Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Game Day:
Marian Knights reach NAIA semifinals

My "unofficial" tour of Indiana small-college campuses on football Game Day this fall took me last weekend to Marian University right here in Indianapolis. The undefeated and No. 1-ranked (in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Marian Knights hosted an NAIA postseason tournament quarterfinal game against the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Ill.

The game was no contest; the Knights ran away with a 49-7 victory, as Tevin Lake rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns, receiver Julian Williams caught two of quarterback Adam Wiese's three touchdown passes, and defender Eric Sheppard made nine tackles and two interceptions. A Fighting Saints touchdown in the closing minutes prevented the vaunted Knights' defense from registering its sixth shutout of the season.

In the lead photo at the top of this post, Lake (10) is shown scoring on his first touchdown, a 9-yard run in the second quarter that gave Marian a 14-0 lead.

Fireworks filled the sky in the celebration afterward, the first time I'd seen anything like that happen at a college football game. But the Knights probably had cause for celebration, with this being their fifth year of fielding a football team -- and their third on the relatively new St. Vincent Health Field -- at the small school near the White River on the Westside of Indianapolis.

Marian (12-0) will host St. Xavier University of Chicago in a semifinal game Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be a rematch of a Nov. 5 contest, also at Marian, in which the then-second-ranked Knights knocked off the top-ranked Cougars 27-9. That win also clinched the Knights' first Mid-States Football Association Mideast League championship.

I also was impressed by the Marian Marching Knights, Drumline and Color Guard, which performed before the game and at halftime. A review of pictures from the halftime show will come in a separate post.

The visit to Marian was my fourth to an Indiana small-college campus on football Game Day this fall. My first stop was at Hanover College on Oct. 22. I so enjoyed the experience there that I visited Wabash College on Nov. 5, followed by DePauw University on Nov. 12 for the 118th meeting of DePauw and Wabash in the Monon Bell Classic. The schools were nicely hospitable in welcoming me to their campuses.

Today I present game pictures from Saturday's NAIA quarterfinal. To view a full gallery of images, visit this link. The next post will be devoted to the Marching Knights, Drumline and Color Guard.

Above: It was the opening kickoff, so no one had an advantage yet. A St. Francis deep man on the reception team felt bold enough to exchange pleasantries with Marian players along the side line, here using his hand to mimic the Knights' sideline chatter.

Above: St. Francis running back Connor Krisch is chased by Marian defensive lineman Nate McIntosh early in the contest. 

Above: The Knights' Eric Sheppard is in the middle of the return of his first of two interceptions for the day. 
Above: Defensive lineman Seth Vondersaar (22) dogged St. Francis quarterback E.J. White all afternoon, but here on special teams, he was called for running into Fighting Saints punter Michael Rogers in first-half action.

Above: Tevin Lake found the opening in the line to begin a 24-yard scamper for the Knights' third touchdown of the game. 

Above: Seth Vondersaar (22) came oh, so close to blocking this pass from St. Francis quarterback E.J. White.

Above: Several Fighting Saints players were injured Saturday. A leg injury to junior Luis Santana (46) brought the game to a halt to allow trainers to stabilize the leg and get him into a cart to seek more thorough medical attention. With him is teammate Wayne Johnson (8).

Above: To score the Knights' last touchdown from two yards out, running back Clifford Brown (25) elected to hurdle the Fighting Saints' defensive line. He paid the price: A St. Francis defender snagged Brown's ankles, forcing Brown to complete the play on a crash landing.

Above: St. Francis receiver Dustin Greenwell (81) couldn't catch this E.J. White pass. Defending for Marian is Robert Palmer (24). 

Above: Marian's Nick Bradford picked up some yardage before bracing for a collision with a Fighting Saints defender on this fourth-quarter run.
Above: Marian starting quarterback Adam Wiese enjoyed much of the fourth quarter from the sidelines as reserves took the field. Wiese completed 10 of 13 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. 

Above and below: St. Francis special teams player Thomas White (31) tried valiantly to maintain his balance to down a punt before his momentum could carry him into the end zone, but he couldn't manage it. Officials (below) ruled White crossed the goal line before releasing the ball, forcing a touchback and giving the Knights the ball at the 20-yard line. 

Above: Marian's Eric Sheppard got a lot of yardage on his return of a second-half interception along the sidelines.

Above: A St. Francis rusher also was sent airborne during an attempt to hurdle fallen players on the turf.

Above: Marian players huddle at the center of the field for a moment of reflection at the conclusion of the game. 

Above: The celebratory fireworks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

James House visits
Indy Acoustic Cafe Series


Singer-songwriter James House, who co-wrote Grammy- and Song of the Year-nominated hits for country stars Martina McBride ("A Broken Wing") and Dwight Yokim ("Ain't That Lonely Yet"), visited the Wheeler Arts Center in Indianapolis' Fountain Square district on Saturday night to perform as part of the long-running Indy Acoustic Cafe series.

House scored a hit of his own -- "This Is Me Missing You" -- in 1995 (reaching No. 5 on the charts), but he's better known for his compositions recorded successfully by other artists, including McBride and Yokim (both reached No. 1) and Diamond Rio's "In a Week or Two," which reached No. 2 in 1993.

He delighted a nice-sized turnout -- including when he jokingly introduced a "medley of his hit" ("This Is Me Missing You") -- for the final show in the series for 2011. Next up in the series is Vance Gilbert on Jan. 14, 2012. These images were captured at his show.

To view a full gallery of photos from the James House performance, visit this link

Game Day:
A much too quick look at DePauw Univ.

I learned two Saturdays ago that allowing for time -- and budgeting it -- is of the essence if you expect to accomplish your goals on a shoot.

I was happy with my game and tailgate/campus atmosphere shots when I visited DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., on Nov. 12, 2011, for the 118th meeting of DePauw and Wabash College in the Monon Bell Classic. But the tailgating photo opportunities were so rich that I spent more time on that than I had expected; I didn't have enough time left to do justice to my third goal of the shoot -- to capture the campus landscape as best as I could.

I had only a half-hour or so to grab what I could before kickoff, not nearly enough. Plus, I spent a lot of that time exploring just the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, a modern structure (2007) that had me pining for more time.

Ten minutes or so before before I reached the beautiful structure (one view of the facility leads off this post; it exploits an early-afternoon backlight and was treated in high-dynamic range (HDR) software, melding three different exposures into one), I'd been chatting with a man I had met on a knoll overlooking the tailgating expanse in the parking lots outside Blackstock Stadium. He was a very nice gentleman, and I wanted to converse with him longer than the 5 or so minutes we had been chatting, but I knew my time to hit the main campus was running short. I politely told the man I needed to get some campus shots and asked him if he could recommend some points to check out, given that my time was short (which it was). And the Green Center was the first thing he mentioned. He pointed me in the direction, and I'm happy to say he did not mislead me. Thank you, mister, whoever you are!

The Green Center is home to the DePauw School of Music, DePauw Theatre and DePauw Performing Arts Series. All of my interior campus shots in this post are from that building, so maybe you can see why I was in awe. And I didn't even get into Kresge Auditorium or Thompson Recital Hall. I definitely need to make another trip.

For a look at a full gallery of my DePauw University community shots (which includes the tailgating pictures from yesterday's post), visit this link.

Above: Another view of the Green Center for the Performing Arts, this time with the sun to my right ... and including a bright scarlet-leafed tree in the composition.

Above and next six shots below: Interior shots of the Green Center. And I only scratched the surface ...

Above: A lengthy hallway in the Green Center. The gentleman walking toward me also will appear in an outside shot.

Above and below: A gathering area outside the Green Center, with a detail shot (below) of a bench situated against the brick wall you see on the far right in the above photo, although the bench is just out of view in the above photo. 

Above: The glass facade of Lily Education and Recreation Center, reflecting the facade of its cross-sidewalk neighbor structure, the Percy L. Julian Science and Mathematics Center. 

Above and next two below: Several more views of the Julian Mathematics and Science Center, the one above being the exact side reflected in the picture immediately above. 

Above: Pedestrian traffic on the walk separating the Lily and Julian centers, looking west from the entrance of the Green Center. The gentleman in the white sweatshirt is the man you saw above in one of the Green Center hallway shots. 

Above and next seven shots: These were taken in the mall area north of the Green Center. Some were taken within the mall; others were taken from just outside the elevated Green Center entrance.

Above: The east facade of the L-shaped James A. Hollensteiner Indoor Track, immediately west of Blackstock Stadium.

Above and below: These are shots of the access to the DePauw University Nature Park, which is on the far west end of campus, not far from Blackstock Stadium. The above is a tight shot, the one below of long range.