By Kevin Eickman
While it was expected that Milford would be able to easily handle the visiting Seaford Blue Jays, the quickness in which the issue was settled was astounding. In the end, the only real question for Milford would be if they could complete the shutout.
In what was an avalanche of turnovers, Seaford put the ball on the ground on their very first play from scrimmage. Milford pounced on the ball and set up shop on the Seaford 25 yard line. It took the Bucs just about a minute before senior David Bowman scored his first of four rushing touchdowns from six yards out. The extra point made it 7-0 and the Buccaneers were off to the races.
“Our goal was to get off to a fast start tonight and that is just what we did,” Bowman said. “We are entering the point in the season where we need to start stepping up, so it was good to take control of this game early.”
Seaford fumbled on their next two possessions, with Bowman scoring from 19 yards out, doubling the Milford advantage. On the second of the two fumbles junior Rahshawn Price went onto the scoring column, on a 19 yard jaunt through a stunned Blue Jay defense.
One of the more exciting plays of the game occurred on the next series, as Seaford tried moving the ball through the air. On 3rd and 7, Seaford rolled to their right and attempted to hit a receiver on the fly. Buccaneer linebacker Jerry Williams was having none of it however. The Milford junior smelt the play out and reached up for a one handed interception, which he returned to the Seaford two yard line.
“It didn’t know the play was coming to me prior to the snap, but once the play started to unfold I knew it was coming my way,” Williams stated. “I just put my hand up and pulled it in, it was a great feeling.”
Besides Bowman’s other two touchdowns, Milford also received their sixth rushing touchdown from junior Mardis Powell. His 21 yard trip going around Milford’s right side closed out the first half scoring, as Milford entered the locker room up 42-0. The Bucs closed out the scoring on the opening play of the first half, as freshman Marquis Gillis returned the kick-off 72 yards. When Milford junior Jonathan Gaglione kicked his seventh consecutive extra point of the evening, the final score of 49-0 had been realized. From there, it was just a matter of watching the clock wind down.
Perhaps the only bit of drama occurred late in the fourth quarter, as Seaford recovered a fumble in Buccaneers territory and drove to the Milford seven yard line. It was at this time, a few of the starters returned to the game. “Getting a shutout is always something you want, it’s something our defense takes pride in,” Bowman stated.
The win improved Milford’s record to 2-2, 1-0 in the Henlopen South. One of the elements of play that has improved was the general flow of the offense as a unit. All evening long, Milford looked efficient and focused when they had the ball. One player showing significant improvement was junior quarterback Tayone’ Matthews. As the Bucs’ signal caller has gotten more varsity reps, his play and comfort level has continued to improve.
“It’s about practicing and working together as a unit, and we are not afraid to work and the job done,” said Williams. “Every week we try and get better, that is always the goal.”
The level of competition will be picking up over the next few weeks, as the Bucs travel to Laurel this Friday for a 7pm start. The 2-2 Bulldogs played tough against Milford last season and are considered by many to be a team on the rise. “We know Laurel is going to be tough, they were ready for us last year and they are going to be ready for us this year,” Head Coach Strickland stated.
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