PAINESVILLE, Ohio-- The Lake Erie College football team fell in its season opener against Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) foe Ashland University 56-22 Thursday (Sept. 9) in Painesville.
Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) led the Storm with 216 rushing yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns.
Mitchel Hokovar (Perry, Ohio/Perry) went 12-of-24 passing for 139 yards. Shane Van Fleteren (Shelby, Mich./Utica) caught four of those passes for 57 yards while Mitchel Tilley (Oxford, Mich./Oxford) caught two passes for 41 yards.
Defensively, Maurice Hale (Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) led the Storm with five solo tackles for eight total. Nick Szabados (Middleton, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller) totaled six with four solo stops. Adam Mial (Beverly Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day) and Nick Iapaolo (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) had five apiece.
Michael Muzic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) converted both of his extra-point attempts.
The Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the Storm got on the board. Early in the second quarter, Bilal broke free for a school record 89-yard touchdown run. However, the Eagles responded with a 28-0 run over the remainder of the second to late into the third quarter.
Bilal once again found the seam as he eased his way into the end zone for his second score of the game, this time from 12 yards out. The Storm gambled and went for two, where Ryan Bitzer (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Orange) found Van Fleteren for the easy conversion.
After the Storm defense held, the Storm scored on their next possession. Similar to his last one, Bilal found an opening on the left side of the formation, putting it in from 15-yards. The score proved to be the last for the Storm, as Ashland scored the last touchdown of the game late in the third.
The Storm totaled 414 yards of offense with 23 first downs. 275 yards of offense came on the ground, led by Bilal.
The Storm is back in action next Saturday (Sept. 12) as they travel to Hillsdale College for a GLIAC match-up.