The Caesar Rodney Riders defeated the Appo Jaguars 14-6 in the first round of the DIAA Boys State Lacrosse Tournament on Wednesday.
While the Riders entered the tournament as the number one seed, they got all they could handle from the Jaguars. Appo struck early taking a 2-0 lead just minutes into the game. CR would get on the board later in the quarter, but the Jaguars took a 2-1 lead into the 2nd.
After a sloppy first quarter the Riders bounced back in the second, dominating play for the majority of the quarter. CR scored 5 unanswered goals in the second to take a 6-2 lead into the half.
In the second half, the Jaguars fought back while CR did their best to keep Appo at arms length. Heading into the fourth and final quarter CR led Appo 9-5.
The Riders took control of the game at the start of the fourth, scoring 5 goals in the opening 7 minutes. Then, Hunter Schaeffer would supply the dagger goal with only four minutes left making it 14-5 CR.
Senior Ryne Johnson who tallied 4 goals and 4 assists led CR on offense. Hunter Schaeffer and David Schmidt both had 3 goals and an assist respectably.
With the win CR will head to the second round of the DIAA Boys State Lacrosse Tournament. If the first round was any indication, the Riders are in for some tough games.
“They came ready to play tonight,” said CR senior defender Brett Gardels.” They really wanted it, so we had to slow everything down and just play CR lacrosse. We had to step up our game and prove we were the better team.”
While Appo didn’t have quite enough to beat the number one seeded Riders, they played until the final whistle. Senior Douglas Stopera scored 2 goals, while Michael Frenze, Will Hutchinson and James Shute each tallied a goal and an assist.
Even in the loss, the Jaguars had reason to hold their heads high. Their effort never let up, and with so many underclassmen producing this season, the future is bright for the Jaguars.
“They know they played hard tonight,” said Appoquinimink Head Coach Chris Rutter said about his Appo squad.” Being the sixteenth seed against the number one is tough, and we just couldn’t maintain that kind of pace and down the stretch (Caesar Rodney) executed.”
Rutter was proud of his team, and stressed the importance of the experience, win or lose.
“This kind of experience is priceless,” said Rutter. “The atmosphere is like no other, it’s gets you hungry for next year.”