ERMA – The Cape Henlopen (Del.) High School football team had to endure a short bus ride, a more than one hour trip on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and another short bus ride before arriving at Lower Cape May for Saturday’s game.
That didn’t stop the Vikings from getting off to a fast start.
Cape Henlopen scored four times in the first quarter and limited Lower Cape May to just a fourth-quarter touchdown in a 36-6 victory in the season opener for both teams.
The win gave Cape Henlopen the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commissioners’ Cup for the fifth straight year.
“It’s a fine line because you’re preparing to win all week and then you’re disappointed,” Lower coach Brian Hindle said. “We had to play a very challenging team. We have to get better. But we’re keeping the faith in the system as we go. Our players will keep their heads up.”
It doesn’t get easier for Lower Cape May (0-1), which faces Absegami in its next game on Friday before taking on Holy Spirit on Sept. 22.
“It’s tough for us, especially the seniors, because they continue to work hard as they’ve done for the past four years,” Hindle said. “It’s not for lack of trying. But we need to get better and we need to continue to improve. No one’s quitting around here.”
Cape Henlopen scored before the game was two minutes old when Lower Cape May quarterback Brennan Ray was sacked in the end zone on Lower’s third play from scrimmage. Benjamin Ashby then scored the first of his four touchdowns on the ensuing free kick, racing to the end zone from 72 yards out.
Cape Henlopen was then given a short field after Lower Cape May attempted a fake punt, the Vikings taking over at the Caper Tiger 23-yard line. Kobi Wright raced in from 21 yards out on the second play of the drive.
Lower finally got its first first down on Darion Lamar’s 27-yard run on the team’s next possession but the Tigers again turned the ball over on downs near midfield. Ashby finished off a nine-play, 53-yard drive by running in from seven yards away to extended his team’s lead to 23-0 with 46 seconds to play in the opening quarter.
Lower played a much better second quarter. The Caper Tiger defense stopped Ashby at the one-yard line on a fourth-and-goal play to force Cape Henlopen to turn the ball over on downs. The Tigers also moved the ball better on offense, gaining four first downs in the quarter on two separate possessions.
But Ashby managed to score again on a 30-yard run late in the period to make the score 29-0 at the half.
Ashby got his fourth touchdown on a 43-yard run on the third play of the second half.
Ashby, a senior, ran nine times for 105 yards. Wright added 84 yards on just eight carries.
Lower got its touchdown late in the third quarter on Darion Lamar’s two-yard run. Ray had runs of 14 and 13 yards and Aaron Cottrell had an eight-yard run during the 40-yard scoring drive.
CAPE HENLOPEN 23 6 7 0 — 36
LOWER CAPE MAY 0 0 6 0 — 6
CH-Safety (LCM runner tackled in end zone)
CH-Benjamin Ashby 72 free kick return (Hunter Simmons kick)
CH-Kobi Wright 21 run (Hunter Simmons kick)
CH-Benjamin Ashby 7 run (Hunter Simmons kick)
CH-Benjamin Ashby 30 run (run failed)
CH-Benjamin Ashby 43 run (Hunter Simmons kick)
LCM-Darion Lamar 2 run (pass failed)