Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hanover College football:
Game Day, Part I

I so much enjoyed my visit in February to Hanover (Ind.) College, where I took pictures of a men's basketball game and of the campus landscape, that before even heading home I resolved to return in the fall to shoot a football game ... and try to hopefully catch some of the campus autumn colors.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, I did just that. Hanover defeated Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Manchester College 58-7 on L.S. Ayres Field on what turned out to be a beautiful day. I'm going to log my photos in three installments -- one, today, is a review of some game shots. The second installment will focus on game festivities, including halftime and the tradition tailgate activity by the Hanover community. The third post will focus on my shots of the campus landscape after the game, exploiting the dramatic, late-afternoon sunlight.

Panthers' sophomore quarterback Dexter Britt (16) is featured in the lead photograph of today's post, passing to junior wide receiver Colton Zeck (11), who made the catch for a modest gain in first-half action. Britt completed 21-of-36 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Panthers amass 594 total yards of offense. Hanover improved its overall record to 4-3 (4-1 in the HCAC) and hosts league foe Bluffton (Ohio) this Saturday. Manchester fell to 2-5 (1-5).

Zeck scored one of the Panthers' eight touchdowns, scampering 58 yards to paydirt on a third-quarter punt return. Senior running back Derron Bailey scored three first-half touchdowns, two rushing and one on a 15-yard pass from Britt. Junior receiver Dwayne Eubanks caught 8 passes for 165 yards, both personal bests; two of those went for long touchdowns in the third quarter -- one a school record 96 yards, the other 37 yards.

The Spartans' touchdown came with 33 seconds left in the third quarter. After Eubanks' 37-yard TD reception, Manchester's Corey Nelson fumbled and dropped the ensuing kickoff, recovered it quickly and scampered 83 yards for the TD.

A special nod of appreciation to Hanover sports information director Carter Cloyd, who facilitated both of my visits to Hanover this year. Cloyd also was responsible for assembling all of the game stats you see in this post.

To see a full gallery of images from the game, visit this link.

Above: In addition to his 349 yards passing, quarterback Dexter Britt (16) was the Panthers' second-leading rusher against Manchester, gaining 43 yards on 13 carries. In this photo, taken in the second quarter, he leaves the pocket on a pass play in search of a receiver on the left side.

Above: Sophomore defensive back Derrick Worden returned a Manchester fumble 29 yards in the first half. Not realizing he had stepped out of bounds several yards earlier, he tried to pass the ball over the goal line in a desperate lunge to score after being tripped up inside the 5-yard line. 

Above: Running back Darren Bailey (left) and receiver Dwayne Eubanks enjoy a celebratory leap in the end zone after one of Bailey's three first-half touchdowns.
Above: The Spartans' leading rusher, Corey Nelson (6), was held to only 28 yards rushing by a stingy Panther defense, exemplified here by defensive back Jason Chisholm, who made a lunging tackle to knock Nelson off his feet, preventing a long gain. 

Above: A tackle becomes more finite when more than one defender gets involved. Here, three Panthers -- (from left) Justin Magaw, Andy Dalton and Dylan Bostwick -- seal an end to a rushing attempt by Manchester's Corey Nelson.

Above: Hanover defensive lineman Ajani Jones hit the turf hard on this play -- enough so that pellets splayed from the foundation of the artificial turf.
Above and below: The Hanover defense gave Manchester quarterbacks Nick Williams (13) and Justin Minnich fits all afternoon. If a Spartan pass wasn't being blocked before it could cross the line of scrimmage -- as blitzing Panther defensive back Cord Dorsey (15) does above to Williams' throw -- then it might likely be intercepted, as defensive back Sam Louis did twice. In the case of the interception below, Louis (6) made a modest return.

Above: There wasn't a defender within 10 yards of Hanover's Dwayne Eubanks when he hauled in this third-quarter pass for a 37-yard score.

Above: Darren Bailey rushed for 93 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns Saturday. He also scored on a 15-yard pass from Dexter Britt.

Above and below: Manchester's one moment on the highlight reel came late in the third quarter. Corey Nelson fumbled the kickoff after Eubanks' 37-yard touchdown reception. Nelson remained poised, scooped up the drop (above) then scampered 83 yards down field (below), leaving several Panthers in his wake.

Above: Receiver, punter and kick returner Colton Zeck (11) had a busy day. In addition to catching three passes for 21 yards, he returned three punts for 64 yards, including a 58-yarder for a touchdown in Hanover's 24-point third quarter. He also kicked two punts for 97 yards, the longer of which traveled 61 yards. In this photo, he's shown during a first-quarter punt return. 

Above: Hanover's Ajani Jones (95) seems to be within reach of bringing down Manchester quarterback Justin Minnich. While Minnich eluded the tackle, moments later he was at the sideline and forced out of bounds by other Panther defenders.

Above: Manchester running back Corey Nelson (6) prepares to skirt around lineman Tommy Webster's block of Cord Dorsey (15) for a short gain.
Above: Hanover's Jacob Noger (85) hauled in this pass from C.J. Croft in front of Manchester defender Donald Ivey near the goal line in the fourth quarter. Noger thought he had crossed the goal line before his knee touched the ground. The officials, however, ruled Noger's knee hit the turf short of the goal line. Croft would rush for the Panthers' final TD moments later. 
Above: Backup quarterback Tanner Parker (14) gained 16 yards on this run in the fourth quarter, his only carry of the game.

Above: Parker was caught off guard in the fourth quarter when a long snap from center sailed over his head, hit the turf behind him then took a quirky bounce forward and out of his reach ... into the hands of a Manchester defender. The Spartan offense later lost the ball on downs.


  1. As the proud mom of hanover senior #99, great blog post! You sure caught a fantastic day to catch a Hanover victory and enjoy the beautiful campus.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica. You're right; it was a beautiful day for football ... and to capture the campus in photos. They have a wonderful place there.

  3. Stumbled across these photos- LOVE these pics!!