By Thomas Sellers Jr.
After hugs from his wife, family and some close friends, Munford Coach Nick Markle suddenly broke into a sprint.
Dashing behind the first-year Munford head coach in the soaked turf of Munford Football Stadium Friday night were some of his players. The Cougars were armed with a large orange container of ice water to congratulate Markle on his first win as leaders of the Cougars.
The reason for the celebration was a 28-0 decision over the rival Millington Trojans in the 2016 M&M Bowl.
Markle’s Cougars were looking to bounce back after a 13-6 defeat at Covington last week. Meanwhile the Trojans were looking to get on track after a 34-13 loss at Bolton in the opener.
The 2016 M&M Bowl, also the Second Annual Armed Forces Game, took place in front of a sellout crowd. The Millington and Munford faithful watched the Cougars use a powerful running attack to run more than 60 plays from scrimmage. Meanwhile the Trojans managed about 20 snaps of offense.
The Cougars featured the running of speedster Chaz Hayes to help control the clock. Munford signal caller Nathan Davenport mixed in a couple of carries behind the Cougar offensive line throughout the night.
Munford was ahead 7-0 at the break after Hayes scored in the first quarter on a 4-yard run at the 8:35 mark.
Millington (0-2) played tough defense throughout the first half to force some Cougar punts. But Munford stuck to the game plan of running in the interior of the field. Early in the third quarter, the Cougars used that strategy to convert two fourth-down and one-yard situations.
The payoff was a Davenport 12-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-0 with 4:41 left in the period.
Munford (1-1) made the score 21-0 early in the fourth quarter when Hayes displayed his running vision. The junior running back took a handoff and started toward his sideline. He broke the line of scrimmage and reversed his field heading toward the pylon for the diving score.
Hayes capped off the scoring for the night later in the fourth quarter when he reached the end zone from 10 yards out with 4:03 remaining in the game.
Munford ran out the clock and earned victory No. 1 for Head Coach Markle. The Cougars will step into league action next Friday hosting Wooddale.
Meanwhile the Trojans will take to their home field for the first time in 2016 welcoming Mississippi powerhouse the Hernando Tigers.