Dave Brockway and Gary Drushel are busy men these days.
And anyone who is within earshot of Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field on game day can attest to that.
Brockway and Drushel are the primary members of the "Cannon Crew" which fires the cannon after every Ashland University touchdown and field goal, prior to the start of each home game and after every home win over the last nine seasons.
Since the inception of the new stadium in 2009, the Cannon Crew has been very active, thanks to offenses which have put up hundreds of points over the years, and a program which has gone 40-8 (.833) at its still-relatively-new home.
The cannon is positioned on the visitors' side of the field, on the scoreboard end of the stadium. It is Brockway's cannon and stays at his house before it makes the trip to AU home games, and takes about 15 minutes to get into position once it arrives.
"We had it pointing north to begin with, but the people over there did not like that, so we turned it the other way," Brockway said. "Last week, the tennis team was still playing with the first shot, so they weren't happy, either."
The 2017 cannon scorecard to date reads this way – four fires for the opening of the game, four fires for each home win, 18 fires for touchdowns and eight fires for field goals – for a total of 34 fires.
Ashland's Cannon Crew was never busier than Nov. 13, 2010, when the Eagles defeated Lake Erie, 87-17, scoring 12 touchdowns and a field goal in the process.
Brockway, who has been with the crew since the beginning, and Drushel, in his third year, who both are members of a Battery D, 1st Ohio Light Artillery Civil War reenactment group, enjoy their role at Eagle home games. The firing of the cannon, however, can cause some consternation for those at the stadium – and in the neighborhood.
"I don't hear too many complaints, mostly from the opposing team's fans," Drushel said. "We enjoy firing, and it keeps us on our toes. We sure like to see Ashland win."