Delmar has been the toughest eighth seed in DIAA tournament history and proved they more than belonged by taking out top seeds DMA, A.I. duPont and finally Milford in the division II state title game 14-7.
It took a few plays but on the Wildcats’ opening drive, Te’Shawn Dennard took a 58 yard scamper to the house and from there it was hard-nosed defensive gridiron action.
Both teams’ defenses adjusted and systematically shut each other out of any run-happy shoot out.
After a Bucs touchdown early in the second stanza, it was senior Carson Phillips (who had only recorded five catches all season) who came away with four grabs and the eventual game-winner as the last seconds left the board going into halftime.
Tayone Matthews of Milford put up a solid game in spite of three interceptions but the gameplan revolved around using David Bowman and Delmar answered in full holding Bowman to just 132 all purpose yards.
Wildcats’ head coach changed up signal caller on a few occasions giving freshman starting quarterback Dante Trader some series off to keep him fresh on both sides of the ball and transition to a stronger passer in Jacob VonArx and it payed dividends.
It was VonArx who connected with Phillips for the final blow before defenses ruled the last 24 minutes of play.
Te’Shawn Dennard (fresh off of an eight touchdown performance against A.I.) managed to climb over 100 yards while Brooks Parker managed a majority of the ground and pound. It was Te’Kwon Dennard who sealed the victory on Milford’s last drive picking off Matthews in the redzone with nothing but time to kill.
Milford finishes the season with a 9-4 record and nothing to be ashamed of. The Buccaneers gave the division II champions a run for their money in both meetings this year and helped prove that their conference is one with major powerhouses that feature young rosters.
Delmar wins their first state title since 2009 and finishes with a 12-1 record.