Every game gets bigger and bigger for the Logan High School football team.
Winning will do that.
After last week’s 20-0 victory by Class AAA No. 13 Logan over rival Chapmanville, the Wildcats secured the county championship.
But more importantly, the Wildcats improved to 4-1 and put themselves in a position to match last year’s 8-2 regular season and home playoff advantage.
The journey begins on Friday night at Winfield, as Logan takes on the Class AAA Generals, which are 2-3 after last week’s 18-13 loss at home to Class AAA No. 7 Point Pleasant.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Winfield High School football field.
It all seems to be setting up nicely for the Wildcats, which have a bye week on Oct. 5 before closing out the regular season with four tough games — Oct. 12 at home against Huntington (last week’s Class AAA No. 1 at 4-1), Oct. 19 at home against Mingo Central (2A No. 12 at 3-1), Oct. 26 at Hurricane (3A No. 16 at 2-2) and Nov. 2 at Scott (2A No. 1 at 5-0).
The first order of business is Winfield — a place Logan has not played all that well at over the years. The Wildcats are 3-3 against the Generals since 2000 but are 0-2 in the last two meetings on the road.
The last trip to Winfield in 2009 resulted in a 35-20 loss to the Generals. Logan beat Winfield the last two years at home, winning 28-10 last year and 31-20 in 2010. The Wildcats fell at Winfield 20-7 in 2007.
The Generals have had mixed results so far this season.
Winfield lost 44-7 at Hurricane in its opener before taking a 20-14 victory at Ripley in Week 2. The Generals then lost 21-3 at Huntington on Sept. 7 before winning 27-21 at home to Riverside on Sept. 14.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said his team is happy where they are at but know there is a tough road ahead in order to make it to the playoffs.
“We have definitely have put ourselves into a good situation,” Mullins said. “But we have to make sure that we’re back and focused on Winfield. We’ve watched some film on them and they are very good and very skilled. They’re a lot more skilled than they have been the last couple of years. They play hard and they are good. They’re one of the better teams that we have seen up until this point. We have to play very good in order to beat them.”
At least Logan will not have to worry about David Gaydosz. The all-state running back at Winfield transferred to Cabell Midland this season and is no longer in the Generals’ backfield.
By some accounts, however, this year’s version of the Winfield football team is improved, even without Gaydosz.
“Sometimes a guy leaving can bring you closer together,” Mullins said. “It makes you tougher. I think that’s what happened to them. This looks like one of the best teams that I’ve seen them have in the last five our six years. They could have very easily won some of the games that they’ve lost.”
Winfield took unbeaten Point Pleasant, a new 3A team and last year’s Class AA state runner-up, to the brink last week before the Black Knights were able to squeak out a late touchdown with 4:45 left in the game.
The Generals are led by feature running back Seth Lewis, who was unable to get in a flow last week against Point as he finished with 71 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Winfield, though, was able to move the ball behind the passing of junior quarterback Toby Show as he fired to his receivers Kris Turner and Josh Hathaway. Show had a 21-yard touchdown pass to Turner for one of the two scores.
“We had receivers open but were just out of reach on some of Toby’s passes,” Winfield coach Craig Snyder told the Charleston Gazette. “Our defense keeps stepping up each week but this week we gave up the big play in the end that cost us.”
Logan bounced back last week against Chapmanville — a week after taking it on the chin at Johnson Central, Ky., 46-12. Logan’s defense forced Chapmanville into four turnovers and the Tigers only really came close to the goal line once.
Other than last week’s loss at Kentucky power Johnson Central, Logan has only allowed seven points in 16 quarters of football against four in-state teams.
Last Friday night’s shutout was the third this season for Logan, which also owns a 48-0 blanking over Lincoln County.
Logan took a 12-0 halftime lead after quarterback Chris Marcum fired a 30-yard touchdown bomb to Josh Rein with only 10 seconds left.
Logan finished with 296 yards of total offense. The Wildcats rushed 35 times for 225 yards as Marcum was 4-for-7 passing for 77 yards and a TD. Rein had three catches for 71 yards. Khaleel Reynolds had the other grab for six yards. He also rushed eight times for 59 yards.
Brynden “Worm” Street led LHS on the ground with nine carries for 77 yards. Marcum had nine rushes for 39 yards. Brant Williams had five attempts for 32 yards. Tyler Vernatter rushed for 18 yards on four totes.
Clayton Marcum led the Logan defense with 10 tackles. Teddy Nelson had seven, while Vernatter, Street and Thomas Hunter had six each.
“I’m just proud of our team,” Mullins said. “We’re 18-7 in our last 25 regular season games. I didn’t know if we could get to that point. We’re playing at a very high level. It’s just a testament to our kids and how hard that they’ve played and how hard that they want to win.”
2011: Logan 28, Winfield 10
2010: Logan 31, Winfield 20
2009: Winfield 35, Logan 20
2008: Winfield 34, Logan 28 (2OT)
2007: Winfield 20, Logan 7
2006: Logan 23, Winfield 13