By Kevin Eickman
To say that this season has been a difficult one for the Milford Buccaneers would be an understatement. Friday night the Bucs traveled to Woodbridge to face the Blue Raiders. What transpired was the most one sided defeat Milford has been dealt all season. With injuries taking their toll on the Bucs, they were simply no match for a Woodbridge squad seeking a tournament birth.
After a slow start to the first quarter, Woodbridge worked their way to the Milford two yard line. With three chances to score, the Bucs’ defense held firm and forced Woodbridge into taking a 20 yard field goal.
Milford would put together their best drive of the game following the Woodbridge kick-off. Feeding senior Octavion Wilson the ball, the Bucs worked the ball to midfield. With the drive stalled, Milford lined up for a punt. A high snap however, forced junior punter Mathew Viramontes to pull the ball down and run for it. Viramontes didn’t stop until he got the first down, giving the Bucs the chance to extend the drive.
Milford wasted little time taking advantage of their good break, as they drove deep into Woodbridge territory. The key play in the drive was a completion on 4th and 5 from junior quarterback Cole Davis to sophomore tight end Shawn Snowden. Milford would continue to feed Wilson the ball, as he was able to cap the drive on a one yard plunge through the right side of the Woodbridge defense. With the successful extra point, Milford enjoyed a 7-3 advantage with 8:29 left in the half.
Woodbridge started their next possession at midfield, and put together a methodical, time consuming drive that culminated in a one yard touchdown run with 3:01 left in the half. Milford was able to block the extra point, making the score 9-7.
The Bucs would start their next drive at their own 25 yard line. Woodbridge was able to keep Milford in check, and forced them to punt after the offense went backwards. Woodbridge would extend their lead, as junior quarterback Logan Wescott connected with senior Anthony Jefferson on a 30 yard touchdown pass. With the successful extra point, Woodbridge extended their lead to 16-7 with 1:08 left in the half. Milford would drive deep into Woodbridge territory but would be unable to capitalize, as Davis was sacked and time harmlessly ran out in the half.
The second half was all Woodbridge, as Milford failed to mount any serious resistance to the Blue Raiders. With senior Vance Daniels forced from the game due to injury, the lone offensive weapon for the Bucs was Wilson. Forced to shoulder the load, he began to wear down and the offense became stagnant.
Talking with coach Mike Tkach after the game, he thought this was probably the worst Milford had looked in any half this season. “Tonight was one of those nights, we played poorly. We couldn’t move the ball and our defense just couldn’t stop them,” stated Tkach. “Woodbridge has a solid squad, and it really showed tonight.”
Milford has been battling injuries all season and this has forced some young players to log a big amount of playing time. While this hasn’t been helpful this year, Tkach thinks that this will pay off down the road for his team. “You can’t undervalue experience at the varsity level, at one point tonight we had only one senior playing on defense,” Tkach commented. “The fact that these guys are getting playing time, will serve them well in the future.” Milford will travel to Laurel next Friday, kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.