Friday, 02 September 2011 22:19
PENSACOLA -- Navarre beat host Washington 28-7 Friday in the football season-opener for both teams.
Senior quarterback Dusty Jones threw three touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Raiders' offense. Navarre took a first-quarter lead when senior receiver Bradley Leggett stepped in front of a Wildcat defender, caught a dart from Jones and waltzed practically untouched into the end zone with 4 minutes and 56 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Wildcats' defensive and offensive highlights came on back-to-back series in the second quarter. A pass interference call gave Navarre first-and-goal at the Washington 4-yard-line, but four runs failed to crack the end zone. Dejon Funderburk, the 'Cats' multi-talented junior quarterback/receiver, barely avoided a safety on first down, but broke through the Raiders' defense and outran everyone for a 99-yard touchdown with 6:21 to play before half.
Navarre's offense got untracked after intermission, eventually taking the lead for good with a five-play, 52-yard drive capped by running back Dwayne Carter's 13-yard catch-and-run score with 34.5 seconds to play in the third.
The Wildcats' offense continued to struggle against Navarre's physical defenders. Funderburke, shook up after being sacked before the Raiders' scoring drive, missed the 'Cats' next series. Sophomore Clay Hinton relieved Funderburk and, on the first play of the fourth quarter, a third-and-16 from the Wildcats' 27, threw an interception to Navarre's Jay Warren. Warren rambled to the 3. Two plays later, Jones passed six yards to Jordan Leggett for his third score.
Nick Benton picked Funderburk on the ensuing Washington possession, giving Navarre the ball back at the Navarre 49-yard-line. It took six plays before Jones burrowed to paydirt on fourth-and-goal from the 2 with 5:49 left.
The Raiders host Pensacola at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bennett C. Russell Stadium. The Tigers are ranked second in the first Florida High School Football Class 6A Poll, but lost their opener 20-7 to defending Class 5A champion Tallahassee Lincoln at PHS. Navarre has its own vivid memories of Lincoln, which ended the best season in Raider history last year with a 34-33 triple overtime regional final win.