In the coming days and weeks, Munford may win a state title or lose in the first round of the playoffs.

Both scenarios are certainly plausible.

However this magical season plays out, though, one thing will be undeniable: The 2022 Munford Cougars are the first team in program history to finish the regular season at 10-0.


“It’s just a super accomplishment,” Munford coach Slade Calhoun said Friday night moments after his team beat Memphis Central 42-28 at home. “I mean, I never thought it would happen in my coaching career.”

“It’s just unbelievable,” Munford junior quarterback Jordan Bell said after the student section stormed the field in celebration. “We worked hard for it all year. You have to live this moment. You don’t get this moment every year.”

Friday night’s win, which clinched Munford’s third straight outright Region 8-5A title, looked like it might be a no doubter when the Cougars jumped out to a 21-0 lead. Two highlight-reel-worthy runs by Braxton Sharp – a 77-yarder and an 88-yarder – were followed by a 39-yard TD run by Bell to put the Cougars up by three touchdowns with 9:12 left in the second quarter.

That’s when Central made its move.

A Law Wright 34-yard TD pass cut the lead to 14. Following an unsuccessful Munford fake punt, Wright threw his second TD pass to cut the lead to 21-14. On Munford’s first drive of the second half, Jammie Allen intercepted a Bell pass and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown that tied the score.

To make matters worse, Central recovered the ensuing onside kick, Wright threw his third TD pass and Central led 28-21 with 8:03 left in the third quarter.

Naturally, Munford turned to Sharp for a response and he provided one with a 52-yard touchdown run to tie the score again.

The rest of the game was all Munford.

Bell hit Jeremiah Sullins on a fourth-and-nine play that went 31 yards for a touchdown. Isaiah Cobbs and Ethan Kehayias each intercepted a pass. And then, of course, Sharp broke a 45-yard TD run, his fourth of the game, to seal the deal. He finished with 287 yards on 24 carries while battling an ankle injury that had sidelined him for two weeks.

“He’s just a super kid and running back,” Calhoun said. “He played through a hurt ankle. People used to question his toughness. I don’t know, he looks pretty tough to me. I don’t know how many carries he had where we didn’t block a soul. He just stuck his head in there and got some yards.”

“Honestly, I don’t know if anybody expected that with him coming off a bad ankle,” Bell said about his teammate. “He just came out here and put it all on the line for us tonight. That’s all you can ask.”

For several moments after the game, Munford’s players posed for photos to celebrate the moment.  There was more than one sign on which somebody had written “10-0.”

“All I can say is heart. This is a team, a family,” Sharp said. “It feels great. I tell you, a year ago from today, I never thought I would be right here today.”

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland