LOGAN, W.Va. — The Logan High School football team hopes to stop the bleeding on Friday night at Greenbrier East.
After a promising 3-0 start to the season, the Wildcats now find themselves with a 3-3 mark after three straight losses to Point Pleasant, Chapmanville and John Marshall after last week’s narrow 13-6 loss to the Class AAA Monarchs.
Logan hits the road for another long trip on Friday at Class AAA Greenbrier East, which stands at 2-4.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Greenbrier East football field in Lewisburg.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said converted wide receiver Jamal Minter will start again at quarterback for the Wildcats.
Minter got his first start of the season last Friday at John Marshall and freshman starter David Early, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, did not play.
When asked why Early is not going to play, Mullins would not say. After five games, Early was 60 of 99 passing for 990 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“Jamal will be our quarterback on Friday night,” Mullins said. “After Friday night, we’ll just see where we go from there. That’s about all that I can say about it.”
Mullins was asked again if he would elaborate about the lineup change.
“No, not really,” he said.
Mullins was asked if Early’s benching was due to injury or disciplinary action.
“I just don’t talk about high school kids,” Mullins offered. “If they got paid to play or they were on scholarship maybe you have the right to talk about them but high school kids no. Jamal is our quarterback and we’re going to build a game plan around him and to his strengths. Hopefully, we will help him a little more than we did last Friday night.”
Last week in Early’s sted, Minter completed 13 of 31 passes for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two picks. He ran with the ball 24 times for 72 yards.
“Jamal did a tremendous job,” Mullins said. “He’s a true leader on our football team. He really stepped up and played well. There’s a few things we need to work on. We need to work on getting the ball out of his hands a little bit faster. I thought he did a great job for a first start. We didn’t help him a lot. We had six or seven drops and a lot of false start penalties. We were putting him in a bad situation behind the sticks a lot but with every thing that was going out there I thought he did a tremendous job out there for us.”
Logan trailed John Marshall just 7-6 at halftime last week after Michael Hall scored on an 85-yard touchdown run.
Down 13-6, Logan had a chance late and took the ball into John Marshall territory but the Monarchs were able to stall a Wildcat drive and hold on to win their second game of the season and second time in as many years over LHS.
“Defensively, we got stops all night long,” Mullins said. “Offensively, it was like we couldn’t get out of our own way. Every time we got a drive we would have a lot of false start penalties. We just couldn’t finish the deal. I thought our kids played extremely hard. John Marshall was a little bit better than their record showed. Going in, we knew they played those tough northern teams. We felt our kids played hard and competed the entire game. We had the chance to win the game at the end but we just couldn’t get it done. We’ll just keep working and getting better and move on to the next game.”
Despite its losing record, Greenbrier East will be a formidable foe for Logan.
The Spartans were off last week.
East last played on Sept. 30, losing 24-8 at University. Before that, the Spartans lost 62-8 at Musselman and 42-8 at Bluefield.
Greenbrier East opened the season with a 34-6 loss at James Monroe, then beat Beckley Woodrow Wilson (28-23) and Preston (33-7).
“They have a great quarterback,” Mullins said of East. “He’s very elusive. That makes two weeks in a row that we will play a quarterback like that that can get out of the pocket and keep their eyes down the field. We’ll have to shore up our coverage a lot. They play very hard and they are very well coached. They do the right things and their kids always play hard. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us on Friday night.”
University led the Spartans 17-0 before East was able to get on the scoreboard with a 32-yard pick six by linebacker Joey Powell to make it 17-8.
East had just 29 carries for 11 nets yards. Jaylon Battaile, William Honaker and Devin Persinger are the Spartans’ top backs.
Spartans’ quarterback Hunter Weis was 11 of 22 passing for 74 yards and two interceptions in the University game. Honaker had six catches for 49 yards in the game. Persinger and Nathaniel Byers each had two grabs and Brad Falls had one.
Hall is Logan’s leading rusher on the season with 21 carries for 348 yards and three TDs. Early has 35 rushes for 230 yards and three scores.
Braxton Goff is Logan’s leading receiver with 20 catches for 342 yards and three TDs. Minter has 20 catches for 311 yards and four TDs. Hall has reeled in 14 passes for 281 yards and four scores.
On defense, Shawntez Matthews is Logan’s leading tackler with 48 stops, an interception, a sack and a pass breakup.
Cody Maynard has 41 tackles, two breakups and a caused fumble. Daniel Browning has 40 tackles, four sacks, a punt block, a pass breakup and a QB pressure.
Minter has 40 tackles, three pass breakups, three caused fumbles, an interception, a sack and a QB pressure. Chucky Felder has 25 tackles and six pass breakups.
Goff has 23 tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and a caused fumble.
Cezar Cruz has 22 tackles and a sack. Trey Jude has 19 tackles and Devin Hensley 16. Tyler Browning has 20 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Football Friday night
WHAT: Logan (3-3) at Greenbrier East (2-4)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Greenbrier East High School football field, Lewisburg, W.Va.
SURFACE: Field Turf
LAST WEEK: Logan lost 13-6 at John Marshall, Greenbrier East was idle.
LAST YEAR’S MEETING: Greenbrier East beat Logan 56-0
ALL-TIME SERIES: Greenbrier East leads 2-1
Logan vs. Greenbrier East
(Greenbrier East leads 2-1)
2015: Greenbrier East 56, Logan 0
2014: Greenbrier East 42, Logan 19
2013: Logan 48, Greenbrier East 29
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).