The 10-game football regular season may not sound like a lot of games. The fact is, it’s a long and grueling season.
A good team must navigate their way through the season, proving themselves as the number of games dwindles and the importance of each matchup increases. Now halfway through the football season, it’s the time when the truly great teams shine while other teams burn out.
For the Milford Buccaneers, early success had them on the state’s radar, perhaps seen as a surprise contender in Division II Football. However, since starting the season 6-0, joining only Woodbridge and Glasgow in DII, they’ve proven themselves as a legit contender and no longer a team that’s going to surprise anyone.
Last week, the Buccaneers continued their impressive winning streak, dispatching Indian River 52-15.
After giving up a kick-return touchdown to IR’s Jacob Anderson to fall behind 7-0 on Friday night, the Bucs responded with 24 unanswered points jumping on the Indians early en route to a 37-point victory.
Will Kimmel had another standout night under center, finishing the night with three total touchdowns, one on the ground and two in the air to Marcus Correa and Brion Murray.
Also, Dominyc Hovington filled in nicely with an increased workload on offense to go along with his usual standout play on the defensive side of the ball. The senior full-back found the endzone three times against IR, filling in at starter for the injured running back David Bowman last week.
“Hovington’s performance has stood out this entire season, he’s been one of the best outside linebackers on the field without a doubt,” said Milford Head Coach Shaun Strickland. “On top of that, his role in our offense has been significant even before he became the workhorse. His ability to block on the outside and inside is tremendous and has opened lanes for DJ. Now, everyone sees what he can do as a true runner, he’s a big, fast, physical kid and it showed this past Friday.”
Despite their 6-0 mark, nothing is assured yet for the Bucs. With four games remaining, all against the Henlopen South, the standings could change drastically over the next four weeks.
Still to go for the Bucs are dates against Laurel, Woodbridge, Delmar and Lake Forest.
On Friday night, Milford will host the Laurel Bulldogs who come into the week with a .500 record.
While not ideal, a 3-3 record through six games hasn’t ended the Bulldogs playoff hopes especially with matchups against Milford, Woodbridge and Delaware Military still upcoming.
However, with their three losses all coming against the Henlopen Conference, two within the division, Laurel knows they can ill-afford falling to Milford this week.
Since getting trounced by Sussex Central 35-0 to open the season, Laurel has been in each and every game they’ve played since, including their two other losses.
The Bulldogs rebounded after the loss to the Golden Knights with a hard-nosed nine-point victory over St. Elizabeth followed by a 59-35 drubbing of Henlopen North team Sussex Tech. While they dropped their next two to Delmar and Indian River, they lost both games by a combined four points.
Fresh off a 21-12 victory over a desperate Lake Forest team last week and you can bet Laurel will take the field Friday night ready to give their best.
“Laurel is dangerous, they have good size and talented athletes,” Strickland said. “We need to bring our A-game if we want to walk out on top, they made a statement a few weeks ago by taking it to Sussex Tech. We simply must continue to do what we’ve been doing on both sides of the ball, limit our mistakes and be mentally prepared to battle.”