LOGAN – The Mingo Central Miners are fighting for their first-ever playoff appearance and need at least two wins in their last three games to have that opportunity. Their opponent this week is also fighting for a playoff spot.
Coach Yogi Kinder’s squad travels to Logan Friday night to take on the Wildcats at Logan Stadium. The Miners are coming off a tough 35-16 loss to Wheeling Central Catholic last Saturday afternoon. Logan is coming off a tough 37-18 loss to highly ranked Huntington.
The Miners are ranked No. 13 in Class 2A heading into the game, while Logan comes in at No. 18 this week in Class 3A.
Senior Joe May has led Mingo Central all season, but teams have scouted the Miners and have obviously stressed their defensive schemes to bottle the speedy tailback. May is still a threat to score on special teams, via the pass or the run.
Junior Alex Lee has really played a big part in the Mingo Central offense and defense the last few games. He also serves as the team’s punter.
On defense, it has been a team effort, led by senior Garth Simpkins and junior Drew Kirk. Sophomore Devin Ellis and senior Israel Reynolds could play an important role for MCHS on the defensive side of the ball. The Mingo Central secondary could be tested and will have to step up this week at Logan.
Matt Lester has stepped in at quarterback for the injured Stevie Hammond. Hammond, a freshman, is out for the season with a severe back injury. Several younger players have been getting playing time for the Miners including Chase Justice and Deonte Joplin.
With three games left to play in the regular season and the top 16 teams in each class qualifying for the playoffs, the Wildcats are on the bubble. So they will have extra incentive in this game.
Logan beat Mingo Central 22-6 last season on the road in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
“It’s definitely a big game,” Wildcat coach Gary Mullins said. “It should be a very good crowd. Their fans always travel well and it’s a huge game for both teams. We’re trying to get to six wins and we’re trying to secure a winning season. We want to get back out there because we felt like we didn’t play our best against Huntington. We want to get out there and prove that we can play a lot better.”
“They are a good football team,” Mullins said. “Joe May is as good as anybody that we’ll see. He didn’t at all in the second half last week. I think that he got banged up a little bit there in the second half. He’s a tremendous player and they play hard. He’s as explosive as anybody that we’ll play. He’s super-fast and super strong.”
Logan is led by senior quarterback Chris Marcum. Some of his primary targets are Josh Rein, Brynden “Worm” Street and Khaleel Reynolds. Fullback Tyler Vernatter could get some carries against the Miners.
On defense, Logan is led by Teddy Nelson, Thomas Hunter, Chris Marcum, Clayton Marcum and Street.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.