After last week’s disappointing loss to Point Pleasant Logan High School football coach Gary Mullins said he was ready to play again soon after the game.
The 37-21 setback was the first defeat of the season for Logan (3-1), which was ranked No. 11 last week in the Class AAA ratings.
Logan is ready to get back in the swing of things as it will be matched up Friday night against a red-hot Chapmanville team which is also 3-1 after scoring its third straight comeback victory in as many weeks with a 34-31 victory at Poca.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
It will also be Chapmanville Regional High School’s Hall of Fame Game as the school will induct its newest class consisting of Casey Bowling, Eric Ellis, Pete Fala and Deanna Booth.
Mullins said the Wildcats are ready for the Chapmanville challenge. Last week, Logan played pretty well at times but two special teams blunders ended up being the difference. The Cats hope to correct that against the Tigers.
“I was ready to get back out there early. We’re just trying to get better and get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Mullins said. “We didn’t feel like we played our best and those are the games that are toughest to lose.”
Whenever Logan and Chapmanville play each other it’s always huge.
This year, the game takes on extra meaning as the winner will improve to 4-1 in the all-important race for WVSSAC ratings points and playoff positioning. Double-A Chapmanville also gets a shot at beating a Class AAA team and getting Triple-A points in the playoff system currently in place.
For the Wildcats, a victory over the Tigers would also secure LHS the Logan County championship. Logan opened the season with a 40-20 win over Man. Chapmanville can also win the county title with a victory over Logan and a win later in the season over the Hillbillies.
“If we can win we’d be 4-1 and that would be huge heading into the bye week,” Mullins said. “If we can do that we would attain our first goal and that is to be county champions. There’s a lot on the line on Friday night that’s for sure.”
Mullins said Chapmanville has shown a lot of improvement after falling 40-22 to Sissonville in the season opener. The Tigers have since won over Herbert Hoover (24-18), Scott (20-13) and the Poca Dots, rallying from second-half deficits each time.
Chapmanville is led on the offensive side of the ball by running backs Devin Wiley and Paul Workman, quarterback and first-year starter Alex Berry and senior wide receivers Brady Cox and Zac Casto.
“I think that they’re getting a lot better every week,” Mullins said of the Tigers. “They have two really good wide receivers and their running back is really good. We expect that it will be a tough game and we realize that they throw a lot different looks at you and you have to be ready to line up and execute. They are a quality football team. They’ve got three wins in the Cardinal Conference and that’s never easy to do.”
Logan’s defense has played well all season. After beating Man, the Cats then shut out Shady Spring (39-0) and won over Lincoln County (51-13) in Week 3 before the loss last week to Point Pleasant.
Point’s 37 points were misleading. The Big Blacks got two gift-wrapped touchdowns after two bad snaps on Logan punts. Logan also gave up a safety and allowed a two-point conversion after a muffed PAT try as the Point holder ran the ball in for a score.
“We played pretty good defensively on Friday night but you couldn’t tell it by the score,” Mullins said. “Our defense gave up very few points but we gave up 17 points on special teams. We just have to correct a few things that we have been doing wrong.”
Logan split time at quarterback last week with freshman Noah Corbett and junior Ryan Miller. Miller started but Corbett was more efficient. Corbett was 6-for-12 passing for 82 yards and a TD — a 23-yard strike to a leaping Josh Rein in the end zone. Miller, who sat out the Lincoln County game with an injured knee, was 1-for-7 passing for three yards.
Mullins said it will most likely be a game-time decision as to who will start. Both will likely see time under center.
“We’ll play it by ear and see what happens this week at practice,” Mullins said. “We would rather make a decision on who the quarterback is going to be and go with that guy most of the time. I guess we’ll see on Friday night.”
On the season, Corbett is 20-for-34 passing for 291 yards with four TDs and one interception. Miller is 11-for-22 for 251 yards and three TDs. He was injured in the second quarter of Logan’s Week 2 game at Shady.
Rein leads Logan’s receiving corps with 18 catches on the season for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He also had an electrifying 90-yard kickoff return for a score last week which helped the Cats get back into the game.
Logan’s other primary threat at wideout is senior Brett Musick who has seven grabs for 81 yards.
On the ground, Logan is led by senior Worm Street who has 40 carries for 368 yards (9.2 ypc) and five touchdowns. Senior Tyler Vernatter has 23 rushes for 158 yards and five scores. Matt Cox has 149 yards rushing on just 13 attempts (11.5 ypc) and two TDs. He had a 105-yard game against Shady as Street was sidelined with a hurt hand.
Mullins said Logan must be able to sustain drives better against the Tigers.
“We just have to be more efficient offensively and we have to be able to keep drives alive longer,” Mullins said. “Right now, we’re relying a lot on the big play. At some point we are going to have to start putting more drives together and get some 10 or 12 play drives. That would keep them off the field offensively as well.”
On the defensive side of the football, Stephen Dilly leads the Wildcats in tackles with 31 on the season. Clayton Marcum has 28 total tackles, while Jacob Browning has 26 and Vernatter 26 as well. A.J. Grimmett has 22 stops and Tyler Workman 21.
Grimmett leads Logan in sacks with four. Workman leads Logan in pass breakups with four while Marcum has three. Workman also leads Logan in interceptions with three.
Kicker Daniel Hanks has also quietly had a good season as he is 13-for-16 in extra point kicks. He was short on a 37-yard field goal attempt last week.
Mullins said Logan is pretty much injury-free heading into the game.
“We’re good,” he said. “We’ve got a few guys that are banged up a little bit but it’s the fourth week into the season. We don’t have any major injuries and nobody that will be out for the season.”
Logan and Chapmanville began playing each other in 2001 and the Cats lead 7-5 in the all-time series. Logan was 5-1 over the Tigers in the first six meetings. Chapmanville, which beat Logan four straight years from 2007-10 during its playoff run, have a 4-2 edge over the Cats in the last six games.
Logan beat Chapmanville 20-0 last year and 22-21 in 2011.
— Chapmanville coach George Barker will comment on Friday night’s county clash in Thursday’s sports section.
Logan-Chapmanville Football Series
(Logan leads 7-5):
2012: Logan 20, Chapmanville 0
2011: Logan 22, Chapmanville 21
2010: Chapmanville 35, Logan 20
2009: Chapmanville 21, Logan 14
2008: Chapmanville 21, Logan 6
2007: Chapmanville 13, Logan 12
2006: Logan 14, Chapmanville 7
2005: Logan 42, Chapmanville 6
2004: Logan 29, Chapmanville 6
2003: Chapmanville 20, Logan 14
2002: Logan 27, Chapmanville 8
2001: Logan 21, Chapmanville 0