In front of a crowd of more than 7,000 fans at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium, Servite and Orange Lutheran battled to a fourth quarter 14-14 stalemate.
When talent and skill are left to fend for themselves in overtime, all that remains in double-overtime is desire. Chris Galippo proved that to Orange Lutheran when he willied Servite to a 28-21 victory Thursday.
On the first possession of double-overtime, the five-star linebacker became a five-star running back for the Friars as he rushed the ball three straight times for 25-yards and the eventual winning score.
"There was no way we were going to lose this game," said Galippo. "Once I got the ball in overtime, I told myself that I wouldn't go down. The offensive line got a great push on that last play, so when I got to the corner, it was over. This was a huge win for us."
It was a win that seemed in the bag after the first half. In a sloppy start full off illegal motion and false start penalties, Servite quarterback Daniel Klein led the Friars down the field with several third and long conversions through the air. His first drive was capped off when running back Richard Gonzales took a short dump pass for 11-yards to score with 11:21 to play in the second quarter.
Klein's resourcefulness as a passer came into play on Servite's second scoring drive as well. With 2:00 left in the second quarter, Klein hit Matt Franchino for a 15-yard touchdown reception. That came on the heels of Klein reversing field on a scramble before hitting A Ostergaard for a 40-yard gain.
To that point, the Lancers' offense had been held to the scrambling abilities of Aaron Corp, who ran for 71-yards on the night. However, one of those runs brought Orange Lutheran to the Servite 40-yard line with 25 seconds left in the first half. With his receiver breaking to the inside, Corp threw the ball to the outside and into the hands of a waiting Servite defender.
Blake Ayles - Jr: Tight End Blake Ayles is considered by many as one of the top junior tight end's in California. While he had a quiet night against Servite, Ayles put on a nice show of receiving skill in warm ups. He's listed as 6-foot-4, 235-pounds, which doesn't look far off from his actual size. Ayles hands are great, but he must work on his quickness in the open field to become a top 100 level player as a senior. Ayles' straight line speed isn't bad, but he doesn't separate from coverage on his breaks.
Matt Kalil - Jr:
Offensive lineman Matt Kalil was really the unsung hero of the game. Going against Michael Reardon in the first half, Kalil shut down the Lancers' best pass rusher. Standing 6-foot-7, 270-pounds, the Trojans' latest commitment is extremely athletic, especially considering that he's still growing. Kalil's balance and agility create a wall of pass protection that spans more that 7-foot wide. But beyond physical ability, Kalil also brings poise to the position of left tackle. While he saw several different defenders line up across from him, the junior lineman played each with the same flawless technique. If there's a better tackle in California for the class of 2008, we haven't seen him.
In the second half, Corp would come alive.
Hitting 10 and 15-yard outs consecutively, the four-star quarterback moved the Lancers' to the Servite 30-yard line. However, Servite's defense would keep Orange Lutheran scoreless when Galippo stuffed the Lancers' running game on fourth down late in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Corp hit Austin Pettis for a four-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Friar's lead to seven. The junior wide receiver would catch 10 of Corp's 19 completions for 85 yards .
With 3:35 left in the fourth quarter, Corp would continue to work his magic. After driving to Servite's 1-yard line, the Lancers fumbled the quarterback, center exchange, losing four yards in the process.
On fourth down, Corp made an incredible play, scrambling right, then reversing his field before hitting Ricky Pemasa in the back of the endzone for the final score of regulation.
The two schools would trade touchdowns in the first overtime, with Pettis making another great scoring grab to give Orange Lutheran their first lead of the game. Not to be outdone, Klein would send the game into another overtime when he went untouched on a bootleg for the score.
From there, Galippo would pound the ball off right tackle for a touchdown run that would go unanswered by the Lancers. That drops Orange Lutheran to 5-1 on the season, but 0-1 in Trinity League play. The Friars, who are now 4-2 overall, get the first win of CIF's latest parochial league incarnation.
Next week, the Friars will battle JSerra Catholic, while Orange Lutheran will play Santa Margarita.
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for plenty of video highlights and interviews from Thursday's Clash of the Titans.