PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Sophomore QB Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) found Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) in the front right corner of the endzone in overtime to give the Lake Erie College football team a 27-24 victory over Fairmont State University this afternoon (Sept. 5) in the home opener at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium.
The scoring toss was Bedevelsky's third of the day and helped the Storm (1-1) overcome several special teams miscues to notch their first win of the season, and a win in the first overtime game in school history.
Alex Ashley, who missed a 40-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have won it for Fairmont State (0-2), connected on a 34-yard kick on the opening possession of overtime to give the Falcons a 24-21 lead.
Bedevelsky completed an 11-yard pass to junior Demetrius Gray (Cleveland, Ohio/South) and senior running back Tony Howard (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights/Kent State) carried twice to get the ball to the four-yard line. On second-and-goal from there, Bedevelsky took the snap and threw a dart to a diving James for the winning score.
"The play we used there was not in the play book for that formation, they just came up with that," said Lake Erie head coach Mark McNellie. "But we were confident being that the play involved numbers (Bedevelsky) 13 and 84 (James). Sean has a knack for throwing it in open areas and Brandon has a knack of going after it and making catches."
After a scoreless first quarter which included missed field goals by each team, the Storm struck first with Bedevelsky, finding redshirt freshman John Hokavar (Perry, Ohio/Perry) over the middle for a 10-yard touchdown.
A six-yard run by Omoniyi Bakare later in the period tied the game at 7-7 before Lake Erie's two-minute offense went to work. Bedevelsky took the team 60 yards in eight plays in 2:03 and capped the drive with a three-yard run with 28 seconds left in the half to put the Storm up 14-7 at intermission.
Fairmont State quickly tied it up on the first possession of the second half with Derek Taylor connecting with Demetrius Young for a 34-yard catch-and-run to make it a 14-14 game. Lake Erie's start to the second half didn't start nearly as well.
The Storm's first two drives of the third period ended in a blocked punt and a blocked field goal. But each time, the Lake Erie defense rose to the occasion and held Fairmont off the board after each block.
Behind a balanced running attack, the Falcons started to wear out the Storm defense however, and ultimately took their first lead of the game at 21-14 following a 16-play, 86-yard drive capped by Doug Brazill's two-yard run with 1:49 left in regulation.
But the Storm went back to the hurry-up and quickly advanced the ball into Falcon territory after 18- and 19-yard completions to sophomore wing Dave Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North).
A 15-yard strike to James got the ball down to the Fairmont 15-yard line and two plays later, Bedevelsky completed a pass to junior receiver Tracy Evans (Cleveland, Ohio/East Tech/Kentucky State) for a 15-yard touchdown to tie the game with just under a minute to go. A 34-yard run by Bakare put the Falcons in business but the drive stalled at the Lake Erie 24, forcing Ashley to attempt the 40-yarded which went wide left.
On the day, Bedevelsky completed 20-of-34 passes for 222 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His top target was James with seven catches for 54 yards while Romeo totaled 73 yards on five grabs. For the second straight game, Howard came up just short of the 100-yard mark, finishing with 96 yards on 23 carries.
Bakare led all rushers with 145 yards on 21 attempts while Brazill added 112 on 19 carries.
Overall the Falcons gained 306 yards on the ground and 434 yards total, compared to 128 rushing and 350 total for Lake Erie.
Taylor was 11-of-20 passing for 128 yards and the touchdown. On defense, junior linebacker Garrett McMullin (Brookfield, Ohio/Brookfield/Clarion) posted a team-high 11 tackles, including six solo, while sophomores David Heck (North Lima, Ohio/South Range) and David Dunne (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) each had nine stops. Fairmont State's Nate Black led all players with 12 total tackles.
The Storm returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 12, at West Liberty. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with the pregame show on ESPN 970 WFUN starting at 12:45