Photo by Todd Thoenen
(CANTON, Ohio) – Walsh dropped a second heartbreaking overtime thriller in a row as Lake Erie came from behind to win 34-33. The Cavaliers (0-3, 0-3) led by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter, but two Storm (1-2, 1-2) touchdowns put the extra periods in motion.
After both teams failed to score in the first overtime, Lake Erie's Mitchel Tilley ran it in off the left side for 22 yards to help give the visitors a 34-27 lead. Walsh answered as Reid Worstell (R-Fr., Canton, Ohio/GlenOak) connected with Sage Pope (So., West Middlesex, Ohio/HS) on a 24-yard pass for a score to put the Cavs in a position to win. Electing to go for the two-point conversion, Worstell had an open receiver, but the receiver got tripped up during the pass to cause an incompletion and gave Lake Erie the victory.
Lake Erie opened the game with a touchdown on an 8-play, 74-yard drive that took just 2:51 for a 6-0 after a failed two-point conversion. The Cavs answered with the next 10 points on a Michael Dudics (Sr., Doylestown, Ohio/Chippewa) field goal and an Aaron Male (Jr., Akron, Ohio/East) touchdown run that gave Walsh the lead.
The Storm came back with a 24-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead, but Walsh answered with a three-yard pass from Worstell to Blake Williams (So., Orland, Fla./Boone) that make the score 17-13 just 32 seconds before the half. The drive was strongly aided by a run by Male for 77 yards to put Walsh in the red zone.
It wasn't the only big play of the day as Matt Mattuska (Jr., Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) caught a tipped pass behind the defense and rumbled 91 yards for a touchdown. The score gave Walsh a 24-13 lead and broke a school record for the longest pass which was set two years ago when Jason Fracassa (Sr., Sterling Heights, Mich./Utica Stevenson) and Krishawn Hogan connected for 86 yards in a game also against Lake Erie.
Once the Storm answered with a Tyler Lindgren touchdown from three yards out, the Cavs hoped to put the game away with a 45-yard field goal by Dudics which made the score 27-21 with 4:41 to play.
The Storm was able to answer with a Brandon Phenix 16-yard run to tie the game at 27-27, but the point-after kick for the win was no good to send the game into overtime.
Worstell had a strong day as he came in and completed 8-of-18 for 183 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Male had a strong game on the ground as well as he had 28 attempts for 185 yards.
Defensively Walsh was paced by Skyler Parks (Sr. Canton, Ohio/McKinley) with 12 tackles. Alex Jones (Jr., Maple Heights, Ohio/HS) was impressive as well with seven tackles, three of which were sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss of yardage.
The Cavaliers will now face a tough test next week as they hit the road to Columbus to take on Ohio Dominican. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.