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Snap judgments: Wet, and still wild

When Hendrix and Centre met in 2014, it was a dry day and the passing games were in full force. It was not the same in 2015.
2014 Hendrix photo by Madison Dealing

DANVILLE, Ky. -- Teams and fans on the East Coast had to manage two days of pummeling rain -- on top of already saturated ground from a week ago in many areas. It was difficult and messy, and safety for all involved took top priority at many institutions.

Three games were postponed or canceled, there were a handful of changes to kickoff times, and others relocated to avoid damaging their grass fields.

Hampden-Sydney plays on a grass surface and moved its game from campus to a high school a little more than an hour away in Forest, Va. Ferrum has been playing on a local high school field as the college installs artificial turf, but that game, too, was moved because the high school has a grass field.

The Panthers played against Greensboro on Friday night at a high school in Roanoke, Va., and were perhaps the first team of the weekend to use the weather to their advantage -- or, more accurately, the weather worked to the Pride's disadvantage. It was a downpour the entire time the clocked ticked, and Ferrum's run-heavy offense was more adept in the conditions than was Greensboro's pass-heavy game, giving the Panthers their first win of the season.

The storms often proved to be a distraction from the games of the weekend. Coaches were altering game plans and coming up with a contingency approach in case their teams were caught in a downpour with little option but to run the ball. A big question going into Saturday was what was going to happen to pass-heavy offense and their star quarterback-receiver tandems that love picking apart their defenders.

Though Kentucky doesn’t touch the Atlantic and didn't get the kind of rain that the Carolinas and Virginia and other coastal states got, it was soggy, overcast and threatening to rain all day. (As an aside, it was strange to visit Danville, stay in Richmond, drive through Winchester and skirt Lexington and recognize that, despite the familiar names, this wasn't Virginia.)

The two teams I saw playing, Centre and Hendrix, each boast stellar offenses (Centre came in averaging 544 yards a game; Hendrix 470 yards) behind quarterbacks who are both former first-team All-SAA choices (Centre's Heath Haden in 2013; Hendrix's Seth Peters in 2014). A light drizzle came and went often in the hours leading up to the game, and it became a question of whether Haden and Peters would be able to showcase their aerial attack or whether the teams' capable running games would be featured. Centre has two rushers who hover around 100 yards a game average (Nolan Coulter and Amoh Kumengisa), and Hendrix has Dayton Winn, who carried with him a 142-yard average ahead of...

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Ryan Tipps

Ryan is's Senior Editor and began as National Columnist in fall 2014. He was the Around the Mid-Atlantic Columnist from 2007 to 2011, has worked on the preseason Kickoff publication since 2006 and has covered the Stagg Bowl in Salem for more than a decade. Ryan, a Wabash graduate, worked in newspapers as a writer and editor for 15 years before his current full-time job as editor of a magazine in Virginia.

2001-2013 columnist: Keith McMillan.


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