Marlon Courtney (1) and Jaydin Antonio (4) lineup in the backfield with Tyler England (2) lined up wide. Photo by Jay Phillips
Navarre welcomed Niceville to Navarre on Friday night and lost to the Eagles 20-7.
With the loss to Niceville (6-0), Navarre (3-3) has now lost three games in a row.
“We still have a lot to play for,” head coach Jay Walls said. “If we’re getting better and competing, then good things will happen for us.”
The Raiders and the Eagles squared off in a defensive battle for most of the night. Heading into the fourth quarter, Navarre trailed Niceville 13-7 and had the Eagles’ offense in a fourth-and-nine situation on Navarre’s side of the field moments later.
Instead of attempting a long field goal, or punting, Niceville threw a lob into the end zone.
That pass looked like it had a chance to be intercepted by two different Raiders and also looked like it had a chance to be caught for a touchdown by two different Eagles, and one of those Niceville receivers ended up coming down with the ball for a touchdown.
Big plays such as that are a trend that Walls has noticed happening when his defense gets tired.
“It’s not missed assignments,” Walls said. “I think it’s our defense spending too much time on the field. Our defense has kept us in ball games, and we have to find a way to score points.”
Navarre responded with two big catches from senior receiver Tyler England, which brought up a first and goal for the Raiders.
Unfortunately for Navarre, a fumbled snap, an incomplete pass and two sacks caused the Raiders to turn the ball over on downs with just over six-minutes left to play.
Navarre’s defense continued to create havoc in the backfield throughout the night, even though they were missing sophomore linebacker Devin Wright due to injury.
Niceville’s defense followed suit, and Marlon Courtney rarely had time to throw, especially once the game got to the point that Navarre was forced to throw.
Navarre will travel to Tate next week.
Tate is on a four game losing streak after losing games to Pine Forest, Lincoln, Leon and Crestview in recent weeks.
Their game against Lincoln ended in a 43-0 loss, while their game against Crestview ended in a 37-7 loss.
However, the Aggies will be a little extra rested when they play Navarre due to Tate having a bye week this week.
Tate and Navarre and scheduled to kickoff next Friday at 7 p.m.