By Kevin Eickman
They could have played this game 100 times and Sussex Tech would have won every one of them. There was no way that Milford was going to be able to win against the bigger and stronger Ravens, who are in the conversation when it comes to a Division I tournament spot.
Winning was not this game was about for the Buccaneers, this was about showing up and holding themselves accountable, following last week’s implosion against Delaware Military Academy. Following last week’s contest, coach Mike Tkach promised there would be changes. There would be changes in personnel and more importantly there would be a change in attitude. Mission accomplished on both accounts.
Tech scored on their third play from scrimmage as Tech senior Xavier Drummond rumbled 68 yards through the Buccaneer defense. While it was not what Milford wanted to happen, the aspect of the play that should be made note of was that the Bucs players were where they were supposed to be. Unlike last week, the Milford defense suffered few mental lapses during the game. “I was real happy with how guys took care of their responsibilities tonight,” Tkach continued “Guys played the game with heart and smarts tonight, that is the kind of play we will need going forward.”
The size an speed of the Tech team was a tremendous challenge for Milford, but all night long the Bucs kept getting back up and kept doing their jobs. Tech would score their second touchdown of the game on a juggling, circus catch by senior Travis Quillin. Milford corner back Son Martinez had excellent coverage on the play as he deflected the ball away. Unfortunately, Quillin kept his eye on the ball and was able to gather it in for a 68 yard scoring strike.
Milford looked much improved on the offensive side of the ball as well. With sophomore Son Martinez moved to wide out, the primary running back duties fell to freshman David Bowman. All night long Bowman demonstrated strength and toughness not often seen by a freshman. Bowman demonstrated a natural ability to find the hole and good finishing strength. “Bowman did a very nice job tonight, while he is just a freshman he played a very strong game,” Tkach commented.
The Milford offense also demonstrated improvement in the passing game as well, with senior Richard Armstrong looking much improved. Armstrong, who is in his first season of varsity ball looked comfortable and confident in the pocket. He spread the ball around and had several key completions. His best pass of the evening however, was an incompletion. On the play Armstrong tried to hit Martinez on the end zone. Martinez made a great adjustment to the ball and it would have been a touchdown if not for being knocked away at the last minute. “Armstrong is getting better by the week, he has a lot of natural ability and we are teaching him how to better use it,” Tkach stated.
Milford would trail 22-0 at the half, they would eventually wear down and put the second string in to finish the game. While losing 46-0 might look bad, the effort on the part of all the Milford players was what Tkach was looking for. “We lost a few people this week, they didn’t want to do what it takes to win. The players on the field did their jobs and competed to the end, that’s what we have been looking for,” Tkach stated. “If we continue to give this kind of effort the wins will come, I know it.”
Milford will open their Henlopen South schedule this Friday night, as they host Indian River beginning at 7:30pm. “Indian River is a real good football team, it’s going to take everyone’s best effort to earn a victory against them,” commented Tkach.