Both teams came into the game with unblemished 3-0 records. Both teams were known for a high-powered offense. Munford’s talented quarterback Monteo Garrett proved hard for the Eagles to stop, running in three touchdowns. Garrett finished the night with 97 yards rushing and 104 yards passing.
Jacksonville’s own talented quarterback, Jackson Bell was kept in check by a Munford defense that was set to key on the versatile quarterback. However, running back Dominique Thomas showed his quickness and strength rushing for 168 yards on 17 carries and scoring touchdowns of 69 and 17 yards.
Munford didn’t score until late in the first quarter. When Jacksonville was held on fourth and short near midfield Munford took over on downs. Munford’s Charles Smith moved the ball on consecutive plays for a first down and then Garrett found Christopher Chapman on a pass play good to the 29-yard line.
On fourth and three, the Lions elected to go for it and Garrett burst up the middle for the score. The extra point failed and the Lions led 6-0.
Munford forced the Eagles to punt on their next series of downs. A short punt gave the Lions excellent field position on their 42-yard line and they took advantage with Garrett and Smith rushing right at the Eagle defense moving the ball to the one-yard line where Garrett scored for the second time. A two-point conversion failed and Munford took a 12-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
It looked like Munford was going to tack on six more on the kickoff to start the second half when Tavon Lawson returned the kick for a touchdown but the run was called back on a penalty. Munford moved the ball downfield and still put points on the board, this time settling for a field goal and a 15-0 lead.
The Eagles went three and out on the next series of plays but then finally Jacksonville got the break they needed. Jacksonville’s Mak Curry intercepted a Garrett pass on the Munford 34-yard line and Curry took the ball to the 28. It took Jacksonville only one play to score as Bell found a wide open Sid Thurmond down the right sideline for the Eagles’ first touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Eagles were on the board, cutting the Lions lead to 15-6 with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Munford showed why it is undefeated when on the kickoff Lawson once again had a great return, taking the ball from his 30 to the 30-yard line of Jacksonville. Garrett took the ball to the two-yard line and Quendarius Taylor punched the ball into the end zone and the Lions had quickly negated the points Jacksonville had put on the board. A two-point conversion run in by Garrett put Munford up 23-6 with 2:51 left in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff Thurmond got the ball out to the Eagles 31. Jacksonville once again struck on the first play of the series. Thomas smashed into the defensive line then bounced outside and was gone, running 69 yards for the Eagles’ second touchdown. The extra point by Mason Tompkins brought the Eagles to within 10 points with 2:31 remaining in the third.
Once again Munford quickly retaliated, scoring on the next drive capped by a 50-yard pass from Garrett to Chapman setting the ball up on the Eagles eight. Garrett scored his third and final touchdown and Munford went up 30-13 to start the fourth quarter.
Munford would score again with 4:58 remaining in the game on a 20-yard run by Quantavius Elston for a 36-13 lead.
Thomas scored once more on a 17-yard run but Munford had brought the Eagles undefeated streak to an end, 36-20.
A stingy Munford defense had allowed the Eagles only 163 yards running on 28 carries. Bell was 3-for-11 passing for 63 yards.
Jacksonville head coach Clint Smith credited the Munford team. “They have a good team, and that’s what we have to understand,” said Smith after the game.
“We came out and we didn’t play well early and they won the battle of field position early on.
“We couldn’t get anything going in the first half. In the second half we came out with a little fire and we played better but every time we would make something big happen they would come back and steal that momentum from us. That’s what good football teams do.”
The Eagles will take a week off of region play when they travel to play Weaver this Friday. Weaver, 2-2, is coming off of a 41-13 victory over Susan Moore.