Navarre won the tale of two halves Friday in Milton.

It took 48 minutes to decide who would be king of the hill in Santa Rosa County when it came to high school football in Class 6A.

The Navarre Raiders trailed at intermission, but led when it counted 20-12 and advanced on to the Class 6A Region 1 Finals on Friday when they will host Lake City Columbia.

"The kids fought hard tonight and they have done that the last four or five games," Milton head coach Chafan Marsh said. "I knew win or lose they were going to fight until the end and they did just that.

"Navarre is a great team and the best in the area; their record of 11-1 proves that."

For the Panthers the ball took a couple of big bounces their way, but not like it has in the previous four games.

Milton (8-4) took the first turnover 25 yards to go up 6-0.

Andre Flakes who dove over the line for the two-yard touchdown capped off the four-play drive.

Milton would trail at the start of the second quarter, but regained the lead by intermission.

A Navarre punt would put the Panthers deep inside their end of the field, but passes from Cody Lowe to Isaiah Jones and Dejon Funderburke helped to set up Roy Wise for a six-yard touchdown run.

Milton went up 12-7 and soon found themselves playing catch up in the second half.

Navarre took the opening kick off of the second half, 56 yards on seven plays, to take the lead 14-12.

Then they would ice the game on their next possession after a blocked punt attempt gave the Raiders the ball on the Milton 10.

Milton, who won their first playoff game since 2006 and made their first playoff appearance since 2007, finally exercised the demons of two years ago.

"This season shows a lot of perseverance by every one of these young men," Marsh said. "The past is the past but when we finished the season two years ago at 2-8 the program was in a shambles.

"The kids right here on this field stuck it out and I feel like we have come a long way as a team."

The turning point this season appeared to be when the Panthers rallied in the second half of its win over Pace, a key game in allowing the Panthers to advance to the post season.

"Things turned around when the guys realized they could play together and trust one another," Marsh said. "The kids fought to stay together and this is the results of their work and effort.

"I could not be any prouder of a group of young men than I am this team for what they have accomplished.

Milton would challenge a couple of more times in the second half in an effort to tie the game, but each drive ended with a fumble or interception.



Class 6A

Navarre 20, Milton 12


Class A

Northview 34, Freeport 28 (OT)