The Catholic Crusaders (2-4, 1-0 in District 1-3A) could have held a negative outlook with the way their season started.
However, the Crusaders kept their focus on district play and it was evident in Catholic’s 19-13 win over District 1-3A opponent Florida High on Friday night.
“I felt like the level of competition that we played in the first five games (Navarre,Gulf Breeze, Escambia, Milton, PHS) would prepare us for our district,” Catholic coach Greg Seibert said. “We were really looking ahead and thinking for us to be successful down the road, in district and beyond, we will have to be competitive against a team the caliber of PHS or Navarre. The only caveat is that hopefully they won’t have the depth that Navarre has and we’ll be able to match up in the numbers game.”
Roundup: Catholic gets leg up in District 1-3A
The Crusaders will face West Florida in a nondistrict rivalry game Friday before playing their second, and final, District 1-3A game Oct. 16 vs. Taylor County.
Eagles honor tradition with throwback jerseys
Pine Forest opened district 1-6A play with a victory over Escambia on a night to remember. Celebrating the school’s 40th anniversary, homecoming and with the 1988 Championship team in the house, Pine Forest honored them by displaying their throwback jerseys.
“Coach told us they never lost in these jerseys, and we took that as motivation, so we were not going to be the first to lose in them, losing wasn’t an option tonight,” Running back Jaden Gardner said.
Explosive offense, opportunistic defense lead Eagles
Gardner had a standout performance with a 79-yard touchdown reception and a 60-yard rushing touchdown in the first half.
“It feels good. We got the win, and that’s all that matters,” Gardner added.
Navarre defense solid in win
Navarre opened District 2-6A play with a 42-27 win against the Pace Patriots on Friday.
While the offense was firing on all cylinders, it was the defense that really shined for the Raiders.
Michael Sandle, playing both sides of the ball, not only turned in two touchdowns during the win — the senior also provided lock-down defense at cornerback.
Navarre Raiders roll to 42-27 win against Pace
“He’s playing offense, defense,” Navarre coach Jay Walls said. “He’s involved in most of the kicking game and he’s doing a good job with it. I think we may need to get him some more touches on offense, and we certainly had that in our game plan tonight.”
Also coming up big for the Raiders was 6-foot, 255-pound Anthony Miller.
Nicknamed “The Unit,” Miller spent the majority of the night in the face of Pace quarterback Ashton Stephens — recording two sacks for 15 yards.
“He’s a unit alright,” Walls laughed. “Anthony plays defensive tackle for us. He started last year as a junior and this year he’s a senior doing outstanding.
“He had a big night tonight. He had two or three really key sacks and really put pressure on their quarterback.”
Ryan Young contributed to this report.