Bowman’s 4-touchdown first quarter puts Bucs back on track

MILFORD — Four first-quarter touchdown runs from senior running back David Bowman Friday night helped the Milford football team shut out Seaford 49-0.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Milford (2-2) following back-to-back losses to DMA and Polytech.

“Tonight, the emphasis was, whatever we do we’re doing it as a team, as a family, and let’s bring it back together and get back to playing our brand of football,” Milford head coach Shaun Strickland said.

“Coming off the two losses, we were really upset,” junior starting quarterback Tayone’ Matthews said. “We changed totally in practice, it picked up and since we’ve been picking it up in practice the results have shown on the field. I’m just proud of my team for coming together as a family.”

Milford’s defense forced turnovers on each of the first four Seaford possessions, including a fumble on the very first play from scrimmage.

The Bucs turned each of those turnovers into points, as Bowman ran for touchdowns on the first two Milford possessions.

A third consecutive Seaford fumble to begin the game set Milford junior running back Rahshawn Price up for a 17-yard touchdown run to put Milford ahead 21-0.

Two more turnovers and two more Bowman rushing touchdowns later and the first quarter ended with the Blue Jays in a 35-0 hole.

With 4:37 to play in the first half, junior running back Mardis Powell ran for a 21-yard touchdown to push Milford’s lead to 42-0.

Freshman receiver Marquis Gillis returned the opening kick-off of the second half all the way down the field for a touchdown. Placekicker Jonathan Gaglione drilled his seventh extra point try of the night to solidify the 49-0 score.

Bowman, despite sitting out nearly the entire second half, broke 100 yards on the ground and is nearing the 4,000-yard rushing total for his high school career.

“He’s over 4,000 yards from scrimmage, he’s about 100 rushing yards away now from 4,000 for his career,” said coach Strickland. “Yet at the same time he knows the individual doesn’t mean anything if the team’s not winning, so he knew it and he knew he had to come out and do what was right for the team. My hat’s off to him for always putting the team first.”

With the team’s first conference win under their belts, the schedule only gets tougher from here for Strickland’s Bucs squad.

With Laurel, Woodbridge and Cape Henlopen over the next three weeks, Milford has its work cut out for them. But coach Strickland believes his team is up for the challenge.

“We hung tough with DMA, we beat Tech, the little blip with Polytech, we didn’t want it easy,” Strickland said. “I think now after we learned our lesson last week these kids are ready and they know each week we have to come in, attack practice, work harder and harder every week so we can keep coming out and playing our best.”

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