Dragons remain unbeaten with 40-28 win at Lake Erie

Tyler Denton and the Dragons posted a 40-28 win at Lake Erie to improve to 9-0.
Tyler Denton and the Dragons posted a 40-28 win at Lake Erie to improve to 9-0.

Tiffin University (9-0, 6-0 G-MAC) used 17 fourth quarter points to outdistance Lake Erie on the road, winning 40-28 to remain unbeaten in the conference.

Lake Erie, winless on the year, gave Tiffin a battle throughout the first half. After Landon Hall intercepted the Storm on their opening drive, the Dragons struck first, as Kyle Brunson rushed in from 15 yards out at the 11:43 mark to put TU up 7-0. So far, so good.

But Tiffin could manage no more points in the remainder of the quarter, while Lake Erie busted off a big 65 yard run up the middle at the 1:25 mark to tie the score at 7-7 after one quarter.

Neither team could gain an advantage in the second quarter until TU's defense stopped the Storm on fourth down to get the ball back with 1:30 left in the half. TU struck fast, with Tyler Denton catching a 41 yard TD pass from Nick Watson to put the Dragons up 14-7.

Lake Erie got the ball back and again used the big play to get in scoring range, hitting a 62 yard pass to get down to the TU 8 yard line. From there Lake Erie rushed it in from 8 yards out to tie the score at 14-14 at the half.

On Lake Erie's opening possession of the second half, the Dragons had the Storm pinned on their 3 yard line and took advantage, as AJ Wright and Tyriq Gilbert sacked the quarterback in the end zone for a safety to put TU back on top 16-14.

TU started to pile on, taking the ensuing kickoff and getting more points as Brunson got his second score of the day on a big 34 yard run to put TU ahead 23-14 heading to the fourth quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, a Watson interception led to a 15 yard Lake Erie touchdown toss at the 12:36 mark to suddenly bring the Storm to within 23-21. 

The Dragons, though, didn't flinch, scoring an unanswered 17 points to put the game away. 

TU took its next possession and drove 83 yards before Tylan Rice scored on a 4 yard pass from Watson to make it 30-21. Lake Erie's next possession ended in one play, as AJ Wright picked off the Storm and rumbled home 20 yards for a big pick six as the Dragons jumped ahead 37-21.  Finally, Joe Harakal booted a 21 yard field goal after TU forced a turnover on downs to make it 40-21 with 5:12 left. 

Overall TU outgained Lake Erie 397-391, with the Storm getting 19 first downs to TU's 18. TU won despite struggling on third downs, going just 2 for 15. Tiffin's defense stepped up to register 4 sacks and 2 interceptions.

Brunson rushed for 111 yards on 22 carries with 2 scores, while Rice added 43 yards on 9 rushes.

Denton had 113 receiving yards on 5 catches, while Charles Holland also had 2 receptions for 63 yards. Watson passed for 229 yards on 14 of 31 passing with 2 TDs.

Defensively Chrystian Watkins had 8 tackles, Ross Moore had 6 stops, and Cameron Fox, Zach Goecke, and Landon Hall had 5 tackles. Hall and AJ Wright had interceptions, while Jacob Williams, The-Moor Kelly, and Jonathan Harrington each had sacks, while Wright and Gilbert had a half sack apiece.