By Kevin Eickman
When the Milford Buccaneers got off to a fast 2-0 start this season, there was reason for optimism. After suffering back to back defeats to Henlopen North rivals Sussex Tech and Sussex Central, there is still reason for optimism. Once again Milford was able to move the ball against a team that was a bit bigger, and much more experienced.
Milford found itself in a unique position, for the first time this season the Buccaneers where able to score early in the game. On their opening drive of the game Milford turned to Vance Daniels, Octavion Wilson and Geophte Augustin on a sustained drive to the Golden Knights 14 yard line. What is most important about the drive, is what it indicates for the future. All three of these emerging players, are juniors. As there experience grows, there is little doubt their talents, as well as leadership will improve. With senior kicker Philip Berry kicking a 30 yard field goal, the Bucs gave themselves a 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately for Milford, this was a lead that would be short lived. On the ensuing kickoff Central returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown and enjoyed a 7-3 after the successful extra point. As the first quarter continued, Milford struggled on defense. While they where outmatched, they continued to battle as the game went on “With a squad as young as we have, we have to learn how to compete.” coach Tkach added “Guys where in the right place, it was just difficult to make plays. As they gain experience, they will continue to improve.”
Central never looked back, as for the second week in a row Milford allowed a safety and a touchdown and just like that found themselves trailing 16-3. The lone touchdown of the evening for the Bucs came after Central turned the ball over deep in their territory. Driving to the doorstep of the Golden Knights, the Bucs punched it in on 4th down on a 1 yard plunge by Augustin. Milford had closed the gap to 16-10, but would get no closer. The game ended with the Golden Knights defeating Milford 45-10.
Milford now finds itself at 2-2, sitting at the bottom of the Henlopen North but if anyone thinks the Buccaneers will be throwing themselves a pity party, and packing it in, think again. “We won’t quit, we know we can play good football.” Tkach added “We are going to get better every week, we are going to improve from week to week.”
The Buccaneers will face many challenges going forward, how they react will define them. After early season success, none of it honestly expected, they are going to have to learn to dig deeper. “Life is full of challenges, you may not always win, but how you respond and how you overcome them is what will give you strength throughout your life.”
Milford faces another tough task next week, as the travel down to Cape Henlopen. The Vikings are sporting a 3-1 record and are looking like contenders for the Henlopen title. The game is Friday night at 7:30 pm.