There’s an old coaching cliche or two when it comes to football.
Never overlook your opponent, no matter what the situation is.
Always praise your opponent, no matter who you are playing.
Show up on Friday, play your game and get the job done.
That’s how the favored Logan High School football team is thinking heading into Friday night’s annual Hall of Fame Game against the Poca Dots.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Logan Stadium.
It will be the Cardinal Conference opener for the Wildcats, which are playing in the league and in Double-A ball for the first time in nine years.
Logan comes into the game 1-0 after ripping county rival Man, 48-13, last Thursday night in the Coalfield Kickoff Classic.
Poca is 0-1 after getting edged 9-6 by Nitro in the Battle for the Barrel. Nitro is a former Class AAA school and one of the other new Cardinal Conference members.
The Dots are coming off back-to-back 0-10 seasons, and are riding a 28-game losing streak dating back to the 2013 grid campaign, but Logan will simply not overlook them.
“They are looking a lot better than they were last year,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said of the Dots. “They give you a lot of different looks. They use the Wing-T and they also go four wide sometimes. They seem to have two good wide receivers and a couple of real good linemen. They were right in that game last week and had a chance to win. When a team loses a lot of games like that in a row you know that you are going to get their best effort.”
The Poca-Nitro game last week at Poca’s O.O. White Stadium was quite ugly but Nitro was happy to get the win coming from a program with just four victories over the last three seasons.
Poca held Nitro QB Jamie Buckalew to just 4 of 20 passing.
The Dots are led by QB Jacob McClanahan.
Poca scored its only touchdown on the night on an 11-yard pass from McClanahan to Matt Gibson. The kick failed, but that gave the Dots a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.
Nitro led 7-6 at halftime and added a safety to hold on for the win.
Logan played very well last week against Man, jumping out to a 30-0 lead after the first quarter and not looking back.
Freshman QB David completed 12-of-18 passes for 240 yards and four TDs on passes from 75, 75, 4 and 27 yards out.
Senior wide receiver Braxton Goff scored four touchdowns — all in the first half — and 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.
Both Goff and Early were making their debuts with the Logan varsity team.
“Braxton had a great game and David had a tremendous opener,” Mullins said. “One of the things that went unnoticed is how well our wide receivers blocked. They helped turn what would have been a 10 or 15 yard gain into touchdown runs. Our linemen also played very well.”
Jamal Minter finished with three catches for 90 yards. Michael Hall also had two rushes for 102 yards, including a 75-yard TD run and two catches for 13 yards.
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.
The Logan defense also stuffed Man’s rushing attack.
It was 48-0 Logan in the fourth quarter before the Cats allowed a pair of late scores.
Shawntez Matthews had eight tackles to lead the Logan defense. Cody Maynard and Daniel Browning had six stops each. Cezar Cruz and and Troy Cowhart each had five tackles, while Minter and Trey Jude had four stops each.
“I was impressed with our attention to detail and how hard that we played,” Mullins said. “As hot as it was you worry and in the first game you have mental errors but we really didn’t have any. We were clicking on all cylinders. Our players and coaches have worked hard. Our guys played a great game and we have to keep getting better from this point.”
Logan hasn’t played Poca since 2007 in its last stint in the Cardinal Conference. Logan won 28-12 in that matchup.
Football Friday night
WHAT: Poca (0-1, 0-1) at Logan (1-0, 0-0) Logan Hall of Fame Game
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Logan Stadium, Logan, W.Va.
SURFACE: Field Turf
LAST WEEK: Logan beat Man 48-13, Poca lost to Nitro 9-6
LAST YEAR’S MEETING: Did not meet
SERIES SINCE 2000: Poca leads 3-2
RADIO: WVOW 101.9 FM, Logan, W.Va.
Logan vs. Poca
Football Series Since 2000
(Poca leads 3-2)
2007: Logan 28, Poca 12
2006: Poca 28, Logan 21
2005: Poca 14, Logan 13 (OT)
2004: Logan 42, Poca 21
2003: Poca 28, Logan 0
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).