By Kevin Eickman
“It was phenomenal.” That was the response provided by Dr. David Carter when he was asked about the Milford support at Delaware State University on the evening of November 28th 2008. That was the evening that Milford earned their first and only State football championship, defeating Laurel 20-0 to garner the D-II title. The stands on the Milford side was overflowing with supporters who were in full throttle the whole evening .
“It seemed like the whole town showed up to support us.” captain and 2008 Delaware defensive player of the year said. “It didn’t stop, the whole game they were lifting us up, it was fantastic.”
While the title game may have been the crowning moment for that special squad, the path and the journey are what made the team so special. Many of the players had been together since Pop Warner. Most had been together since middle school. This was not just a senior laden team, this was a family that put in the work. “I had coached most of these players since middle school. They were always willing to put in the work, put in the time,” Dr. Carter stated. “It wasn’t just about the work though, it was about the fun. We weren’t just a team we were a family.
The 2008 Milford squad was not without their challenges however. While they would end up with a 10-2 record including the playoffs, it was that second loss that could have undone everything. Heading down to Delmar for the season’s eighth game, it was all there for the taking. The Henlopen South title and the automatic playoff birth that went with it would be theirs with a victory over the Wildcats. The Buccaneers never had a chance, Delmar waxed Milford 37-15.
“That game hurt, there is no denying that we really wanted it. Honestly though, it may have been a blessing in disguise,” said Dr. Carter. “We all took a deep down inside ourselves and knew that we wouldn’t let anything like that happen again. We knew that in order for us to win we would have to bring it every night.”
Milford earned the Henlopen South title the final week of the regular season and also earned a first round bye. It was a week that the Buccaneers used to get healthy and ready themselves for one last push to get to the title game.
Milford hosted Wilmington Friends in a semi-final game that is firmly etched in Milford history. In what had been an unusually warm November day, the forecast indicated that there would be a cold front moving through the area right around game time. What the forecast didn’t say, was that there was going to be a blast of snow with it. After warm ups and with the teams in the locker rooms the cold front moved through and it did so with style. Sitting in the southern stands, the Milford faithful could see a wall of white headed in their direction and moving across the field. At that moment, what had been a tepid crowd became loud and raucous. When the Buccaneers exited the locker room to start the game they were thrilled to see the field covered in a blanket of white.
“You always dream about playing in a big game and then just having the snow on the field gave it an even more special feeling,” Drummond stated. It was a game that Milford dominated, wining 45-14 and setting up the title tilt with Laurel.
Milford won the game 20-0 nothing, with defense playing it’s best game of the season. The player leading the charge on defense that night would be Drummond. “Laurel had a huge running back but Chris was all over him that night. I think he had like 12-15 tackles.” Dr. Carter said. “It was the best game I ever saw him play.”
With the title secured, it wasn’t until the team got home until they realized how much what they had done meant. “When we got to town, all the billboards were changed congratulating us. Everyone you met was congratulating and thanking you,”said defensive captain Jason Kollock. “It was then that it really hit me. It wasn’t about me or the players or the coaches, this was about Milford. The whole community was invested in us and it was amazing.”
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