By Kevin Eickman
The Milford football team kicked off their Henlopen South schedule this past Friday, as they hosted Indian River. After three consecutive games against much bigger and stronger teams, Milford was hoping to get on the winning track. While they failed to come away with a win, the fact that the team continues to improve is something that deserves recognition.
Early in the game the Milford defense had a hard time stopping Indian River, as they were able to work the ball down the field in chunks. With the Indians on the verge of scoring the game’s first touchdown, the Buccaneers’ defense stiffened midway through the first quarter. Indian River looked sure to score, but the defensive stop forced them to settle for a field goal. The successful 27 yard kick, gave the Indians a 3-0 lead with 7:33 left in the first quarter.
Milford got a 52 yard kickoff return by freshman David Bowman and the Buccaneers were able to set up shop on the Indian River side of the field. Taking advantage of the good field position, the Bucs were able to drive the ball deep into Indian territory. Milford got a key call as IR was penalized for pass interference on a fourth down play. Given new life, Milford wasted little time taking advantage of the break. On first and ten from the IR 12 yard line, Milford ran a trap play to senior Micheal Tkach. Tkach was not even noticed by the IR defense until he was 7 yards past the line of scrimmage. As he entered the end zone, Milford scored their first touchdown of the year. “Getting some points on the board was very important for us, it shows we are continuing to improve,” Coach Mike Tkach stated.
The Milford offense in general moved the ball well but they made crucial mistakes at key moments that probably would have made the contest closer than the 25-14 final score. “We moved the ball well tonight, but we made some real big mistakes out there,” Tkach commented. “There are a number of things we need to clean up, we have an extra day to practice this week and we will work on it.”
Milford would surrender 19 unanswered points and found themselves trailing 25-6 as the game was in the fourth quarter. The Buccaneers would not give up however and were able to tally the games final points as quarterback Ricky Armstrong connected on a 25 yard strike to fellow senior Patrick Wheeler. The score was just another indication of this evolving offense. “We are getting better every week, we have several play makers on offense. We have two freshman in Raheem Fullman and David Bowman that have real potential,” Tkach said. “We are still trying to figure out what works best for them, but there is some real talent there.”
The Buccaneers will travel to Delmar next Saturday, when they will battle the Wildcats for their homecoming. This will be the first of two games that Milford will be visitors at an opponent’s Homecoming, a fact that has not been lost on Tkach. “With a number of Homecoming games we will be at, we are thinking about building our own float to take with us.”