BIG RAPIDS, MICH. – Behind a balanced offensive attack host Ferris State University scored the game's first 24 points en route to a 38-14 win over the Lake Erie College football team in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play Saturday night (Oct. 1) at Top Taggert Field in Big Rapids.
The Bulldogs (4-1, 3-1 GLIAC) rolled up an even 500 yards of total offense in winning their third straight game. Quarterback Tom Schneider completed 23-of-28 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns, while running for another score, and Skyler Stoker ran for 132 yards, including 119 in the first half.
After Lake Erie (1-4, 0-4 GLIAC) committed a turnover on the third play of the game to set up the Bulldogs at the 34, Dwayne Williams scored on a six-yard run. A Victor Bodrie 34-yard field goal made it 10-0 after one quarter.
Schneider threw a pair of short touchdown passes to Mike Ryan and Jace Heneveld to make it 24-0. The three-yard scoring pass to Heneveld capped a 14-play, 97-yard drive.
The Storm responded quickly, though, as senior Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) connected with fifth-year senior wing back David Romeo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) for a school-record 88-yard touchdown pass to get on the board.
It was the Bulldogs who got the big play for six points to open the third period, with Schneider connecting with Mike Ryan on a 57-yard strike to make it 31-7.
Lake Erie had two drives deep into Ferris State territory in the third, but failed to convert on fourth down on each drive. Schneider snuck across the goalline on a keeper two seconds into the fourth to make it 38-7.
Thanks to a 62-yard kickoff return by junior Desmond Reed (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding) the Storm reached the red zone for the first time midway through the fourth quarter and had first-and-goal from inside the five, but failed to convert again on both third and fourth downs and gave the ball back to the Bulldogs with less than 10 minutes remaining.
LEC was just xx-of-xx on third downs in the game and xx-of-xx on fourth down in losing its fourth straight game. Ferris State, meanwhile, was an efficient and effective xx-of-xx on third down.
Bedevelsky completed 13-of-21 passes for 189 yards and the TD to Romeo, who had three catches for 127 yards. This was Romeo's fifth career 100-yard receiving game.
The Storm rushed for 173 yards, with freshman Rodney Smith (Bartow, Fla./Bartow) leading the way with 54 yards on just seven carries. Bedevelsky added 52 yards, including a 37-yard run, and senior Kameron Alexander (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) ran for 50 yards on 13 attempts.
Smith went up the middle for a 12-yard score with just over a minute left for the game's final points.
Schnieder added 41 yards on the ground as part of the Bulldogs' 259-yard running attack. Mike Ryan caught five passes for 74 yards and two TDs for the Bulldogs, who outgained Lake Erie 500-362.
Senior linebackers Cameron Bryant (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) and Matt Lott (Newark, Ohio/Newark Catholic) each posted a career-high 15 tackles in the loss. Reed and senior Kevin Chapman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) also finished in double digits with 10 tackles apiece.
The Storm is on the road next week with a Saturday afternoon conference tilt at nationally-ranked Wayne State University. Kickoff is set for noon in Detroit, Mich.