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Raines offensive tackle Soloman Thomas, right, jokes with Ribault quarterback Timothy Cole after the 54th Northwest Classic. Raines dominated its rival Ribault in the 54th Northwest Classic on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. The Vikings lead the all-time series 40-14. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today
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Raines offensive tackle Soloman Thomas, right, jokes with Ribault quarterback Timothy Cole after the 54th Northwest Classic. Raines dominated its rival Ribault in the 54th Northwest Classic on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. The Vikings lead the all-time series 40-14. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

PHOTO ESSAY | Northwest Classic maintains community feel at temporary location

Published on October 16, 2023 at 2:56 pm

The location may have been different, but Jacksonville’s 54th annual Northwest Classic football game, on Saturday, Oct. 14, maintained its neighborly fight for bragging rights despite being played in Oceanway instead of Moncrief.

Raines dominated rival Ribault in the 54th Northwest Classic on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. The Vikings lead the all-time series 40-14. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

Ribault hosted Raines at First Coast High School on Saturday afternoon because Ribault is being rebuilt as part of the Duval school district’s renovation and rebuilding program, funded by a half-cent sales tax increase that voters approved in 2020. Raines is on the district’s to-do list to be rebuilt as well.

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On Saturday, the Raines Vikings asserted their football superiority, bringing their all-time series lead to 40-14.

Raines celebrates its dominating win over Ribault in the 54th Northwest Classic on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. The Vikings lead the all-time series 40-14. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

When the Vikings took a 34-0 lead midway through the third quarter, Vikings cheerleaders started chanting, “Beat Ribault! Beat Ribault!” Before the Vikings could attempt the two-point conversion, players started dancing as well. Then, the band added bass to get the visitor’s sideline excited.

The 2022 Northwest Classic was decided in the final minute. That was not the case on Saturday. Raines, which has won its last three games by 4 points, was not going to leave anything to chance against a Ribault defense that has held opponents to 11.1 points per game.

“We had to lock in, dial in and stay true to who we are as a team,” Raines head coach Donovan Masline said afterward. “It was just good to come out and not give our fans a heart attack this week. They were able to just watch the game and enjoy.”

Jacksonville City Council member Tyrona Clark-Murray was among the Raines alumni who thoroughly enjoyed the dominating win. After Nicholas Kilpatrick scored a defensive touchdown for a second straight year, Clark-Murray playfully roasted Council member Rahman Johnson, a Ribault graduate.

The two were among the six elected officials who attended the game. Council President Ron Salem tossed the coin between the two rivals.

Once the game began, Raines couldn’t stop scoring. Wide receiver Amari McIntyre caught Ty’ren Randolph’s pass with one hand, kept his balance and found the pylon to open the scoring midway through the first quarter.

Amari Mcintyre celebrates his first quarter touchdown reception to open the scoring of the Northwest Classic. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

Randolph threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in his first Northwest Classic as a starting quarterback. The senior says the activities leading up to the game took the stress off him.

“I was thinking over and second guessing myself about what I’m going to do (since) its my first Northwest Classic as starting quarterback,” Randolph says. “The people, the alumni doing the stuff for the team, it took my mind off what we were going to come out here and do.”

Randolph says his teammates’ coming out on one accord throughout the game is what he will take from his lone start in the Northwest Classic.

“We came together, stayed on the same page throughout the game and you saw the results that we got.”

Raines quarterback Ty’ren Randolph finds a running lane during the second quarter of the Northwest Classic. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

The result was Raines’ seventh straight win over Ribault. Raines also improved to 6-1 on the season, while Ribault fell to 3-4.

Ribault quarterback Timothy Cole did manage to throw three touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarters to give the Trojans hope. That was extinguished when Raines’ Shareef Jackson returned a kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown with 5:16 remaining.

Raines is 4-0 against the Trojans since Masline took over his alma mater prior to the 2020 season. The Vikings lead the all-time series 40-14.

“It matters not who is at leadership. It matters about Raines. To continue to keep the tradition going is something I take pride in, my coaches take pride in. We don’t want to be the era to let the tradition down, to let it go. I think we are doing a good job of maintaining that,” he said.


author image Reporter Will Brown is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. He previously reported for the Jacksonville Business Journal. And before that, he spent more than a decade as a sports reporter at The St. Augustine Record, Victoria (Texas) Advocate and the Tallahassee Democrat. Reach him at will@jaxtoday.org.
author image Reporter Will Brown is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. He previously reported for the Jacksonville Business Journal. And before that, he spent more than a decade as a sports reporter at The St. Augustine Record, Victoria (Texas) Advocate and the Tallahassee Democrat. Reach him at will@jaxtoday.org.

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