Game Recap below
Lakeside Prevails in Double Overtime Shootout with Hale
By Steven Dion
November has arrived which means playoff football is in it stages of infancy as seeding is underway for the postseason. The seventh and eighth seeds for the Metro League were to be decided by the Lakeside Lions and Nathan Hale Raiders. It is fitting the game was played at Memorial Stadium because this contest was indeed memorable.
The Lions took advantage of an extended drive early in the contest by allowing Wyatt Paul to boot a 20 yard chip shot. Paul was a big factor in the game as his leg was responsible for 9 points and a great deal of field position advantage for his squad. Hale responded with a Nathan Cooprider quarterback keeper from five yards out for a Raiders lead. Cole Stephens returned the favor with a 13 yard scamper of his own for the third of eight lead changes in the game. The Raiders turned up the intensity a notch by blocking a field goal and forcing a pick in the hands of Sam Tessema. The latter led to a Naweeb Kamiab run to establish a 14-11 lead which they took to the locker room.
Heading into the third trailing by only three points was a stroke of luck for Lakeside because they committed nine penalties to Hale’s one. The yellow laundry started to catch up with Lakeside in the opening minutes of the third, as they committed two personal fouls which aided a touchdown drive capped off by a 25 yard run by Noah Witmer. On the ensuing drive, Lakeside’s quarterback Bennett Dondoyano found a wide open Mayan Chavez and connected, but the ball mysteriously came free from the Lion receiver’s hands mere yards from the endzone. Nathan Hale took advantage by feeding Witmer and he delivered with another touchdown run, this time from 26 yards out. NHHS had the momentum at this point leading 28-11. The Lions took it back as they conducted a three-play, eighty yard drive which finished on a 37 yard Stephens run. After three quarters, Hale led 28-18.
To climb back into the game, Lakeside was forced to gamble on fourth downs to keep the chains moving. With 10:45 left, Cole Stephens scored for the third time on a 53 yard screen pass from Dondoyano. Minutes later, Dondoyano got a TD of his own after Stephens converted on a 4th and 3 previously. Hale bit back on a Webb Hopkins touchdown grab, one of many fine catches by the senior. NHHS recovered the ensuing kickoff in the redzone, but came away with no points. With 1:37 remaining, Lakeside had to travel 98 yards to erase a 3 point deficit. The Lions were able to get to the Hale 2 with 5 ticks left. Wyatt Paul hit a 17 yard FG at the buzzer to tie it up 35 apiece. We headed to overtime.
Hale would get the ball first as Lakeside chose to defer after winning the toss. Cooprider found William Sanders open on an option from 10 yards out that tricked the Lion defense. Lakeside needed to match the Raiders to keep the contest alive. Cole Stephens stepped up as he did all game by punching the pigskin in from 2 yards out. The game continued.
Lakeside won the toss again and chose to receive. For the fifth and final time, Cole Stephens barreled into the endzone from the one yard line. Needing a touchdown, Nathan Hale found themselves in a fourth and two situation. They handed the ball to Sanders. He dove forward very close to the first down marker. It was close. The chain game came out to measure. Short. Ballgame. Lakeside wins 49-42 to take the seventh seed in the Metro playoffs. Hale takes 8th.
4 rushing TDs (1, 2, 13, 37) and 1 receiving TD (52)
Noah Witmer – 2 rushing TDs (25, 26)