With all the momentum squarely on the Guntersville side early in the fourth quarter, Munford’s senior quarterback snatched it back, leading the Lions to a 26-16 victory over the Wildcats in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs Friday night.
Munford (11-1) travels to J.O. Johnson — which beat Haleyville 58-14 — next Friday in the quarterfinals.
After Guntersville scored 16 unanswered points to open the second half — cutting Munford’s 19-point halftime cushion down to just three with 11:09 remaining in the fourth quarter — Garrett led the Lions on a nine-play, 66-yard touchdown drive that sealed the victory and a berth in the next round.
Garrett found C.J. Chapman open on a critical third-down early in the drive. Chapman picked up 40 yards on the play, setting the Lions up at the Wildcats’ 21-yard line. Garrett capped the drive with a 4-yard run on fourth-and-goal a few plays later.
“When we needed it most, when the momentum had shifted — it was shifted way to Guntersville’s side — C.J. Chapman catches a 5-yard pass and goes about 35,” Munford coach Will Wagnon said.
“That’s a big play. That changed the momentum right there, and we were able to go down and score.”
Guntersville got on the board with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter after a 68-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gunner Lemons. After Munford went three-and-out on back-to-back possessions, the Wildcats came up with a huge play on special teams, getting into the backfield and blocking Munford’s punt after a bad snap.
The ball rolled into the end zone and was recovered by Guntersville’s Jon Kanen Griffin for a touchdown, making the score 19-16 early in the fourth quarter.
Guntersville had two offensive possessions after Garrett’s decisive score, but Munford’s defense stepped up as it did the majority of the night.
“The whole defense, hats off to them,” Wagnon said. “We got lined up right tonight and we tackled well. You do those two things, and you will be a good defense.
“If you play good defense, you have a chance in every game you play. That’s where we’re at. We didn’t play like we should offensively, but remember, if you play good defense you’ve got a shot in every game.”
Munford dominated the first half, scoring in all three phases of the game.
Garrett got the Lions on the board with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter after a 34-yard run on Munford’s second possession.
Munford’s Cameron Turner picked up a Guntersville fumble and returned it for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, and Tavon Lawson’s 75-yard punt return gave the Lions a 19-0 halftime lead.