Mumford leads all-county football team
The Warriors made it to the regional final the past two seasons, losing to eventual state champion Raines at “The Graveyard” each time.
West Nassau scored 52 touchdowns this season through a strong offense led by quarterback Dallas Mumford.
“You’ve got to be smart and you’ve got to trust that everybody’s going to be where they’re supposed to be,” he said.
That ability to think ahead and make quick decisions is why Mumford leads the All-Nassau County Team as its most valuable player.
“He was the leader of our team,” Coach Rickey Armstrong said. “On offense he fights for everything that he gets. … Mostly he was never taken down by the first tackler there. He broke up a lot of tackles for us.”
The Warriors lost just two games during the regular season.
“It was a good season,” Mumford said. “The two games that we lost, we made a lot of mistakes. We turned the ball over a lot.
“I’m happy with the season overall, but I wish we could have had an undefeated season.”
West Nassau came close to that in 2017, finishing the regular season with only one loss.
“Our defense has been the best around for two years in a row, especially our secondary,” Mumford said.
Growing up, he played both sides of the ball in Pop Warner, starting gridiron action at age 6.
“I just like hitting people. That’s why I started playing defense.”
But he eventually had to make a choice between defense and offense.
“Once I got into high school, I had to pick one,” Mumford said.
After teammates suffered injuries this season, he chose to add linebacker to his tasks for four games.
This caused “a lot of cramps. It was tough,” Mumford said. “It was different. When you play one side and go to both sides, it’s different. You play with your tongue hanging out the whole time.”
He played both ways against Jackson, Paxon, South Walton and Raines.
“You just can’t be scared or hesitant,” he said. “When you play defense, you’ve got to be faster than the other person.”
Despite his small stature, he hit hard and often.
“Defensively, he played with reckless abandon,” Armstrong noted. “He’s not scared to hit anybody.”
Mumford credited fellow seniors Cameran Atwater and Damon Harris as strong cornerbacks. They started in the position as juniors as well. He said that helped the defense be even more in sync.
“You could look to anyone and you knew they knew what they were doing,” Mumford said.
Most of the varsity team had played together since Pop Warner football.
“Pop Warner was fun and we were really good, but high school was successful every year,” he said.
Freshman year the junior varsity only lost one game and sophomore year the team went undefeated, then five total losses on varsity, including the playoff losses to the Vikings.
“You got beat by the best there is,” Mumford noted. “I think it’s a lot of mental when you have a game like that. I just go out there planning to play my best game.”
He feels like the Warriors did that.
“A lot of it is working together,” Mumford said. “It’s chemistry. We were together on the field and we were together off the field. We all knew what each other were thinking.”
The support of the hometown crowd, student section and cheerleaders was felt on the field. The team tried to return the support.
“They cheer for us on Friday nights and you’ll see football players at their competitions,” Mumford said of the cheerleaders, adding, “They’re really good.”
He has advice for future football players.
“If you’re going to do it, do it all the way. Don’t go in the weight room and get in other people’s way,” he said. “Go in there and get the workouts in. Don’t be out there just to wear a jersey on Friday night.”
Mumford is the son of Jimmy and Melissa Mumford of Bryceville. His siblings include Nathan, Levi and Daphani. He plans to attend Valdosta State University, but is uncertain whether he will continue to play football. He currently works for his dad’s business and attends just one class per day.
“If I do, I might just walk on,” he said. “Once you start working and getting paychecks, it’s kind of nice.”
The 2018 all-Nassau County football team includes:
• Dallas Mumford, senior quarterback, West Nassau. Mumford rushed for 631 yards and tallied 464 yards passing. He scored six rushing touchdowns and seven passing touchdowns. Mumford also played defensively part of the season with 43 total tackles, including four for loss, two interceptions and three passes defended. He was also recognized as past of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Third Team.
• Vanzant Brand, senior offensive/defensive lineman, Hilliard. At 6-foot-1 and 278 pounds, Brand received the Flashes’ top lineman award. He was strong at both offensive and defensive tackle. This is his second appearance on the all-county team.
• Damon Harris, senior corner back, West Nassau. Harris had 55 tackles, six interceptions, with three for touchdowns, and 17 passes defended. He also made the Times-Union’s All-First Coast Second Team and the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area First Team.
• Cole Richardson, senior tight end, Yulee. He had 28 receptions for 564 yards and four touchdowns. Richardson was named to the all-district team.
• Christian Nobles, senior fullback, West Nassau. Nobles had 723 rushing yards and seven touchdowns for the Warriors. Defensively, Nobles had 72 tackles for the Warriors, including nine for loss, four sacks, one interception and two passes defended. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Third Team.
• Tywuan Lee, sophomore running back/defensive back and cornerback, Hilliard. Lee was injured and only played in six games, getting injured on the first play of one game, but still rushed for 464 yards to score three touchdowns and two conversions. He also caught five passes. Defensively, he had 13 tackles and four assists.
• Nick Vanlennep, senior kicker and punter, Fernandina Beach. He had four field goals for the Pirates, including his longest of 43 yards, and was nine for nine on extra point attempts. Vanlennep scored 21 points for FBHS. He punted 16 times for a 28.56-yard average. His longest was 37 yards. He also had five tackles on defense.
• Bryson Williams, junior outside linebacker, Yulee. The all-district player had 86 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and a fumble return for a touchdowns. Recently transferred to West Nassau.
• Cameran Atwater, senior cornerback, West Nassau. Atwater had 48 tackles, 21 passes defended and six interceptions. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area First Team. This is his second appearance on the all-county team.
• Ty Lane, senior utility player, Hilliard. Lane played cornerback and wide receiver for the Flashes in his only year of high school football and first year playing since age 9. He had four interceptions and 21 tackles. He also caught three passes for 67 yards, had two punt returns for touchdowns and three kickoff returns over 30 yards as well as one over 40 yards.
• Austin Barber, sophomore offensive lineman, Yulee. He was an all-district selection for the Hornets.
• Davian Williams, senior wide receiver, West Nassau. Williams led the Warriors in receiving with 367 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also added two conversions. He recently signed with Independence Community College in Kansas.
• Javon Wright, senior running back, West Nassau. Wright led the Warriors in rushing with 750 yards and added 263 receiving yards. He scored nine rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. He also completed two conversions. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Third Team.
• Hunter Revill, senior defensive lineman, offensive guard and offensive tackle, Hilliard. At 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Revill had 39 tackles, including 10 for loss. He also had 4.5 sacks.
• Dallan “Deebo” Coleman, sophomore free safety, West Nassau. Coleman had 48 tackles, five interceptions, 11 passes defended and one fumble recovery. Offensively, he ran a touchdown for the Warriors and passed for 154 yards while rushing for 147 yards. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Second Team.
• Chase Boyd, junior defensive back, running back and wide receiver, Fernandina Beach. Boyd had 133 carries for 540 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also had 465 receiving yards on 24 catches and another TD. Boyd averaged 24.38 yards on kickoff returns and 13 yards per punt return. He also received honorable mention for the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Team.
• Jeremy Starling, senior defensive end, West Nassau. Starling led the Warriors with eight sacks for a total of 70 yards lost. He also had 84 tackles with 12 for loss, and two fumble recoveries, with one for a touchdown. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Second Team. This is his second appearance on the all-county team.
• Ty Gunther, senior defensive lineman, Yulee. He had 62 tackles, 11 for a loss, eight quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries for Yulee.
• John Powell, senior linebacker and running back, Fernandina Beach. He had 131 rushing yards on 27 touches and scored a touchdown for the Pirate offense and, on defense, recorded 95 tackles to lead the team. He had 22 solo stops. He also received honorable mention for the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Team. This is his second appearance on the all-county team.
• Trey McCullough, sophomore offensive line, West Nassau. McCullough had 54 pancake blocks for the Warriors. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Third Team.
• Justin Hall, senior offensive linebacker, West Nassau. Hall led the Warriors with 105 tackles, including 12 for loss, seven sacks, two interceptions, scoring a touchdown on one, and three fumble recoveries, with one resulting in a touchdown. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area First Team.
• Malik Brown, senior offensive lineman, Yulee. An all-district player, Brown will play football next season at Methodist University.
• Jonathan Beckett, senior offensive and defensive lineman, Fernandina Beach. He had four solo tackles and 21 assists, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble for the Pirates.
• Seth O’Neal, junior linebacker, West Nassau. O’Neal had 87 tackles with 14 for loss, four sacks, three passes defended and one fumble recovery. He was also recognized as part of the DuvalSports.com 2018 Small School All-Area Second Team.
Honorable Mention: Elijah Canode, Caleb Crandell, Centari Mitchell, John Gonzalez, Michael Thorne, E.J. Smith, West Nassau; Reese Wade, Bo Hodges, Ben Sharpe, Tanner Morgan, Hilliard; Devin Jennings, Joe Fallon, Uriah Giedrys, Evan Shuman, Toraino Nelms, Jackson Mock, Hampton Tanner and Cam Miller, Fernandina Beach; Nathan Lowe, Grayson Pope, DJ Littlejon, Gavin Knight, Josh Glover, Clayton Walden, Garrett Halliwell and Gabe Shiver, Yulee.