JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One win away from Orlando. This is becoming a routine for the Raines Vikings, who are in the state semifinals for the third time in four years.
Raines is the only Duval county public school to win a state championship in football. They can make history again with a win against Dunnellon on Friday night. The Vikings would be the first school Duval public school to play in the state title game in back to back years, since Wolfson in 1968.
Vikings head coach Duran Wiley is a walking football encyclopedia. He knows exactly what's on the line this Friday.
“You have to believe,” said Wiley before practice earlier this week. “I feel very confident. We’re not in this position just to be happy to be here. We’re here to try and be back-to-back state champions. It’s a blessing from above and we want to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
Raines always has a number of play-makers on offense. This year their defense has led the way in the playoffs. In two games they’ve allowed a total of 199 yards.
Last Friday against West Nassau the Vikings defense scored four touchdowns.
“It has everything to do with the coaches and the guys on defense,” said Wiley. “They come to play and more so they come to practice. They really prepare and they really study their opponent so they can come out and execute.”