Considering he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season, Munford running back Auvic White entered the 2020 season with a fair amount of expectations.
He had some solid performances in Munford’s first three games, but last Friday he reminded everybody why he’s considered one of the top backs in West Tennessee.
White rushed for 200 yards on 25 carries as the Cougars beat Harding Academy 29-6 for their third straight win.
“They were having trouble stopping him,” said Munford head coach Slade Calhoun.
In fact, Harding (0-2) had trouble stopping Munford’s offense in general. Traveon Hawkins added 126 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and Jaxon O’Neal completed 6 of 21 passes for 147 yards and two scores as the Cougars racked up 516 yards.
Munford’s defense took care of the rest, allowing just 47 yards (on 44 plays), including negative-11 passing.
Since giving up 41 points to Covington in Week 1, the Cougar defense has allowed just one touchdown. Harding’s lone TD Friday night came on a blocked kick.
“That’s three weeks in a row our defense has played pretty well,” Calhoun said.
Munford (3-1) led Harding 15-0 at the half thanks to two second-quarter TD passes by O’Neal. The first one went 15 yards to Kelton Mason and the second was a 12-yarder to Jace Hodgin.
Harding’s special teams touchdown in the third quarter made it 15-6 before Hawkins put the game out of reach with scoring runs of seven and 61 yards.
Munford’s defense was led by D.J. Vassar, who had four tackles, three of which were for losses. Jacoby Miguel and Ben Cerniglia each had three tackles.
Now the Cougars will turn their attention to Friday night’s game at Brighton, which will be the Region 8-5A opener (and possibly closer) for both teams.
Since all of the other teams in Region 8-5A (Southwind, Ridgeway, Kirby, Overton and Kingsbury) have been sidelined because of Shelby County COVID-19 restrictions, Friday’s Munford-Brighton game could be for the region title.
“I’ve told the kids there is tomorrow. This is it,” Calhoun said. “Even if the Shelby County schools are playing, you have to beat everybody to be the champ. That’s been our goal since the offseason, to be region champs. We don’t concern ourselves with all that. We just work on us.”
Calhoun said he has watched film on Brighton’s game last week against Covington. The Cardinals (2-2) lost 42-0, but Calhoun said Brighton presents plenty of challenges.
“I think they have some tremendous athletes and I think Coach (Mike) David is a really good coach,” Calhoun said. “They have some explosive kids and we’ll just have to contain them. I think they’ve gotten better as the season has gone along.”