If the cat isn’t out of the bag yet about David Early it is now.
Early, Logan High School’s freshman phenom quarterback, accounted for seven touchdowns — six passing and one rushing — as the Wildcats won in a 61-11 blitzkrieg over the Poca Dots on Friday night at Logan Stadium.
Logan, ranked No. 10 in the state this week in the WV Metro News Class AA Power Index, improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Cardinal Conference.
Poca, which saw its misery continue with its 29th straight loss, dropped to 0-2, 0-2. The Dots, having endured back-to-back winless 0-10 football campaigns, haven’t heard the victory bell ring since 2013.
Poca went on top 3-0 over Logan with an early field goal, helped along with a Wildcat turnover, then went down 41-3 at halftime.
Logan then coasted the rest of the way, breezing to a second straight win to start the season. The Wildcats blitzed county rival Man 48-13 last week.
“We weren’t very happy in the first half with the offense because we were turning the ball over and dropping balls,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “We also had a lot of penalties that we didn’t have the first week. We kept plugging along. We’ve got a lot of weapons out there. We’re getting better and we feel like we’ve got a chance to win every time that we go out there. It was a total team effort.”
Mullins said Early is progressing very well in his first year as Logan’s starting QB.
In Friday night’s win over Poca, Early was 13 of 20 passing for 243 yards with TD passes covering 12, 39, 30, 14, 9 and 34 yards. He also ran with the ball five times for 39 yards and had an 8-yard TD run.
“He doesn’t cause you any problems. He buys in and works hard in practice,” Mullins said. “He’s willing to watch film with us. He does a really good job of leaning on those older guys. They do a good job of talking to him. It’s been a real smooth transition for him. He’s going to give you his best effort. The great thing is that when he throws a touchdown pass or an interception there is no difference in his expression. He just goes to next play. If he continues to get better it’s going to be unbelievable to see what he can do.”
On the last play of the first half, Logan struck pay dirt with its old hook-and-ladder play which has been succcessful in past years.
Early dropped back and fired a pass to Jamal Minter, who then pitched to Trice Boatwright, who streaked down the sideline for a 26-yard touchdown.
“Usually that’s a staple in our offense but this year we haven’t really talked about it,” Mullins said of the play. “We were going to save it but I felt like we could show it there. It was a great job by Jamal. David threw a great ball to him and Jamal went up and got it. The Poca guy on defense was all over him but he was able to get it to Trice. I don’t know how he didn’t step out of bounds going down the sideline.”
Braxton Goff had three catches for 77 yards and two TD grabs of 39 and 14 yards. Goff, a first-year Logan football player and a member of the LHS basketball team, now has seven total touchdowns on the season.
Minter snared three passes for 39 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown grab.
Devin Hensley had three catches for 40 yards and a two-point conversion score. Michael Hall had three grabs for 49 yards and a 30-yard TD catch. Chucky Felder added a 9-yard TD catch.
Logan had 21 rushes for 244 yards and 487 yards of total offense.
Hall led the ground game with two carries for 54 yards. Goff had three totes for 36 yards, including a 6-yard TD run. Hensley had three attempts for 19 yards and a two-point conversion run. Tyler Browning added two carries for 24 yards.
Trey Jude had two rushes for 22 yards, while Dino Noe had two tries for 11 yards. Backup QB Brandon Kinser had one carry for 26 yards. Tyler Meade had one carry for three yards.
Chris Watkins was 3 for 4 in extra point kicks.
On defense, middle linebacker Cody Maynard led Logan with eight tackles. Shawntez Matthews had seven tackles, while Tyler Browning had six stops. Goff, Daniel Browning and Cezar Cruz had five tackles each. Hensley, David Cruz and Jude each had four tackles. Felder and Minter each had three tackles and Kinser had two. Hall, Musco Adams and Casey Newsome had one each.
Hall and David Cruz added two special teams tackles apiece. Hensley, Matthews, Noe, Daniel Browning, Kinser and Tyler Browning had one each.
Daniel Browning had two sacks and Cezar Cruz one. Maynard and Felder each had a pass breakup.
Daniel Browning had a punt block. Hall also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Logan, which is back in Double-A, is off to a great start.
The Wildcats’ biggest goal is to not only make it to the post-season but to win a playoff game. Logan is 0-6 in its playoff history, including an 0-5 mark under Mullins.
“Ultimately, we want to win our first ever playoff game,” Mullins said. “We’re trying to get better and better every week and make sure our ultimate goal is attainable at the end of the year.”
Mullins said Logan is also improving on defense.
“Last year, we went through some growing pains, changing to the odd stack but the guys have bought in,” he said. “A lot of those guys worked really hard in the weight room. Shawntez Matthews I think lifted every day in the off-season and put on about 20 pounds of muscle. When you have guys like that on the defensive side of the ball you have a chance to win. I’m as excited watching them guys play as I am watching our offense play.”
Logan will look to go 3-0 on the season this coming Friday night as the Wildcats are scheduled to host Lincoln County.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Logan Stadium.
The Panthers, which like Logan dropped from 3A to Double-A ball, are 0-2 after a 43-7 loss at home to Roane County on Friday night.
2016 Logan High School
Football Schedule (2-0):
Aug. 25: Man (Coalfield Kickoff Classic), W 48-13
Sept. 2: *Poca, W 61-11
Sept. 9: Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: at Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: *Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30: Open Date
Oct. 7: at John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: at Greenbrier East, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: *Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: at Oak Hill, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
*Cardinal Conference game
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).