By Kevin Eickman
Over the first two games of the season the Milford Buccaneers have made some mistakes. Their talent in the backfield and strength on the offensive line were enough to overcome them and stake Milford into a 2-0 start. This past Friday night at Briggs stadium those strengths were not be enough to overcome the determined Cape Henlopen team.
The Milford miscues came mostly in the form of penalties, but there were enough mistakes in execution to ensure that the Bucs did not come away with a victory. The mistakes started early. After Milford recovered a fumbled punt at mid-field, they demonstrated their generosity to the visitors by turning the ball right back over just two plays later.
“We were sloppy with the ball tonight and we paid a big price for it,” Coach Shaun Strickland stated.
Cape wasted little time taking advantage of the Milford miscues. After advancing to the Bucs 30 yard line, the Vikings struck with a 30 yard touchdown pass to a wide open Davonte Johnson with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter for the game’s first points. With the extra point conversion, Milford was in a 7-0 hole. This was the first time on the season the Bucs found themselves trailing in a game.
“Giving up a touchdown like that really hurt us. When you have a missed assignment like that you simply have to learn from it and move on,” said Strickland.
Milford tried to respond primarily via the ground game as they took the ensuing kick-off and proceeded into Cape territory. Forced to punt, Milford pinned the Vikings at their own two-yard line. This did little to deter Cape, however, as they proceeded a 98 yard march down the field, exploiting the Milford defense and sending a message to their hosts. Aided by a few Milford penalties, Cape’s quarterback Henry D’Ambrogi took it in from the one-yard line doubling their advantage to 14-0 with 8:31 remaining in the first half.
The Bucs did little to respond on their next drive as multiple offensive penalties, as well as some miscues, undermined the Milford effort. Cape took advantage of great field position and wasted little time finding the scoreboard again as running back Jaden Davis ran outside of the Buccaneers defense and raced 56 yards untouched with 4:43 left in the half. Milford found themselves on the wrong side of a 21-0 score.
Milford finally answered with time winding down in the half as junior Marquis Gillis capped off a 70-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run. Following the failed two-point attempt by the Buccaneers, the deficit stood at 21-6 with 2:59 remaining in the half. It was the score the teams took into the locker room.
Cape began the second half with the ball and proceeded to churn up yards, primarily through the ground game as D’Ambrogi capped the opening drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for Cape’s final score of the evening. It established a 28-6 advantage with 7:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Milford made one final attempt to get back in the game as junior Aaron Sivels scored from six yards out, with Milford halving the deficit to 28-14 with 11:01 left in the game. They converted the two point conversion.
The Buccaneers collected the onside kick-off following the score and worked the ball deep into Cape territory. The drive stalled however, thanks once again to a key penalty on Milford. It would be the final time the Bucs came close to scoring as Cape used up most of the clock following the Milford drive.
The loss dropped Milford’s record to 2-1 (0-1) and things will not get easier for the Bucs as they travel to Sussex Tech this Friday to face a solid Ravens team.
“We have a lot to clean up. We need to eliminate the mistakes and get ourselves together,” Strickland said. “It’s about hard work on the part of our guys, it’s up to all of us to get better.”
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