By Kevin Eickman
It was evident on the very first play from scrimmage in Frankford this past Friday that the Milford Buccaneers came ready to play. Coming off an emotional overtime victory the previous week against Cape, it would not have been a surprise to see Milford come out a bit slow. That was not the case however as the Milford offensive line opened a gaping hole for senior David Bowman, who went right up the middle of the field untouched for a 63 yard touchdown. It was the first of five touchdowns on the evening for Bowman, who continues to impress.
“We really had a good week of practice and came out ready to go tonight,” Bowman stated. “When the line is opening up holes like that, it’s just about exploding through them and getting all the yards you can.”
Milford never let their foot off the gas during the game, moving the ball at will against an over matched Indian River squad. Following a three and out, which saw IR go backwards, Milford took over in Indian’s territory and once again wasted little time scoring. On his second run of the game, Bowman scored his second touchdown and Milford had a 14-0 lead as Gaglione connected on his second of seven extra points on the evening. Gaglione also connected on a 27 yard field goal in the second half as well.
Things went from bad to worse for Indian River as they turned the ball over on their next possession on their own 43 yard line. While it took more than a single play for Milford to find the end zone again, Bowman found pay dirt from 15 yards out with 4:10 still remaining in the first quarter, extending the lead to 21-0. Bowman recorded his fourth touchdown of the quarter, with 1:17 left to go as Milford led 28-0.
On the ensuing possession, Indian River had their best drive of the game. Taking over at their own 37 yard line, the Indian’s drove down to the Milford five yard line, threatening to get back in the contest. Luck was not on the host’s side however as they fumbled the ball on the Milford one, a fumble which the Buccaneers eagerly pounced on.
Taking over in the shadow of their own end zone, Milford once again turned to the running game to help deliver them. Running junior Rahshawn Price was on a sweep to their right as the Milford line set the edge. As Price turned the corner, he hit the jets and was off to the races, being tackled just as he crossed the goal line for a 99 yard touchdown to end any doubt as to who would be the winner on the evening.
Speaking with junior lineman Ritchy Corvil, he knew that Milford has more than one talented person to hand the ball to. “We know that if we do our job, the running backs will do their job,” Corvil said. “That’s why we never give up on a play, because we know one play can make all the difference in a game.”
The victory sets up a huge match at Delmar this Friday, as the Buccaneers 6-2 (4-0) will travel south to face the 7-1 (4-0) Wildcat’s. A victory for Milford will earn them the Henlopen South Title and the tournament birth that goes with it. Milford will need to come out with the same sense of urgency they demonstrated at IR, if they hope to compete against Delmar.
“We have to come out ready to play. That is a real good team down there and that stadium can get real loud, real fast,” Head Coach Shuan Strickland stated. “It is about being prepared and getting the job done. We know that they are going to be bringing it.”
The five Bowman touchdowns extended his all-time Milford record to 61 for his career. Along for the ride is senior center Thomas Eisenberry who started as a freshman four seasons ago with Bowman. That 2014 squad finished with a 1-9 record, a long way from where they are today.
“This has to be the tenth year that DJ [Bowman] and I have been playing together. We started on Pop Warner and have been starting since we got to high school,” Eisenberry said. “That first year was real rough, but we have gotten better every season. We can’t let up now though, we have to have a good week of practice and come out ready to play against Delmar, they are real good.”
The kick off for this Friday night’s game is 7:30 at Delmar.
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