The Dyer County defense had a strategy coming into Friday night’s game in Newbern against Munford: Stop running back Auvic White.
They managed to do that to a certain degree, but it made no difference in the outcome of the game.
Senior quarterback Jaxon O’Neal had the best game his career with 464 yards of offense and senior receiver Traveon Hawkins lit up the Choctaw offense as well in a convincing 35-21 Munford win.
Munford (7-2) is clearly playing its best football of the season. The Cougars have now won six of their last seven games with the only loss coming against Hardin County, which is ranked second in the state.
“Here we are in the eighth game of the year and the kids are just now starting to really learn the offense,” Munford head coach Slade Calhoun said. “My offensive coordinator, Reggie Neloms, he’s just a tremendous play caller. Once the kids have learned what’s going on, the terminology and the lingo, they’re really flourishing.”
O’Neal, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 340 yards, hit Hawkins (five catches, 182 yards) on touchdown passes of 41 and 80 yards in the second quarter and game was tied 14-14 at the half.
It was all Munford in the final two quarters. O’Neal threw to Hunter Gill for a 24-yard touchdown and ran for a two-yard score. White added a two-yard TD run and Dyer County did not score again.
“Jaxon, he’s understanding how to go through pass progressions and things like that,” Calhoun said. “Our offensive staff had a really good feel for what Dyer County was going to do defensively and really took advantage of it. Jaxon had a tremendous game.”
O’Neal added 124 rushing yards on 14 carries.
White had just 45 yards on 20 carries but still played a huge factor in the win.
“A lot of it comes back to Auvic White,” Calhoun said. “He only had 45 yards but they were all piled up in there to stop him. They tried to stop him and everybody else exploded. He didn’t care. He just wanted the win.”