ADRIAN, MICH. -- Lake Erie College head football coach Mark McNellie made the gutsiest call of his coaching career taking the tying point off the board in overtime, but his team rewarded his decision. Sophomore quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) ran in the two point conversion to cap an improbable comeback with a 29-28 victory over Adrian College on Saturday night (Sept. 26) in Adrian.
Lake Erie (3-2) rallied from a 21-0 third quarter deficit to move above .500 for the first time in school history.
After Adrian scored on the opening possession of overtime, Lake Erie answered back when Bedevelsky scampered in from 20 yards out. Freshman Sam Marcotte (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) came on and booted the extra point through the uprights to tie the game. But a running into the kicker penalty gave the Storm the option to keep the point or move the ball to the one-and-a-half yard line and go for the win.
McNellie chose the latter. And it was Bedevelsky who made it the right choice, even if it was a little dicey. On a busted play in which he bobbled the snap a bit, Bedevelsky scooted around the left end and beat a defender to the front corner of the end zone for the winning points.
The two-point play capped off a wild finish.
Down 21-7, senior running back Tony Howard (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights/Kent State) scored on a two-yard run to cut the deficit to seven.
After the Storm defense forced a three-and-out, the offense was driving for what appeared to be the tying score, but Bedevelsky's pass ricocheted off Nick Yeager's (Madison, Ohio/Madison) pads and was intercepted by Sederick Dunbar at the 10.
But the Storm defense did its job and got the offense the ball back with just over a minute remaining and with just over 30 seconds remaining and facing third-and-13, Bedevelsky connected over the middle with sophomore Dave Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) for a 45-yard touchdown to tie the game.
Aided by a pass interference call and a 32-yard pass from Mike McGee to Eric Suttie, Adrian had a chance to win it in regulation, but Zach Scoville's 29-yard field goal attempt was blocked by sophomore defensive lineman Josh Freeman (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) to force the extra session.
The final minutes marked a remarkable turnaround for the Storm. Lake Erie committed a couple miscues and failed to capitalize on some opportunities early in falling behind 21-0. McGee threw a pair of touchdowns in the first half to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.
The lead went to 21-0 on a controversial play in the third. McGee flipped a shovel pass to Jackson Hanks on fourth-and-one and it appeared he had been stopped short of the first down marker. But Hanks broke through the middle of the defense and raced 31 yards for the score.
On the ensuing possession, Lake Erie drove 82 yards on 14 plays with Bedevelsky hitting Demetrius Gray (Cleveland, Ohio/South) over the middle for a 12-yard touchdown to start the comeback.
Bedevelsky completed 20-of-39 passes for 296 and two touchdowns with an interception. He also added 53 yards on the ground on 10 attempts.
Howard led the way with 62 on the Storm's 170 rushing yards. Gray led the receiving corps with six catches for 71 yards.
McGee completed 21-of-28 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Back-up Justin Hemm completed a pass for 31 yards and led the ground game with 68 yards on 11 carries.
Lake Erie posted a season-high 466 yards of offense and outgained Adrian overall 466-452. It marked the first time all season the Storm has outgained its opponents.
Sophomore linebacker Kevin Chapman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson), whose interception last week helped set up the clinching points, led the defense with 10 total tackles, including six solo stops. Converted running back Steve Bensinger (Poland, Ohio/South Range) made eight solo tackles from his new safety position.
The Storm will look to extend its winning streak to three games
next week when it returns home to Jack Britt Memorial Stadium to
take on Ohio Dominican University on Homecoming/Alumni
Weekend. Kickoff s set for 1 p.m.