The Dolphins (3-7) scored first, led Navarre 17-7 with less than five minutes left in the first half and went to intermission leading 17-13. A 27-yard halfback pass from workhorse Mitchell Dekozan to Taylor Busbee and the ensuing extra point pulled Gulf Breeze to within three points, 27-24, with almost four minutes left to play. First 452 pictures: Click HERE.
But the Raiders answered with a seven-play, 67-yard scoring drive highlighted by an 11-yard completion from Navarre quarterback Colton Kane to Will Posey on fourth-and-five at the Dolphins' 36-yard line. Running back Dewayne Carter scored on a 21-yard toughdown run two plays later. Raider defensive back Nolan LeMaitre intercepted Gulf Breeze signal caller Michael Mann's pass with 25 seconds left and Navarre ran out the clock on the hard-fought win.
Navarre (9-1) finished its regular season with six straight wins, won all five home games, beat Santa Rosa County rival Pace for the first time ever, won its third straight Beach Bowl Cup -- presented by Publix and the Gulf Breeze News to the winner of the Dophins-Raiders game since 2008 -- and won its fourth straight against the Dolphins. The win also gave the 2010 Raiders the indisputable school-record for wins in a season. Navarre outscored eight of its 10 opponents on the field and the Florida High School Athletics Association earlier this week ordered previously unbeaten Pensacola Catholic to forfeit four games, including its 42-21 thrashing of Navarre, because it played an ineligible player. The Raiders' previous record for wins in a season was seven, in both 2006 and 2007.
The Raiders, which finished second to Pine Forest in Class 4A District 1, will play at District 2-4A winner Niceville in the first round of the playoffs next week. The trip marks Navarre's third foray into postseason play. The Raiders won a district championship in 2006 and were runners up the following season, but lost to Pace in the first round each year.
For more about Friday's game and the 2010 Raiders, see the Nov. 18 edition of Navarre Press.