By Kevin Eickman
As homecoming football games go, this was not the ideal scenario. With inclement weather predicted to arrive in the area shortly after kickoff, the traditional naming of the King and Queen was held prior to the start of the game. Along with the naming of Sean Hinton as King and Cara Warren as Queen, both bands got their performances in before the start of the contest.
Seaford, 0-5, would get the ball to start the game, actually getting a first down before Milford stiffened on fourth down at mid-field to end the games opening drive. That is when it happened. The sky opened up and the deluge began. In addition to the copious amounts of water, fierce lightning forced the fans in the stands to seek shelter. The two hour delay would eventually force many who were present at the start of the game, to head home doubtful that the game would be resumed.
While postponing the game might have been the more prudent option, it was simply not the most practical one. Due to the number of games already scheduled for Saturday afternoon, the only real option was to wait out the storm and play a late night contest. With that it would be up to coach Shaun Strickland to keep the team focused during the delay. “We drew stuff up on the board, we weren’t happy with the first defensive series,” Strickland said. “Our guys were chomping at the bit, they wanted back on the field.”
Following the weather delay, what followed was a devastation of the visiting Blue Jays. Beginning with the first Milford offensive drive, it was clear that the Seaford defense was going to be over matched. Building on the second half dominance at Conrad the previous week, the Milford running game started off and stayed in high gear throughout the game. The opening drive would be capped by a 19 yard run from sophomore standout David Bowman, the first of his four touchdowns on the night.
When you dominate on the ground like that, there are a lot of things that a coach is going to like. While the entire line looked solid, there was one player who really had an outstanding evening. Tight end Shawn Snowden was solid all evening, sealing in the Seaford defensive lineman and consistently providing running room to the outside. “Snowden was setting the edge all night for us and clearing lanes for [Rahshawn] Price and Bowman all night,” Strickland stated. “It’s great to see them go after it.”
When you shut a team out, the defense always deserves a great deal of credit. The unit was once again solid, even providing some scoring on a highlight reel touchdown by senior Michael Holstein. Holstein who was blitzing on the play, tipped a Seaford pass in the air, caught it and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown with seven minutes left in the first half. “I was just doing what the coaches want me to do. I was rushing off the edge and got my hands up to tip the ball,” Holstein said. “It just fell right into my hands and before I knew it I was off to the end zone.” While Holstein was happy with the play, he is more thrilled with how the defense as a whole has been playing. “Instead of being individuals like in recent years, we are playing like a family,” Holstein said. “I love that, we are all brothers working towards one common goal.”
The victory moved Milford to 4-1 for the season and 1-0 in the Henlopen South. From here the Buccaneers schedule will get progressively difficult as every remaining game will be against a Southern opponent. Up next for Milford will be a road trip to Indian River, a team that came back stunningly against Laurel last weekend. Strickland knows that Indian River will be a big challenge for the Bucs. “I know that they are a real good team, who have just won two in a row,” stated Strickland. “They’re a tough team, they always are. They are going to be fired up and we need to be ready for them.”
Kickoff is set for Friday night at 7:30.