By Kevin Eickman
The final home game of the season was a big one for the Milford Buccaneers. Despite entering the game with a 1-8 record, any time their is a chance to face off against your rival the game has a chance to be something special. Couple that with it being the final high school football team for this year’s seniors and there is reason to be optimistic.
The game started well for Milford as they took the opening kickoff down the field and demonstrated an offense that looked to be potent. Featuring a solid running game, Milford put a few first downs together and quickly worked their way to the Buccaneers 48 yard line.
Milford wasted little time taking advantage of the good field position, as sophomore Cole Davis hit senior Vance Daniels with a 52 yard scoring strike. With a successful extra point, Milford jumped out to a 7-0 lead. It marked the first time all season the Bucs had managed to take the games opening drive into the end zone.
Fortune looked to be on the Bucs side, as they recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. However, as had been the case all season, Milford demonstrated issues with ball security. On the very next play following the fumble recovery, the Buccaneers played gracious hosts in turning the ball right back over to the visiting Spartans.
Lake Forest wasted little time taking advantage of the break as senior Micheal Sabino took a sweep 48 yards down the left side for a touchdown. Lake would miss the extra point as the Buccaneers retained the lead at 7-6 with 4:51 left in the first quarter.
The Buccaneers would go three and out on their next possession, and punted to Lake Forest who set up shop at the Milford 35 yard line. The Buccaneers defense held firm however, forcing a fumble and returning it all the way to the Spartan 32 yard line.
Milford remained in character however, as they once again turned the ball right back to the visitors. While the Bucs would force Lake to punt, a feeling of uneasiness was beginning to descend on Briggs stadium.
Those feelings would be validated as once again Milford turned the ball over to Lake deep in Buccaneer territory. There would be no reprieve for Milford this time, as once again Sabino ran the sweep for a touchdown, this time from 32 yards out. With the successful extra point, Lake would take a 13-7 lead with 10:38 left in the first half.
For all intents and purposes that would be it, there would be no comeback on this night. What followed was a total domination on both sides of the ball for Lake Forest.
Talking with coach Mike Tkach after the game, he was obviously not thrilled with the way the game turned out “This was the first time all year we where simply dominated. You have to tip your hat to Lake Forest, they really took it to us,” Tkach said.
While finishing with a 1-9 record was not what he had in mind when the season started, Tkach was very proud of the effort his team put in this year. “This group would not quit, we were up against it all year and they wouldn’t back down,” stated Tkach. “Every week they came to work, they refused to quit. That says something about the character of these young men.”