Someone’s “0” has got to go when the Indian River High School football team takes on Milford this Friday night, with both teams currently undefeated in the Henlopen South.
The Bucs are off to an undefeated non-division start as well, sporting a 5-0 overall record with wins over Red Lion, Delaware Military Academy, St. Andrews School, Conrad and Seaford under second-year head coach Shaun Strickland.
Strickland led Milford to a 6-4 record in 2015, just a season after inheriting a 1-9 team.
Returning this year as the team’s prime playmaker is junior running back David Bowman, who’s coming off a First-Team All-Conference sophomore season in 2015 and a four-touchdown performance against Seaford during a 52-8 division win on Friday, Oct. 7.
The 5-foot-5, 150-pound tailback also ran for three touchdowns and over the century mark in a 42-13 win over Conrad the previous week, and lines up at strong safety on defense.
One of Bowman’s touchdowns against Seaford came on an 85-yard punt return, which — when added to IR senior RB George Martin’s 45-yard punt return for a touchdown against Seaford on Oct. 3 and freshman running back Kevin Custis’ 85-yard kick return against Laurel last week — could make special teams a key factor in Friday’s game.
First-Team All-Conference wide receiver Brion Murray also returns for the Bucs, again as the primary target for senior quarterback William Kimmel. The 6-foot tall, 170-pound senior also earned Second-Team All-Conference honors as a free safety last season.
Other weapons for the Bucs include senior tight end Ryan Jones (5 feet, 11 inches; 230 pounds), who hauled in a 25-yard touchdown reception last week against the Blue Jays, and senior FB/LB Dominyc Hovington (6 feet, 210 pounds), who, along with Bowman, makes for a similar “thunder and lightning” duo to IR’s Martin and senior running back Gerald Foreman.
The Indians will likely continue to look to the ground game against the Bucs, where the IR offensive line of Griffin McCormick, Michael Cedeno, Michael Corcoran, Zion Howard and Cortez Tull have paved the way for more than 900 rushing yards in just five games so far this season.
At 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the South, the Indians are looking healthy, for the most part, coming off a 24-22 win over Laurel on Friday, Oct. 7.
After splitting time with junior quarterback Brandon Hoffman for the first four games of the season, freshman quarterback Jalen Snead looks to have secured the starting spot in taking all of the snaps under center against the Bulldogs, including connecting with junior wide receiver Ja’Vonta Briddell on a 28-yard fourth-down strike that set up an Andrew White field goal to win the game.
Last season, the Indians handed the Bucs a 22-18 loss in what was the Indians’ Homecoming game, when Martin launched a 29-yard pass to Deshawn Aiken, getting the ball down to the 6-yard line and then punching in the go-ahead score with just 1:04 left to play.
Friday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Milford High School. For live scoring updates, follow @CPointSports on Twitter.