PAINESVILLE, OHIO – In just the second home night game in Lake Erie College football history, the Storm again struggled to turn offensive success into points and fell to Wayne State University, 28-16, at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium in Painesville, Ohio. Lake Erie (0-6, 0-5 GLIAC) outgained its opponents for the fifth time in sixth games, this time by 183 yards (498-315), but turned the ball over five times in front of a record crowd of 2,429.
The win keeps Wayne State (5-1, 4-1 GLIAC) tied with Hillsdale College atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division.
Both teams punted in their first possession and turned the ball over in their second before Lake Erie got on the board when a 13-play, 63-yard drive culminated in a 34-yard field goal by sophomore Sam Marcotte (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon).
Early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs answered back as Painesville native Mickey Mohner hit Ed Sanders with a 24-yard touchdown strike. Both teams punted on their next two drives as Lake Erie controlled field position. In the final minute of the half, the Storm drove down to the Wayne State 22, where Marcotte's field goal attempt was blocked. Taking over with 41 seconds to play in the half, Mohner hit Troy Burnell with a 68 yard completion and connected with Sanders for a 15-yard TD pass, which sent the stunned Storm to the break behind 14-3.
Midway through the third quarter, Wayne State recovered a fumble by junior quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) at the Lake Erie three-yard line. On the next play, running back Toney Davis plowed into the endzone and Wayne State led, 21-3, after three quarters.
With 14:09 to play, the Bulldogs extended the lead to 28-3 as Davis' second TD of the day, a two-yard run, capped off a 10-play, 71-yard drive. Lake Erie then took possession on the its own 20 and moved the length of the field in 10 plays and Bedevelsky hooked up with junior wingback David Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) for his first score of the season from nine yards out. In the final minute, Bedevelsky found junior receiver Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) from 11 yards out for James' third touchdown of the year. The score was set up by a 52-yard pass play to freshman Chris Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton), the longest pass play of the season for the Green and White. The Storm's two-point try was unsuccessful and Lake Erie recovered the onside kick but Bedevelsky's third lost fumble of the game sealed the win for Wayne State.
Lake Erie dominated every offensive statistical category except turnovers, as the Storm committed five and forced just one, and the final score. The Green and White had 33 first downs and held the ball for 35:45. The 96 offensive plays for Lake Erie in the contest is a team record while the 498 total yards was a season-high and the fourth highest output in school history.
Freshman Chris Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) was the leading gainer for Lake Erie on the ground and through the air with 10 carries for 54 yards and three catches for 79 yards. Bedevelsky exceed 300 yards passing for the fourth time in his career and finished 22-of-40 for 302 yards with the two TDs (15th career game with 2+ TDs thrown) and one interception. He also gained 89 yards on the ground but finished with a net of 36 as he was sacked six times on the day.
Junior wingback Patrick Lunney (Mount Shasta, Calif./Mt. Shasta/College of Siskiyous), Romeo and James each had a team-high four grabs for 46, 44 and 38 yards, respectively. Lunney and Romeo were also two of the six Lake Erie players to pick up at least 20 yards rushing.
On the defensive end, junior Derrick Clement (Seville, Ohio/Cloverleaf) led Lake Erie with eight tackles and the teams only sack. Sophomore defensive back Ryan Studer (Madison, Ohio/Riverside) had seven tackles and two quarterback hurries on blitzes.
Lake Erie's slate does not get any easier next week as it travels to Allendale, Mich. to take on the No. 1 ranked team in NCAA Division II, Grand Valley State, with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m.