By Kevin Eickman
It has come to the point in the season for the Milford football team where they are looking for something to hang their collective hat on. This past Saturday at Delmar, there was some good, as well as some bad. It was a game that witnessed the Buccaneers do a lot of things right, unfortunately there were some big mistakes that proved very costly.
Starting with the very first play of the game, the Buccaneers made the first of many key mistakes that would cost them throughout the day. Delmar’s Shane Leatherbury found a seam up the left side of the Milford coverage team, he did not stop until 82 yards later when he crossed the goal line. Just like that, Milford found themselves trailing 7-0.
To the Buccaneers credit, they did not let the quick score get them down. The defense played well forcing two turnovers on the afternoon, one of them coming directly after a Milford turnover. They also forced Delmar into punting the ball five times in the first half.
The Milford offense continued to gain traction and in the second quarter as they were able to move the ball against the Wildcats. With the second quarter underway, senior Ricky Armstrong connected on a 32 yard completion to junior Son Martinez. The Bucs wasted little time taking advantage of the good field position as junior Shawn Snowden took the counter 35 yards down the sideline for a Milford touchdown. The successful PAT by Micheal Tkach would square the game a 7-7. Delmar wasted little time responding as Milford allowed Delmar to score almost immediately on a 51 yard run of their own. With the successful conversion, Milford trailed 14-7.
The Buccaneers looked to have a chance to tie the game going into halftime, when they committed another huge gaffe. Driving into Wildcat Territory, Armstrong was intercepted with just under two minutes remaining. It could not have gone worse for Milford as Delmar proceeded to drive right down the field. Even when it looked liked it was going well for Milford, there was another mistake to be had. After appearing to hold Delmar to a field goal attempt, Milford committed a face mask on third and short extending the Wildcat drive. Delmar would score on the very next play, making the halftime score 21-7.
Delmar would get their 28th and final points of the game as the Buccaneers once again allowed the big play as Leatherbury throw a short pass to the running back who slipped a Milford tackle and went 51 yards for the score. Milford would try to make a game of it, driving deep into Wildcat country. Once again Milford imploded, having a touchdown taken off the board and then going backwards from the 6 yard line. Milford would turn the ball over on downs at the Delmar 20 yard line.
The Buccaneers would close within two scores, when Snowden scored his second touchdown of the day from two yards out. With the score 28-14 Milford forced a turnover with 4:14 left in the game, the Buccaneers once again shot themselves in the foot, turning the ball over on the very next play, Milford would not see the ball again.
Talking with coach Mike Tkach following the game, he was optimistic about the direction that Milford is heading in. “If you take a look at it, we were three plays from being right in this game,” Tkach commented. “We have to clean up these mistakes, it’s up to everyone to not have these mental breakdowns, we can’t win that way.” It doesn’t get any easier for the 0-5 Buccaneers as they host Division I Polytech this Friday night.