Cody Mitchell scored five touchdowns and the Class AAA No. 6-ranked Point Pleasant High School football team dominated Logan in the trenches as the Big Blacks beat the No. 12 Wildcats 57-7 on Friday night in Logan’s annual Hall of Fame Game and home opener.
Point Pleasant improved to 4-0 on the the season, while Logan, playing its first game on its new Field Turf, dropped to 2-2.
As lopsided as the game was Logan competed much better than it did at Point Pleasant last year in a game that was 63-8 Point at halftime and the two second half quarters were shortened to two eight-minute periods on a running clock.
Still, the Wildcats were no match for Point Pleasant, which won for the fourth straight time over Logan.
“We had a hard time getting any kind of running game going,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “They were whipping us up front. We have to get better at that but we felt like our guys competed. Defensively, we just missed a lot of tackles but we felt like our guys played hard. Our defense played much better than we did a year ago but they (Point Pleasant) are great and they whipped us. They are better than us in every aspect of the game.”
Mullins said, unlike last year, saw no quit in his team.
“We told them that at halftime. We told them that if they quit, they would be on the sideline next week,” he said. “Our kids didn’t quit and they played hard. But they (Point Pleasant) were just so physical and so strong. It’s hard to do anything when they are three yards in the backfield on both sides. They have great backs, too, with Safford and Cody Mitchell.”
Mitchell scored Point’s first four touchdowns on runs of 1, 6, 29 and 4 to put the Big Blacks on top, 28-0. He led all rushers with 195 yards on 14 carries. Mitchell also caught one pass for eight yards, while completing 2-of-5 passes for 49 yards.
Point Pleasant tacked on a 24-yard field goal by Jason Schultz with 6.3 ticks left until halftime to take a 31-0 lead at the intermission.
The Big Blacks upped the margin to 37-0 with Grant Safford’s 8-yard TD run with 10:33 to go in the third quarter. Safford finished with 193 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries for the night.
Mitchell then scored his fifth and final touchdown of the night on a 37-yard run with 4:44 in the third as Point Pleasant increased the lead to 43-0.
Just eight seconds into the fourth quarter, Point Pleasant went up 50-0 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from freshman Carson Payne to senior Jordan Cunningham.
Logan was then able to get on the scoreboard with 2:15 left as quarterback Alex Toler tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Browning. Augustine Chukwu-Noe booted the PAT and the score was 50-7.
Then on the ensuing kickoff, the Big Blacks’ Nathan Bowman returned it to the house on an 87-yard touchdown with 2:02 left to finish out the scoring at 57-7.
“When it mattered, they made the plays and we didn’t,” Mullins said.
Mullins said Toler played well.
“Alex Toler played his best game against the best team on our schedule,” Mullins said. “He hung in there in the time that he’s been here.”
Logan, however, had some miscues on special teams. Logan punter Chase Burnette was under heavy pressure, as one of his kicks was partially blocked and another went just 4 yards and was almost blocked.
“We’re disappointed with our punt team,” Mullins said. “We knew they were going to try to do this but we couldn’t stop them.”
Point Pleasant outgained Logan 417-131 on the ground but LHS had the edge in the air 165-98.
The Big Blacks rolled up 330 yards at halftime to Logan’s 113.
Toler completed 21-of-38 passes for Logan, throwing for 165 yards with one interception and one touchdown unofficially. Toler ran three times for 24 yards in the loss.
Matthew Cox led all Logan ball carries with 47 yards on 12 carries, while catching six passes for 19 yards, unofficially.
Daniel Browning had 39 yards on two carries, with one reception for a 20 yards and a score. Tyler Browning led LHS receivers with 53 yards on four receptions, followed by Jamal Minter with 36 yards on four grabs.
Logan travels to Chapmanville Regional this coming Friday night to take on the Tigers in a big county clash. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium.
Chapmanville is 4-0 after winning 55-14 Friday night at winless Poca.
“That game is huge for us next week,” Mullins said.
Point Pleasant is now one of six Class AAA schools that remain unbeaten on the season.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).