Last year during Week 4, the Munford Cougars had a comfortable 17-7 lead going into halftime over the Dyersburg Trojans at the Sid Witherington Field in Munford.
Unfortunately, the Trojans bounced back to hand the Cougars one of their two losses of the regular season. Nevertheless, Munford finished the regular season 8-2 and won a playoff game.
This year, the Cougars arrived at J.C. Sawyers Stadium in Dyersburg with the intent of seeking revenge. They got it with a 37-7 victory, making it their third straight game this season where they mercy-ruled the opponent.
The game started with concerns as quarterback Jordan Bell was taken out the first play due to an ankle twist after throwing a pass. Jace Hodgin replaced Bell for the remainder of the drive, which resulted in a two-yard touchdown Braxton Sharp with 8:19 left in the first quarter.
Even with Bell back in, they struggled on their second drive, but managed to pick up some momentum before halftime with the help of a 19-yard touchdown pass to Hodgin, who added 93 rushing yards to his final stats. A 17-yard touchdown pass to Sharp, which followed a fumble recovery from Clay Bridges, put the Cougars up 23-0 before half.
After halftime, Sharp called game.
The speedy running back scored twice more: a 25-yard run and a huge 79-yard run with five minutes to put 37-0 on the board to start the mercy-rule running clock before the fourth quarter began. Sharp finished with 168 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries.
“It hurt,” Sharp said when asked how he felt after running his longest touchdown of the season.
The defense sacrificed a touchdown, an 11-yarder by Camarious Quinn, in the fourth quarter. It was just the second TD allowed this season by Munford and broke a 14-quarter scoreless streak for the defense.
Despite not quite pitching a third straight shutout, the Cougars’ defense held Dyersburg to just 142 yards. Leading tacklers for Munford included Tristan Bohannon (8), Jaelon Dowell (6) Tyler Williams (5) and Josh Griffin (5).
Munoford head coach Slade Calhoun admired the explosiveness his players brought and even Dyersburg head coach Bart Stowe gave respect to the Cougars’ effort.
“Very explosive,” Stowe said. “They are very explosive on offense, throwing the ball and running the ball.”
Hodgin piled up 110 yards on 10 carries and Munford finished with 348 total yards.
Munford (4-0) begins Region 8-5A play Friday at home vs. Overton, which beat county rival Brighton two Fridays ago. Week 5 is Munford’s homecoming which could be a “relaxed week” with all the different events going on that could distract the team, but the coach and players are dialed in for a region game against a good Memphis team.
“Our guys aren’t going to relax,” Calhoun said. “Next week starts our quest for the third (region title) one and Overton is an improved team, and we respect every opponent, but we especially respect them.”
Bell, who completed 5 of 9 passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns, added that they have to “get back in the film room, get back in the weight room, get back on the field and get back right on everything.”