Navarre returns home to take on Niceville

Navarre finds itself in unfamiliar territory as it gets set to play Niceville Friday night.

Coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since 2014, the Raiders (3-2) are hoping to bounce back against the unbeaten Eagles (5-0) in a 7:30 p.m. District 1-7A game at Bennett C. Russell Stadium.

Navarre lost 24-6 to Pine Forest last week and have gone six consecutive weeks without scoring a touchdown.

The Eagles, meanwhile, are riding the high of one of their best starts in recent memory, winning their first five games for the first time since 2016. They edged Lincoln 16-13 in overtime last week.

Dual-threat quarterback Will Koch has thrown for 556 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 306 yards and three scores. Aidan Dark leads the defense with 43 tackles.

Navarre has rolled up 1,504 yards of offense, with the majority of it (909 yards) coming through the air. Held under 100 yards rushing the last three weeks, the Raiders are ready to get their running game going this week.

Jaydin Antonio leads the attack with 259 yards and three touchdowns.

Navarre head coach Jay Walls said his team can’t dwell on its struggles.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Walls said after last Friday’ game. “We have a big district game (this week).”

The Raiders have had their share of chances to put points on the board but have failed to capitalize for one reason or another.

“It’s not like we are getting blown out,” Walls said. “We are getting momentum. We just have to get over the hump.”

The Raiders aim to do that Friday in their first home game in nearly a month.

“We all need to step up,” senior wide receiver Tyler England said after last week’s game.


Navarre is looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak in a decade.

Marlon Courtney ranks third in passing yards in a career with 3,330. He has thrown for 902 this season.

Tyler England is the leading receiver on the team with 24 catches for 407 yards. He ranks fifth all-time in receiving yards (1,081).

Grady Kelly ranks second in the nation in sacks with 13. He already has the single-season sacks record. Kelly and Devin Wright are tied for the team lead in tackles with 39.5.

Two players, Kelly and Paul Schultz are both in double digits in quarterback hurries. Kelly has 21. Schultz has 12.

Preston Penton is 2-for-2 on field goals this season, connecting twice from 38 yards away in last week’s game against Pine Forest.

Navarre is 23-5 at home since 2015.

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