By Kevin Eickman
While Milford had begun the season 2-0, there was a peculiar habit that the Buccaneers had begun to develop. During those two victories, Milford fell behind early and had to battle back. During those wins Milford looked to be on the ropes early and both times responded. On this evening, while Milford did respond, the hole they had dug themselves was simply too deep to overcome.
Friday night, Milford played with their backs to the wall the entire first half, as the Ravens pinned the Bucs deep in their own territory repeatedly. Every time it looked as if the Bucs would be able to break out and flip the field position, a mistake would move them in the wrong direction.
While Milford managed to escape the first quarter unscathed, they started the second quarter on their own one yard line. Matters quickly went from bad to worse as an errant snap gave the Ravens their first points of the evening on a safety with 11:08 remaining in the half.
Following the free-kick, Tech started in Milford territory and wasted little time taking advantage of it. The Ravens started at the 50 yard line and drove quickly to the Buccaneer 27. From there, Willis Dickerson scampered around the right side of the Milford defense to pay dirt. The successful extra point made it 9-0 for the Ravens.
With the Bucs taking to the road for the first time this season, in addition to opening their Henlopen North conference schedule, they came out flat. As has been the pattern, Milford failed to move the ball early in the contest and paid a huge price for it “We came out in a funk, we played like crap, and we got it handed to us.” said coach Mike Tkach.
Milford had numerous problems throughout the contest. While their failure on offense in the first half might be contributed to poor field position, the porous Milford defense was brutal the entire game. Plagued by poor tackling, the Bucs found themselves unable to make any kind of stand on defense. On more then one occasion they failed to wrap up Raven runners, and that continued failure doomed Milford to defeat “The first two games of the season, we had guys flying to the ball.” Tkach added “Tonight we think we are going to bring people down with one arm, or a grab of the jersey.”
While upset with his teams performance, Tkach believes that this team can answer the call. Milford will have little chance to feel sorry for themselves, because rising fast on the horizon is a daunting schedule that he has to get his team ready for “I’ll tell you what, if you want to come see our practices this week, we’re gonna be tackling till the cows come home.” he said.
Milford trailed at the half 23-0, failing to move the ball for almost the entire time. But with the start of the second half the Bucs offense began to show some life. Nick Jefferson threw the ball all around the park to drive Milford to their first score of the game. The quick march down the field was capped by a touchdown run by Geophte Augustin.
Milford looked like they where about to get back into the game. Unfortunately the momentum was short lived, Sussex Tech returned the ensuing kick 80 yards for a touchdown. The successful extra point once again gave the Ravens a 23 point advantage 30-7.
Once again Milford responded, driving down the field as the passing game continued to show signs of life “I was real proud of how our offense played in the second half.” Tkach said. Jefferson continued to find the open man, finally capping the drive on a four yard run of his own to make the score 30-14 after the extra point.
The Buccaneers other score on the evening came on a 52 yard strike from Jefferson to Vance Daniels, long after the Ravens had stretched their advantage to 44-14. The play demonstrated that this team will not give up, no matter the odds “The one positive we can take out of it is, our guys refused to quit.” Tkach added “I am proud of them for that.” The score and extra point made the score 44-21. Tech would eventually add on the final score to make it 51-21.
Milford will be hosting 2-1 Sussex Central, Friday night at 7:30. Tkach knows the Buccaneers will be in for a fight “That’s a fantastic team, and after this week we are going to have to work to get ready for them.”