By Kevin Eickman
Nothing comes easy in the Henlopen South. That was clear as the first half of this past Friday night’s game came to a close. After having cruised to a comfortable 16-7 lead, the Buccaneers did just about everything they could to cough it up. Plagued by mistakes and miscues, the host Laurel Bulldogs had closed the gap to 16-14 and were on the Milford doorstep with just 10 seconds left. Laurel handed Milford a huge gift however, as with no timeouts remaining they eschewed the pass and tried to run the ball in. The Buccaneer defense stood tall and Laurel did not have enough time to get their field goal unit on the field. The Bulldogs would never sniff the lead again, falling 52-14 to an inspired Milford football team.
Milford would not falter again, as they completely dominated their hosts following the break. Addressing his squad at the half, coach Shaun Strickland had a simple message for his squad. “Don’t be afraid to be great,” Strickland stated. “We had been in close games, DMA and Indian River were both tight at the half, you can’t be afraid, just go a hundred miles an hour.”
The Buccaneers pushed the pedal to the metal to start the second half, with sophomore Marcus Coreea under center to start the drive. Milford drove the ball quickly down the field using a running game featuring Bowman and Correa. Upon arriving at the the Laurel 13 yard line, Correa gave way to junior William Kimmel as Milford shifted into the I. The very next play junior Dominyc Hovington blasted his way up the middle for the score, his second of the game.
“It was real exciting to be able to get a few touchdowns tonight, I’m more thankful for the win though,” Hovington stated. When asked about how Milford came out to start the second half, he explained it was all about attitude “It’s all about mindset, we just wanted to come there and play Milford football.”
Speaking of Milford football, the offense seems to be expanding as the season is progressing. One of the highlights of the second half was a 37 yard touchdown strike from Kimmel to Correa, capping a 95 yard drive for the Buccaneers. “That drive was huge for us, we showed that we were going to be able to move the ball and there wasn’t a whole lot they could do to stop us,” stated Hovington.
The other innovation Milford unveiled was David Bowman featured in the wildcat offense. Running the read option almost exclusively, it is yet another dimension of the Milford offense that other teams will have to be aware of. Freshman Rahshawn Price would post two touchdowns on the evening on runs of 61 and 80 yards. Bowman would find the end zone as well Friday, scoring from 36 yards out. “We moved the ball well tonight, that is exactly how we wanted to do it,” Stated Bowman.
While the offense was impressive, the defense should not be overlooked. They had looked good in the first half but they were positively dominating in the second. “We really wanted to make a statement tonight, we knew what they wanted to do and we were able to stop it,” Bowman stated. It was not just the run defense that was solid, the coverage in the secondary was solid as well. “We have been working on it all season and they guys were very solid in coverage tonight,” Strickland stated.
With the win, Milford has moved their record to 5-2 (2-1) and have an opportunity to be a player in the Henlopen South, with a playoff birth also a possibility. However, there are some huge games ahead against some very solid teams, starting this Friday as the Bucs host Woodbridge. “We know Woodbridge is a great team, they just beat Indian River tonight (34-0), we need to be ready,” Strickland stated.