It could’ve been considered a “trap” or a “throw-away” game.
The outcome of Munford hosting Kingsbury Friday night would have no effect on the Cougars’ postseason future. Win or lose they would face Central in the final week of the regular season to determine their seeding in the playoffs. So, you would forgive them if they didn’t take this game seriously. They didn’t see it that way.
Instead, Munford showed they are a team to be reckoned with on any given week in any given circumstance. They showed a more prolific passing game than they have all season and stingier defense than anyone knew they had in a 55-14 rout of the Falcons.
With 66-degree weather at kickoff Munford would receive and do something they haven’t done all year – a drive with only passes. Highly-touted quarterback Jordan Bell went 3 for 4 for 60 yards and a touchdown pass to Jermyah Davis to jump out 6-0 early. The defense would then force a four-and-out to get the ball back quickly.
On the next drive Bell connected with Jace Hodgin on a 40-yard catch and run for another score. Auvic White added a two-point conversion rush to put the Cougars up 14-0. The defense was strong again and would regain possession when Tristan Bohannon blocked a Kingsbury punt to set the Cougars up at the 11-yard line.
Penalties, however, led to negative-yardage drive that ended with a missed field goal. If there was any fault to be pointed out, it would be that Munford had 15 penalties in the game for 112 yards. The game never really was in question, though, so not much damage was done.
Defense returned the ball to the offense once again and this time White punched it in for the first rushing score of the night. Braxton Brown added the extra point and Munford went up 21-0 to close out the first quarter.
Kingsbury was able to hook up on a 53-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to cut into the lead, making the score 21-6.
Munford found the end zone again on their second longest drive of the night, starting at their own 38. The Cougars only started on their own side of the field three times all night. This time Bell did it with his legs on a quarterback keeper. Another Brown extra point stretched the lead back out to 28-6.
The defense again held up and White got another score to put the Cougars up 34-6.
On Kingsbury’s ensuing possession Munford linebacker Jake Bradley would remind everyone of his name. Bradley had been out all year due to injury and this was his first game back. He grabbed an interception and returned it 23 yards, setting Munford up on the 18-yard line. That would quickly lead to another passing touchdown connection for Bell and Davis making the score 41-6 and sending the game to a running clock after one more unsuccessful drive from Kingsbury.
Munford would get one more score before halftime on another rushing touchdown from Bell. At halftime the score was 48-6.
Bell accounted for six touchdowns. He finished the night 7 of 9 passing for 134 yards and three touchdowns through the air and nine carries for 79 yards and another three touchdowns on the ground. Auvic White carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards and two scores, while Jermyah Davis had four catches and two touchdowns.
The defense was on point with eight tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, three sacks and three interceptions. Bohannan recorded a sack and a blocked punt and Jaelon Dowell blocked an extra point and had an interception. Mason Madill also had a pick along with 50 yards rushing on offense.
Next week is the biggest challenge of the year for Munford (7-2), which is ranked eighth in this week’s Associated Press 5A state poll. Cougars play at Central (8-1, ranked sixth) for the Region 8-5A title. Central has consistently been a top 5 team all year, but suffered their first loss of the season to Christian Brothers on Friday.