It was a strong ending for the Logan High School football team, which beat Scott 28-18 on Friday night at Logan Stadium in the season finale.
With the win, the Wildcats closed out the season with two wins and a 4-6 record.
Logan hopes the late season surge carries into next fall when LHS could be competing again as a Class AA school for the first time in eight years following the WSSSAC’s realignment next month.
The Wildcats also have some future talent coming up.
The Logan JV football team closed out an undefeated 8-0 season this fall.
The Logan Middle School football team, led by dynamic 1,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher David Early, were 8-1 this season, winning the Mid-Valley Conference championship title for the first time in school history with last week’s victory at home over Ripley Middle School in the league final.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said next season looks much brighter for the LHS football program.
“These two wins gives us a positive to springboard you forward,” Mullins said after the game. “We doubled our win total from last year. Our JV team and our middle school team had some success. We have a lot of positives and we feel like we are just a few wins away from being 6-4. We’re going to work on some things that we need to work on, look at some things on film and go to some clinics, keep trying to get better and try to put the best product that we can out there.”
Logan’s lowest point of the season came two weeks ago with a 56-0 loss at Sissonville. The wins over Oak Hill and Scott give the Cats some positives heading into the off-season.
“When we lost that game to Sissonville everyone wanted to talk about how bad they were,” Mullins said. “But we had a good effort the last two weeks.”
Next year’s possibility of Logan going back to Double-A would also benefit the program greatly.
If that happens, Logan would no longer have to play against the state’s Triple-A powerhouses.
“That would be great news to me for sure,” Mullins said.
Scott closed out a disappointing 2015 season at 2-8 with Friday night’s loss.
It was the last game at the helm for longtime Skyhawks’ football coach Shane Griffith, who is stepping down after 16 seasons.
“It’s not going to be the same without him,” Mullins said of Griffith. “We spend a lot of summers together during the three-week practice period. He’s built a brand of football that we have tried to emulate. He’s a great coach and Scott High School and southern West Virginia football will not be the same without him.”
Logan was led in Friday night’s win by senior running back Matthew Cox, who had 20 rushes for 173 yards with an 18-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
Senior running back Devonte Tolliver had four carries for 34 yards and led the defense with 13 tackles.
“I thought Devonte played really well in his last game,” Mullins said. “He had 13 tackles and stepped up big when we needed him on offense. This was the best game that our offensive line played this year. They really came off the ball hard all night. Matt Cox is amazing. He runs so hard.”
Scott pulled to within 20-18 with a late touchdown but Logan was able to stop the Skyhawks on the possible game-tying two-point conversion.
“That was a huge play for us. If they would have tied it that would have taken the momentum away from us,” Mullins said.
Tolliver then sealed it with a touchdown to make it 26-18. The two-point conversion put the Cats up 10 and put Scott out of reach.
Logan quarterback Alex Toler was 6-for-13 passing for 80 yards with a 50-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion.
Jamal Minter had four catches for 65 yards with a 50-yard TD catch and two-point conversion.
Skyler Miller and Devin Hensley each had a catch for eight yards.
Devin Hensley added 12 rushes for 65 yards, including a 2-yard TD run. Daniel Browning had four totes for 40 yards. Toler ran with the ball four times for 14 yards. Minter had one rush for 21 yards.
Chase Burnette punted once for 41 yards.
On defense, Tyler Browning finished with seven tackles, while Minter and Chance Conn had six each. Nate Smith finished with five tackles. Hunter Vance had four, Jordan Oney and Burnette had three each and Cox, Musco Adams, Daniel Browning and Michael Hall had two each. Augustine Chukwu-Noe had one.
Hall had two special teams tackles. Tyler Browning and Chukwu-Noe had one each.
Minter and Smith each had an interception for Logan.
Tolliver caused a fumble and Adams and Smith each recovered a fumble.
Hall had two pass breakups.
Austin Mitchell led the Skyhawks, running to the house on a 73-yard TD run to finish with 171 yards and two TDs on 18 carries. He also completed 2-of-3 passes for 28 yards and another score.
Scott’s Raistlin Walker ran for 46 yards on nine carries and Nathan Ramsey caught two passes for 17 yards and a TD for the Skyhawks in a losing cause.
Toler finished the season 98-for-187 passing for 1,259 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Cox finished the year with 160 carries for 1,087 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns. He was also Logan’s leading receiver with 28 catches for 466 yards and six scores.
2015 Logan High School
Football Schedule (4-6):
Aug. 28: at Man, L 13-18
Sept. 4: at Shady Spring, W 49-14
Sept. 11: at Lincoln County, W 44-12
Sept. 18: Point Pleasant (Hall of Fame Game), L 7-57
Sept. 25: at Chapmanville, L 26-43
Oct. 2: Open date
Oct. 9: Greenbrier East, L 0-56
Oct. 16: John Marshall (Homecoming), L 26-62
Oct. 23: at Sissonville, L 0-56
Oct. 30: Oak Hill, W 35-14
Nov. 6: Scott, W 28-18
(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).