Junior running back Kameron Alexander (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) rushed for a school record 214 yards and a touchdown to lead the Lake Erie College football team to its third straight win, a 31-27 victory over visiting Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe Tiffin University on Senior Day in Painesville Saturday (Nov. 6).
The Storm (3-7, 3-6 GLIAC) gained a season-high 307 yards on the ground and finished with 485 total yards as redshirt sophomore quarterback Matt Krumpak (McDonald, Ohio/McDonald) was efficient in his first career start, completing 11-of-18 passes for 178 yards and two scores in place of injured junior starter Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick).
Both offenses started off slowly as Tiffin (1-9, 0-8 GLIAC) punted on its first four possessions while Lake Erie was forced to kick away on six of its first seven drives. In the first quarter, Krumpak ran a play-action pass and floated a ball downfield to junior wingback Patrick Lunney (Mount Shasta. Calif./Mt. Shasta) who raced 60 yards for a 7-0 advantage. Tiffin answered back with a seven-yard strike from Jason Young to Brendton Williams with 2:08 in the half and the teams went to intermission knotted at 7-7.
Miscues plagued the Storm in the third period as their first three possessions of the second half resulted in a blocked punt and two lost fumbles. However, Lake Erie's defense answered the call as they held Tiffin to minus-14 yards in the ensuing three possessions, but a pair of 30-yard field goals from Mike Rutowksi gave Tiffin a 13-7 advantage.
The combination of Alexander and junior Onesiaum Glass (Westerville, Ohio/Westville) took five carries for 81 yards after the Tiffin kickoff, culminating in a five-yard run by Glass which put Lake Erie ahead for good at 14-13. Tiffin's next possession lasted just one play as Young was intercepted by freshman safety Dylon Leymon (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Cuyahoga Falls). On the first play following the turnover, a 44-yard strike from Krumpak to junior Ryan Robinson (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) set up a 28-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Sam Marcotte (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) and the Storm led 17-13 heading into the final period.
The Storm was in great position to begin the final period after Alexander broke free for a career-long and school record 53-yard run on the final play of the third period on the first play following a Tiffin fumble deep in Lake Erie territory. Krumpak finished the drive by hitting junior tight end John Hokavar (Perry, Ohio/Perry) for a four-yard TD with 12:24 to play. Tiffin did not go away and Young hooked up with Trey Williams for a touchdown and two-point conversion to pull the Dragons within three at 24-21 with 8:40 left.
Lake Erie needed one more long drive to seal the game and got it as a nine-play, 70 yard drive put the game away with Alexander scoring on a 40-yard scamper – his third run of 40 or more yards in the game - to put Lake Erie safely ahead at 31-21 with 4:15 to go. The Dragons drove back down the field to move within four after a missed extra point following a 41-yard strike from Young to Nate Scully but the Storm recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock with two rushing first downs.
In addition to Alexander, who gained his 214 yards on a career-high 20 carries for his first career 100-yard game, Glas finished with 56 yards and 12 attempts and Krumpak had 29 on just two scrambles. Krumpak did not throw an interception in his starting debut and completed passes to nine different receivers.
On the defensive end for the Storm, junior linebacker Cameron Bryant had his fourth straight double-digit tackle effort with a game-high 14, tying his personal best effort. Redshirt freshman linebacker John Fioritto (Newbury, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) added a career-high 12 stops and senior linebacker Dan Nebraski (Painesville, Ohio/Madison) was an all-around force in his final home game with seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
Marcotte was also four-of-four on extra points on the day and has been successful on seven straight field goals.
The Dragons totaled 328 yards led by Young who completed 20-of-28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns with the one interception. Trey Williams led all players with nine catches for 85 yards while Johnathan Marquez caught five for 86. The Storm held Tiffin to just 77 rushing yards, an average of 1,8 per attempt.
Prior to the game, Lake Erie recognized its seven senior players - offensive lineman Mike Colabuno (Perry, Ohio/Perry/Otterbein), defensive back Kenneth Glenn (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights), receiver Demetrius Gray (Cleveland, Ohio/South), running back Travis Lepley (Franklin, Pa./Franklin), linebacker Garrett McMullin (Brookfield, Ohio/Brookfield/Clarion), Nebraski and linebacker Gerald Still (Cleveland, Ohio/South/Hibbing C.C.) as well as student assistant Jordan Taucher.
The Storm concludes the season next Saturday, November 13th with a 1:00 p.m. kickoff at Ashland University.