As was the case in three of Munford’s last four games, a Cougar opponent put up some resistance.
And, just like those three other games, Munford finished strong to remain undefeated.
The latest opponent attempting to hand Munford its first loss of the season was Northeast, which traveled from Clarksville to Munford Friday night for the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Northeast led 12-8 in the first quarter and trimmed a 17-point Munford lead to 11 in fourth quarter before the Cougars pulled away late for a convincing 36-18 win in front of a standing room only crowd.
The win propels Munford (11-0) into the second round of the playoffs against Springfield, a 27-7 winner vs. Memphis Central in round one. The game will be played in Munford, which has homefield advantage through the semifinals should they make it that far.
Munford junior quarterback Jordan Bell was the story in this one. With senior running back Braxton Sharp hobbled much of the game, Bell racked up 188 yards and two touchdowns rushing and completed 6 of 14 passes for 110 yards and another score.
With Munford leading 29-12 and seemingly ready to pull away, Northeast drove the length of the field and scored early in the fourth quarter to make the score 29-18.
Turns out there was nothing to worry about. Bell capped off a Munford drive with a two-yard TD run that put the game back out of reach.
Bell hit Cobbs, who caught all six of Bell’s completions for 100 yards, on a 44-yard TD pass to get the scoring and Jeremiah Sullins added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
After a pair of Northeast touchdowns put the visitors ahead 12-8 late in the first quarter, Sharp (12 rushes, 59 yards) broke off second quarter touchdown runs of 23 and three yards in the second quarter to give Munford a 22-12 halftime lead.
The defense and special teams played prominent roles for Munford in the win. Josh Griffin had 10 tackles, including one for a loss, and the team had four interceptions: two by Aidan Jones and one each from Jay Dancey and Jaelon Dowell. Clay Bridges recovered an onside kick and a fumbled kickoff return.