Turner provides speed for Lake Erie Storm

Former Fort Payne Wildcat Desmon Turner looks for room to run in a game with the Lake Erie College Storm.

Former Fort Payne Wildcat football star Desmon Turner wrapped up his junior season of college football with the Lake Erie College Storm this past fall, where he was utilized as a receiver and a kick returner.

Despite an 0-11 regular season for the Storm, it was Turner’s best performance of the season back on Oct. 27 that gave Lake Erie one of its best chances at pulling off an upset win.

That day saw the Storm host the undefeated No. 17-ranked Tiffin Dragons.

Lake Erie gave the Dragons all they could handle. A back-and-forth opening half saw Tiffin lead 14-7 before Turner stepped up with his biggest play of the season when he hauled in a pass from quarterback Javarian Smith and raced 62 yards downfield before being brought down eight yards shy of the goal line. Smith later scored on a quarterback keeper to knot the score at 14-all at the break.

A Tiffin touchdown and a safety in the third quarter put the Storm down by nine near the end of the third. Lake Erie’s defense then came up with an interception that set up the Storm’s offense 23 yards from the end zone and gave them a chance to cut into the lead.

The Storm faced fourth-and-2 on the last play of that possession, where Smith connected with Turner for a 15-yard touchdown strike. 

That play by the 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior made the score 23-21 with 14:09 left in regulation, but it was as close as the Storm would get to pulling off the upset win on their home turf. Tiffin answered with 17 straight points and held on to win the game by a final score of 40-28.

Turner was the Storm’s leading receiver in the game with seven receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. His 140-yard day receiving ranks ninth in program history and his 62-yard catch and run in the first half tied as the 14th-longest pass reception in program history according the team’s website.

Turner’s second-most productive day as a receiver came in a Sept. 29 loss to Findlay where he caught two passes for 31 yards, including one that covered 24 yards. He finished the season with 11 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown. His best game as a returner came in the Storm’s opener against Edinboro, where Turner returned six kickoffs for 140 yards, including one that covered 42 yards.

The Division-II Lake Erie Storm play in Painvesville, Ohio and compete in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. They will kick off their 2019 campaign on Sept. 5 on the road against the Mercyhurst University Lakers in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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