Raiders’ showdown with Gators will have playoff-like feel to it

Navarre’s Homecoming showdown with Escambia Friday night will have a postseason feel to it considering playoff points will be on the line when the seventh-ranked Raiders battle the Gators in a 7:30 p.m. showdown at Bennett C. Russell Stadium.

Under the new playoff format, district champions in each of the regions are assured of a postseason berth. The remaining teams will be selected based off points. Navarre (5-0) is fourth in the first FHSAA power ratings poll. Escambia (3-2) is eighth. The top eight make the playoffs.

Navarre and Escambia have played some classic games over the last three years, including two in the postseason, and Navarre has won all four meetings. The Raiders and Gators played twice last year. Both games were decided by five points or less.

The Raiders have won 26 of their last 27 games in the regular season and Navarre head coach Jay Walls said he is impressed with the way his team has handled adversity. The Raiders have trailed twice at halftime this year and were down seven against Pace last week.

“Our kids are steady,” Walls said. “They practice hard, they lift hard and they try to do the little things. “They do extra and when we get in the game, the kids seem to play steady.”

Notable Numbers

3: The Raiders have scored 40 or more three times this season.

85: Points Navarre has allowed in last four games. It has given up 120 in all.

527: Rushing yards Omari Green has churned out.

22: Touchdowns Dante Wright has scored this year.

32: Sacks the Raiders have rung up this season.

Star Power: Omari Green scored on two touchdowns of 60 or more yards against Pace.  He rushed for 134 yards. Dante Wright scored three times, including off a 67-yard punt return, and Sage Chambers rushed for a score as well. Cade Taylor and Josh Carter led the way defensively, tallying 14.5 and 14 tackles, respectively.

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