Bucs romp 67-0 in Strickland’s first game as coach

MILFORD — For new Milford coach Shaun Strickland it was simply his first win with the Buccaneers.

But for several Bucs players, Friday night’s 67-0 victory over Red Lion was a long time in coming.

After finishing each of the last two seasons with just one victory, Milford has already reached that win total with the season-opening rout.

“It feels great, I’ve never won by such a big margin in my life,” said Bucs senior Son Martinez, who ended three consecutive Red Lion series with interceptions in the opening quarter. “(Two) years of 1-9, it feels great to come out of the first game with a win.”

The Buccaneers erased any doubt of a victory quickly, as they scored 27 points in the opening quarter and matched that total in the second.

Senior Kenny VanVorst recovered a Lions fumble on their opening drive at the Red Lion 27-yard line. Two plays later sophomore David Bowman scored Milford’s first touchdown of the season on a seven-yard scamper.

Following three-and-outs by both teams, Milford extended its lead to 13-0 midway through the first quarter after blocking a Red Lion punt out of its own end zone and having the ball bounce right into VanVorst’s arms for the touchdown.

From there it was the Martinez show.

With the Lions making what would be their only trip inside the Milford 40-yard line, Martinez intercepted a pass and took it 67 yards back to the Bucs’ 19. Moments later, freshman Rahshawn Price scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns, this one from eight yards out.

Trailing 20-0, Red Lion again fell victim to a Martinez pick, this one on its very first play from scrimmage after the Price’s run. Milford, though, made some mistakes and couldn’t do anything with the possession, eventually turning it over on downs.

Martinez’s third interception, however, quickly followed, and this one he took 31 yards to the house for a TD with a minute left in the first quarter.

“That’s the most interceptions I’ve had in my career and it was just one quarter,” Martinez said. “We jumped every ball he threw. I was kind of winded, but (scoring) felt great.”

The Buccaneers got another interception near the quarter’s end and opened the second on the Lions’ 14. Junior quarterback William Kimmel audibled at the line when play resumed and threw a quick pass to senior Shawn Snowden, who bulldozed his way across the goal line to help put Milford up 34-0.

Touchdown runs by junior Dominyc Hovington, Price and Kaje Reynolds lifted Milford to a 54-0 lead by halftime.

“They’ve been waiting all week, chomping at the bits, so I knew they were going to come out fired up,” said Strickland, who will look for career win No. 2 next Saturday when Milford travels to Baynard Stadium to play Delaware Military Academy. “Red Lion’s rebuilding but they have some tough kids, so I’m very happy.

“We tell these kids each week you can’t take any team for granted,” he added. “Short memory. Monday it’s back to work for our next opponent.”

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