The Ship's Wheel Trophy: The Battle of Lake Erie


When Lake Erie College and Gannon University meet annually in the first contest of the football season, they play not only for victory on the field, but also for possession of the Ship’s Wheel Trophy.

The trophy was introduced in 2011 as a way to recognize the rivalry that exists between the two schools, separated by less than 70 miles along Interstate 90. The two campuses celebrate another geographical common bond, with both being located close to the shore of the great lake, Lake Erie.

The ship’s wheel symbolizes the battle that took place on Lake Erie between the American and British Navies during the War of 1812. The fleets of Oliver Hazard Perry and Robert Barclay fought to decide control of the lake, with Perry’s battleslogan, “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” becoming a national call to rally. The ship’s wheels used in both fleets not only steered the ships, but also were symbols of strength andpower.

The Ship’s Wheel Trophy used today also symbolizes strength and power -- the strength and power of a football team that wins supremacy on the field. 

Lake Erie won the inaugural trophy game in 2011, with a thrilling 13-10 victory at home. Gannon laid claim to the Wheel for the first time in 2012 with a 36-33 win in Erie. Prior to the awarding of the trophy, the Golden Knights won the first three meetings between the two schools by a combined margin of victory of nine points. 


Rivalry Game History

Date       Location    Score
Aug. 28, 2008    Painesville, Ohio    Gannon 24, Lake Erie 22
Aug. 27, 2009    Erie, Pa.    Gannon 35, Lake Erie 34
Sept. 2, 2010    Erie, Pa.    Gannon 26, Lake Erie 20
Sept. 1, 2011    Painesville, Ohio     Lake Erie 13, Gannon 10
Aug. 30, 2012    Erie, Pa.    Gannon 36, Lake Erie 33
Sept. 5, 2013    Painesville, Ohio    Gannon 36, Lake Erie 33