PAINESVILLE, Ohio (November 8, 2008) - Unfortunately for Lake Erie College, halftime doesn't occur at the beginning of the game because what head coach Mark McNellie said at the break ignited the dormant Storm to an unanswered four touchdown effort in the second half, as the green and white concluded its inaugural varsity season Saturday afternoon with a 47-26 loss to NCAA Division III No. 9 Wesley College.
Not only did NCAA Division II provisional member Lake Erie (3-8) break out and score four touchdowns in the latter part of the game - all in the fourth quarter - the Storm defense kept the nationally-ranked Wolverines from gaining a single yard in the final half. In fact, Wesley (7-1) actually lost yardage in the final 30 minutes - 20 yards in all.
Trailing by 47 in the final period, the Storm gained its first score of the day with 12:23 left on the clock on a four-yard pass from Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Offensive Player of the Week quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) to tight end Dane Gardner (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic). The extra point attempt was no good, but still put some points on the board for the Storm which was ready to give it a go at a comeback.
The Lake Erie defense forced the Wolverines to punt after three plays and a loss of a yard on the series before going to work. Bedevelsky completed five passes for a total of 50 yards as the team rushed for 15, with Onesiaum Glass (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville) finding the end zone on a one-yard carry. Cameron Szatala (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) kicked the extra point to give Lake Erie 13 total points with 6:30 to play.
Jonathan Bistor's (Massillon, Ohio/Tuslaw) kick went to the Wesley seven-yard line where the Wolverines returned the ball to the six. The visitors then lost three yards on the next play before fumbling the ball that was recovered in the end zone by Lake Erie's Bill Finucan (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) for a touchdown. Szatala's kick was blocked but the Storm pushed its score to 19 with 5:39 remaining.
Another three-play series for the nationally-ranked Wesley program returned the ball to Lake Erie - this time on the 11-yard line. The Storm mounted a seven-play drive for 89 yards that concluded with receiver Ryan Robinson (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) roping in a 34-yard Bedevelsky pass for the first TD of his collegiate career. Szatala kicked the point after to make it 47-26.
Wesley gained seven yards in its final series as time expired on Lake Erie's inaugural varsity season.
The Storm totaled 326 offensive yards for the afternoon. Bedevelsky was 23-for-35 with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Glass netted 28 yards on eight carries and running back Demetrius Gray (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland South) had 42 receiving yards on four catches. Scott Given (Elyria, Ohio/Midview) led the team with nine tackles and Finucan had eight.
Lake Erie earned three victories in its first varsity season as an NCAA Division II provisional member.