Milford 28, Caravel 0
Photos: Milford fullback Prince Kemmerlin leads quarterback Jon Stratton (top), running back Karel Devore sheds a Caravel tackler on a 31-yard TD run (middle), and linebacker Ryan McNulty zeroes in on Caravel quarterback Will Rollins.
The Milford High School football team shrugged aside its shutout loss a week ago to control the ball in a nonconference win.
In recording their second shutout of the season, the Bucs scored 14 points in each of the second and fourth quarters, with fullback Prince Kemmerlin and running back Karel Devore doing the honors with two touchdowns apiece.
The 6-foot, 240-pound Kemmerlin, behind an offensive line that had to be revamped due to injuries suffered in practice, rushed for 114 yards and touchdowns of 3 and 4 yards to help the Bucs control the clock.
"People are always looking for that big play and jumping up and crushing a team 54-0," said Milford head coach Mike Tkach, referring to Caravel's 53-6 loss to Seaford last week. "But I was really happy with how we controlled the ball and moved it. Two of our scores came off a 90-yard drive and a 94-yard drive. That's good, fundamental football. We didn't get the big play and the bomb, but we controlled the clock and we worked."
With Caravel keying on standout Buc running back R.J. Chandler, the bruising Kemmerlin and Devore took over. Kemmerlin's yardage was a career-high, while Devore rushed for 44 yards including touchdown runs of 31 and 12 yards. On the 31-yarder, Devore ran over a Caravel defender and raced down the sidelines for the score.
"I'm really proud with how Prince ran," said Tkach. "He's running the way we want him to run. He's running over people, dragging people. We don't want him tip-toeing in there. Karel is just a tough, strong inside runner.
"With people keying on R.J., when these guys starting exploiting defenses, that will open the game up again for R.J. Obviously, defenses can't guard against everybody, and that will open up our game."
The Bucs had a brief scare near the end of the first half when, leading 7-0, quarterback Jon Stratton was intercepted deep in Caravel territory and injured when he landed on his tailbone awkwardly.
Milford got the ball right back, though, as linebacker Kris Kendzierski pounced on a Caravel fumble at the Caravel 11.
With Stratton out, sophomore reserve quarterback Devon Hughes stepped in to guide the Bucs on a short scoring drive with Kemmerlin bulling in from the 3 for a 14-0 Milford lead. Hughes also filled in for Stratton on a couple of series in the second half.
"Devon is very athletic," said Tkach. "We asked him to move from wide receiver to quarterback this year and he's been progressing every week. Were really happy with how he came in (against Caravel). We kept the plays simple and told him to relax, just take the ball from (center) Brandon (Baynard), and put it in their (running backs') belly. If we throw, just put it in between the numbers.
"We keep telling the kids that they might be second string, or even fourth string, but you never know when you might be called upon."
That was the case on the offensive line, which lost starting guard Trevor Gill in practice to a torn bicep and backup Derek Jones to an injured knee in a junior varsity game.
The injuries forced Tkach to move Kendzierski from tight end to guard and backup Will McColley into the starting tight end spot. They also used third string tight end Shea Lindale, whom Tkach credited with a block that sprung a big reverse play.
Tkach also praised placekicker Keith Brown, a soccer player who only practices with the football team on Thursdays. Brown has connected on nine straight extra points, including four against Caravel.
"That's the consistency we need because we need to get every point when we can," said Tkach.
The Bucs have a bye week this coming week before entertaining Polytech in their homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 4. Milford starts its Henlopen Conference Southern Division campaign on Oct. 11 with a home game against two-time defending state champion Delmar.
"We hope to be 3-1 going into Delmar," said Tkach. "Hopefully, the kids are getting hungry and learning the little things they have to do to be successful and develop a tradition of a winning program."
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