ERIE, PA. – For the second straight season opener the Lake Erie College football team held a fourth-quarter lead at Gannon University, but four turnovers proved to be too much to overcome another Golden Knights rally in a 26-20 defeat at Gannon Field Thursday night (Sept. 2).
The Storm (0-1), which let a 13-point lead escape in a 35-34 loss to the Knights (1-0) a year ago, led 14-13 early in the fourth following a two-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) to sophomore running back Andre Wells (Cleveland, Ohio/Villa Angela St. Joseph) to cap a 12-play, 68-yard drive.
But the Knights, who did not turn the ball over in the game, responded quickly, getting the first of two one-yard runs by quarterback Zach Boedicker to go back on top, 19-14.
On Lake Erie's ensuing possession, Bedevelsky threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Connor Kimball at the Gannon 28. Boedicker completed a 47-yard strike to Geoff Hicks on the Knights' first play following the pick and then gained 23 yards on the ground to set up another one-yard plunge by the senior quarterback for a 26-14 lead.
The Storm drove to the Gannon goal line on its next series, but couldn't punch it in on four plays from inside the four. They did break through after forcing a Gannon punt, on a 10-yard pass from Bedelsky to junior David Krzys (Ashtabula, Ohio/Lakeside) to make it 26-20 with 2:30 left.
However, Gannon recovered Lake Erie's on-side kick attempt and with the Storm forced to use all three timeouts on their previous defensive stand, virtually ran out the clock. The Storm did get the ball back with 14 seconds to go, but Bedevelsky's desperation heave was batted down to end the game.
The Knights took a 10-0 lead to open the game, scoring on their opening possession with an 18-yard run by Tyler Batts and then adding a 32-yard field goal by Jeremy Ditzler to start the second quarter. Lake Erie got on the board with a three-yard run by sophomore Onesiaum Glass (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central/Ohio State) with 3:26 left before halftime.
Ditzler opened the second-half scoring by booting a 43-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Lake Erie outgained Gannon 357-345, but the four turnovers resulted in 19 Gannon points.
Bedevelsky threw for 175 yards and the two touchdowns on 13-of-26 passing, but was intercepted twice. He led the Storm with 65 yards on the ground, but also had one of the team's two lost fumbles. Junior Kameron Alexander (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) ran for 43 yards on 12 attempts.
Boedicker was 17-of-23 for 178 yards and rushed for a game-high 109 yards. Batts added 59 yards on 17 carries.
Junior linebacker Gus Armbruster (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) led the Storm defense with 12 total tackles and a career-high two quarterback sacks. Redshirt junior linebacker David Heck (North Lima, Ohio/South Range) also had a sack among his five tackles.
Kevin Minor also made 12 stops to lead the Knights.
Lake Erie will open its home schedule next Saturday, Sept. 11, with the first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game in school history against Michigan Tech University.