PAINESVILLE — Lakeside and Harvey had already surpassed 60 points apiece.
Neither defense held the opposing offense without a touchdown since halftime ended a two-play Dragons drive at the end of the second quarter.
Angelo Callazo erased every Lakeside bad defensive moment — albeit temporarily — with one play.
Lakeside leading 68-62 in the second overtime, Harvey quarterback Jaden Debevec rolled out to his right to escape pressure and fired a pass down field. The ball never made it to the intended receiver.
Callazo jumped in front of the pass and intercepted it to seal the 68-62 win Friday night in Painesville. After the catch, he raced to the other end zone. His teammates chased him all the way there and the celebration began.
“My defensive coach, he told me we have to cause a fumble and grab it and just go down, so I do my pass drop and ran right in front of (the pass) and got the ball,” Callazo said of the play. “It was a whole group effort, because if it wasn’t for the defensive line to get the blitz in and force (Debevec) to roll out of the pocket and throw it, I wouldn’t have been there.”
The win was the Dragons’ first of the season after an 0-5 start. They did not make it easy on themselves.
They surrendered a 64-yard fumble recovery touchdown to fall into an early hole. They committed 15 penalties in the game — seven of which were of the personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct variety. They allowed 239 rushing yards and gave up a number of big plays, including an 81-yard touchdown pass one play after tying the game.
They also failed to convert two would-be game-winning point after attempts.
But, they kept battling and kept scoring until Callazo finished the job.
“I’m just so proud of our kids, how they battled back from adversity and silly penalties,” Lakeside coach Buzz Edwards said. “They just kept swinging. That’s what we’ve been talking about for two weeks: What men do when they’re backed into a corner and have nowhere to go, there’s two directions they can go in — they can tuck and hide or they can stand and fight their way out and I’m proud of our kids for exhibiting that tonight in a double-overtime win; to keep swinging and keep fighting and making stuff happen for ourselves.”
The Dragons needed some late fourth-quarter heroics just to make it to overtime. They allowed Harvey to take a 56-50 lead on a Gil Kalina Hammond touchdown run with just 95 seconds remaining.
The Dragons lost two yards and nearly 30 seconds on their first play after the kickoff and their chances seemed bleak at best. But then Garrette Siebeneck connected with Chris Steele for a gain of 50 yards and a late hit penalty set Lakeside up on Harvey’s 25. Siebeneck had only completed two passes for a total of 20 yards prior to that play.
A 19-yard run by AJ Raffa brought the ball down to the 6-yard line with 15 seconds remaining.
Harvey stuffed Lakeside’s first attempt, but Raffa scored one play later to tie the game 56-56 with 7.9 seconds. Harvey blocked the extra point to stay alive.
Tyrell Meeks scored both of Lakeside’s touchdowns in overtime. He ran for 114 yards and found the end zone six times on the night.
“It was amazing,” he said of the game. “Finally got the first win. It took everything, but we did it. There are some things we need to fix on defense, but we kept battling. We kept battling and we came out with the victory.”
He credited the offensive line for paving the way for his six scores.
“If it wasn’t for my line blocking like that, I wouldn’t have had those (touchdowns),” he said. “They put up a fight, did everything they could for me to get the ball and get runs like that.”
The unit upfront — Jordan Mellin, Sam Petros, Morgan Bish, Caleb McKinney and Kaleb Scaine — led the way for 448 rushing yards among four ball carriers.
“We had some injuries upfront earlier in the year and we got the guys healthy and moved in some spots now,” Edwards said. “We’re getting better every week on the offensive line. Shout out to those guys, they played a hell of a game.”
Freshman running back J’Shon Sanders collected a team-high 252 yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter. He ran for 192 yards in the first half.
“That’s a good back right there,” Meeks said of Sanders. “He’s only a freshman. He’s going to keep getting better and better. He makes our team better than what it is. He’s a big part.”
Lakeside scored its other two touchdowns on a 60-yard interception return by Raffa and an 11-yard pass from Siebeneck to Savion Colbert.
The Dragons’ 68 points scored set a new program record. The previous high of 66 was set in 2007.
The Dragons have a tough two weeks ahead. They will host Geneva (5-1) Friday before visiting undefeated Perry in Week 8.
“(The win) is good, it gives us confidence, but we can’t celebrate that long,” Meeks said. “We need to go look at film, see what we need to fix and get ready for Geneva next week.”