PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College football team couldn't contain University of Findlay running back Monterae Williams as the visiting Oilers ran their way to a 41-17 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) victory at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 20).
Williams rushed for 268 yards on 39 carries and scored all five Findlay (5-2, 5-2 GLIAC) touchdowns as the Oilers snapped the Storm's (2-6, 2-5 GLIAC) two-game winning streak.
Despite the final score and the big day from Williams, the Storm was right in the game late in the third period. Down 24-10 with a less than a minute remaining in the quarter, Lake Erie had driven to the Findlay one-yard line where quarterback Brendan Gallagher (Aurora, Ohio/Aurora) lost the handle on a keeper and fumbled into the Oilers' endzone. The ball was recovered by Jamon McClain for a touchback and an end to the LEC threat.
Findlay kicked a field goal on its ensuing drive and the Storm turned the ball over on its next three possessions, the final time on a sack inside the Storm 10-yard line. Williams ran it in on the next play to make it a 34-10 game.
Gallagher ran for a nine-yard touchdown with just over five minutes to go but the Oilers recovered the on-side kick attempt and gave the ball to Williams seven straight times to cap a 39-yard scoring drive with 37 seconds left for the final margin.
Early on, it appeared the two teams were going to engage in a slug-fest in soggy conditions. With the rain falling steadily through the opening minutes, neither team was able to grab a foothold until Josh Rode connected on a 22-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the first. Senior Sam Marcotte (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) answered with a 27-yard kick early in the second quarter to tie the game at 3-3.
Williams scored on two short runs in the second quarter to give the Oilers a 17-3 lead at halftime. He then added a six-yard run early in the third to make it 24-3 before Gallagher hit redshirt freshman Shane VanFleteren (Shelby, Mich./Shelby) on an eight-yard strike with 5:27 left in the thirdfor that 24-10 score.
Gallagher completed 15-of-28 passes for 163 yards with the one touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for a career-high 74 yards on 22 carries and a score. Freshman Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) added 44 yards on 10 carries.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Kukwa (Perry, Ohio/Perry/Ball State) caught four passes for 48 yards.
Williams spear-headed a Findlay ground game that rolled up 280 yards. The Oilers outgained the Storm overall 409-300. The big game from Williams offset an off day for quarterback Clay Belton who completed just nine-of-21 passes for 129 yards. He was intercepted twice.
Sophomore Tanner Wells (Carrollton, Texas/Parish Episcopal) and freshman Xavier Dowdell (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) each had an interception. It was the third straight week Wells has had a pick while Dowdell has done so in back-to-back games.
Sophomore Marcus Rogers (Kent, Ohio/Roosevelt) led the Storm defense with 11 total tackles. Wells finished with eight, the same number as classmate Kyle Herth (Harrison, Ohio/LaSalle) who had the Storm's lone sack.
Eric Palmore-Lett led the Findlay defense with a game-high 13 tackles while Ray Ballard had 11 stops, including two sacks. He also recovered a pair of fumbles and broke up a pass.
Rode added a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the Oilers.
Lake Erie will look to get back into the win column on the road next week when the Storm travels to Canton, Ohio for a night game at GLIAC newcomer Walsh University. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. at the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Fawcett Stadium.