First Deficit of 2002
Photo: Delmar quarterback John Ellis sprints out on pass play (top), Milford quarterback Jon Stratton follows the lead of running back R.J. Chandler (middle), and Delmar running back Maurice Stewart fights for yardage.
Publisher, Sussex County Online
MILFORD -- For 29 straight games now, no team, no player, no coach, not even Mother Nature, have figured out how to beat the Delmar High School football team.
On Saturday night, Oct. 12, 2002, Milford and a wind-blown drizzle tried to hand the two-time defending Division II state champions their first loss in three years.
But in a battle of unbeaten teams, the Wildcats shook off six fumbles -- including four lost -- on a slippery field for a 28-7 Henlopen Conference Southern Division victory.
Now 2-0 in the South and 6-0 overall, Delmar seems destined for a third straight division championship.
Milford, despite falling to 1-1 in the division and 4-1 overall, showed that it can challenge for a Division II state tournament berth as it became the first team this season to hold a lead over the Wildcats despite the absence of injured fullback and noseguard Prince Kemmerlin.
That lead, at 7-0 on a 6-yard run by halfback R.J. Chandler with 5:37 left in the first quarter, would be the Bucs' final score, though, as they killed promising drives with penalties -- they committed 9 for 72 yards in the first half -- and fumbles of their own.
In fact, the Bucs may have added to their lead in the first half if they had been able to take advantage of Wildcat mistakes.
After Delmar had driven deep into Milford territory, the Bucs' Brandon Baynard recovered a Wildcat fumble inside the Milford 5-yard-line.
But with the rain wreaking havoc, Milford quarterback Jon Stratton, working out of the shotgun, lost the handle on the ensuing snap and Delmar's Gabe Ellis fell on the ball in the end zone to tie the score 7-7 with 41 seconds left in the period.
The Bucs had another golden opportunity in the second quarter when linebacker Ryan McNulty scooped up another Delmar fumble and returned it to the Delmar 15.
But the Bucs fumbled the ball back and Delmar responded with a nice drive capped by a 7-yard touchdown run by Vince Stewart.
That put Delmar up 14-7 going into the locker room and the Bucs never recovered, as the Wildcats went ahead 21-7 with 8:51 left in the third quarter on a 4-yard run by quarterback John Ellis and closed out the scoring on a 4-yard run by running back Maurice Stewart with 5:22 left in the game.
5:37 -- MILFORD (7-0 Milford)
:41 -- DELMAR (7-7)
1:17 -- DELMAR (14-7 Delmar)
8:51 -- DELMAR (21-7 Delmar)
5:22 -- DELMAR (28-7 Delmar)
Total Offense -- Delmar 330, Milford 148.
First Downs -- Delmar 16, Milford 15.
Rushing -- Delmar 44-275, Milford 120.
Passing -- Delmar 4-8-0, 45; Milford 4-8-0, 28.
Fumbles/Lost -- Delmar 6/4; Milford 7-3.
Penalties/Yards -- Delmar 9-66; Milford 11-105.
Delmar -- Chip Cuffee 86, Vince Stewart 73, Scott Price 51, Tyler Downes 59, Freddie Baker 6, Preston Lindsey 9, John Ellis -8, Jason Glasgow -1.
Milford -- R.J. Chandler 111, Devon Hughes 8, Karel DeVore 2, Akeem Bunch -14, Donte Tilghman 17, Jon Stratton 6, Rashad Waples -10.
Delmar -- John Ellis 4-8-0, 45.
Milford -- Jon Stratton 4-8-0, 28.
Delmar -- Demeris Cannon 2-20, Maurice Stewart 1-15, Michael Hunt 1-10.
Milford -- Karel DeVore 1-14, Donte Tilghman 1-8, Will McColley 1-5, Ben Tilghman 1-1.
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