Bucs dominate IR on homecoming: Mifflin leads with 2 TDs in 48-6 win

Tyron Mifflin of Milford catches a pass on a slant route and zigzags through the Indian River defense 88 yards for a touchdown to put the Bucs on the scoreboard 6-0 in the second quarter. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

MILFORD — On the same night he was crowned homecoming king, Milford High senior Tyron Mifflin caught an 88-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 22-yard interception return as the Bucs defeated Indian River High, 48-6.

“The intensity was up,” Mifflin said. “We all just wanted to win, we were ready.”

The Bucs (5-3) have won five of their last six games, outscoring opponents 212-54 over that six-game span.

Sophomore Marquis Gillis, senior Rahshawn Price (two), senior Dion Warner and junior Rodney Robinson each found the end zone on the ground in the 42-point romp.

The Bucs had to overcome the soggy weather and a slow start from the offense on their homecoming night.

Indian River’s Reshawn Turner is stopped by a pair of Buc defenders after a short gain in the second quarter.

A 56-yard touchdown connection from freshman quarterback Shawn Saxon to junior Gaij Copes on the team’s first play from scrimmage was called back due to a Milford penalty, leading to a punt just four plays later.

The team’s second drive sputtered as well, eventually leading to a missed 41-yard field goal attempt.

Indian River junior Nicholas Angelo picked off a pass in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter to abruptly end Milford’s third drive of the game without putting up any points on the scoreboard.

“We didn’t do what we needed to do, we didn’t come out like we needed to come out,” said Milford coach Shaun Strickland. “We can blame the weather, we can blame moving the game up an hour — maybe our guys didn’t have enough time to get ready — but you still can’t have those kind of starts, especially with the week we have coming up.”

Ta’Jon Knight cuts back to the left trying to get by a pair of Milford defenders in the first quarter.

Mifflin finally gave the Milford offense the spark it needed halfway through the second quarter.

After catching a pass over the middle from Saxon on a quick slant, Mifflin dashed up field for an 88-yard touchdown at the 6:56 mark of the quarter. The touchdown and extra point broke the scoreless game.

“Before all that, I was telling my coach that he [the defender] was playing too far off me and to let me get a slant and pass it to me. I just felt like I could do that for my team and get us started,” he explained.

“When I caught it, I made one cut when a man was coming inside and that was it. I was on the outside and I just ran it up.”

Milford’s defense forced consecutive IR punts and turned the ball back over to the offense at their own 25-yard line with just 27 ticks remaining in the half.

Nicholas Angelo of Indian River hangs on to drag down Milford’s Jabriah Luke after a big gain in the first quarter.

Thirteen seconds later, Gillis took the ball 75 yards down the sideline for a Milford touchdown. Senior Jonathan Gaglione’s extra point gave the Bucs the 14-0 lead and the momentum at halftime.

Within the first 1:43 of the second half, Milford took advantage of the momentum and put up two more quick touchdowns.

Following an unsuccessful onside kick attempt to open the third quarter, Bucs senior running back Rahshawn Price ran the ball in from 36 yards out.

On the ensuing Indian River drive, Mifflin picked off a Tyler Bowen pass attempt and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown at the 10:17 mark to jump ahead 28-0.

“They did the same play against me right before the half was over, so I already knew exactly what they were going to do,” he explained. “And I knew he was going to overthrow him because he did that all night.”

Two IR possessions later, Mifflin earned his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the night and was ejected from the ballgame at around the 3:05 mark of the third quarter.

On the first play following the ejection, the Indians’ Ta’Jon Knight punched the ball in from one yard out to break up the shutout bid.

Price answered with his second touchdown run of the night on the first play of Milford’s ensuing drive, making it a 35-6 game with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

Defensively, Milford forced five punts, two fumbles and picked off a pass on 12 Indian River drives.

“We did pretty good defensively,” said junior defensive end Bevensky Augustin, who recovered one of IR’s fumbles. “We needed a win, so we went out there and we got it.”

The ground game closed out the win for Milford, with a pair of fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns from Dion Warner and Rodney Robinson.

Warner’s 15-yard touchdown with just over nine minutes remaining made it a 41-6 game and set up the running clock while Robinson’s four-yard run at the 2:51 mark capped the scoring.

“Any one of those guys, when you get the ball to him he’s a threat every time,” Strickland said of the backfield.

“It’s nice with a young quarterback to be able to ground and pound and then as they start to tighten the box, Saxon can hit the slants and hit the outs. He can throw those routes to the open receivers and it [rushing attack] makes him more effective and that much more dangerous.”

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