By BRIAN CUNNIFF
ERMA – An offensive explosion in the third quarter propelled the Lower Cape May Regional High School boys lacrosse team past its biggest rival Tuesday afternoon.
Leading by a goal in a low-scoring game at the half, the Caper Tigers responded with six unanswered tallies in the third quarter to turn the game in their favor and eventually posted an 11-7 victory over Middle Township.
“We got a lot of transition goals and we were really just finishing our shots,” Lower coach Cole Blackley said. “Their goalie (Middle’s Austin Shagren) was really good low so we needed to change the plane on our shots and go high and we got a few to go in.”
Gavin Hill opened the third-quarter scoring for Lower before Macky Bonner scored three straight for the Caper Tigers. Matt Brown and Dennis Serra rounded out the scoring for Lower in the period.
Middle surged in the final quarter, outscoring Lower by 4-1, but simply didn’t have enough time to complete a comeback. Lower goalkeeper Quinten Hagan made numerous saves in the fourth quarter as Middle dominated possession in the period.
“Quinten was huge for us back there,” Blackley said. “He;s been doing a great job back there for us. We were a little gassed in the fourth quarter. We had to call a timeout toward the end there just to get our wind back a little bit. But our goalie was huge for us.”
Taj Turner led Lower with four goals, netting all of the Tigers’ tallies in the first half.
Brett Nabb had five goals for Middle Township.
The victory allowed Lower (6-2) to sweep the season series over the Panthers (3-7). The Tigers posted a 12-7 win over Middle in the season opener for both teams in late March.
“It was a slow start for both of us since it was the first game of the season and we knew they’d come in here a little angry,” Blackley said. “We had to come out just as hot and with some aggression. We needed to move the ball fast and get some goals.”
They certainly got enough of them in the third quarter.