(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) - The first look of the Lake Erie Storm football program under the guidance of Head Coach Reilly Murphy was unveiled today with the annual spring game at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium. Judging by the reaction of the players suited up, there will be a lot of excitement when they return to the gridiron in August.
As opposed to a stereotypical intrasquad Green vs. White or offense vs. defense style spring game, the Storm went through a variety of situational settings such as starting from the 25 and 40 or an overtime scenario on the visiting 25.
"These guys learned how to compete and you could see that energy on the field and how much they're ready to take that next step and those are things I was really proud of," said Head Coach Reilly Murphy.
Quarterbacks Javarian Smith and Kolston Brewster showed off their talents with the assistance of a variety of targets. Smith provided the first touchdown on a 14-yard fade route to Nate Dantley in the Storm end zone. Smith later added another bomb to Dantley in the red zone on a 42-yard strike from the opposite 40-yard line.
Brewster also found the end zone a couple of times. He found a diving Josh Hufstetler for a 24-yard gain to set up a 32-yard strike to Deonte Cooley on a corner route on the Red Raider side with little room to spare. A short while later he hit Desmond Turner on a quick slant to paydirt the opposite way.
Turner did most of the work as he caught the ball near midfield, broke a tackle, and sped through the last 50 yards like it was a track meet. Cooley later scored on a 43-yard catch-and-run from a Lawrence Chambers pass.
The defense had its bright spots as well with multiple stops and a few 3-and-outs. The run game proved difficult to generate through a strong front line, and the secondary was able to break up numerous passes.
"They were very aggressive and played hard like they weren't afraid to make mistakes, and that's exactly what I want our defense to look like," added Coach Murphy. "Coach Q did a good job with those guys today to get them prepared, and you could tell they played with a lot of passion as well."
Mike Swanson found that out the hard way late in the scrimmage as he was hit hard in the back field. However, he didn't let that get him down and came back on the very next play to bust it up the middle for a 20-yard run for a touchdown.
The Storm will kick off the 2019 season on the road at Mercyhurst on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m.