Despite having a young team, the Milford High School football squad came into the 2012 campaign ready for redemption and with something to prove after a 2011 that saw it win just one game.
There was a lot of preseason talk about how things would be different and even though the Buccaneers would be relying on a number of underclassmen in big roles, and to their credit they backed it up coming out of the gate 2-0 with a pair of impressive wins.
That progress was halted this past weekend, however, as Milford (2-1, 0-1) opened its Henlopen Conference North schedule with what head coach Mike Tkach called an “embarrassing” loss to Sussex Tech (2-1, 1-0), 51-21, Friday night in Georgetown.
The Bucs allowed 23 unanswered points in the first half of the contest in the form of a safety and three rushing touchdowns.
A stronger offensive performance in the final 24 minutes included rushing touchdowns from junior running back Geophte Augustin and senior quarterback Nick Jefferson, as well as a 48-yard passing score from Jefferson to junior wide receiver Octavian Wilson.
But an inability to contain big plays from Tech left Milford lacking momentum throughout the game and kept it from ever truly threatening the final outcome of the game.
“It was a good, old fashioned butt kicking,” Tkach said. “It was one of those games where we came out in a funk, we played like crap and we got it handed to us. The second half we moved the ball a little bit better, we were productive offensively, but we couldn’t stop a fly the second half, defensively.”
The Bucs are starting six sophomores on the defensive side of the ball this season, which puts more than half their defense in the category of being inexperienced.
Nevertheless, Tkach said youth is no excuse for the final outcome of the game. Instead, it’s a learning experience and just another step in the development of those young players.
“When we play sloppy and we play poor, you can see the inexperience of a 10th grader come out like it did a bunch of times tonight,” he said.
This week, Tkach said Milford will be going back to fundamentals, especially in tackling, and guaranteed the team will have a great practice in preparation for Sussex Central High School (2-1, 0-0) this Friday night.
He said he fully expects a return to the little things that made the Buccaneers successful through the first two weeks of the season, and will be ready to being making a dent in the Henlopen North standings.
“We’re going to be tackling until the cows come home, because that was horrendous,” Tkach said. “The first two games of the season, we were flying around, hitting people and wrapping people up, three or four guys to the ball. Then all of a sudden, tonight, we think we’re going to bring people down with one arm or a grab of the jersey? That isn’t going to happen, especially in the Henlopen North.
“So we’re going to rebound, we’re going to pick our kids up, we’re going to coach our butts off, and we’re going to be ready for Sussex Central when they come to Milford next week.”