Storm makes history with first program win
It was Homecoming Weekend at Lake Erie College and what better to come home to than the Storm's first win in program history as Lake Erie defeated Glenville State College, 34-27 in front of more than 1,500 fans at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Junior tailback Tony Howard (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights) took the reigns and led the team to its historic first victory, recording four program records and a trio of touchdowns. Howard found the end zone in the first quarter on an 18-yard pass from freshman quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) and a point after by freshman Cameron Szatala (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) made it 7-0.
The Pioneers knotted the score early in the second quarter on a one-yard run by the NCAA's leading rusher, Jerry Seymour. It was his first of two TDs on the afternoon, but the Storm kept him under his average for the game, allowing him 5.2 yards per carry as compared to his usual 8.6.
Glenville then took the lead on an eight-yard interception return with 7:41 to go in the half. The Storm retaliated by moving up the field 74 yards in 10 plays, capping the drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) in the right corner of the end zone. Szatala split the uprights to make it 14-14 with just 20 seconds remaining before the break.
The third quarter saw its only score with 12 seconds left on the clock when the Pioneers punched one in on a five-yard run. The team's two-point conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the door open for the Storm. The small opening was all the green and white needed to put together a fourth quarter unlike any other this season. Howard found the end zone for his second time after a 13-yard run, however, Szatala's point after attempt to give the Storm the lead just missed from 41 yards out, leaving the score tied at 20.
The Storm defense held Glenville to 34 yards on five plays in their next series, to regain the ball at the Lake Erie 48-yard line. A Pioneer penalty gave Lake Erie a first down and a 26-yard pass to James pushed the Storm to the Glenville 46-yard line. Lake Erie then delved into its bag of tricks and pulled out a 15-yard rushing play to left guard David Greenslade (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) to set up Bedevelsky for a six-yard TD run. Szatala's kick was good, putting Lake Erie up 27-20 with just under six minutes to play.
Glenville got two first downs in its next possession before the Lake Erie defense came up big with two defensive stops - one on a tackle by Bill Finucan (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) of a rushing Pioneer quarterback and the other on a broken up pass by Anthony Johnson (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) on a fourth down, which gave the ball to Lake Erie on its own 27.
On the Storm's first play of the series, Howard rushed the length of the field, receiving a key block from James in his final stride, to give him his third TD of the afternoon - a program record for total touchdowns in a game and long rush with 73 yards. Szatala's kick was again good, giving the Storm a 34-20 lead.
The Pioneers scored on their next possession to put the score at 34-27 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Two more possessions for Lake Erie and another for Glenville all came up empty, giving Lake Erie the victory.
Bedevelsky finished the day 14-for-28 for 171 total yards and two touchdown passes. He also rushed for a touchdown. Howard recorded a game-record 142 yards rushing on a game-record 24 carries. James totaled 60 yards receiving on three catches with one touchdown. Defensively, free safety Ryan Studer (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) led the team with seven solo and nine assisted tackles to set the program game record for 16 total tackles. Kevin Chapman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) and Andy Kurzinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) were each credited with a sack, while Taylor Jonard (Galena, Ohio/Walnut) and Josh Freeman (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) combined for another sack.
Lake Erie (1-5) remains at home next week to take on The Apprentice School at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on a one-hour delay on WELW 1330 AM and welw.com.