Sun Devils burn the Lumberjacks

The best thing about the end of summer and beginning of fall (even better than below 100 degree temps) is the beginning of football season. Unlike baseball, even the most boring football game will feature athletes colliding and flying through the air on nearly every play. Plus its a good workout running up and down the sidelines keeping up with the action. Outside of motorsports I gotta say that football is my favorite sport to shoot. Ok, lets get to the game. Hike!

In football the large schools start their season off with games against inferior opponents (sorry NAU but you are what we would call an inferior team). They use these games as warm ups to get into the groove  for the season. Photographers are no different, after several months of no football it takes us a little time to get used to shooting football again so this would be my last warm up game before the busy season commences.

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Dennis Erickson prior to the game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2000iso, f3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Pre game warm ups are always good for stock images, such as the below frame as Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Chike Mbanefo leaps for a pass prior to the game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2000iso, f3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

By kneeling down on the ground I was able to shoot up at Sun Devils quarterback Steven Threet and get a nice colored background, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

The game took place on the ninth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, with that in mind I figured it couldn’t hurt to shoot the below frame of soldiers saluting during the national anthem, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Below, Sun Devil fans in the wild and crazy student section stand in anticipation of their team entering the field for the game.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Dennis Erickson (left) stands alongside cornerback (5) LeQuan Lewis as a team official holds the team back as they wait for the cue from TV to enter the field. Everything in football is all done on a very specific timeline to flow perfectly for TV and their precious commercials.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Sun Devils offensive lineman Andrew Sampson (below) runs onto the field prior to the game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Ok time for some game action.

Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (1) Mike Willie is tackled by Northern Arizona Lumberjacks cornerback (20) Taelor Worrell in the first half at Sun Devil Stadium, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

It didn’t take long for the Sun Devils to get on the board, courtesy of Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Jamal Miles (below) who ran into the end zone for a touchdown.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Below, Miles leaps into the air to celebrate with a teammate.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

The student section goes wild.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Below is a good example of interesting action, however the background is garbage. Thats what I get for shooting from a standing position. Only when I am being lazy do you see me shooting from standing position. By getting lower the background would have been much cleaner. Plus by being low anytime someone jumps in the air the perspective will make them look much higher in the air.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman (50) Lawrence Guy battles a Northern Arizona Lumberjacks defender as he tries to pressure the quarterback.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Steven Threet (below) throws a pass in the first half.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (5) Kerry Taylor catches a touchdown pass above Northern Arizona Lumberjacks cornerback (14) Randy Hale Jr in the first half at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks running back (35) Zach Bauman runs the ball in the first half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils cornerback (1) Deveron Carr intercepts a pass intended for Northern Arizona Lumberjacks wide receiver (11) Mike Czyz in the first half.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman (50) Lawrence Guy, below, leads the defense onto the field prior to a play.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

At halftime I did my standard download, edit, caption and send of some first half images. While editing images I realized how crappy of a first half I had. Hopefully the second half would provide me a bit more action.

Early on into the third quarter I finally got some decent action as Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (1) Mike Willie was upended against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks cornerback (20) Taelor Worrell breaks up a pass intended for Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (86) T.J. Simpson in the third quarter at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

When action on the field gets boring you can always shoot pics of the band to kill time….

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (86) T.J. Simpson runs off balance against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

NAU kept the game closer than it should have been but in the second half the Sun Devils began to pull away and put the game outta reach.

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils running back (26) Cameron Marshall celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 5000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks running back (22) Giovannie Dixon is tackled by Arizona State Sun Devils cornerback (5) LeQuan Lewis and linebacker (30) Derrall Anderson in the second half at Sun Devil Stadium, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

While shooting action from behind in the end zone I shot the below frame just as Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Steven Threet was nailed by a Northern Arizona Lumberjacks defender in the fourth quarter at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

Following every Arizona State touchdown the teams mascot Sparky is hoisted up on a wooden platform in front of the student section to do a pushup for every point scored, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Below is a photo from my buddy Tom Story showing me in action (bottom right) trying to get a good angle of Sparky doing his pushups.

Photo by Tom Story

Below, backup Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler looks on from the bench in the second half against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (32) Jamal Miles runs the ball on a kick off return in the fourth quarter against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver (32) Jamal Miles falls into the end zone for a fourth quarter touchdown, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Late in the fourth quarter there was an awesome play where an NAU player was upended and got some serious altitude, below. I was laying on the ground behind the end zone shooting to get a nice low perspective but I screwed up and the resulting shot was a touch out of focus. Dammit! (We call this AP sharp in the biz…)

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 6400iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

When I get bored at a football game I will sometimes pick a random defensive player and key in on them to see if I can get anything cool. 95% of the time I spend shooting whoever has the ball so I always miss out on some of the action that goes on with the defense.

Below, Arizona State Sun Devils defensive tackle (91) Lee Adams tackles a Northern Arizona Lumberjacks running back at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona State defeated Northern Arizona 41-20.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Thats it for a rather boring football game. Its OK though because like I said earlier even the most boring football game has more action than the best baseball game!

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