By TJ Millman
Milford Football moved to 0-2 this past Saturday, after taking a tough 37-7 loss against Delaware Military Academy up at Wilmington’s Baynard Stadium. The Bucs have lost their first two games by a combined score of 67-20, but it is a start that Milford Head Coach Shaun Strickland has dealt with before.
“We do this every year with our schedule. We like to come out early and get battle tested. 0-2 hole, we started 1-2 last year and then end up going to the playoffs. These games against a team like DMA who wins their conference, and a Tech team that plays tough in the Henlopen North, standings points are still involved. We still have our future ahead of us…we just have to take control of it,” Strickland said.
Milford was beaten all around, but one of the biggest problems for the Bucs was field position. Milford elected not to kick to the dangerous Corahn Alleyne, and without moving the ball on offense, DMA started a majority of their possessions around midfield after the punts would sail out of bounds. Offensively, the Bucs started out the game with a string of three-and-outs, but Strickland thinks that this was more about execution than anything else.
“Offensively, we had a game plan. It was there for us. We have a lot of new faces up front who are picking things up, and we had times where we moved the ball. It’s more of the execution. We lined up and they gave us everything that we saw on film, we just didn’t execute,” Strickland said.
The good news for the Bucs is that they did not allow themselves to quit. Execution comes from reps, and there is still a lot of season left to play. Milford controlled the one thing that they can control, their own effort, and it showed in their only touchdown of the game. With 12 seconds left, Milford scooped a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. The touchdown didn’t mean much for the score, but it showed that the drive is still there.
“We’re not giving up. These guys want it, and you can see it. Clocks running at the end of the game there and Tayone (Matthews) is still out there running guys over. All of our guys, really. They just don’t quit,” Strickland said.
Matthews came in late to play quarterback in relief of freshman QB Shawn Saxon and had a few good rushes
to help the Bucs move the ball. Saxon, for his part, looked good in only his second high school game. He missed on a few balls, but for the most part he got the ball out quickly and to the open receiver. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on as this season, and his remaining years at Milford, progress.
For now, Milford has to pick themselves back up and get ready for a tough game at home against a 1-1 Poly Tech team. Milford lost to the Panthers 16-7 last season, and the Bucs will have a legitimate shot to get revenge this year. The game is set to kick-off at home at 7 PM on Friday, September 21.
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