Michael Carter has waited nearly a year to get into the end zone again, and when he finally did, it felt great.
“It was awesome,” Carter said. “I put in all this rehab, all this work. It’s starting to pay off, not completely, but it’s starting to pay off. We have a long way to go.”
Carter has come a long way in since last September when he injured his knee in a game against Washington He was sidelined for the remainder of the season but months of rehab at the Andrews Institute and countless hours of practice prepared him for his senior season.
He certainly made the most of it against Pensacola Catholic, scoring four touchdowns in a 41-13 victory on a muggy Friday night. His first TD came with 7:10 left in the opening quarter when he ran 12 yards around the right side for the score. His last, with 9:15 to play in the third, was perhaps the most impressive.
Looking as if he was going to be tackled after a short gain, the North Carolina commit dodged several would-be tacklers and ran untouched down the right sideline for a 32-yard touchdown run.
“I’m just hungry. You either want to go down or you don’t,” Carter said. “I don’t. I want to score every time I touch the ball. It sounds unrealistic but I try to make it as realistic as possible.”
But Carter won’t take all of the credit. He gave props to an offensive line that was playing without the Auburn commit Nick Brahms, who broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle during the second week of practice.
“It’s not all me,” Carter said. “Our offensive line is tremendous. Even with Nick Brahms out, we are still a really good football team.”
It’s hard to argue with him. The Raiders clicked on all cylinders most of the night, moving the ball almost at will and taking advantage of a defense that swarmed to the ball time and again and deflected several passes.
“I thought our team had a really good night,” Navarre head coach Jay Walls said. “Offensively up front we controlled the line of scrimmage and were able to run and throw the ball. And defensively we played great all night. We were physical.”
Caine Adamson scored on a 5-yard run to give the Raiders a 21-0 lead after one quarter and Dante Wright sprinted 26 yards for a score late in the second to give Navarre a 34-6 lead at halftime.
Prior to Friday, Navarre last played a game that mattered in November and it didn’t end well, the Raiders falling 23-22 in double overtime to Tate in the opening round of the playoffs.
That loss has been motivation for this season, their theme being touted as unfinished business, and they certainly took care of business against the Crusaders.
Now, it’s on to Washington this Friday at Bennett C. Russell Stadium, It’s the next hurdle in what the Raiders hope is a long season.
“Our goal is to win a state championship,” Carter said. “We have 14 games to go. Our blinders are on, tunnel vision. Our focus is on the next game.”