SACO — The biggest man on the field made a big impact as unbeaten Thornton Academy’s boys’ lacrosse team rolled to a 13-4 Class A South semifinal win against No. 5 South Portland at Hill Stadium.

Jack Webb, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound attack who’s better known as one of the state’s top offensive linemen in football, started a six-goal flurry for top-seeded Thornton (13-0) when he backed down a defender like an old-school basketball center, then whirled and fired a hard, low, lefty shot past South Portland goalie Quinn Watson (12 saves).

Webb finished with five goals to lead the Thornton offense, scoring at least once in each quarter.

“I’m benefiting from really, really good players on this team and I knew the focus would be on those guys, so I figured I had to take advantage of my opportunities and show I belong,” Webb said.

Thornton advances to its sixth regional final in the last nine seasons and will host No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (10-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Thornton is 0-5 in regional finals, all as the lower seed. On April 27, Thornton beat Cape 11-10 in overtime.

South Portland is one of the teams that has stymied the Golden Trojans in the past, but the Red Riots struggled to keep up Saturday, especially in the opening minutes. Thornton goalie Ean Patry (nine saves) made a couple key saves early in the game, then his offense took over.

CJ LaBreck (two goals, three assists) and Wyatt LeBlanc (two goals, one assist) scored before Webb got his second on a quick catch and shoot off a pass from Thomas Levasseur (four assists).

Noah Edborg (three goals) scored from LaBreck who created a transition counter off one of South Portland’s 10 first-half turnovers. Then LaBreck scored his second goal after pivoting around a defender to free up a left-handed shot for a 6-0 lead with 2:57 left in the first quarter.

“We really tried to put a focus on that first quarter, just coming out strong and pushing the ball,” said Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey. “That proved to be a really important piece of our game, to be able to get a lead and then just settle down.”

Cooper Mehlhorn (two goals, one assist) scored before the quarter finished, but that was South Portland’s only first-half tally. Thornton led 8-1 at the half.

“To get down 6-1 in the first quarter was tough for us,” said South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini. “The whole rest of the game we only gave up seven goals, so that first quarter was really the telling story. We had two or three really good looks at the cage and just didn’t finish.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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