The bruising defensive battle ultimately was decided by special teams and big plays. Both teams' kickers missed extra points in regulation and Lincoln blocked the Raiders' point-after try in the third overtime to set up its come-from-behind win in the Florida Class 4A Region 1 championship.
“We didn’t think we were going to go out like this, but in the end, when we look back, we went out with a fight,” Raiders’ senior lineman Sterling Lovelady told a reporter after the game. “We went down swinging.”
The Raiders, who had won eight straight, finished its most successful season with an 11-2 record (one victory was a forfeit by Pensacola Catholic, which outscored Navarre 42-21 in September while playing an ineligible athlete). The 2010 Raiders posted the school's first two playoff victories, at Niceville and at Pine Forest, after qualifying for the postseason for just the third time in program history (Navarre lost first-round games to Pace in 2006 and 2007). The Trojans, on the other hand, won state championships in 1999 and 2001, lost the title game two years ago and has won nine region titles and 15 district titles since 1989.
Lincoln will host Gainesville at 7:30 p.m. Friday in one Class 4A state semifinal.
For more about the game and the 2010 Raiders, check the Dec. 9 edition of Navarre Press. Raw photos may be found HERE.