PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Unable to take advantage of three early turnovers, the Lake Erie College football team fellbehind early and never recovered in a 49-21 loss to Ferris State University on Saturday night (Sept. 8) in the home and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium.
Sophomore defensive back Stacy Woodford (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) intercepted a pair of passes – tying a school, single game record- and the Storm (0-2, 0-1 GLIAC) also recovered a Ferris State fumble in the first half, but could not convert any of the takeaways into points.
The Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 GLIAC), meanwhile seemingly had no trouble finding the endzone when they did hold on to the ball. Jason Vander Lann threw and ran for a touchdown in the first quarter and Taylor Masiewicz came off the bench after Vander Lann was injured to throw three touchdowns as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-7 lead and then took a 42-7 edge into the fourth quarter.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Kukwa (Perry, Ohio/Perry/Ball State) caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from senior Patrick Nicely (Willoughby, Ohio/South/Akron) late in the second quarter and then another from 29-yarder in late in the fourth. Freshman Brandon Phenix (Toledo, Ohio/Maumee) scored on a four-yard run in the fourth quarter for Lake Erie's other points. It was the second straight week Phenix found the end zone.
The Storm totaled 293 yards on offense. Freshman Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries in his first game action to lead the way. Nicely completed 12-of-25 passes for 159 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. That pick came deep in the Storm's own end and led to the Bulldogs' second touchdown.
After not allowing a sack in the opener, the Storm surrendered five to the Bulldogs.
VanderLann completed 16-of-21 passes for 135 yards with the touchdown and two interceptions. Masiewics was nine-of-12 for 145 yards with the three scoring strikes, though most of the work on those was done after the catch by receiver Torico Searcy (35 yards)and Skyler Stoker (36 yards). Stoker ran seven times for 65 yards and caught five passes for 71. Jake Lampman caught six passes for 81 yards to lead the Bulldogs. Ferris State totaled665 yards overall, 364 on the ground and 301 through the air.
Sophomore linebacker Marcus Rogers (Kent, Ohio/Roosevelt) made a career-high 13 tackles while Woodford had 10 – all solo – to go along with his two interceptions. The Storm forced four turnovers, but scored just seven total points.
The Storm will look to pick up its first win of the season next week, when the team heads to Detroi, Mich., for a noon kickoff at nationally-ranked and defending NCAA Division II runner-up Wayne State University. The game can be heard live on ESPN 970 WFUN and on LakeErieStorm.com with an 11:50 a.m. pregame.