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Milford Beacon
  • Milford lets halftime lead slip in homecoming loss to Dover

  • Milford led Dover by a field goal at halftime, but the Senators roared back with five second-half touchdowns Friday night to spoil the Bucs homecoming celebration with a 42-10 victory.
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  • Milford led Dover by a field goal at halftime, but the Senators roared back with five second-half touchdowns Friday night to spoil the Bucs homecoming celebration with a 42-10 victory.
    "Where we were making some plays there in the first half, [in the second half] we weren't moving the ball and we were putting the defense in a short field," Milford head coach Mike Tkach said after the game. "A team that has that much talent and explosiveness, and a short field, more times than not, they're going to come away with points."
    Penalties and turnovers hurt the Bucs throughout the game, starting with two lost fumbles in the first half and a third in the second half.
    After Milford freshman linebacker Isaiah Tunnell blocked a punt in the first quarter, the Bucs took over on the Senators' 31-yard line but immediately turned the ball over on the ensuing play.
    Dover's offense failed to convert on a fourth-and-13, set up by back-to-back offensive holding calls, allowing Milford to take over on downs on the 20-yard-line.
    After driving 23 yards, Milford's offense again coughed up the ball, resulting in Dover scoring the first touchdown of the game two plays later on a 5-yard run by junior running back Deon Wright.
    Milford managed to answer back on the ensuing possession, going 27 yards on nine consecutive run plays followed by a 36-yard strike from senior quarterback Nicholas Jefferson to senior Vance Daniels that tied the game with 5:15 left in the half.
    The Bucs defense kept the Senators on their heels by forcing Dover quarterback Ian Gory to fumble the ball on the next play, setting up a Milford field goal from the 26-yard line that left the score 10-7 with 3:16 to go in the second quarter.
    Dover threatened to score on their ensuing possession, driving the ball 55 yards to the Milford's 12-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs following back-to-back false starts and an incompletion in the end zone.
    With 24 seconds left on the clock, Milford took a knee, and the lead, to end the half.
    The Bucs were unable to feed off that energy after the break, however, earning just two first downs while racking up three three-and-outs.
    Dover scored on five of their six second-half possessions, including a passing touchdown with 10:15 left in third quarter and a 35-yard run into the end zone that put Dover up 21-10 with 3:59 left in the third.
    Dover scored twice more in the fourth quarter, first on 16-yard pass and then on a 24-yard run, before Milford's third fumble of the game gave the Senators the ball on the 34-yard line.
    Four plays later, Dover ran the ball in from the 16 for the final touchdown of the game.
    Page 2 of 2 - Despite the loss, Tkach said his young, injury depleted team has plenty of positives to take away from their first half of play.
    "We played with one of the best teams in the state," he said of the 3-4 Senators, who finished second in the Henlopen North Division last year. "Unfortunately, we've got some injuries and they have so much talent and athleticism and speed over there, they just got the better of us in the second half."
    The Bucs (3-4) next take on the Ceasar Rodney Riders (5-2) at home on Oct. 26.

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