Milford trio leads Gold to 24-14 win in final high school game

NEWARK – Milford High’s trio of Thomas Eisenbrey, David Bowman Jr. and Jordan Waters each played their final down of high school football Saturday night in the 63rd annual DFRC Blue-Gold All-Star game at the University of Delaware.

The game came just six months after the group competed in the Division II state championship game against Delmar in that same stadium.

Though Milford fell just shy last time around, with the Bucs dropping a 14-7 loss in December’s state title game, the trio helped the Gold all-star squad pick up the win this time as they defeated the Blue all-stars, 24-14.

Bowman scored Gold’s first touchdown of the night in the opening quarter (The Chronicle/Ben Heck).

“We had a rough experience here last time, but still a great one,” said Milford High head football coach and Gold’s assistant coach Shaun Strickland. “So, to end here with a win and end with these guys playing great is just outstanding.”

“It was the best feeling,” Bowman said after Gold’s win. “I got to play with my brothers one last time and I’ve met even more friends that I didn’t even know before this, but they’re close to me now. It was a great game all-around and everyone is happy that we got one week to hang out and joke around with each other.”

Bowman started the game at running back and saw plenty of playing time on the defensive side of the ball for Gold head coach Bill Collick.

Eisenbrey started at center, while Waters started at defensive end for Gold.

Bowman, a two-way starter throughout his high school career, got the scoring started Saturday night with a four-yard rushing touchdown at the 1:49 mark of the opening quarter, putting the Gold squad ahead early 6-0.

He finished the game with 42 rushing yards and was honored with the Coach Jack & Peg Gregory Outstanding Leadership Award following the game.

“It means a lot to me,” he said of the award. “As I went through my four years of high school I’ve been a team captain so I’ve kind of had to take that leadership role on ever since I’ve been in high school.”

From L-R: Thomas Eisenbrey, David Bowman, coach Shaun Strickland, Jordan Waters (The Chronicle/Ben Heck).

“For him to be recognized for his leadership is outstanding, it’s just who he’s been all year,” Strickland said.

Blue answered Bowman’s touchdown with 4:49 to play in the half as Salesianum’s Zach Gwynn scored on a one-yard quarterback keeper. The successful two-point conversion put Blue ahead 8-6.

Appoquinimink quarterback Shane Phipps tossed a 20-yard touchdown to Polytech’s Tucker Reed with :39 to play in the half to put Gold ahead 12-8 at the halftime break.

The Gold continued its scoring surge in the second half as a duo of Caesar Rodney players – quarterback Jared Wagenhoffer and receiver Bailey DeAtley – linked up for a 37-yard touchdown connection at the 8:44 mark of the third quarter.

Later in the quarter, Caesar Rodney’s Julian Trammell picked off a Blue pass attempt and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown to extend Gold’s lead to 24-8. It was one of Trammell’s two interceptions on the night, earning him the game’s MVP award.

Concord’s Bam Roberts scored on a fourth quarter touchdown run for the Blue, from eight yards out, but it wasn’t enough to pull off a comeback as Gold held on to the 10-point victory.

“It’s bittersweet. These guys came out and worked so hard this entire camp week and all season, to have three of our guys out here represented on the winning Gold team is just phenomenal,” Strickland said of the Milford trio.

“It was an amazing experience,” Waters said. “I’m going to miss everything about high school football.”

Bowman, an All-State player on both sides of the football, finishes his career as the Bucs’ all-time leader in rushing yards, touchdowns and tackles in school history.

In April, Bowman accepted a full ride to continue his football career at Delaware State University and play under new head coach Rod Milstead.

“I report there Monday, so it’s a quick turn-around,” he said, with a laugh. “I go there Monday to train and put some weight on before the season starts.”

Waters and Eisenbrey will also be attending Delaware State University next year.

Waters hopes to join Bowman on the DSU football squad, as he plans to walk-on in the fall.

“We’ll see each other at DSU,” Waters said. “My focus is to get ready and get in shape. I want to pack on a couple of pounds, but also get faster too.”

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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