The Logan High School football team has an opportunity this week.
The Wildcats have a chance to start off the season 2-1 just like last year.
Logan (1-1), which won 49-14 last week at Shady Spring, is scheduled to travel to Lincoln County on Friday night to take on the 0-2 Panthers, one of the weakest Class AAA teams in the state over the last few years.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Lions Club Field in Hamlin.
It’s the second straight trip in as many years to Lincoln County.
The Wildcats are 6-1 all time against the Panthers, including last year’s 40-14 win over LCHS in Hamlin. Logan has won five straight meetings.
Lincoln County lost a 40-34 overtime heartbreaker to Scott last Friday night, a week after getting hammered 62-7 at Class AAA No. 7-ranked Point Pleasant.
After taking on the Panthers, Logan heads into the meat of its fall schedule beginning with the Sept. 18 home opener with Point Pleasant on the new LHS Field Turf. Games against Chapmanville, Greenbrier East, John Marshall, Sissonville, Oak Hill and Scott are to follow.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said the Panthers are much improved.
“They are a lot better and this is the best Lincoln County team that they have had since they had Zach Whitten and Garretson four or five years ago,” Mullins said. “They play extremely hard and they played Scott right down to the wire. They had some successful plays against Point but they just couldn’t score.”
Logan can go above . 500 with a win.
“We have to try to string some wins together,” Mullins said. “We’re trying to turn this thing back around and get back to the way that we were just a few years ago where we expected to win just about every Friday night. These are the kinds of games that make a difference in your season. I’m sure it will come down to the last few plays like it always does when we go over there to play. We just have to keep getting better and better every week.”
Lincoln County’s game with Scott last week featured a hourlong lightning delay and an overtime loss to the Skyhawks in Madison.
Scott quarterback Austin Mitchell won the game in the extra period with a 20-yard touchdown run.
The Skyhawks led 14-0 but Lincoln County was able to tie it with a pair of TD runs by Tristan Browning and Austin Scaggs.
Scraggs also had a 54-yard fumble return for a touchdown which put the Panthers up 22-20 in the third quarter.
Scott regained the lead but Lincoln County took it right back with a 35-yard TD pass from quarterback Jake Ashley to Nathaniel Spencer to make it 28-26.
Browning added a 15-yard touchdown run to put LCHS ahead again but Scott was able to tie it and win it in OT.
Lincoln County was outgained 415-277 in yards of total offense. Ashley was 8-for-21 passing for 109 yards. The Panthers had 168 yards on the ground.
“Their quarterback throws the post really well,” Mullins said of Ashley. “They had a 60-yard touchdown pass against Point. They’re a lot better than they have been the last few years. Any time you go down there to play it’s hard to win. We had better play our A game if we want to have an opportunity to win.”
Last week, the Wildcats were led by Matthew Cox, a senior running back, who scored three touchdowns on runs of 2 and 23 and a kickoff return covering 90 yards. Cox finished with 151 yards rushing on 16 carries and added two catches out of the backfield for 41 yards.
“Matthew Cox had another big game for us,” Coach Mullins said.
Logan quarterback Alex Toler was 8-of-16 passing for 139 yards and one touchdown.
“I thought Alex played much better and looked way more comfortable,” Mullins said. “Any time you start out playing at quarterback your first game is going to be tough. He was better at making the reads. Jamal Minter had a big run for us and broke a couple of tackles and scored from about 45 yards out. Our offense played much better.”
Hunter Vance led the LHS defense with eight tackles. Daniel Browning and Chance Conn had six stops apiece.
“We gave up a kick return for a score so our defense really only gave up seven points,” Mullins said. “The week before against Man we feel like they only gave up 12. Our defense is playing well. A lot of guys have had to step up over the last few weeks. They keep getting better and better. That’s what we want to do each week.”
Logan played last week’s game without Cody Maynard, the Wildcats’ defensive captain and starting middle linebacker. He was out with a knee injury and Coach Mullins said he will most likely be out again on Friday.
Devonte Tolliver, one of Logan’s starting running backs, is also questionable for Friday with an ankle injury.
“It doesn’t look like he will be able to go on Friday night,” Mullins said of Tolliver. “We’re just going to have to get the next guy get ready to play. Teams that can do that are usually pretty good.”
Football Friday Night
WHAT: Logan (1-1) at Lincoln County (0-2)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Lions Club Field, Hamlin, W.Va.
SURFACE: Natural grass
LAST WEEK: Logan won 49-14 at Shady Spring … Lincoln County lost 40-34 in overtime at Scott.
RADIO: WVOW 101.9 FM, Logan, W.Va.
INTERNET STREAM: www.loganwildcats.tv.
Logan vs. Lincoln County
All-Time Football Series
(Logan leads 6-1)
2014: Logan 40, Lincoln County 14
2013: Logan 51, Lincoln County 13
2012: Logan 48, Lincoln County 0
2011: Logan 42, Lincoln County 20
2010: Logan 9, Lincoln County 6
2009: Logan 20, Lincoln County 6
2008: Lincoln County 28, Logan 7
2015 Logan High School
Football Schedule (1-1):
Aug. 28: at Man, L 13-18
Sept. 4: at Shady Spring, W 49-14
Sept. 11: at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18: Point Pleasant (Hall of Fame Game), 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 25: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 2: Open date
Oct. 9: Greenbrier East, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16: John Marshall (Homecoming), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23: at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30: Oak Hill, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6: Scott, 7:30 p.m.