By Thomas Sellers Jr.
JR Kirby’s Cougars stuck to the game plan of power running and eating up the clock to defeat the rival Millington Trojans 41-18.
Munford (2-0) ate up nearly 8 minutes of clock in the first quarter driving the field 65 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Early in the drive Cougar senior quarterback Jacob Ross gained 11 yards on third and eight to the 26-yard line. Then Wilson Lowry picked up a first down with an 8-yard run to the 12 yard line. Moments later Anthony Boley capped off the drive with a 3-yard score.
The Munford defense came to play as well with Kelton Ham sacking Millington quarterback Eldon Tyms to shut down the Trojans’ first drive.
The Cougars were ahead 7-0 after one period. Munford added six points to its advantage in the second quarter when Boley scored again, this time from 5 yards out.
Trailing 13-0, the Trojans struck quickly to try to get back into the game. Millington had an 8-second drive when Tyms dropped back and hit receiver Kip Fleming in stride for a 59-yard TD to make the score 13-6 in favor of Munford.
It appeared the Millington defense finally got the stop it needed late in the second quarter forcing a fourth down and 11 yard situation. Kirby and his staff called for a fake punt, snapping the ball to Garrett Baugh.
Baugh raced up the sideline for the first down and was tackled at the 17 yard line. Ross made the Trojans pay with a quarterback keeper to cross the goal line making the score 20-6 with a minute and 33 second left in the first half.
A few second later, the Cougar defense came up with another big play when Michael Pugh picked off a Tyms attempt.
The Cougars were ready for a back-breaking play with Ross throwing his first pass of the night. The senior signal caller hit a wide open Dakota Hope for a 35-yard gain to the 13-yard line.
With 5.1 seconds remaining in the half, Hope had the honors of scoring the final touchdown of the half from 8-yards out to give Munford a 27-6 lead.
In the second half, Millington had a flash of hope when Keno Taylor scored on a 1-yard run. The junior running back’s touchdown was set up by a Tyms to Fleming pass play.
The Trojans (1-1) cut the deficit to 27-12. The Cougars were not phased sticking to the game plan. Early in the fourth quarter Ross scored again to cap off a long drive. This time it was a 9-yard TD run to make the score 34-12.
Millington tried to keep its hopes alive when Tyms took a snap on fourth down and 8. The senior QB took off running and ended up racing 59 yards to the end zone for a touchdown to make the score 34-18 with 9 minutes and 46 seconds left in the game.
But the night belonged to the power running game of Munford. The Cougars had the final score of the night when Lowry scored on a 2-yard run on a 5-minute drive to make the final 41-18.
The Cougars return the M&M Bowl trophy to Tipton County for the first time since 2012. Munford returns to the field next Friday hosting Wooddale in the Cougars’ first Region contest.
The Trojans try to bounce back traveling to Hernando next Friday.