DOVER, DEL. - A great season ended on a sour note for the Lake Erie College football team as a number of missed opportunities and miscues cost the Storm in a 28-13 loss at Wesley College in the season finale Saturday (Nov. 7).
The Storm (7-4) twice had first and goal from the one-yard line in the first half, but could not convert either chance into points. Another drive deep into Wesley (9-0) territory resulted in a blocked field goal attempt.
Lake Erie also turned the ball over four times against the third-ranked team in NCAA Division III, resulting in an end to the Storm's school record four-game winning streak.
Trailing throughout, the Storm mounted a second-half comeback on the strength of a heads-up play by sophomore linebacker Cameron Bryant (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) and a record return by Steve Bensinger (Poland, Ohio/South Range).
On several occasions following stands by the Storm defense, the Lake Erie offense failed to convert, mostly without starting quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) who exited the game in the third quarter after landing awkwardly on his right wrist.
Before he left, Bedevelsky completed seven-of-13 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
His touchdown was a one-yard pass to redshirt freshman tight end John Hokavar (Perry, Ohio/Perry).
That play was set up by Bryant's recovery of the second-half kickoff on a short, high kick from sophomore Wade Bistor (Massillon, Ohio/Tuslaw).
Prior to that, the Storm had a hard time moving the ball against the ninth-ranked defense in Division III.
Lake Erie had just 143 yards in the opening two quarters and when they did move the ball, the Wolverines turned them away without any points, including a pair of goal-line stands.
The blocked field goal led to Wesley's second score, a 12-yard pass from Justin Sottilare to Sean McAndrew that made it a 14-0 game early in the second quarter.
Aaron Jackson's 43-yard run set up the Wolverines' first score, a 14-yard pass from Sottilare to Ellis Krout. After the Storm got on the board, Sottilare and McAndrew's connected again on a 15-yard scoring play to make it 21-7 with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Playing in place of starter Shane McSweeny, suspended due to a team rules violation, Sottilare completed 14-of-23 passes for 176 yards and those three touchdowns. He threw one interception, the one that was returned by Bensinger for a school-record 84 yards and a touchdown.
That play made it a 21-13 game with 12:36 left. After the defense forced a punt, the offense gave it right back on an interception. The defense held on that drive, but again the offense could not convert it to points. Jackson put the game away with a six-yard run with 3:21 to go.
Wesley outgained the Storm 356-235, including a 180-89 edge in rushing yards. It was the first time all season Lake Erie was held under 100 rushing and 300 total yards in a game. Hokavar led the offense with three catches for 52 yards.
In relief of Bedevelsky, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Krumpak (McDonald, Ohio/McDonald) completed three-of-seven for 28 yards with an interception. Jackson led all players with 184 rushing yards on 29 attempts. Krout and McAndrew each had four receptions.
Kevin Chapman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) led the Storm defense with nine tackles, including a huge sack in the third quarter that thwarted a Wesley drive. Safety David Dunne (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) made seven stops, including three for losses.
Lake Erie completed its second varsity season four games better than its first season of 2008 (3-8). The Storm will compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference beginning next fall.