SALISBURY, Md. (October 18, 2008) - Predictions made earlier in the week by D2Football.com had Lake Erie College being defeated by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) No. 19 Salisbury University by 25 points. It's not the first time this season the first-year varsity program has been picked as the underdog. Likewise, it's not the first-time the Storm has raised a few eyebrows, this time, by not letting the hosts jump out to an easy victory, while also forcing the nationally-recognized program into five turnovers.
Lake Erie wasn't the first team to score Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium, but it wasn't quiet for long after the hosts scored the opening touchdown a little less than three minutes into the game. The Storm put up its first numbers on a 23-yard field goal by freshman Cameron Szatala (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) with 6:36 to go in the first quarter, making it 7-3. The Sea Gulls added another TD in the first and put up one more in the second, before Lake Erie found the end zone for the first time on a 43-yard Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) completion to receiver Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor). Szatala kicked the extra point, putting Lake Erie within 12 at 21-9 with 5:23 remaining in the half as neither team scored again before the break.
The second half got underway with the Storm controlling the ball, however, after three plays the team was forced to punt. A Sea Gull fumble on the punt was recovered by Lake Erie at its 38-yard line where the team was unable to make enough progress for a score. On Salisbury's possession, the Sea Gulls scored its fourth touchdown of the day on a 30-yard run, then kicked the extra point to go up 28-9.
Lake Erie answered in its next possession with a six-play drive for 49 yards that finished with a Bedevelsky 41-yard rush into the end zone. A blocked extra point made the score 28-15 with 7:29 to go in the third period. The TD would be the final score of the day for the Storm as Salisbury would go on to score a field goal and a touchdown to win the game, 39-15.
Lake Erie totaled 241 offensive yards - 55 rushing and 186 passing. Bedevelsky was 15-for-25 with no interceptions. The Storm won the battle of turnovers for the second consecutive game, totaling just one fumble compared to Salisbury's four fumbles and one interception. James led Lake Erie with 76 receiving yards on four catches. Tailback Tony Howard (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights) had 29 rushing yards on nine carries. For the defense, freshman Scott Given (Elyria, Ohio/Midview) recorded a program record 18 tackles, which included 15 solo and three assisted tackles. Bill Finucan (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) who had seven tackles on the day, had the team's only sack for a loss of six yards. Freshman Aaron Gaines (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) was credited with the interception.
Lake Erie (2-6) travels to Charleston on Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The game will be broadcast on a one-hour delay on WELW 1330 AM and welw.com.