Cape Storm Rugby prop Dakota Abadie runs in traffic against Lehigh Valley.
By MIKE BADGER
The areas first two high school Rugby teams posted good showings Sunday against strong opponents, with St. Augustine Prep notching a 46-14 win over St. Joe’s Prep and Jersey Cape Storm falling 48-24 to Division I Lehigh Valley.
St. Augustine was paced by the three-try performance of standout 8-man Bobby Dalton while Cape Storm got two tries from scrumhalf Angel Sotomayor (Lower Cape May Regional).
St. Augustine, which upped its record to 4-1, assured itself a spot in the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union Division II playoffs.
The Hermits got two tries Sunday from wing and Man of the Match Ryan Leaf and a try apiece from prop Lex Dennis, scrumhalf Taylor Hurff and outside center Brian Locicero. Fullback Nick Hurff kicked two conversions and outside center Brian Cicali hit one for the Hermits.
Cape Storm (3-2) was waiting on the results of other EPRU Division II matches to find out if it had made the playoffs.
Both squads are coached by members of the Jersey Shore Sharks men's Rugby club, which is based out of Galloway.
In Sunday’s match, Cape Storm surged back from a 24-0 deficit, sparked by the tenacious play of hooker Pat Hughes (LCMR).
In the 37th minute flyhalf Mike Angelucci (Ocean City High School) put a kick deep into Lehigh Valley’s end and the Storm put on excellent pressure, causing a turnover. After five phases, Hughes burst across the try line and touched down for a score. Wing Tim Dilling (OCHS) kicked the conversion, making the score 24-7.
Just before the half, with the Storm having driven deep into Lehigh Valley territory again, Sotomayor took a penalty tap and dove in for a try. The conversion failed and the halftime score stood at 24-12.
Lehigh Valley scored twice to open the second half, but Cape Storm rallied back to score two quick tries of its own.
Punishing outside center Mike Fancher (OCHS) – a stalwart on defense all day – finally found room to run and broke for a 40-meter try.
Four minutes later, prop Dakota Abadie (LCMR) carried several defenders on a bruising up-field run that resulted in a penalty. Sotomayor took the penalty tap and charged in for his second try of the day. Angelucci converted.
The Cape Storm coaches gave Man of the Match honors to Abadie and prop/flyhalf BJ Walker (LCMR).