By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Will Hankins to the right. Noah Robertson running up the middle. Mix in a little rushing from quarterback Nathan Davenport. And finally here comes Chaz Hayes exploding for big gains.
The Munford Cougar offensive line dominated the night in the 2017 edition of the M&M Bowl in Millington.
The Millington Trojans couldn’t contain the Munford offensive attack in the 33-12 victory for the Cougars.
“My boy Nate, my boy Kylan, and big No. 65 Kollin on the line, we’re running,” Hayes said. “The whole line came in handy and all the different weapons we had.”
Hayes scored four touchdown on the evening giving the Cougar defense plenty of breathing room. The Munford defense led by players like TJ Scott, Cameron Joyner, Kenneth Broughton and Marcus Webb neutralized the Trojans for most of the night on the Mooney Bosewell turf.
“We came out and executed and did what we do,” Webb said. “We’ve done that in both games and plan on doing that in every game.”
Webb was in the Millington backfield throughout the night with sacks and tackles for loss. It was a big Munford defensive play that got the offense rolling when Cole Edrington scooped up a fumble on Millington’s first play from scrimmage.
A minute later that turnover transformed into a Hayes 27-yard touchdown run to make the score 7-0.
After a Trojan punt the Cougars were on the attack once again. With 5:36 remaining in the first quarter Hayes was in the end zone again from 38 yards out to make the tally 14-0.
Millington (1-1) made a dent on the scoreboard when kicker Stephen Carter drilled a 32-yard field goal to make the score 14-3.
Munford had an answer midway through the second quarter when Washington broke loose for a big gain to the 20-yard line. Hayes capped off the drive rushing his third touchdown from that spot.
At the 4-minute and 15-second mark of the second quarter the Maroon and White faithful were all standing and cheering when Robertson exploded up the middle of the field for a 69-yard TD run.
Trailing 27-3, Millington tried to stay within striking distance when senior running back Justin Coleman broke loose for a 15-yard run crossing the goal line. The halftime score was 27-10 in favor of the Cougars.
In the third quarter, Munford Head Coach Nick Markle employed his offensive unit to eat up the clock and continue to control the line of scrimmage. With 18 second remaining in the period, Hayes scored his fourth TD from 4 yards out to close out a long drive.
Munford (2-0) was ahead 33-10. Millington did manage a safety in the fourth quarter. The Trojans had a touchdown return by Matthew Thomas called back after he picked up a fumble and raced to the end zone.
Millington dropped its third straight M&M Bowl to the rivals up North. The Trojans will try to bounce back next Friday taking on Germantown.
Meanwhile the Cougars get ready to step into league play against Overton. But for the night, the Munford players will enjoy a pair of rivalry wins also beating Covington opening night 16-6.
“Two rivalry games to start off the season,” Markle said. “It’s always stressful. You basically have 10 to 12 months to get ready for that. They’re looking forward to it. But our guys, we don’t talk much about the opponent. I don’t like to bring up them. We didn’t talk about Millington much. We didn’t talk about Covington much. We talked about Munford and playing fundamental football and seeing how well our game can be.
“If we just focus on us doing the little things, I feel like we can win every ball game,” he added. “I feel like we’re the best team in the Region. We’ve got a lot of big hurdles to climb but our kids have a lot of confidence and I have a lot of confidence in my kids.”
Markle said the Cougars will continue to keep the same approach heading into the Wolverine showdown. Players like seniors Webb and Hayes said the mental focus and a pair of important wins are pointing the Cougars in the right direction.
“This means everything,” Webb said. “It’s one game at a time. We’ve really never just beat Covington. We’ve won before, but not like that. Then Millington, this could be a real special year.”
“I think this season can be special if we make it,” Hayes added. “I don’t think anybody can beat us except for us.”
Markle said his corps. group of leadership comes from his seniors. And he said the group is tailor made for this challenge.
“We’ve been talking about this for almost four years now,” he said. “This is special group of seniors. They’ve been together for a long time — 10 to 12 years for some of them. We talk about good and great. There have been some good teams and there have been some great teams. But this is a special team. They don’t come through often.
“We just want to keep them grounded,” Markle concluded. “That’s my main goal. It’s easy to rest after a win. What we talk about everyday is continue to carry the chip on your shoulder. A lot of people didn’t give us a shot coming into the season. I like that. I like to fly under the radar. But at the same time, we’re a force to be reckon with. If we just play fundamental football and clean up some of these penalties from tonight, other than that we executed real well the first quarter and half. If we just keep doing our thing, good things will come our way.”