Unfinished business has been the theme of Navarre’s football team this year. The Raiders still remember the sting of having their season end in the opening round of the playoffs a year ago when Tate came into Bennett C. Russell Stadium and stunned Navarre 23-22 in double overtime.
Since that moment, when a 10-0 regular season turned into 10-and-oh-no in the playoffs, the Raiders have put in the work to get another shot at chasing their state title dream.
The dream chasing begins Friday when the Raiders travel to Escambia for a 7:30 p.m. showdown at Emmitt Smith Field in Pensacola.
Navarre (9-1) enters the postseason fresh off a 42-28 come-from-behind win over Niceville last week, the third time this season the Raiders have rallied for a win on the road after trailing at halftime.
One of those wins came against the Gators (5-5), who led the Raiders 13-3 at the half before Navarre battled back for a 17-13 win Oct. 7.
Having the mental toughness and ability to find ways to win away from home should serve the Raiders well in the postseason.
“We’re a resilient team,” said junior quarterback Sage Chambers, who returned to action last week after breaking his clavicle in mid-September. “We always find a way to bounce back no matter what we’ve been through.”
Navarre bounced back last Friday after losing a week earlier in a District 2-6A showdown against Gulf Breeze. The Raiders lost that game 31-28, ending a streak of 20 consecutive regular-season wins.
With a huge win over a talented Niceville team under its belt, Navarre has momentum heading into its game with the Gators, who are the champions of District 1-6A.
“We got some momentum going in,” Carter said. “It’s always good to have momentum going into anything, in football, in life, anything.”
First Round 6A Playoff Matchups
Navarre at Escambia
Tate at Gulf Breeze
Middleburg at Crestview
Niceville at St. Augustine
Springstead at Ocala Vanguard
Forest at Mitchell
Auburndale at Armwood
Hillsborough at Lake Gibson
Port Charlotte at Clearwater
Boca Ciega at Charlotte
Barron Collier at Fort Myers
Lehigh at Naples
Okeechobee at Mainland
Matanzas at Sebastian River
Miami Carol City at Dillard
Boynton Beach at Miami Northwestern
All kickoffs scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Read more in the Nov. 10 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.