“We are really excited about it,” Munford head coach Will Wagnon said. “We played one of our better games tonight with the first group. We still have some things that we need to improve on. I’ll tell you what we didn’t do well tonight - we didn’t tackle as well as we usually do. We got lined up right and like I figured, our pass defense would be a big key to the game, and it was. We played well in the secondary. We are excited about where we are. I understand, but I hope they understand that we have long way to go, and we have to get better. We still have to do some things better. We are not up to our potential.”
The Lions (9-1, 7-0) got on the board on their first possession of the game. Monteo Garrett found Earl Moss for a 50-yard completion to the Anniston 31 yard line. Garrett capped off the drive a few plays later with a 26-yard touchdown run. Brian Strickland’s first of seven extra points was good to make it 7-0 with 10:38 left in the first quarter.
After the Lions defense made an early stand, Tavon Lawson returned a punt 36 yards to the Anniston 24 yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Rocky Smith followed his block for a 24- yard touchdown to give the Lions a 14-0 lead with 8:30 left in the first quarter.
Donterious McGhee picked off Dobbins’ pass on the Bulldogs next possession to give Munford the football at their own 40 yard line. Garrett found James Jenkins for a 29 yard gain to the Anniston 31 yard line. Runs of 9, 7 and 7 yards by Charles Smith, Rocky Smith and CJ Chapman set up first-and-goal at the 10 yard line. Lawson scored from four yards out to increase Munford’s lead to 21-0 with 1:49 left in the opening quarter.
“We played well,” Wagnon said. “We did a lot of good things on offense and defense. We got some pretty good playmakers and they made plays in the first half.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Demarcus Thomas showed off his speed and blew by Munford defenders down the left sideline for a 70-yard touchdown. The PAT was good to cut the Munford lead down to 21-7 with 1:33 left in the quarter.
Garrett continued to have success through the air in the second quarter. He found Jenkins for a back shoulder catch for a 30 yard gain down to the Anniston 35 yard line. Charles Smith had carries of 7 and 10 yards to set up first-and-goal from the 5 yard line. Garrett escaped the grasps of a couple of Anniston defenders, and then he threw a bullet to Haynes for a five-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 with 3:38 left in the first half.
Garrett and the Lions scored right before halftime to make it 35-7. Garrett did his best Johnny Manziel impression on the first two plays of the drive. The senior sprinted down field for a 16-yard gain to midfield on the first play of the drive. On the next play, Garrett rolled to the right side of the field looking to pass the football. After not being able to find an open receiver, he escaped the grasp of a couple of Anniston defenders, then he sprinted to the back to the left side of the field for a 25-yard gain to the Bulldogs 25 yard line. Lawson capped off the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run to make it 35-7.
“It was a tough game; they have a good team,” Anniston head coach Eddie Bullock said. “They came and executed better than we did and the score showed.”
Garrett went 7-11 for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 76 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
McGhee picked up a fumble to give the Lions the ball at the 39 yard line. Garrett threw his second touchdown of the game, this time to Charles Smith for a four-yard touchdown to make it 42-7.
Munford’s Corey Smith scooped up a fumble and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 49-7 lead.
“We had too many turnovers, that kind of thing’s been happening to us all year,” Bullock said. “When we played well and didn’t make turnovers, we did fine. When we make turnovers, other teams capitalize on them. That is part of football.”
Anniston’s Qunitavious Dobbins scored in the fourth quarter to make it 49-13.
Anniston’s Jermaine Ackles scored from 40 yards out to make it 49-21.
Justin Banks scored from 65 yards out to seal the Lions 55-21 victory.
The Munford win eliminates Anniston from playoff contention and it clinches a playoff berth for Lincoln.
Munford returns home next Friday to take on Talladega.