Munford was trying to end some streaks in Friday night’s Class 5A second round playoff game at home vs. Henry County, a team that had beaten Munford five times over the past 10 years in playoff action.
The Cougars were also attempting to make the quarterfinals for the first time since 1997.
Munford’s offense played well and kept the Cougars in the game for a while, but the defense had no answers for Henry County’s potent offense.
The Patriots (7-5) scored touchdowns on their first eight possessions and cruised to a 56-27 win, ending Munford’s season at 9-3.
“I just didn’t have a very good plan on defense,” Munford coach Slade Calhoun said. “I clearly didn’t have us ready. We just got mashed. We tried to do some stuff to negate their size advantage. They have a left tackle who has an offer from every team in America. They were way more physical than us … I thought our offense played good enough for us to win.”
After Jordan Bell threw touchdowns passes to Icarius Hodgin of 20 and 14 yards Munford trailed just 21-14 with 7:16 left in the first half.
Henry County had an answer every time. The Patriots scored twice more before halftime and again early in the third quarter to take an unsurmountable 42-14 lead.
Munford’s last two touchdowns came on another Bell-to-Hodgin TD pass and a three-yard touchdown run by Auvic White (23 carries, 85 yards).
Henry County rolled up 361 yards on the ground, while Munford was limited to 110, almost 200 yards below its average.
Bell did most of the damage for Munford, completing 16 of 26 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns, a season-high. Jace Hodgin caught seven passes for 55 yards.
There were a lot of tears shed by Munford’s players and supporters after the game, but the season was a very successful one. The Cougars won a playoff game for just the second time in 15 years and took the region title the last two seasons without dropping a game.
“I don’t how we’ll ever replace those guys,” Calhoun said about his senior class. “Not only are they super players and super dedicated, I don’t remember any of them ever missing a practice. They’re just super dudes, awesome kids to be around. The fact that they’re back-to-back region champs, I told them nobody can take that away from them. Everybody’s going to be sad like this except for one team. That’s just how it goes.”
“I was thinking how Munford hasn’t beaten Henry County for 15 years and I wanted to be the one to break that streak,” White said. “I told my teammates last week, no matter what happens just continue to follow God. He has motives behind everything he does and sometimes you don’t understand it until later.”