Braxton Goff should retire.
Maybe David Early should too.
Both had career days in their debuts as the Logan High School football team buried the rival Man Hillbillies 48-13 on Thursday night in the season-opening Coalfield Kickoff Classic at Logan Stadium.
Early, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound freshman quarterback, tossed a swing pass to Goff on the first play from scrimmage, resulting in a 75-yard touchdown.
The score set the tone for the game as Logan scored early and often, leading 30-0 after one quarter and 42-0 at the half.
Goff, a senior basketball player, who was playing in his very first varsity football game, scored four touchdowns — all in the first half — as the Wildcats steamrolled the Billies. Goff snared five passes for 122 yards for the game, reeling in passes covering 75, 4 and 27 yards. He also reached pay dirt on a 23-yard jet sweep.
Early was equally impressive as he completed 12-of-18 passes officially for 240 yards and four TDs on passes from 75, 75, 4 and 27 yards out.
Logan’s offense was in full swing as the Cats rolled up 424 yards of total offense, including 184 yards on the ground on 20 carries.
At the same time, Logan’s defense stuffed the Billies, stifling Man’s patented ground attack and only allowing a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.
“Definitely a total team effort,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “We’re excited to get this win.”
Mullins said his team was confident going into the game. Man had won the last two meetings, including last year’s 18-13 decision at home.
It was payback time this time.
“You never expect to win like that,” Mullins said. “We expected to win and we thought that we would have a good chance to win the game. We thought that our guys were explosive.”
Mullins pushed to get the game moved back a day on Thursday to put extra spotlight into southern West Virginia football.
Since things went so well maybe Logan should try to schedule more Thursday night games in the future.
“I think we would be OK with that,” Mullins said.
Thursday’s game was also the debut for both Logan and Man as Class AA schools.
Man raised in classifciation from Single-A and returned to the 2A ranks for the first time in more than 10 years.
Logan, which rejoined the Cardinal Conference, is back in Double-A and dropped from the 3A ranks, hasn’t been a Class AA school since the years spanning 2003-08.
The Wildcats were beaten last week by Mingo Central in the preseason Cardinal Conference Gridorama but Mullins said he saw a lot of good things in the scrimmage and hoped to carry them over to the Man game.
“People were getting on us when we lost to Mingo Central 21-6,” he said. “But we feel like they are a top three team in the state. We dropped a touchdown pass in that game and if we would have got that it would have been a one touchdown game. We were pretty happy coming out of there and we had a great week of practice. Now we have to get back. We wish it was Monday already.”
Logan’s athleticism and team speed was abundantly clear against the Billies and gave the Cats a big edge.
“I just had a feeling today,” Mullins said. “I was watching a lot of film and sometimes you just match up well with somebody. I just thought that they would have a hard time containing us on the edge. I thought our offensive and defensive lines were a lot better than they thought they were. I think they thought they were just going to push us around. We were pretty confident coming into it. But you never expect to come out that fast.”
After the Early-to-Goff score that put Logan up 6-0 at the 11:40 mark, Logan was soon in the end zone again after forcing Man to a three-and-out.
Four plays later, Goff took a jet sweep from Early and ran in for a 23-yard touchdown. Early ran in the two-point conversion and it was 14-0 Logan with 8:13 still on the first-quarter clock.
It then went from bad to worse for the Billies.
After a muffed kickoff, Man started on its own 10-yard line and fumble the ball away on the next play as Cody Maynard jarred the ball lose and Tyler Browning recovered at the 9.
Three snaps later, Early scored on a 2-yard keeper. The two-point conversion pass was intercepted but Logan led 20-0 with 7:03 left.
Another mishandled kickoff by the Billies forced Man to start on its own 6 on the ensuing drive.
After a three-and-out, Man was forced to punt again.
And again, another disaster happened as a high snap sailed over Man punter Matt Sanders’ head to the back of the end zone. The ball went out of bounds resulting in a safety as Logan led 22-0.
Logan took over its next drive on the Man 35 after a good kick return by Jamal Minter.
Eight plays later, Early tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Goff. Michael Hall scored on the two-point conversion and it was 30-0 Logan with 1:30 still left in the opening quarter.
Logan tacked on another score with 8:34 left until halftime with Hall’s 75-yard touchdown run. The conversion failed but the Cats led 36-0.
Moments later, Early tossed a 43-yard TD pass to Skyler Miller but the score was called back due to a Logan penalty.
The Cats regrouped and Early fired a 27-yard touchdown pass to Goff with five seconds to go as Logan led 42-0 at the break.
Logan’s defense held strong, only allowing two first downs by Man in the first half.
Man hoped to get things going in the second half, finally able to mount a drive in the third quarter. The Billies marched to Logan’s 23-yard line by quarterback Cameron Simspon, making his first start, was sacked for a 5-yard loss to kill the drive.
Early then found Minter on a swing past and Minter ended up weaving and sprinting to the house for a 75-yard score to up the margin to 48-0.
Zach Frye scored a touchdown for Man on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter. Simpson added a 2-yard keeper and Zach Cook booted the point after kick.
Simpson led Man with 44 yards rushing on seven carries. Frye was held to 10 rushes for 37 yards before injuring his shoulder early in the second half.
Minter finished with three catches for 90 yards. Hall had two grabs for 13 yards. Tyler Browning had one catch for 10 yards. Chukie Felder snared one pass for five yards.
Hall also had two rushes for 102 yards. Early had eight carries for 33 yards. Devin Hensley had four totes for 12 yards. Freshman Troy Cowhart and Daniel Browning each had one rush for three yards. Trice Boatwright had two attempts for seven yards. Dino Noe had one carry for one yard.
Shawntez Matthews had eight tackles to lead the Logan defense. Maynard and Daniel Browning had six stops each. Cezar Cruz and Cowhart each had five tackles, while Minter and Trey Jude had four stops each.
Tyler Mileto contributed three tackles, while Musco Adams, Tyler Browning, Elijah Adkins, Felder, Tyler Topping and Chris Childers all had two tackles.
Boatwright, Brandon Kinser, Caleb Dingess, Hensley, Michael Dehart and Josh Trent all had one tackle.
Noe, Logan’s kicker on kickoffs, had two special teams tackles. Kinser, Felder, Boatwright, Topping and Hall had one each.
Maynard and Goff each had a caused fumble. Minter had two pass breakups, while Felder and Maynard had one each. Daniel Browning and Minter each had a QB pressure. Mileto and Dingess each had a sack.
Man’s full game statistics were unavailable.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).