Friday, October 7, 2016

Game Day, Part I:
Final small-college football 'tour' stop finds Ravens on short end of 49-25 score

The last stop on my years-long tour of Indiana small colleges and universities that field football teams took me to Macholtz Stadium at Anderson University on Sept. 24.

The "tour" project, which I've named "Game Day," ended on a record note, you could say. That's because in its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game against Hanover College that day, AU wide receiver Jarrett Dickey set a school record for single-game reception yardage. But in the end, it was Hanover and its bruising running game that prevailed on the day, 49-25.

Dickey had seven receptions for 291 yards, including touchdowns of 88 and 86 yards on passes from Triston Anderson. Dickey's total reception yardage comfortably eclipsed the previous mark of 272 set 26 years ago -- in 1990 -- by Brad Lamb, who would later play with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

As it turned out, the long scoring strikes to Dickey were among few highlights of the game for the host Ravens, who had 373 yards in the air. But the stingy Hanover defense allowed Anderson only 11 yards on the ground. On the upside, both Triston Anderson and Jarrett Dickey are freshmen, so Ravens fans will be able to see that tandem connect for a long time. The two are featured in the photos leading off the post, shots taken on the same play in the second half that went for a nice gain.

Hanover running back Tee Hart also is a freshman, and he and teammates Justin Conners and Nate Hein led a Panthers rushing attack that amassed 244 yards and scored six touchdowns. Conners had three of TDs. Panthers quarterback Adam Gutermuth threw 30 yards to Ricky Windell in the second quarter for the other touchdown.

The win was Hanover's first of the season and leveled its HCAC record to 1-1 (1-3 overall); Anderson dropped to 1-1 in the HCAC and was also 1-3 for the season. Both schools the lost their respective games the following weekend, so each is now 1-2 (1-4).

Players and spectators were blessed with very comfortable temperatures, thanks to thick cloud cover throughout the morning and into the late afternoon. Sunshine finally appeared early in the third quarter.

The game was AU's turn in the HCAC to participate in the annual Samaritan
Feet observance in which coaches go barefoot to draw attention to the fact that 300 million people in the world go without shoes. AU head coach John Sala did just that on Sept. 24.

It also was the day all coaches for schools that are members of the AmericanFootball Coaches Association wore Coach to Cure MD patches (right) on the sleeves of their shirts to raise awareness of Parent Project Muscular Distrophy, the largest charity devoted exclusively to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Technically, I suppose, I will have one more college to visit in two years, when Indiana Wesleyan in Marion launches its new football program and opens with a full schedule of game. I'll cross that bridge when we get to it; for now, anyway, I can say that I've visited every one of the schools I put on my list and photographed the campus landscapes as well as the games at each.

The "tour" started on Sept. 26, 2009, at Franklin College in what I still consider the most thrilling of all the contests I've photographed on my journey. Franklin, down 23-10 in the third quarter, rallied to upset undefeated and 22nd-ranked (Division III) Trine University 30-29.

After skipping a year, I added visits to Hanover, Wabash, DePauw (Monon Bell game) and Marian (NAIA Tournament playoff game) in 2011; Franklin again, Taylor, UIndy, Wabash again (Monon Bell game) and St. Francis (NAIA playoff) in 2012; St. Joseph's and Rose-Hulman in 2013; Manchester in 2014; Trine in 2015; and Earlham and Anderson in 2016. My reports on those visits -- both on the football games and the campus landscape shots -- can be found under the game day tag.

Photo geek stuff: I shot the entire game with may Canon 7D (a change from the past couple games, when I used my 6D). The 7D, which helped me address the burst buffer delay I wrote about in the game report from Earlham earlier in September) was equipped with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L lens and Canon 1.4x extender. I set my camera to manual shooting mode, my shutter speed at 1/800 and aperture at f/4.0. There was solid cloud cover throughout the first half, enabling me to set my ISO at 320 throughout the half and the beginning of the third quarter. When the sun came out midway through the third quarter, I lowered the ISO accordingly. To keep my shot volume down, I used the slower burst speed until the fourth quarter, when I used the 7D's top burst mode (8 fps) for what it was intended to do -- burst quickly. I also used a high-capacity (105/mbs) 32GB SanDisk CF memory card to help avoid buffer delay.

For a full gallery of shots from this game, visit my site at As always, to view a larger, sharper version of the photos in posts at this blog, click on the image. This is especially helpful if you access Photo Potpourri with a mobile device.

Next post: Game Day, Part II will take a look at the AU campus landscape

Above and next two below: Anderson quarterback Triston Anderson (19) and wide receiver Travis Williams (6) bobbled this first half exchange, and the loose ball in the backfield was pounced on by Hanover's Zach Dauer (34). In the fourth quarter, the two would connect on a short pass for the Ravens' final touchdown of the game.

Above and next two below: Late in the first quarter, Anderson connected with Dickey on this 88-yard catch and run for the home team's first TD.

Above and below: Travis Williams closed the Ravens' scoring with this pass reception in the fourth quarter. 

Above and next two below: Hanover's Tee Hart (Warren Central High School graduate) made Anderson defenders work hard for their tackles, and when the 220-pound running back had the ball running at full steam and staring you square in the eye -- with a blocker in front of him -- or hurdling defenders on the turf, it was anything but easy. 

Above: Anderson's defense had its best success when it could gang tackle, like it did here, stopping Justin Conners (28) after a modest gain on a pass reception.

Above and next three below: Hanover's Justin Conners was successful a lot against Anderson, here breaking free from an Alec Monte tackle and running for a 29-yard third-quarter score. Conners would lose the ball in the end zone, but game officials ruled he had crossed the goal line while still in possession of the ball.

Above: Conners added a touchdown run from 3 yards out in the fourth quarter.

Above and below: After making this reception, Hanover's Ricky Windell (80) hit the ground hard and needed some attention from the trainer.  

Above and below: The Ravens' defense had perhaps its best moment in the second half when the front line pressured Hanover quarterback Adam Gutermuth into making a bad throw that was intercepted by Shahid Hunt, who returned it 11 yards. 

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