E.A. Sports Today

Make room for Munford

Class 4A Region 4: Lions take it to White Plains early, win at Homecoming to clinch first playoff berth since 2017; Handley handles Heflin

Cleburne County2-62-3
White Plains2-61-4

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

MUNFORD – For the Munford Lions, the message for the week was simple. Win and you’re in. Head coach Michael Easley didn’t want them thinking any other way.

The Lions figured it would take three region wins to make the playoffs from Class 4A Region 4 and they locked it up Friday night with a 42-19 victory over White Plains at Homecoming. It is their first playoff berth since 2017 and the first for Easley as a head coach.

“It is a big deal,” Easley said. “I’m just happy for our kids and my coaching staff. Everybody’s worked their butts off this year. It’s a big deal for our kids. I’m so happy for them. They earned this. I told them before the game we’re going to get what we earn, we’re not going to get stuff given to us, let’s go out and earn this playoff spot and that’s exactly what they did.”

Quarterback Sylvester Smith dazzled the Homecoming crowd as the Wildcats had no answer for him. The University of Tennessee commitment rushed 10 times for 183 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 53 yards more helping the Lions open a 42-0 lead after three quarters.

He now has 1,204 yards rushing on 104 carries this season.

The Lions (5-3, 3-2), projected to play at American Christian in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, scored the first three times they had the football and led 21-0 after the first quarter. They used seven different ball carriers to rush for 355 yards in the game.

Riley Brown and Mason Brewer had some success running the ball as they had  touchdown runs of 6 and 1 yard, respectively.

“I wouldn’t even let our kids say we’ll probably be OK (getting into the playoffs),” Easley said. “We wanted to win and get in.”

The Munford defense had its best game of the year, limiting White Plains to only 28 rushing yards on 26 carries and 22 passing yards through the first three quarters.

The Wildcats (2-6, 1-4) caught fire in the fourth quarter against the Munford second defense. Quarterback Dylan Barksdale broke off a 23-yard run, and threw an 80-yard pass to Montez Burns and a 58-yard pass to Collin Spivey.

The Lions will travel to Handley next week to play the fifth ranked Handley Tigers. They will have played four Top 10 teams by the time this season is over with and have shown improvement with each game.

The Lions celebrated their milestone with a fireworks show and the players even tried to give their fourth-year coach a water bucket shower.

“They tried to get me with the water; they forgot I used to be pretty elusive back in my day,” Easley said. “I saw it coming, so I waited ’til the last second and ducked.

“The kids were so happy. They earned this. They played so hard in some key games. Not that they hadn’t played hard every game, but there were key games with Heflin and tonight and even the Lincoln game, which didn’t really matter to the playoffs, but it mattered to them. They wanted to get better.”

With the playoff spot secured, the Lions will move their final regular season game against Ashville to Thursday, Oct. 27.

Munford 42, White Plains 19

WP (19)MUN (42)
61st Downs17
160Passing yds83
White Plains (2-6, 1-4)00019 –19
Munford (5-3, 3-2)217140 –42

M – Sylvester Smith 3 run (Dakota Frank kick), 7:58 1Q
M – Riley Brown 6 run (Dakota Frank kick), 4:04 1Q
M – Sylvester Smith 6 run (Dakota Frank kick), 1:14 1Q
M – Mason Brewer 1 run (Dakota Frank kick), 8:18 2Q
M – Sylvester Smith 28 run (Dakota Frank kick), 9:17 3Q
M – Sylvester Smith 20 run (Dakota Frank kick), 0:46 3Q
WP – Collin Spivey 25 pass from Dylan Barksdale 25 (Crew Martin kick) 9:48 4Q
WP – Montez Burns 80 pass from Dylan Barksdale (kick failed), 4:35 4Q
WP – Dylan Barksdale 2 run (kick blocked), 1:54 4Q

Handley handles Heflin

HEFLIN – Quarterback Cannon Kyles accounted for three touchdowns in a 28-point first quarter and Jay Haynes and Cardarious Lee both enjoyed 100-yard rushing nights as Handley routed Cleburne County 46-14.

Kyles scored the game’s first touchdown on a nine-yard run and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Tamarious Treadwell and Devontae Higgins in the final two minutes of the first quarter. Haynes rushed for 126 yards, with 71 coming on his first-quarter touchdown run, and Lee rushed for 103 yards, with 80 coming on his fourth-quarter score.

HAND (46)CLEB (14)
181st Downs12
113Passing yds52
Handley (8-1, 4-1)28666 –46
Cleburne County (2-6, 2-3)0707 –14

H – Cannon Kyles 9 run (Landon Bozeman kick), 8:23 1Q
H – Jay Haynes 71 run (Landon Bozeman kick), 4:31 1Q
H – Tamarious Treadwell 23 pass from Cannon Kyles (Landon Bozeman kick), 1:53 1Q
H – Devontae Higgins 7 pass from Cannon Kyles (Landon Bozeman kick), 0:20 1Q
H – Koreen Henry 37 pass from Daquavian Slaughter (kick failed), 8:49 2Q
C – Greyson Freeman 13 pass from Beau Clay (Noah Morgan kick), 0:19 2Q
H – Jamarcus Daniel 62 run (kick failed), 12:00 3Q
H – Cardarious Lee 80 run (kick failed), 7:03 4Q
C – Hunter Gore 3 run (Noah Morgan kick), 4:41 4Q


First Downs                 6           17

Rushing Yards     31-57        48-335

Passing   Yards           160             83

Total Yards                 217           418

Att-Comp-Int       6-12-0             6-11-0                           

Punts                      5-34.3         2-34.0

Penalties                 3-15            9-75

                          1    2   3   4  = Tot

White Plains     0   0   0  19 – 19

Munford           21  7  14 0 –42

You must be logged in to post a comment Login