down in a gut-wrenching 23-22 double overtime loss to Tate.

“We had opportunities and we competed the whole game. I’m proud of the effort of our kids,” Navarre head coach Jay Walls said. “We came up a little short. That’s the playoffs.”

Navarre (10-1) nearly forced a third overtime after Sage Chambers connected with Michael Sandle on a 2-yard touchdown pass. With the crowd cheering, Saturn Wagner, playing in only his second varsity game, lined up for the extra point.

Tate (8-2) brought pressure on the kick and the ball sailed wide right.

But no one can put all of the blame on the kicker. Navarre had other opportunities.

The Raiders forced four turnovers but couldn’t cash in.

They had a 13-7 lead with 9:23 left in regulation but failed to get a crucial stop against the Aggies, who tied the game at 13-13 on a 23-yard run by Alondo Thompkins.

Read the full story in the Nov. 19 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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