By Kevin Eickman
As the clock was winding down on the final home game for the Milford seniors, it was obvious that they were not going to emerge victorious. Trailing 35-6 late in the fourth quarter, it was all about the pride the soon to be Milford graduates could demonstrate.
Starting from inside their own territory, the Milford’s defense that had struggled all night found it within themselves to drive down the field against a stout Laurel defense. Play after play senior quarterback Ricky Armstrong made the plays he had to, as he kept the drive alive. Armstrong who had only previously played football in his freshman season, was getting one last chance to say goodbye to the Buccaneer faithful. “Ricky was in a very tough spot this season, a lot was asked of him considering his lack of experience,” coach Mike Tkach stated. “The one thing he always had was heart and that’s just what you saw at the end of the game tonight.”
On the other end of one of Armstrong’s completions was fellow senior Patrick Wheeler, another player who gives it all he has, week after week. “Patrick is a blue collar guy who refuses to quit and that’s just what you saw from him tonight,” Tkach stated. The completion was a crucial fourth down reception that extended the drive, giving the Bucs one more chance at a final touchdown.
The final home play between Armstrong and Wheeler was a 16 yard pass into the corner of the end zone. Wheeler leaped over a Laurel defender and hauled it in, for a touchdown. Freshman David Bowman would complete a two yard pass to junior Shawn Snowden for a two point conversion and with it the final chapter of the 2014 Milford home season had been written. “This was not what we were looking for tonight, we had hoped we would play better than this,” Tkach said. “But as you saw, our guys battled to the very end tonight, that made me very proud.”
It had all gone horribly wrong this past Friday night, right from the very start of the game. In the blink of an eye, the visiting Laurel Bulldogs made it look easy. Going 50 yards in just three plays, they had shredded what had looked to be a much improving Buccaneer defense. Things did not get any better from there as Laurel took advantage of Milford’s inexperienced secondary. The result was a 21-0 Milford deficit before the first quarter had ended. Milford had gotten their only touchdown of the night as Bowman connected with Snowden for a 22 yard strike late in the second quarter, but that was all the scoring Milford could muster until the games final drive.
Up next for Milford will be the annual “Battle of the Bell” at Lake Forest. The 1-8 Buccaneers will have their work cut out for them, as they face off against a 9-0 Spartan team ranked number one in Division II.