Raiders to open 2017 football season against Crusaders

Navarre’s football team will open its 2017 season Aug. 25 when it plays host to Pensacola Catholic.

The Raiders are coming off a season that matched their best in school history, finishing 12-2 and reaching the state semifinals for the second time in program history.

Navarre, which tied the school record for wins in a season, was the district runner-up a season ago and saw its season come to an end in a 35-14 state semifinal loss to Lake Gibson at Bennett C. Russell Stadium in December.

The Raiders will play their first road game Sept. 1 when they take on Washington in Pensacola.

A showdown with 2016 playoff qualifier Crestview is set for Sept. 8 in Crestview.

Homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 8 against Escambia, a team the Raiders played twice last season. Navarre earned a 17-13 win over the Gators in the regular season and held off the Gators 40-35 in a wild playoff game last November.

The game to circle on the calendar is Oct. 27. That is when the Raiders will hit the road to battle rival Gulf Breeze.

A year ago, the Raiders and Dolphins squared off in the Beach Bowl with a district title on the line and lost 31-28 in a game that went right down to the wire. Not only did Navarre’s streak of nine consecutive wins over Gulf Breeze end, but the Raiders’ 20-game regular-season win streak came to an end as well.

The Raiders close out the season at home with a Nov. 3 game against Niceville.

Navarre is aiming for its sixth consecutive playoff appearance this season under head coach Jay Walls. The 16 district champions are assured of a playoff berth and a first-round home game. Four wild cards will be selected out of each of the four regions in class 5A-8A to fill out the 32-team field.

2017 Schedule

Aug. 17 vs. Chiles (Kickoff Classic), 7 p.m.

Aug. 25 vs. Pensacola Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 1 at Washington, 7 p.m.

Sept. 8 at Crestview, 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 vs. Choctaw, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 22 at Pine Forest, 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 vs. Pace, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 6 vs. Escambia (Homecoming), 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 13 at Milton, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 20 Bye

Oct. 27 at Gulf Breeze, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 3 vs. Niceville, 7:30 p.m.

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