Late TD pushes Wilmington Friends past Milford

 

Milford quarterback Will Kimmel hands off to  runningback David Bowman while being pelted by a sudden blast of sleet, hail and high winds in the first half of game with Friends.  ( Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Milford quarterback Will Kimmel hands off to runningback David Bowman while being pelted by a sudden blast of sleet, hail and high winds in the first half of game with Friends. ( Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

MILFORD – While cold and windy conditions, mixed in with heavy sleet, chased away a large portion of fans, it didn’t come between Wilmington Friends and a second-round berth.

Wilmington Friends, despite trailing for much of the game, pulled away with an 8-7 upset victory over the No. 4 seeded Milford Buccaneers Saturday night.

“The conditions obviously effected both teams,” Wilmington Friends’ head coach Bob Tattersall said. “So we really had to play with that and not get too careless with the ball.”

The favored Buccaneers struck first, with star junior running back David Bowman breaking free for a 98-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. The extra point put Milford ahead 7-0.

Friends’ first four offensive possessions ended with a turnover on downs, two punts and an interception to Milford defensive back Brion Murray.

The Quakers got on the board with 6:05 left in the opening half, picking up two points on a safety after the snap went over the head of the Buccaneers’ punter and out of the back of the end zone.

With a 7-2 halftime score and the sleet starting to pick up, both teams knew it would take just one big play to win the game in the second half.

“We said if we can just shut them out, and just get one touchdown, we can win. And that’s what happened. But it wasn’t that easy.”

Tattersall’s squad managed to be the team to get the big play on offense.

Milford received the second half kick-off and, using a heavy dosage of Bowman in the ground game, ate up half of the third quarter with one drive. But the drive stalled without putting any more points on the board.

The third quarter ended scoreless, with a potential Quakers’ touchdown being negated by a holding call. A few plays later the Quakers put the ball back in the end zone with the big play Tattersall was waiting for from his squad.

Quarterback Justin Beneck hit senior running back Devonte Church on a 67-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but with 10:51 to play the Quakers were clinging to a one-score game.

Milford’s offense was unable to get anything going late in the game, and Wilmington Friends’ defense sealed the victory with a fumble recovery with under two minutes to play.

“The trouble with the playoffs, is you have tears in one locker room and cheers in the other,” Tattersall said following his team’s victory.

Wilmington Friends will go on to play at St. Georges next weekend.

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