FINDLAY, OHIO – Sophomore Sam Marcotte (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) kicked a 22-yard field goal as time expired to give the Lake Erie College football team a thrilling 48-45 victory over the University of Findlay Saturday at Donnell Stadium, securing the program's first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) victory.
Juniors Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and David Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) and sophomore Andre Wells (Cleveland, Ohio/Villa Angela-St. Joseph) each went over 100 yards receiving, part of a school-record 441-yard passing day by junior Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick), as the Storm (1-7, 1-6 GLIAC) rolled up 634 yards of total offense in rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Bedevelsky threw a pair of touchdown passes to James and scored on a one-yard run in the first half, but the Oilers (1-7, 1-6 GLIAC) got a pair of touchdown runs from Monterae Williams and two touchdown passes from John Soli to Dustin Zielakiewicz and led 31-21 at halftime.
Twice in the third quarter Lake Erie got within three points, once o a four-yard run by Bedeveslky and the other on a two-yard dart from Bedevelsky to junior Patrick Lunney (Mt. Shasta, Calif./Mt. Shasta/College of Siskiyous).
Each time Findlay had an answer. Offensive lineman Tom Orlosky fell on a Williams fumble in the endzone for a 38-28 lead and later Soli, making his first career start at quarterback, threw a 17-yard strike to DaJerrian Smith to make it 45-35 heading into the final quarter.
But that quarter belonged to Lake Erie. After the pas to Smith, the Storm drove 80- yards in nine plays on the ensuing possession and Bedevelsky lofted a pass to the back corner of the end zone from six yards out that junior Nick Yeager (Madison, Ohio/Madison) pulled in while getting a foot down in bounds to make it 45-42.
After the Storm defense forced a three-and-out, Lake Erie looked to take the lead but a fabulous 58-yard catch and run by junior Ryan Robinson (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) was negated by a holding penalty. The drive subsequently stalled, resulting in a career-long 51-yard punt from freshman Billy Croom (Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) that set the Oilers back to their 23.
Despite struggling early in the game, the Lake Erie defense rose to the occasion when it mattered. Sophomore Cameron Whitner (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) intercepted Soli t the Findlay 36 and five plays later Marcotte, aided by a well handled rolling snap by sophomore Matt Krumpak (McDonald, Ohio/McDonald) connected from 21 yards out to tie it at 45.
After another stand that resulted in a Findlay punt, the Storm took over at its own 19 with 5:24 to go. The Oilers would never get the ball back. Lake Erie ran 13 plays to get down to the Oiler five-yard line and ran out the clock until bringing in the field goal unit with just two seconds left.
The snap, hold and kick were true and the Storm had its first conference win.
Bedevelsky completed 34-of-50 passes for 441 yards – all career highs, and threw for touchdowns. He also rushed for 59 yards and two scores, totaling over 500 yards and six touchdowns. His favorite target was James, who caught a game-high nine passes for 120 yards and the two touchdowns. Romeo hauled in seven for 103 yards and Wells had four catches for an even 100 yards, becoming the first trio of Storm receivers to reach the century mark in the same game.
Junior Kameron Alexander (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) ran for a team-high 64 yards on 15 carries and also caught five passes out of the backfield. As a team, the Storm ran a record 100 plays in recording the second-highest offensive output in terms of total yardage in school history.
Findlay gained 368 yards on offense, including 202 on the ground by Williams. But the Oilers had just 142 in the second half. Soil completed 14-of-27 throws for 138 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Zielaskiewicz caught seven passes for 68 yards and the two scores. Brandon Butler had a game-high 15 tackles to lead the Oilers.
The Storm rages on next Saturday, Oct. 30, against fellow GLIAC newcomer Ohio Dominican University at home. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Britt Stadium on Youth Day.