Brighton’s game plan going into Friday night’s Region 8-5A game at Munford was to deploy a run-heavy offense, run some clock and keep Munford’s explosive offense off the field as much as possible.
Munford’s offense wasn’t on the field a ton, but when it was, fireworks ensued.
On the first play from scrimmage, wideout Isaiah Cobbs hit Braxton Sharp on a 56-yard touchdown pass and it was all Munford from there in a 60-7 win.
Considering Munford was undefeated and ranked third in the state and Brighton has struggled with a rash of injuries, it was no secret the Cougars were the heavy favorite going into the game.
It was a concern for Munford head coach Slade Calhoun.
“I was nervous about us sleepwalking,” Calhoun said, “but there was so much stuff out there on social media it got my guys woke up.”
Brighton (2-5 overall, 0-3 region) had a couple of encouraging moments early. After quarterback Hunter Lampley broke a 51-yard touchdown run to cut Munford’s lead to 22-7 late in the first quarter, Brighton’s Anterius Wilson recovered the ensuing onside kick. But the Brighton drive ended on downs at the Munford 30 and the Cougars rolled from there.
Quarterback Jordan Bell (four carries, 124 yards, three TDs) scored on a 46-yard run on Munford’s next possession and Cobbs followed that with a 48-yard scoring run. Tristan Bohannon intercepted a pass and took it 55 yards to the house just before halftime to push Munford’s lead to 45-7.
Bell had touchdown runs of 70 and three yards in the first quarter.
Midway through the third quarter, Bell hit Cobbs on a 46-yard TD pass. Munford’s final score came in the fourth quarter when freshman backup quarterback Bricen Turnage got loose for an 87-yard touchdown run.
Sharp rushed 11 times for 109 yards in his first game against his old team. Lampley led Brighton with 76 yards on three carries.
“Our goal was to try and make it a short ballgame,” Brighton head coach Morgan Cruce said. “We didn’t do our job offensively to the T like we needed to, but I saw some guys stepping up. I saw some guys doing some things that we needed to do.”
Brighton will be looking to get its first region win of the season Friday when Kingsbury comes to town. Cruce said he is more concerned right now with program building than wins and losses.
“Every week you just have to get better,” Cruce said. “At the end of the day, I don’t really care what our record is right now. There are a lot of things I need to change in the program. I know where this program’s got to go and I’ve still got to get it there. We’re making slow progress at times. I’ve got to get everybody on board, from the players, the parents, the community, where we’re all kicking in the same fashion … No matter what we do, we’re going to do it together.”
After Munford’s postgame talk, the players got together and screamed, “Tipton County champs!” It was a nod to the fact that Munford (7-0, 3-0) also beat Tipton County rival Covington in the season opener.
Calhoun said a third straight region title is his team’s focus right now, but … “Everybody else celebrates, so we figure why not us? If you’re going to crown somebody, we’re going to take it.”
Speaking of region titles, it could be on the line Friday when Munford travels to Memphis to take on Southwind, which is also undefeated in region play and tied atop the league standings with Munford.
Calhoun said Southwind has restocked its roster with talent and is much better than last year, when Munford beat them 44-14.
“It’s going to be all we want and then some,” Calhoun said. “We’re going to have to play perfect to have a chance.”