Dover trailed by a field goal at halftime of Friday night's game against Milford High before rattling off five touchdowns to spoil the Buccaneers homecoming with a 42-10 win.
Following a penalty-plagued first half, the Senator' offense scored on all but one possession in the second half, while the defense held the Bucs to just two first downs and zero points.
"We have a lot of young kids and some of them aren't used to being in that environment, so when Milford got up some of those kids weren't ready to respond," head coach Carlton Brown said of his teams' first half performance. "We've been in that situation before and didn't respond, so to do that tonight was really big."
It was a difficult start for the Senators, who were called for three penalties on their first offensive possession of the game.
After recovering a fumble on their own 39-yard line, Dover had a 30-yard touchdown run by junior Raekwon Bouges nullified on an offensive holding call. Another holding penalty on the next play led to a turnover on downs.
Dover was able to capitalize after recovering Milford's second fumble of the game. The Senator followed a 38-yard bomb from senior quarterback Ian Gory's to junior Nicholas Spadafino with a 5-yard touchdown run by junior running back Deon Wright.
However, Milford answered right back by driving 27 yards on nine consecutive run plays followed by a 36-yard strike into the end zone with 5:15 left in the half.
The Senators turned the ball over their next offensive play, which allowed the Bucs to add the go-ahead field goal with 3:16 in half.
It appeared Dover might answer back when the Senators drove 55 yards to Milford's 12 yard line. Yet, back-to-back false start penalties and an incompletion on third down led to another turnover over on downs with 24 seconds left.
"That lack of focus is something we've been battling all year," Brown said. "We knew what we could do it, but when you're killing yourself, what can you do?"
What he did was fire his team up with a halftime speech.
"Basically, we told them to come out, play the game, have fun and play football," he said. "They came out excited and it showed."
The Senators scored on their first drive the second half with a 30-yard pass from Gory to freshman wide receiver Antione Cantey.
Two possessions later, Boughes ran 33 yards into the end zone with 3:59 left in the third quarter to put the score at 21-10.
The Senators turned up the heat early in the fourth quarter when Spadafino connected with junior wide receiver Tavarus Sample on a fake punt. Two plays later, Sample caught a pass from Gory in the end zone that put the score at 28-10 with 10:45 left in the fourth.
Page 2 of 2 - Junior running back Dlijah Banks got into the action with a 24-yard touchdown run with 7:53 left in the quarter.
Following Milford third lost fumble of the game, Wright scored his second touchdown on a 16-yard run.
After the game, Brown said he hoping Friday's come-from-behind victory will prove to be the big step in maturity that he's been looking for in his young team.
"You're dealing with a group of young guys that's looking for that leadership at the upper level," he said. "When you start seeing a young kid like Raekwon Boughes running the ball or Tav [Sample] making a big catch – those are the kids that are going to be our future leaders."
Dover (3-4) will next take on the Sussex Tech Ravens (3-4) at the Senator's Oct. 26 homecoming game.