“It is a huge win, because Jacksonville is an outstanding football team,” Munford head coach Will Wagnon said. “We played better tonight than we had all year; we are not where we need to be. We are still making too many mistakes in certain areas, but we are getting closer. Hopefully, each week we will continue to get closer to where we need to be, where we want to be and where we are supposed to be going. If we do that we will be OK.”
Munford’s defense set up their first two scoring drive in the first half.
The Lions defense stopping the Eagles on fourth and short, which gave the Lions the ball at midfield with 8:07 left in the first quarter. Munford established their running attack early in the drive. Charles Smith had back to back carries of 7 yards. Garrett connected with Chapman for a 6-yard gain to the Jacksonville 29 yard line. A few plays later on fourth and three from the 28 yard line Garrett call his own number. The senior went up the middle, he broke a couple tackles, regained his balance and sprinted in to end zone for the touchdown to give Munford a 6-0 lead with 3:23 left in the first quarter.
Munford’s defense stayed in the Jacksonville backfield the entire first half. On third and 8 from the Lions 33 yard line, Jackson Bell was chased to the right sideline by Munford defenders. Bell threw the ball away and he was called for intentional grounding. A short punt gave the Lions the football on their 43 yard line.
“The defense is playing excellent right now,”Wagnon said. “They are playing awesome. Coach Firestone, Coach Bowen, Coach Smith they do a great job on the defensive staff. I basically let them have it a lot of times I don’t know what they are doing and I probably don’t want to know sometimes. They are doing a great job. My offensive and defensive assistant coaches they all do a great job. They work their tails off and don’t get a lot of pub. They are doing an excellent job; they are one of keys to success right now.”
On the ensuing possession, Munford put together a 10 play 57 yard drive for a touchdown. The key play of the drive was 14 yard reception from Garrett to Earl Moss down to the Jacksonville 4 yard line. Garrett scored from a yard out to put the Lions ahead 12-0 with 9:40 left in the first half.
Tavon Lawson returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, but it was the brought back on a block in the back penalty, which gave the Lions the ball on the Eagles 45 yard line.
Charles Smith carried the load for the Lions on the drive as he gained 25 yards on five carries. His carry of four yards down to the Jacksonville 7 yard line on third down was a few yards short of picking up the first down. Brian Strickland connected on a 29 yard field goal to increase the Lions lead to 15-0 with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
The Golden Eagles finally got on the board in the third quarter. Garrett’s pass attempt was picked off by Makyah Curry at the Lions’ 28. On the first play of the drive, Bell found Maxwell Thurmond Jr. wide open in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown to cut the Munford lead down to 15-6. The PAT attempt was blocked by Tavon Lawson.
Lawson returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards down to the Eagles 30 yard line. On the first play of the drive, Garrett sprinted down the left side line for a 28 yard gain down to the Eagles 1 yard line. A face mask penalty on the run gave the Lions the ball at the 1 yard line. A false start penalty pushed Munford back five yards to the 6 yard line. Que Taylor scored a few plays later on a 3 yard run. Garrett converted the two-point conversion to give Munford a 23-6 lead with 2:51 left in the third quarter.
Jacksonville responded on their next drive. On the first play of the drive Dominique Thomas broke a couple of tackles and sprinted down the left sideline for a 70 yard touchdown run.
The PAT was good to cut the Munford lead down to 23-13 with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
Munford answered back with an eight play, 73 yard drive for a touchdown. The key play of the drive was a 43 yard reception by Chapman down the Eagles’ 18 yard line. Garrett capped off the drive with a 4 yard touchdown run, which was his third rushing touchdown of the night. Strickland’s PAT was good to give Munford a 30-13 lead with 11:27 left in the game.
The Lions put the game away with an 80 yard drive that took almost six minutes off the clock. Smith and QT Elson started the drive with 10 and 14 yard runs respectively. Garrett recorded back to back runs of 10 yards down to the Eagles 25 yard line. Eslton scored from 25 yard out on the next play to put the Lions ahead 36-13 with 4:58 left in the game.
“The offensive line played wonderful,” Wagnon said. “Our backs ran the ball good. Calvin Smith our starting running back was out and I thought that was really going to hurt us. Charles Smith stepped up and played great. QT Eslton ran the ball great in the second half. Monteo banged his shoulder a little bit in the first half, so we depended on them and they didn’t let us down. They did an outstanding job and I am proud of them.”
Munford travels to take on Central of Clay County next Friday.