By Kevin Eickman
Traveling up to play Class 3 William Penn was always going to be a challenge, going against a school that has an enrollment of 2,600 always is. To be able to compete against a team of that size and skill, the Buccaneers needed to be perfect and needed the breaks to go their way. This past Saturday, Milford had neither as it fell to the Colonials 41-7 on a bright and sunny afternoon in New Castle County. From the onset, Penn challenged the new-look Milford offense to move the ball against them, choosing to kick off to the Buccaneers to start the game. And while Milford was able to move the ball at times, every time it had an opportunity to score, someone or something got in its way.
It started on the game’s opening drive when an apparent fourth and short conversion near midfield was called back because of a seldom called “pushing the runner” penalty. At other times, it would be a false start penalty on third and short which short-circuited a drive deep in Colonials’ territory.
On the other hand, Penn seemed to always come up with the big play just when it needed it. The majority of those plays would come through the air, with freshman quarterback Josiah Everett putting Delaware on notice that there may be a rising star in the making. When the dust had settled, Everett had tossed four touchdown passes of 25, 46, 59 and 75 yards. “You really have to tip your cap to No. 4 [Everett], he made some huge plays today (Saturday). While we had some coverage issues, he has the makings of something special,” Milford coach Jed Bell stated.
While it was a loss, there is certainly an asterisk you could place next to it, Milford never quit. Even when Penn had extended its lead to start a running clock at 41-0, the Buccaneers kept fighting. The Buccaneers would finally cash it in late in the fourth quarter on a one-yard dive from senior Richard Shorts, who had a solid game on both sides of the ball.
As Bell addressed his team following the game, he pointed out that nobody likes losing. “We didn’t come up here to lose, but we did. There was a lot of good that we did today, and we will build off of that, we will also fix the mistakes today as well. Let’s not forget, this is about raising our standard today, and even in a loss we did that. Each and every one of you could have just tossed in the towel today but you didn’t, you kept on battling, that is the culture we are building here.”
Milford, with a 1-1 record will use this game as a dress rehearsal for this Saturday as it travels back up to New Castle County to battle an 0-2 Delcastle squad for another noon kickoff this upcoming Saturday. “Traveling up north for noon starts are difficult, but like I told the team, it was easy then everyone would be able to do it. We aren’t looking for easy, we are looking to improve, every snap, every practice, and every game.”
While the Buccaneers are a work in progress, how they respond after a tough loss like this will say a great deal about them. The hope is that they will come back and play to the form they demonstrated in their 42-0 season opening victory. How they respond is entirely up to them.
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