Paul Adkins Sports Editor
September 18, 2013
It’s showdown Friday for the Logan High School football team.
It will be the battle of the Class AAA unbeatens as Logan (3-0) is scheduled to host Point Pleasant (2-0) on Friday night at the Logan Football Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Wildcats overwhelmed fellow Triple-A team Lincoln County, 51-13, last Friday night while the Big Blacks were idle.
Point Pleasant, which moved up to Class AAA status last season, has rolled up wins over Lincoln County (70-14) and Ripley (63-7) so far this year.
The Big Blacks have tasted much success the last few years, reaching the Class AA state championship game in 2011 after knocking off Chapmanville in the semifinals and then going 8-3 last year in their first season of 3A ball, eventually losing 49-28 at Morgantown in the opening round of the playoffs.
Logan and Point Pleasant met twice in the 2000s when both schools were Class AA members of the Cardinal Conference. The Wildcats won both — 28-7 in 2007 and 27-14 in 2006.
Logan coach Gary Mullins has already called Friday’s Point game as one of the biggest games in the state. He could be right. Even though it’s still early in the 2013 prep football season a lot will be riding on the outcome. Logan was ranked No. 11 in the state in the first Class AAA Computer Ratings which were released on Tuesday. Point Pleasant is No. 9.
“We have played well so far and they’ve had a good start to the season,” Mullins said of his team. “This is a big one and we’re glad to be playing in it and glad to have an opportunity to go 4-0.”
The Wildcats’ defense has proved to be very good this season in its line play in the trenches, their experienced secondary and their pursuit to the ball. They will be put to the test against Point Pleasant’s explosive offense.
Against Ripley two weeks ago, the Big Blacks ammassed an even 600 yards of total offense — 452 rushing, 148 passing — and also 31 first downs in the 56-point rout over the Vikings.
Point quarterback Aden Yates was a perfect 8-for-8 passing for 148 yards and three touchdowns. He had a 44-yard TD strike to open the game to Jon Peterson. He also fired touchdown passes covering 5 and 11 yards to Chase Walton.
Walton, a running back, surpassed the 100-yard rushing plateau with 101 yards on the ground and two TDs on runs of 8 and 7 yards. Cody Mitchell led the Big Blacks rushing attack with 134 yards on 14 attempts, including touchdown runs of 1 and 49.
Point Pleasant, which jumped out to a 42-0 lead on Ripley, also has a good kicker in Colin Peal, who was 9-for-9 in extra point kicks against the Vikings.
Mullins said the Big Blacks have many weapons.
“They are very fast and they have a lot of players who can score at any time,” Mullins said. “The last two weeks they have been up 28-0 at the end of the first quarter. We know that they are going to try and come out fast. We have to make sure that we match their intensity. They have a bunch of players and they have a good football program and have a great head coach and coaching staff. We’ve got our hands full but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Mullins said Point is primarily a running team.
“They run out of the Wing-T,” he said. “But they run a lot more play action out of it than a team like Wayne does. It’s a little harder to know but we have to make sure our players go for the right keys.”
Logan soundly thrashed Lincoln County in its home opener and Hall of Fame Game last Friday night. The Wildcats exploded for a 28-0 lead at the half and scored 23 more points in the third quarter on a trio of touchdowns and a safety to push the lead to 51-0.
Coach Mullins then emptied his bench in the fourth quarter, bringing in second-stringers, JV players and freshmen.
Logan was led by senior running back Brynden “Worm” Street, who finished with 11 carries for 143 yards and three touchdowns with all of the scores coming in the first quarter on runs of 49, 16 and 18.
Freshman quarterback Noah Corbett finished 11-for-18 passing for 143 yards with two TDs and one interception. He was starting in place of junior Ryan Miller, who was injured in the second quarter of Logan’s Week 2 win at Shady Spring (39-0).
Senior wide receiver Josh Rein reeled in four passes for 89 yards.
Junior defensive end A.J. Grimmett played well on the defensive side of the ball and stuffed the Panther ballcarriers on a number of occasions. He led Logan with 10 tackles and two quarterback sacks.
Senior Tyler Vernatter finished the game with nine tackles. He also scored a touchdown on the offensive side of the ball.
Logan kicker Daniel Hanks was 7-for-7 in PAT’s and also had one of his kickoffs go for a touchback.
On the season, Corbett is 18-for-29 passing for 209 yards with three TDs and one pick. Miller is 10-for-15 for 248 yards with three touchdowns.
Mullins said Miller should be ready to go on Friday night.
“We think that he will be available as far as we know,” he said.
Street, who missed the Shady game with an injured hand, is Logan’s leading rusher on the season with 23 carries for 284 yards and four TDs. Vernatter has ran with the ball 20 times for 152 yards and a team-high five TDs. Matt Cox has 13 carries for 149 yards and two scores. He had a 105-yard game against Shady.
Rein is Logan’s top target with 14 catches for 291 yards and three touchdowns. He had a TD grab on a tipped pass against Lincoln County.
After three weeks, Stephen Dilly is Logan’s top tackler with 27 total stops. Clayton Marcum has 24 tackles and Vernatter and Jacob “The Hammer” Browning have 21 apiece. Grimmett has 16 tackles and Tyler Workman 15.
Grimmett leads the Cats on the season in sacks with three. Workman has two interceptions to lead the team.
Mullins said Logan’s defense has played very well.
“They have progressed a lot faster than we thought they would,” Mullins said. “We’ve had a lot of guys play in their first year on that side of the ball, so we thought that it would take a little while but they keep getting better and better every week. Hopefully, we can continue that trend. We’re so excited about Friday night.”
Mullins said Logan’s offensive line has also been solid after three weeks.
“They have been very good,” Mullins said. “As long as our defense and our line keeps progressing I think that we’re going to be a good football team and we are going to be hard to beat.”
Mullins said lineman Preston Hepler should be good to go on Friday night. He left the Lincoln County game last week with a banged up knee.
“I’ll be surprised if he’s not out there. He’s getting better and better every day,” Mullins said.
A huge crowd is expected for the game. Point Pleasant has been known over the years as having a loyal fan following and many are expected to make the trip down to the Coalfields.
“Their fans travel really well,” Mullins said. “We need our fans back out like they were last Friday night and get behind us and hopefully we can get to 4-0.”
Logan-Point Pleasant Football Series
since 2000 (Logan leads 2-0):
2007: Logan 28, Point Pleasant 7
2006: Logan 27, Point Pleasant 14