Munford quarterback Jordan Bell can throw the ball.
Anyone who was paying attention to the six games leading up to Friday’s Region 8-5A showdown vs. Brighton knows that.
However, all he needed his right arm for on a rainy Friday night in Brighton was carrying the ball and plenty of congratulatory handshakes after the game.
Bell rushed for a season-high 244 yards on 13 carries as Munford raced to an early lead and never looked back in a 44-20 win over its county rival.
“The original plan was to switch it up and throw it and run it, but we just stuck to what worked,” said Bell, who attempted just two passes. “The run game worked. Auvic (White) pounded the ball, Jace Hodgin pounded the ball, Dalvion Dickerson pounded the ball and I just finished us off.”
“We just wanted to stick with what works,” said White, who added 122 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. “A lot of of times teams come into a big game and want to change a lot of things. We just stuck to our plan and it ended up getting us a win.”
It was a crucial win for Munford (5-2 overall, 3-0 region), the defending region champs.. The Cougars have three remaining region games, including a trip to Memphis Central (6-0, 4-0) in the regular season finale which will almost certainly determine the region champion.
Brighton (4-3, 1-2) can still make the playoffs and finish as high as third in the league if it can beat Kingsbury, Dyer County and Southwind in its final three games.
Hodgin, who had 105 of Munford’s whopping 505 rushing yards, scored on a 63-yard run on Munford’s first possession of the game. Bell broke a 69-yard run on Munford’s second possession and White scored on a 20-yard run on the next play to give the Cougars a 16-0 lead they would never lose.
Braxton Sharp got Brighton on the board with a 42-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter to trim the lead to 16-6, but White scored two more times to put Munford firmly in control, 30-6. Nick Harvell and Ty Stark scored second half touchdowns for Brighton, but it was not nearly enough.
“We have to forget this and continue on,” Brighton head coach Mike David said. “We have some tough games ahead for us. We’re in a real good region and we have to finish as high as we can. That’s our focus … Munford did a great job tonight. You have to give them credit.”
Brighton entered the game averaging 337 rushing yards per game, which was second in the Shelby-Metro area. Munford held them to 230 on the ground.
“We still had some busts and gave up 20 too many points, but you watch the film and all they do is run, so why back off of them?” Munford coach Slade Calhoun said. “We lined up like the 1985 Chicago Bears, Buddy Ryan’s Bears right there the whole game. We knew they were going to make some plays because they have three phenomenal guys so they scored three touchdowns. We knew we were going to get 40. On film everybody else had backed off of them and I’m like, ‘Why? Why get out of their face?'”
It was the fourth year in a row Munford has beaten Brighton.
“I’m proud to say i never lost to Brighton in any of my high school years,” White said. “That’s a big goal, I achieved it and I couldn’t do it without God.”