Unbeaten Woodbridge hands Milford first loss

By Ben Heck

Delaware State News

Photos Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

BRIDGEVILLE — Heading into Friday night’s matchup with the unbeaten Woodbridge Blue Raiders, head coach Shaun Strickland’s Milford Buccaneers had not only been undefeated, but they had been dismantling opposing defenses.

In six of the team’s seven wins this year, not counting a Week 3 victory that came on a St. Andrew’s forfeit, Milford’s offense had averaged 46.3 points per game. Against the Blue Raiders’ stingy defense Friday evening, however, Milford’s varsity football squad managed just eight points as Woodbridge won 39-8.

“We just missed plays,” Coach Strickland said afterwards. “We had shots. Even in the first half. Our quarterback wasn’t in sync with his receivers for the first time all year.”

With star running back David Bowman still sidelined due to injury, Milford aired it out quite often with quarterback William Kimmel. That included a 70-yard touchdown toss from Kimmel to receiver Brion Murray a couple of plays into the second half, the lone score for the Bucs.

“As far as airing it out, we started seeing how they were defending the pass and we thought it was something we could take advantage of. Our issue was more so protecting Kimmel and keeping him up right so we could get the plays off,” Strickland said of his team’s pass-heavy offensive attack Friday night.

Woodbridge, vying for a state championship this season, got off to a quick start in this one as they managed to do exactly what they’ve done well all season — break off huge chunks of yardage with the ground game. On the opening possession of the game, running back Jamon Kane scampered for a 65-yard touchdown.

In the second quarter, Woodbridge’s scoring continued as Kane ran another touchdown in from five yards out. One possession later, quarterback Troy Haynes hit Richard Massey for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Antwain Holden’s 75-yard punt return touchdown made it a 27-0 lead.

Woodbridge went into the half holding a 33-0 lead, and even Murray’s 70-yard touchdown early in the second quarter wasn’t enough momentum to change things.

Despite a 39-8 loss, Milford’s Murray turned in a solid night, picking off two of Haynes’ passes and scoring the lone Milford touchdown.

Friday marked the first game Woodbridge turned the ball over all season, as the offense hit a few bumps in the second half of Friday’s 31-point victory.

“It was a good first half. Pretty much flawless in the first half,” said head coach Ed Manlove. “But we lost a little bit of focus in the second half. But we got back into it and we made plays and moved the ball in the second half some. I’m proud of our effort. They prepared well, and we did what we had to do.”

With eight points surrendered, Woodbridge’s tough defense has now given up 27 points on the year, which is just over three points per game. The team has put up five shutouts in eight of those victories.

With two games to play in the regular season, Coach Manlove expects his guys to prepare the same way they’ve prepared all season and just take it one game at a time. His Blue Raiders will face off with Laurel Nov. 5 before playing host to Delmar Nov. 11 to close out the regular season.

Strickland’s Buccaneers will finish the season by hosting Delmar Nov. 4 and traveling to Lake Forest for a Nov. 11 match-up. He’s hoping his squad can get back to the way they’ve played all year as they prepare for a 6-2 Delmar Wildcats squad.

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