OWENSBORO, Ky. – The Lake Erie College football team was in action today as they were victorious over Kentucky Wesleyan, 45-27.
The Panthers took the opening possession 81 yards for a touchdown. The Panther drive was capped by a four yard touchdown pass. Kentucky Wesleyan tacked on a touchdown on their second possession of the game, to take a 14-0 edge midway through the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff Michael Goolsby (Lakewood, Ohio / Lakewood) returned the kick 39 yards into Kentucky Wesleyan territory. The Storm scored quickly as the 40 second drive was capped by a 31 yard run by Mitchell Tilley (Oxford, Mich. / Oxford), to make the score, 14-7. On the Panthers next drive Richard Smith (Virginia Beach, Virginia / Bayside) intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards for a Storm touchdown to tie the game at 14 points apiece, with six minutes remaining in the opening quarter. On Lake Erie's next offensive possession, they drove the ball 70 yards on four plays. The Storm capped the quick drive with a 41 yard touchdown pass by Javarian Smith (Pontiac, Mich. / Oakland Christian) to Desmon Turner (Cedar Bluff, Ala. / Fort Payne), to give Lake Erie a 21-14 lead.
Early in the second quarter the Storm scored their fourth consecutive touchdown to take a 28-14 lead when Smith connected with Josh Hufstetler (North Olmsted, Ohio / North Olmsted) for a 22 yard touchdown through the air. The Panthers answered back with a pair of touchdowns throughout the second quarter. However, Kentucky Wesleyan missed an extra point and trailed the Storm at the half, 28-27.
Lake Erie came out of the locker room ready to play as they scored in the opening minute of the third quarter when Turner scampered for a 10 yard touchdown run, to give the Storm a 35-27 edge. After a defensive stop by the Storm, Lake Erie scored on the opening play of their ensuing drive when Smith connected with Joshua Collins (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) for a 40 yard strike through the air. The remainder of the third quarter was scoreless and the Storm entered the final quarter ahead 42-27.
Early in the fourth quarter Lake Erie tacked on three more points as Michael Muzic (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) connected on a 40 yard field goal, to give the Storm a 45-27 advantage. Lake Erie continued to dominate on the defensive side of the ball and won the game, 45-27. The Storm defense shutout the Panthers in the second half of the game.
The Storm was led by Smith as he completed 6-9 passes for 124 yards and three passing touchdowns. Antwan Harris (Youngstown, Ohio / Austintown Fitch) led the Storm rushing attack as he ran for 120 yards on 15 carries. Turner, Collins, and Hufstetler all caught touchdowns in the game for Lake Erie. Defensively, the Storm was led by Jason Rogers (Laurel, Md. / DeMatha) as he had 11 tackles including three sacks. Justin Growel (East Troy, Wisc. / East Troy) added to the strong defensive effort with eight total tackles and a sack in the game.
Lake Erie will return to the gridiron Saturday (Nov. 4) when they host Walsh University with the game set to kickoff at 1 p.m.