NILES OH- The last time the Lakeview Bulldogs got a victory against the Niles McKinley Red Dragons was 2017, since then they’ve had bad luck. Either it would be a repeat or a change as Lakeview went down to Niles as both teams looked to move to three and one on the season. One team in Lakeview is gaining momentum while another one in Niles is trying to find out with their two stars Antuan Gardner and Matt Keeley out.
Lakeview opened up the first quarter rumbling and stumbling with senior Damien Natali, and junior running backs Hayden Bartram and Nolan Toth. Natali got the first touchdown from four-yards out making it seven to nothing.
After an Anthony Budak interception, Lakeview had another chance to score, but was stopped on a fourth and goal at the one turning the ball over. However, while the first half had a lot of defense, the second half would change.
The Bulldogs scored once more as Natali off a play action pass found Toth for a 38-yard touchdown pass making it 14-0. Niles would’ve let go however as on the ensuing kickoff, Nathan Coots took it 82-yards to the four yard line. That led to Joe Smith taking it in but a high snap meant the PAT was no good making it 14-6. The Bulldogs scored once more in the fourth as Natali got his second rushing touchdown, his third total 21-6.
Niles drove down the field for Smith to take it in two-yards out making it 21-13 and got the ball back after a four and out. Budak would however throw his second interception to senior Luke Canzonetta as Lakeview for the first time since 2017 beat their Northeastern 8 rival Niles Red Dragons 21 to 13.
Anthony Budak: 102 yards passing, 2 interceptions, -4 yards rushing.
Joe Smith: 11 carries for 32 yards and two touchdowns.
Keyshon Talley: 75 yards receiving.
Damien Natali: 48 yards passing and a touchdown. 19 carries for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
Hayden Bartram: 16 carries for 61 yards
Nolan Toth: 16 carries for 66 yards, one reception 38 yards and a touchdown.
Up next: Niles (2-2) will host NE8 conference rival Jefferson (3-1) who is coming off of a 21-6 loss to Girard. Lakeview (3-1) will host (4-0) Girard next week.
After the game, YSNs Ian O’Brien caught up with coach Sam Bellino about the big victory and what to expect against Girard next week:
*Contributed by YSNs Ian O’Brien*