OWENSBORO, Ky (November 1, 2008) - Late in regulation, it looked
as if Lake Erie College might be going into overtime for the first
time in program history, but the athletic moves of Dave Romeo
(Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) lifted the Storm above
Kentucky Wesleyan, 38-31 as the freshman reached up and caught his
second touchdown of the day with less than two minutes
remaining in the game. And as the Panthers marched down the field
to try to make the overtime dream a reality, throwing a pass
straight into the end zone, it was Lake Erie's Ryan Studer
(Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) who came up with the biggest
interception of the season to squash the possibility of extra time.
Lake Erie opened its final road contest of the season quite
strong, jumping out to a 14-0 lead after freshman quarterback Sean
Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) linked up twice with wide
receiver Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) in the
opening quarter. The first touchdown of the game came on a 75-yard
pass, marking a personal long reception for James, after the Storm
put together a three-play drive. Cameron Szatala (Lorain,
Ohio/Admiral King) made the extra point to put Lake Erie on top,
7-0 after two minutes of play. It was Bedevelsky to James seven
minutes later, this time on a nine-yard pass culminating a 14-play,
72-yard drive by the Storm. A point after by Szatala gave Lake Erie
a 14-point lead with under six minutes to go in the first period.
Kentucky Wesleyan responded with a two-yard touchdown for its first
score of the game, to make it 14-7 to end the quarter.
Lake Erie opened the second quarter with its third touchdown of
the afternoon. A three-play drive included a 21-yard pass to James,
a rush by tailback Tony Howard (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield
Heights) for no gain and a pitch fake to Steve Bensinger (Poland,
Ohio/South Range) to set up a nine-yard touchdown run by left wing
Dave Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North). Szatala's kick put Lake
Erie ahead 21-7 with 13:45 to go in the half.
The Panthers then proceeded to put up two straight touchdowns to
tie the game at 21. Lake Erie ran 13 plays for 60 yards to get
within field goal range. Three straight timeouts unfortunately iced
the kicker as the attempt from 27 yards out missed, sending the
teams to the locker room at a stalemate.
Third quarter scoring was limited to a pair of field goals, one
each per team. Szatala kicked a 22-yarder two minutes into the half
before Kentucky Wesleyan countered with a 25-yard field
goal with 8:23 left on the clock.
In the fourth, the Panthers stopped Lake Erie in three plays,
forcing them to punt and then put together a nine-play, 90-yard
drive for a touchdown, taking its first lead of the game, 31-24
with 10:11 to play. The lead was short-lived however, as Lake Erie
stormed the field for 68 yards - 18 of which came on
three rushes from Howard. Bedevelsky finished the series with
a 38-yard TD pass to freshman receiver Kyle Gregory (Avon,
Ohio/Avon). Szatala's kick then tied the game at 31 with seven
The Panthers' next series ended after six plays where they
punted for a touchback. Howard went to work with the ball at the
20, totaling 53 yards on four carries setting Romeo up for the
eventual game-winning score on a seven-yard pass. Szatala's kick
was good with 1:43 to go.
Kentucky Wesleyan went 57 yards in seven plays and a bullet into
the end zone, which looked like a touchdown, was actually cut off
by Studer with 38 ticks left on the clock. Taking a knee on its
possession to run out the clock, sent the Storm into celebratory
mode as it recorded its first varsity win on the road in program
Lake Erie totaled 544 offensive yards, the second highest total
of the season. Bedevelsky turned in possibly his strongest
performance of the season, going 21-for-27 to tie the program
record with 308 yards. He had four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Howard netted 113 yards on 20 carries, while James racked up a
program-record 183 yards on nine receptions. Gregory totaled a
personal-best 129 all-purpose yards - 39 rushing, 41 receiving and
49 on kick return. Romeo recorded 84 all-purpose yards, including
46 on seven rushes and 38 on five catches.
On the defensive side, Lake Erie totaled 10 tackles for a loss
of 56 yards. Aaron Gaines (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) had one for a loss
of 29 yards, while Derrick Clement Seville, Ohio/Cloverleaf) had
two for a loss of 11 yards. Kenneth Glenn (Shaker Heights,
Ohio/Shaker Heights) and Bill Finucan (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky
Rover) led the team with six tackles apiece.
Lake Erie (3-7) heads into the final game of the season on a
high note. It will host Division III No. 10 Wesley at Jack Britt
Memorial Stadium at 1 p.m. on Nov. 8.