One week after being held to its lowest point total of the year, Navarre’s offense was clicking Friday night against Fort Walton Beach.
The Raiders gashed the Vikings, churning out more than 400 yards as they rolled to a 55-14 road win on a mild September night at Steve Riggs Stadium. They have scored 40 or more four times, including 50-plus twice.
“We felt like we got back to normal,” senior wide receiver Octavien Moyer said. “We made a lot of plays.”
Navarre (5-0) fell behind 7-0 in the opening quarter when Rashard Parker caught a wide-open pass from Corey Bonner on a trick play executed to perfection.
It could have been the start of a big night for the Vikings (1-4).
It ended up motivating the Raiders, who struck back behind a versatile offense and a defense that consistently pressured the quarterback and dished out a handful of vicious hits.
Navarre, ranked seventh in the state in 6A, scored 28 unanswered points, tying the game on an 11-yard run by Hasaan Williams, taking the lead on Aaron Mitchell’s bruising 14-yard straight-ahead run and putting the finishing touches on a big opening half on Moyer’s 24-yard run and 16-yard touchdown reception from Caine Adamson.
The Raiders, coming off the high of a 16-14 win over Choctaw last week, led 28-7 at halftime.
“We gave a good effort,” Navarre head coach Jay Walls said. “I’m proud of the kids. In a close game early, we settled down and played a good second quarter and second half.”
Michael Sandle got things rolling in the third quarter when he took a hand-off, spun off a couple of would-be tacklers and raced down the sideline for a touchdown and a 35-7 lead.
Mitchell’s second touchdown of the night put the Raiders in front 42-14 at the end of the third.
Fort Walton’s only points of the second half came on an interception return by Bonner. It was one of four Navarre turnovers on the night.
“Four turnovers is never good, even when you win,” Walls said. “It’s something we need to fix.”
The points off the interception didn’t count against the Raiders’ defense, which hasn’t given up points in the second half of a game since August. Navarre has allowed 64 points in five games.
“We just go out and do our thing,” senior defensive lineman Anthony Miller said. “Our goal is always a shutout. We have gave up seven, but we still made a lot of plays and came up with the win.”
Sandle’s punt return down the left sideline in the fourth gave Navarre a 49-14 lead and Caine Adamson hit Nathan McMaster in stride on an 11-yard scoring strike with 1:54 left to cap the explosive night.
The Raiders, who have aspirations of winning a state title, now turn their attention to their district opener against Pace next Friday night at Bennett C. Russell Stadium.
“This game is over with. Our focus is on the next one,” Moyer said. “We have step it up and be ready to play at our best next week.”