Unbeaten Milford dominates Indian River 52-15 on Homecoming

By Ben Heck

Delaware State News

MILFORD — Friday night’s 52-15 victory over Indian River served as a statement win for head coach Shaun Strickland’s undefeated Milford Buccaneers.

With star junior running back David Bowman sidelined due to injury, two-way star fullback and linebacker Dominyc Hovington stepped in and put up three rushing touchdowns, with senior starting quarterback William Kimmel adding a rushing touchdown and a pair of touchdown tosses to receivers Marcus Correa and Brion Murray.

Despite suddenly learning that he’ll be starting in place for Bowman, Hovington didn’t prepare any differently for his heavier offensive workload carrying the football.

“It was mainly a mentality type of thing,” Hovington said. “We had injuries to two players who were key players to both our offense and defense, so I was just going out there and trying to give it all for my team.”

Hovington’s three-touchdown performance helped balance the Buccaneers’ offense, and allowed Kimmel to see some opportunities down the field in the passing game.

“I thought it was great, our kids came out fired up,” said Strickland, whose Bucs improved to 6-0. “They were ready to play. I’m very proud of our guys.”

Indian River (2-4) got off to a quick start when returner Jacob Anderson took the opening kick-off for a game-opening touchdown. The extra point put IR ahead quickly, 7-0. But three first quarter touchdowns from Milford — two Hovington runs and a 1-yard QB sneak from Kimmel — put the Buccaneers ahead 24-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Holding onto a 30-9 halftime lead, Milford’s coaching staff showed no interest in releasing the gas pedal to its offensive attack.

To begin the third quarter, Kimmel led the offense down the length of the field and Hovington punched the ball in from two yards out on fourth and goal. The drive ate up over half the third quarter, but Indian River answered with a quick score of its own. A 60-yard touchdown scamper from Indians’ running back George Martin put IR in double digits, but it wasn’t enough.

Two of Milford’s next three offensive possessions ended with Kimmel touchdown passes to Correa from 40 yards and Murray from 68 yards out, respectively.

“At this point in the season, I still feel we have some doubters,” Strickland said, regarding his decision to continue to air the ball out with a late lead.

“This is one of those things where tonight we wanted to come out and show that if you’re going to load the box up on us, we’re not afraid to throw. And we’re going to play four quarters. Last year we backed out of some games at the end because we didn’t finish the game. And we wanted to finish it.”

Over the last two games, Milford’s offense has put up 104 points and in four of those six wins has scored 42 or more points.

But the defense has played great football as well, allowing a total of 36 points to opposing teams all season.

Against the Indians, the defense forced six punts, one turnover on downs and an interception touchdown return from defensive back Christopher Sampson in the second quarter.

Milford will host Laurel next Friday at 7:30 p.m. Indian River, whose two-game win streak was snapped, will host Woodbridge next week.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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