Sean Munfield was one of the unsung heroes in Marietta College's 32-24 season opening triumph over Thiel (Pa.) College at Don Drumm Stadium Saturday night.
There were actually a lot of Pioneer players who performed their task on the gridiron admirably, but I'm going to focus on the former Marietta Tiger football standout.
Mind you, the 6-foot, 174-pound Munfield didn't score a touchdown but still had a modest two receptions for 17 yards at his wide receiver position. Compared to Kirby Harris's 11 catches for 116 yards and three TDs...well, there is no comparison.
Munfield also didn't make a tackle or knock down any throw, but that's not his job. He doesn't play in the MC defensive secondary, like junior cornerback Louis DiPaolo, who batted away the game's final pass in the end zone to clinch the victory.
Where Munfield excelled Saturday night was on special teams as the Pioneer punter. Punting the football, he finished with four for 184 yards, good for a 46.0 average.
Folks, most NFL punters don't have that high an average. Even former Oakland Raider Ray Guy, considered to be one of the best, if not the best, of all time, averaged only 42.4 yards a punt.
Talk about improvement, Munfield averaged 33.9 yards on 16 punts last season as a sophomore when he earned his first varsity letter.
As a freshman, he averaged 34.7 yards on 12 punts.
Against Thiel, Munfield's longest punt was a personal-best of 54 yards, and it was an early second-quarter beauty. Not only was it inside the 20 but it actually rolled and was downed at the Tomcats' one-yard line.
Thiel was in a big hole, which it never got out of. After going three-and-out on as many running plays, the Tomcats punted short, and Marietta College, leading 6-3 at the time, got the ball on the 35.
With excellent field position, the Pioneers drove to the Thiel six, where Andrew Keller completed a scoring strike to Harris. After Nathan Zarnoski kicked the extra point, MC had a 10-point cushion.
Give Munfield a lot of credit on those seven MC points. His punt helped set it all up.
At Marietta College, Munfield is a sports management major.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org