Storm Comeback Falls Short at Saginaw Valley

Storm Comeback Falls Short at Saginaw Valley

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich.— The Lake Erie College football team fell in a shootout at Saginaw Valley State University Saturday night (Oct. 17), 37-34, in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action.

Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) rushed for 183 yards on 30 carries for four touchdowns.

John Banyasz (Columbia Station, Ohio/Columbia) completed 16 passes for 194 yards.  His top target was Shane Van Fleteren (Shelby, Mich./Utica), who hauled in six catches for 108 yards.  Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) caught three passes for 56 yards while Anthony Kukwa (Perry, Ohio/Perry) had three catches for 21 yards.  Banyasz also added 50 yards on the ground. 

Isaiah Wheeler (Copley, Ohio/Copley/Stark State) led the Storm defense with 10 tackles.  Nick Szabados (Middletown, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller) had eight tackles.  Tony Andrews (South Euclid, Ohio/Charles F. Brush) had six tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.  Maurice Hale (Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) also had an interception.  Alec Heldreth (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) had 1.5 sacks.

After the Cardinals struck first on the opening possession on a 23-yard run by Malik Washington, the Storm drove 68-yards to tie the game.  Banyasz found Aaron Lindgren for 35-yards on the opening play.  Bilal capped off the drive from one-yard out. Washington scored his second rushing touchdown late in the first quarter to give the Cardinals a 14-7 edge heading into the second.

The Cardinals drove down the field to start to the second.  After a touchdown was called back on a penalty, Christian Cole (Waldorf, Md./McDonough) recovered a fumble.  However, the Cardinals got the ball back on an interception and struck on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Max Corcoran.

Late in the second half, Drew Herrell increased the Cardinal lead to 27-7 with just over a minute to go in the half.

With just over a minute to play in the half, Banyasz found Van Fleteren deep down the sideline.  The Storm continued to methodically move the ball, with Bilal scoring his second one-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 27-13 at half.

Andrews forced and recovered a fumble to open up the third quarter.  The offensive line opened up several big holes for Bilal, as he capped off a 67-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run.  Late in the third, the Cardinals scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Fobbs to take a 17 point lead into the final frame.

The Storm put together a 10 play, 65-yard drive to open the fourth, with Banyasz capping it off with a three-yard touchdown run. 

After trading possessions, the Storm put together another long drive.  After a big catch on third down by Van Fleteren, Bilal scored his fourth touchdown of the game to bring the score within three with 5:40 to play.

Late in the fourth, the Storm forced a punt but was unable to convert a fourth down as the Cardinals sealed the win. 

The Storm offense produced 27 first downs and 449 yards of offense, 255 of which came on the ground.

The Storm is back in action next week at home against Malone University.

-LEC-