Jim Amidon — I’ve been promoting and covering Wabash football for more than half my life. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve left the field at the end of a game — or a half — a minute or two early in order to get to the press box ahead of the crowd.
At Denison on Saturday, the first half lasted forever. Scoring, penalties, and a scoreboard malfunction caused the half to drag on. I was dragging heavy camera gear up an down on the sideline, and I was hot, sweating, and very thirsty as the final minutes of the half wore on. When Denison scored to pull within one point just before half, I headed for the press box… and hydration.
I paused at the top of the home stands — which are not tall like at Wabash — and watched Matt Hudson complete a couple of passes. My camera was packed up, but I thought to myself, “What if Matt has a shot at the endzone and I’m up here?”
Realizing I was standing at a pretty good camera angle, I got my gear ready to shoot and settled in the Denison parents’ section when Hudson uncorked a bomb to Kody Lemond. The pass was deflected up in the air by a Denison defender, who made what appeared to be a touchdown-saving play. I was firing away and captured 14 images of the play. The only shot I missed was when Lemond stretched out to grab the deflected ball — and only because I was jumping up and down (in the Denison section!).
Here’s what it looked like from up there, starting with excellent pass protection by Wabash’s offensive line:
The Denison defender closed very quickly and made by all accounts a terrific defensive play.
Lemond never takes his eye off the ball. He told Howard Hewitt he “kind of blacked out on that one,” but he’s completely concentrating on the ball.
This is when I think Lemond knew he had a shot at the ball. Look where his feet are — seven yard line.
Look where his body is on the shot below. Yeah, I missed the dramatic dive because I wanted to watch it, not just shoot it.
Andrew Rode realizes it’s a touchdown!
The Denison defender in this shot tells the whole story. The Big Red had played a very solid first half and had captured momentum going into the locker room. Then, with less than a minute, the entire game changed.
Moral of the story: Never leave until the final whistle blows… no matter how thirsty you are!