UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - Three Lake Erie turnovers in the first quarter led to two early touchdowns for Saginaw Valley State. With the early lead, Saginaw Valley cruised to a 44-13 win over Lake Erie on Saturday (Oct. 29).
Lake Erie fell to 0-9 overall and in the conference with the loss.
Six plays into the game, Saginaw Valley returned a Storm fumble to the end zone for a touchdown. On the Storm's next play from scrimmage, the Cardinals pounced on the second fumble of the game.
Three plays later, Zack Jude (Canal Winchester, Ohio / Bloom Carroll) caught the Storm's first interception of the year. Lake Erie could not capitalize as the Cardinals went up 14-0 after a long touchdown pass.
The turnover bug struck again as the Storm lost another fumble on their fifth drive of the game. Saginaw Valley wasted little time as they added a three-yard touchdown pass, making it 21-0.
Starting the second quarter, Lake Erie cut the lead to 14 as John Banyasz (Columbia Station, Ohio / Columbia) found Mitch Tilley (Oxford, Mich. / Oxford) for a 59-yard touchdown pass. Austin Baker (Clyde, Ohio / Clyde) converted the extra point, making it 21-7 Cardinals.
Saginaw Valley opened the second half with a touchdown drive as they went 65 yards on five plays, capped by a short touchdown run. The Cardinals held a 28-7 lead going to the fourth.
Lake Erie stopped a potential touchdown drive for the Cardinals in the fourth quarter by a Dylan Starks (Oxford, Mich. / Oxford) interception at the three yard line. The Cardinals provided defensive pressure as they forced a safety after the Storm took over.
On Saginaw's first play post safety, the Cardinals added a 46-yard touchdown run for a 37-7 lead with ten minutes left in the game.
The Storm responded with another touchdown drive as the Green and White went 75 yards on eight plays in nearly four minutes. Banyasz found Tallin Johnson (Twinsburg, Ohio / Twinsburg) for a four-yard score. The Storm attempted a two-point try but was unsuccessful.
The Cardinals completed the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run in the closing seconds, as the Storm fell 44-13.
Lake Erie piled up 416 yards of total offense, compared to 371 for the Cardinals.
Banyasz completed 22 of his 32 pass attempts for 302 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Denzel Opoku (Stafford, Va. / Fork Union Military) was the leading rusher for the Storm as he carried the ball 16 times for 61 yards.
Johnson was Banyasz's favorite target as he caught seven passes for 100 yards and one touchdown. Tilley caught two passes for 84 yards and one touchdown.
Jude was the leading tackler as he made eight tackles for the Storm. Jude also had one interception for Lake Erie.
Lake Erie will return home to Painesville as they will host Tiffin University next Saturday (Nov. 5).