(ERIE, Pa.) – A new era will begin tomorrow night as Lake Erie kicks off its 12th season of NCAA Division II football under the guidance of new head coach Reilly Murphy. The Storm will do so just up the road against Mercyhurst College of the PSAC.
Despite the close proximity, this will be the first time the two schools separated by 76 miles meet on the gridiron. Both teams used to be members of the same conference, but the timelines of those memberships never overlapped as the Lakers left the GLIAC just before the Storm entered it.
Coach Murphy enters his first season as head coach at any level, but success has followed him wherever he goes. Last season as the offensive coordinator for Fayetteville State, he helped the Broncos reach the CIAA championship game after guiding them to a Southern Division championship in the league. FSU ranked among the top offenses in the country with an average of 32.33 points per game.
Despite the team's youth, the Storm features a lineup that saw a lot of playing time last year. Multiple starters return on both sides of the ball and have multiple new faces behind them for depth.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Saxon Stadium.