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Jamboree: Munford dominates Haywood

COVINGTON —

[/media-credit] Munford quarterback Hunter Harden toss the ball to a running back.

Munford Head Coach Matt Saunders left the Covington Football Stadium Friday night with pinpoint moments to applaud his special teams and defensive units.

But his offense had moments of execution and times were they looked a little flat against the Haywood Tomcats. But the Cougars dominated all three phases of the game to win the jamboree contest 34-0.

The Cougars vs. Tomcats was the second contest of the night after the TRA Rebels/Lausanne Lynx game. As the Lynx and Rebels were departing from the field, the Cougars were already ahead 8-0. Munford sophomore Markeeis James grabbed the opening kickoff and made a couple of moves to elude tacklers.

Seconds later, the 5’3 speedster was in front of ever player on the field racing down the Munford sideline for a touchdown. The two-point conversion made the score 8-0.

“I was thinking the other day, since I’ve been at Munford, we’ve never really haven’t had a special teams big play, a punt return, kickoff return or blocked punt,” Saunders said. “To get that first play of 2012, that really set the tone for us. You always want to have a big play.

“You just don’t know if it’s going to be kickoff return,” he added. “We always talk about five or six big plays a game are what wins the game for us. Fortunely we got it and it was early.”

It was the Cougar defense’s turn to shine neutralizing the Tomcats with players like Turner Weston making tackles in the backfield. While Haywood struggled on offense, the Cougar offensive unit worked with good field position. Field general Hunter Harden managed the short field situations to two D’Marious Exum touchdown runs that made the tally 21-0.

The shutout was preserved despite the Tomcats having a golden opportunity to score from 7 yards out.

“When they got down to3-yard line and I think on second down to the 1-yard line,” Saunders recalled, “that’s another thing we’ve been looking for, that big play on defense. And we got it.

“Once again we had something we can build upon,” he continued. “You can watch film on Monday and teach the kids. We had a lot of good game situations in tonight.”

To finish off the scoring, the Cougars got a long TD run from Harden after a play-action handoff fooled most of the Tomcat defenders. Harden had a clear path to the end zone.

And as time was running out in the second half, Saunders used the situation as a two-minute drill to prepare for this Friday’s opener at Horn Lake.

Harden was able to hit Derek Pierce in the end zone for a leaping grab as the horn sounded.

“Overall we did a good job,” Saunders concluded. “We were able to move the ball at times. There are some things we have to clean up.”

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