By Kevin Eickman
With a raucous and enthusiastic crowd on hand, the underdog Milford Buccaneers football team battled a larger and deeper Dover Senator squad and emerged with a surprising 10-7 halftime lead. Unfortunately for Milford, they faced a different and inspired Dover squad in the second half.
During a first half that featured numerous turnovers and penalties, Milford managed to hang around against the Senators. After falling behind 7-0 in the second quarter, Milford moved the ball well and enjoyed the benefits of it. Milford had advanced the ball to the Dover 36 yard line and on 4th and 4 they decided to go for it. Go for it they did, as senior quarterback Nick Jefferson connected with sophomore Vance Daniels on a beautiful touchdown pass. Daniels who was limited in the game due to injury, drew praise from coach Mike Tkach “Vance has been really limited this week, and it was great that he came up with that play.”
Dover promptly turned the ball over to the Bucs on their next play from scrimmage. Milford recovered a fumble deep in Dover territory, setting up shop at the Dover 26 yard line. The Buccaneers were unable to advance the ball and once again had a tough decision to make on fourth down. This time Milford decided to attempt a field goal. The attempt from 42 yards by senior Philip Berry was good, just grazing the crossbar as it went through the goalpost. The score gave Milford a 10-7 lead and cause for optimism.
Following the halftime activities that included Jefferson being named homecoming King, Dover proved to be simply too much for the Buccaneers. Almost immediately the Senators imposed their will on the Bucs, going ahead for good on their initial drive of the half “Dover was just a bit too much for us tonight, there was a lot of talent over there and it showed,” commented Coach Tkach. “We really did some good things in the first half, but we just couldn’t sustain it.”
Once again Milford was forced to battle their own injuries. With Octavion Wilson out and Daniels limited, Jefferson went down, in addition to senior wide receiver Nathan Poore “We have had some injuries, but that’s time for the younger guys to step up,” commented Tkach. “That’s part of what it means to be in the Henlopen North, you just have to keep giving it all you have.”
Milford will face another tough test next Friday night as conference leader Caesar Rodney will travel to Briggs stadium for senior night. It will be the last home game for the Buccaneers whose record for the season now stands at 3-4. “C.R. is a tough team and we are going to need the younger guys to step up,” stated Tkach. “We have been fighting injuries a bit, so hopefully we can get some guys healthy as well.”
While Milford is out of tournament contention, there are plenty of goals that they can achieve. Posting a .500 record and taking back “The Bell” from Lake Forest could go a long way towards how this season is judged.