ALLENDALE, Mich.— The Lake Erie College football team came out of the gates strong but were undone by turnovers as they fell at Grand Valley State University, 66-28, Saturday (Sept. 27) in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.
The Storm started the game with their first kickoff return for a touchdown in school history. Tony Andrews (South Euclid, Ohio/Charles F. Brush) took the kick-off at the Lake Erie seven and went untouched until he was within the five-yard line for the score.
The Lakers quickly tied the game up on the ensuing drive when Chris Robinson rushed it in from six yards out.
The first play from scrimmage for the Storm resulted in a fumble recovered on the 22-yard line by the Lakers. On the following play, Michael Ratay scored on a run to give Grand Valley a 14-7 lead.
The Storm worked the ball down the field on their next drive, with Mitchel Hokavar (Perry, Ohio/Perry) finding Andrew Schickler (Doyelstown, Ohio/Chippewa), Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) and Anthony Kukwa (Perry, Ohio/Perry/Ball State) for big gains. On second-and-goal, Lindgren punched it in from one yard out and with Michael Muzic's (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) extra point, the game was tied at 14.
The Lakers forced and recovered a second Lake Erie fumble with less than four minutes to play in the first-quarter and converted it into 24-yard passing touchdown two plays later to regain the lead, 21-14.
The Lakers' lead grew in the early portion of the second-quarter when Jamie Potts found Isiah Grimes for a 25-yard touchdown. On the Storm's ensuing drive, the Lakers once again forced and recovered a fumble which led to a Kirk Spencer nine-yard touchdown run which increased their lead to 35-14 heading into the half.
The Lakers tacked on three rushing touchdowns in the third-quarter-two from Robinson and one from Spencer- as they took a 56-14 lead into the final frame.
The Storm methodically moved the ball downfield between the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter, with big catches by Tommy Jackson (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard). On fourth-and-five from the eight-yard line, Hokavar found Shane Van Fleteren (Shelby, Mich./Utica) in the corner of the end zone to cut the lead to 56-21. Hokavar added a touchdown on the ground from seven-yards out late in the fourth but it was not enough as the Lakers added 10 points in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Hokavar ended the game with 18 completions on 29 attempts for 234 yards and one touchdown. His top target was Jackson, who hauled in seven catches for 93 yards. Zaide Whitley (Portsmouth, Ohio/Portsmouth) and Lindgren also had three catches apiece for 46 and 23 yards respectively.
On the ground, Hokavar led the Storm with 56 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) had 11 attempts for 38 yards while Brandon Phenix (Toledo, Ohio/Maumee) had 22 yards on five carries.
Defensiveley, Christian Cole (Waldorf, Md./McDonough) led the Storm with 10 tackles. Adam Mial (Beverly Hills, Mich./Detriot Country Day) and Davon Daniels (Lorain, Ohio/Clearview) and seven stop each. Deven Darby (Detriot, Mich./Farmington Hills Harrison) had six tackles while Devante Sims (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar/West Liberty), Tanner Wells (Carrollton, Texas/Parish Episcopal) and Stacy Woodford (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) had five tackles. Woodford also had an interception.
The Storm is back in action next weekend as they return home to host seventh-ranked Ohio Dominican University at 1 p.m. at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium.