PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College football team outgained an opponent for the fourth time in five games this season, but it has yet to translate into victories as the Storm failed to convert on several trips inside the red zone in a 22-12 Homecoming/Alumni Weekend loss to Ferris State University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday (Oct. 2) at Britt Stadium.
Playing in a steady rain throughout the game, the Storm (0-5, 0-4 GLIAC) outgained the Bulldogs (4-1, 4-0 GLIAC) 351-310, including running for a season-high 261 yards against the league's top rush defense. But the Storm scored just one touchdown in four trips inside the Ferris State 20-yard line and also turned the ball over twice on the Bulldogs' side of the field.
Skyler Stoker scored the first of his two touchdowns on the day on a 10-yard run on the Bulldogs' first drive of the game. Lake Erie responded with a 61-yard drive down to the Ferris five-yard line, but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by sophomore Sam Marcotte (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon).
After junior David Dunne (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) forced a fumble, freshman Chris Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) broke off a career-long run of 43 yards down to the one. He took it over the goal line on the next play for his third rushing touchdown in as many games. The point after was blocked and Lake Erie led 9-7 with three minutes left in the first quarter.
That was it for the offenses in the first half, as neither team was able to advance past the others 33 yard line.
After the Storm's first drive of the second half stalled at the Ferris State 40, the Bulldogs drove 80 yards in 11 plays to retake the lead as Stoker scored from five yards out to cap the drive and make it 13-9.
Lake Erie responded with a 54-yard drive of its own, but once again stalled inside the red zone and settled for a 23-yard Marcotte field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut the margin to a single point at 13-12.
Stoker returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards to the Lake Erie 19 yard line, setting up a 29-yard field goal from Catlin Porter to make it 16-12.
Not to be outdone, sophomore Andre Wells (Cleveland, Ohio/Villa Angela-St. Joseph) had a 48 yard return to set the Storm up at the Ferris 35. But on the drives second play, juniors Sean Bedevelsky and Kameron Alexander (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) mishandled the pitch attempt and Alex Brajak recovered for Ferris State at the 36. Five plays later, Tom Schneider hit Mike Ryan for about a 20-yard gain, but Ryan made two Storm defenders miss and raced into the end zone for a 42-yard score and a 22-12 advantage.
A 40-yard completion from Bedevelsky to James gave the Storm a first-and-goal at the four. But after two rushes for no gain and an incomplete pass, Marcotte came on to attempt a 22-yard field goal. But the kick was blocked by Muneer Bawayeh in the middle of the line and essentially wrapped up the game for the Bulldogs and kept Ferris State in a tie for first place through the season's first five weeks.
Brown rushed for a career-high 83 yards on 10 carries to lead the Storm. Bedevelsky completed nine-of-17 passes for 90 yards with one interception. He also ran for 67 yards on 15 attempts.
Schneider completed 15-of-22 throws for Ferris State for 162 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Ryan caught a game-high seven passes for 98 yards while Tyler Thomas led the Buldgos ground game with 56 yards on 10 carries. Stoker had 28 yards on nine attempts, including the two touchdowns.
Redshirt junior David Heck (North Lima, Ohio/South Range) had acareer-high tying nine tackles for Lake Erie. Juniors Gus Armbruster (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) and Ryan Studer (Madison, Ohio/Riverside) each had seven.
Matt Ryan led Ferris State with a game-high 15 tackles, including 11 solo stops. Tayo Moss had nine.
Lake Erie is home again next Saturday, Oct. 9, against GLIAC foe Wayne State University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Britt Stadium with a fireworks show to follow the game.