(PHILIPPI, West Virginia) – Eric Zokouri (Silver Spring, Maryland) and the Lake Erie offense helped pave the country roads at Alderson Broaddus as the Storm ran for 320 yards en route to a 38-24 victory Saturday afternoon. Zokouri shined as he rushed 30 times for 212 yards and a touchdown to lead the team.
Adding to the rushing threat were Javarian Smith (Pontiac, Michigan) and Antwan Harris (Youngstown, Ohio) who evenly split the remaining 112 yards. Harris scored two touchdowns while Smith added another.
Zokouri's score came at a pivotal moment as Lake Erie was holding onto a three point lead thanks to a Justin Smith 21 yard field goal. After Tre Chane Shanklin (Cleveland, Ohio) and Jaylen Johnson (Akron, Ohio) stuffed the Battlers' Jalen Jackson on fourth-and-one to force a turnover on downs, the Storm scored three plays later when Zokouri raced it in from 56 yards out just before the end of the third quarter.
Alderson Broaddus was able to answer with a 23 yard field goal on the ensuing drive, but the Storm added another touchdown by way of Harris, this time from 25 yards out to set the final score.
Harris' first touchdown helped push the momentum tide in favor of Lake Erie as he scored from 17 yards and put the Green and White up 21-14 with 38 seconds left before halftime. It gave the Storm their first lead after trailing 14-0 after two quick Battler touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game.
Lake Erie was able to tie the game on pair of 12-play, 75 yard drives the ended with a five yard touchdown pass from Smith to Josh Hufstetler (North Olmsted, Ohio) and a five yard Smith run.
Defensively the Storm held the Battlers in check when it mattered most. When the Storm were forced to punt on a three-and-out on the first drive in the second half, a Tyrese Pearson interception gave them the ball right back and led to the go-ahead field goal.
Twice in the fourth quarter the Storm forced AB into turnovers on downs, and they also held the Battlers to a late field goal despite Alderson Broaddus having a first-and-goal situation from the one. While it occurred on special teams the Storm added another turnover with a forced fumble by Lawrence Chambers (Richmond, Virginia) that was recovered by Derek Smith (Rancho Cucamonga, California).
"I'm proud of the effort from our guys today," said Head Coach Reilly Murphy. "It was a good win that we can continue to build on."
Collectively the Storm outgained the Battlers 437-343. Of the 117 passing yards, 50 of them went to Hufstetler on four receptions.
Alderson Broaddus was led through the air by Joe Czelusniak who was 9-for-27 with 148 yards. Jackson rushed for 125 yards on 14 carries.
The win is the second in three weeks for the Storm. The last time that happened for Lake Erie came during the 2014 season when the Storm defeated Notre Dame College, Saginaw Valley State, and Malone in consecutive weeks.
The Storm will look to make it two-straight next week when they head to Indiana to take on Taylor. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.