PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Turnovers on three of the first five offensive series got the snowball rolling downhill and became too much for the Lake Erie College football team to stop as visiting Ashland University took advantage of the Storm's miscues en route to a 62-10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday (Oct. 5) to spoil Homecoming at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium.
The Storm (1-4, 1-3 GLIAC) drove into Ashland territory on each of the first three possessions, but those drives ended in an interception, fumble and a turnover on downs. The Eagles (2-3, 2-2 GLIAC) took advantage each time and jumped out to a 31-0 advantage.
If the turnovers were the snowball, then Ashland's Anthony Taylor was the wrecking ball. The sophomore all-conference back scored on touchdown runs of 56-, 40-, 1- and 13-yards – all in the first half – as part of a huge afternoon. He finished the game with 311 rushing yards and those four touchdowns on 29 attempts, part of the Eagles' 441 yards on the ground.
Lake Erie was finally able to sustain some forward momentum late in the second quarter when a 10-play, 65-yard drive led to a 33-yard Kyle Galbraith (Monroe, Mich./Monroe/Oakland) . After sophomore R.J. Karam (Copley, Ohio/Copley) blocked an Ashland punt, the Storm cashed in for what would be their only touchdown of the game, a 33-yard pass from redshirt senior Brendan Gallagher (Aurora, Ohio/Aurora) to junior Andrew Schickler (Doylestown, Ohio/Chippewa) on fourth down to make it 31-10 heading into halftime.
But that would be it offensively for the home team. Anthony McCarthy kicked a 20-yard field goal – his second three-pointer of the day- and back-up running back Vance Settlemire ran for two touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 48-10. Mike Taylor added a 41-yard scoring run and Reed Masters capped the scoring with an 8-yard run in the fourth for the final margin.
The Storm gained a season-low 316 total yards and turned the ball over four times in all. The Storm also had two errant snaps stall drives and a low snap on a punt attempt that gave Ashland a short field prior to Masters' run.
Overall, Ashland started drives on Lake Erie's side of the field five times.
Gallagher completed 13-of-22 passes for 161 yards and an interception. He also ran for 61 yards on 11 attempts. Sophomore Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) gained 64 yards on 18 carries – snapping his 100-yard consecutive games streak at five. Redshirt sophomore Shane VanFleteren (Shelby, Mich./Utica) led the receiving corps with five receptions for 42 yards.
Defensively, redshirt junior Marcus Rogers (Kent, Ohio/Roosevelt) made a game-high 13 total tackles (seven solo). Redshirt sophomore DeVen Darby (Detroit, Mich./Farmington Hills Harrison) added 11 stops and junior Stacy Woodford (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) had 10.
In addition to Taylor's performance, Settlemire gained 96 yards on 13 carries and the two scores. Tra'Von Chapman completed eight-of-13 passes for 104 yards. Though they allowed four sacks, the Eagles did not commit a turnover and held the ball for 36 minutes. Ashland outgained LEC 545-316.
Adam Wallace led the Eagles' defense with 10 tackles and recovered a fumble.
The Storm will to bounce back and put a stop to their current two-game losing streak next week when they host Northeast Ohio and nonconference rival Notre Dame College Saturday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m.