PAINESVILLE, Ohio (October 11, 2008) - Lake Erie College officially started its first winning streak in program history with Saturday's 47-38 defeat of The Apprentice School at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium, giving the Storm its second consecutive victory this season. In more than one instance, the valuable lesson of the game isn't over until the final second ticks down was learned by all who took the field this beautiful afternoon. The Storm served as teachers, reaping the benefit of its own lesson, and sending the school from Virginia, which is made up of apprentices from Northrop Grumman Newport News, home with a loss.
Lake Erie scored in its opening drive on five plays that ended with Dave Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) sweeping across the left end and diving across the line on a two-yard run for his first of three touchdowns for the day. Cameron Szatala (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) got the extra point to give the Storm the 7-0 lead just two minutes and 15 seconds into the game. Lake Erie held the lead for the remainder of the quarter.
The Builders got on the board in the second quarter on a 32-yard touchdown pass after a 12-play, 80-yard drive that tied the game. The Storm responded just a few minutes later with a touchdown by Demetrius Gray (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland South) on a nine-yard reception. A missed point after attempt left some leeway for the visitors, who returned the kickoff 83 yards and then followed with the point after to take a 14-13 lead with 3:55 to go in the half.
Lake Erie was then stopped in three and forced to punt, giving the ball to the Builders on their own 30-yard line. The Apprentice School produced 70 yards on five plays, finishing with a 31-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to seven. It was then the Builders who missed the point after as the half ended with the hosts trailing, 20-13.
In the third quarter, the Apprentice School scored the first two touchdowns, however, went for a two-point conversion on each and failed on both attempts, leaving ample opportunity for a Storm comeback with the score at 32-13 with three minutes to go in the third. Some unnecessary taunting on the TDs of the third period, served as fuel for the Storm scoring engine as Lake Erie proceeded to plow through anything and everything that stood in its way.
The comeback trail began with a 29-second drive which covered 63 yards on two plays and ended with a 25-yard reception by Romeo with 2:53 on the clock. Szatala buried the kick to make it 32-20. On the Apprentice School possession, the Builders marched 19 yards on three complete passes before free safety Ryan Studer (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) took the wind out of their sails, intercepting the next pass and returning it 55 yards for his first collegiate touchdown. A missed point after, put the Storm down 32-26 as time expired in the period.
The fourth quarter scoring got underway with a three-play drive that included a 51-yard run by tailback Tony Howard (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights) and a 70-yard Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) touchdown pass to an outstretched Romeo that was followed by a Szatala kick to give the Storm its first lead since the beginning of the game, 33-32 with less than eight minutes to play. Howard, who was named the Eastern Colleges Athletic Conference (ECAC) Offensive Player of the Week after last week's record-setting performance, then came up big with a 51-yard touchdown run on the Storm's next possession. Szatala's kick made it 40-32 with seven minutes remaining.
The Apprentice School answered with a TD with 5:30 to go to make it 40-38 as Lake Erie ran the ball much of its remaining time of possession. The Storm's insurance score came on defense on a 36-yard interception return by David Dunne (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) and was finished off with a kick by Szatala.
For the game, Lake Erie totaled 471 offensive yards - 206 rushing and 265 passing. Bedevelsky was 11-for-22 with no interceptions and a program record three touchdowns. Howard concluded the day with a program record 158 yards on 18 carries. Gray was the team's leading receiver with 100 yards on five catches with Romeo totaling a program record two TD receptions. Scott Given led the Storm with four solo and five assisted tackles, along with a sack for a loss of eight yards. Defensively, the Storm picked off a program record four passes with Studer, Dunne, Kenneth Glenn (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) and Derrick Clement (Seville, Ohio/Cloverleaf) each being credited with the statistic.
Lake Erie (2-5) is on the road the next three weeks, beginning with a 1 p.m. kickoff at Salisbury on Oct. 18. The game will be broadcast in its entirety on a one-hour delay on WELW 1330 AM and welw.com.