LOGAN - A trick play not only put away the Mingo Central Miners on Friday it did a whole lot more for the Logan High School football team.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 18 in the state in this week’s Class 3A computer ratings, downed the Class 2A No. 13 Mingo Central 28-16 at Logan Stadium.
However, the final score was not indicative of the closeness of the game.
In the final quarter, Mingo Central had pulled to within 21-16.
Things might have been different on Friday night had it not been for a bit of trickery.
With the Wildcats leading only 21-16 following Mingo Central’s 1-yard touchdown sneak by quarterback Matt Lester with 9:52 left the game was still in doubt.
Then it had appeared the Miners had stopped the Wildcats at midfield and would have one last chance to drive down for the possible game winning score.
Logan faced a 4th-and-eight at the Mingo Central 45-yard line and went into punt formation. The Miners were about to get the ball back. One more drive and one more score and Mingo Central could head out of Logan with a win.
The Wildcats, however, had other ideas.
While in punt formation and punter Brian Craft back deep, Logan instead snapped it to the up blocker Chris Marcum, who pumped and fired a strike over the middle to his brother, Clayton Marcum and a nice slant pattern around the 20-yard line. After making the catch, Marcum then kicked it into gear and raced 45 yards for a touchdown. Craft booted the extra point kick and Logan went ahead 28-16 with 6:07 left in the game.
It appeared to be the game capper but more drama was yet to come.
The pesky Miners took over on their own 33 and on the fourth play of their next drive appeared to have gotten back into the game with Joe May’s 46-yard touchdown run with 4:04 left. The score, however, was nullified due to a holding penalty by the Miners.
Mingo Central eventually turned the ball over on downs at the Miners’ 46.
Logan was able to convert a fourth-and-10 at the Logan 34 on Chris Marcum’s 12-yard keeper.
Marcum then took two knees to run out the clock. The game was over.
The Wildcat bounced back from last week’s 37-18 homecoming loss to the Huntington Highlanders. It was the second straight loss for MCHS. They had lost to Wheeling Central at home last Saturday. The Miners are now 4-4 and need to win their last two games – at Nicholas County – and at home with Herbert Hoover to have a shot at the playoffs.
Logan jumped ahead of Mingo Central 7-0 on the second play from scrimmage as Marcum fired an 84-yard bomb to senior wideout Khaleel Reynolds. Craft’s PAT split the uprights and Logan led 7-0 over the Miners.
Mingo Central answered with 1:14 to go in the first quarter as May scored on a 9-yard touchdown run. Lester then fired to May on the two-point conversion and the Miners led 8-7.
It proved to be the first and only lead of the game for Mingo Central.
Just three players later, Logan answered with a 50-yard touchdown run by Brant Williams. Craft was again good on the extra point kick as the Wildcats led 14-8 with 19 ticks to go in the first quarter. The score was set up by Brynden “Worm” Street’s 35-yard run on first down to midfield.
Late in the first half, Logan and Mingo Central traded fumbles.
The latter was with 3:24 left when the Miners’ Joseph Hall put the ball down on the grass at the Logan 44.
The Wildcats eventually capitalized, driving 56 yards in six plays, capped off by Marcum’s 13-yard keeper for a touchdown with 59 ticks to go. Craft’s PAT was good and Logan led 21-8 over Mingo Central at the half.
The Miners looked to get back into the game early in the third quarter but had another fumble and Logan’s as Street recovered at the 30 and ran all the way down to the Mingo Central 10-yard line.
After three straight runs of three yards by Reynolds, Logan had a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line. An illegal procedure penalty by the Wildcats moved it back to 6.
Logan passed on the 23-yard field goal attempt and went for it instead.
It didn’t turn out well for the Wildcats, however, as Reynolds, taking a handoff from Marcum, then scrambled back to the 20 and fired incomplete in the end zone to C.J. Williams.
The Miners went three-and-out on their next drive and Logan turned it over on downs at the MC 40.
Mingo Central then went on a 13-play, 60-yard drive, capped by Lester’s 1-yard TD run and May’s conversion grab, to trim Logan’s lead to just 21-16.
It was the second straight win over Logan over Mingo Central. Last year, the Wildcats went to Newtown and defeated the Miners 22-6 at Mingo Central’s Buck Harless Stadium.
Coach Mullins said he’s happy his team got to six wins and secured a third straight winning season.
Marcum was 5-for-16 passing for 156 yards and the two touchdowns. Reynolds was 1-for-2 passing for 12 yards.
C.J. Williams had three catches for 31 yards. Brett Musick also added a grab for nine yards.
Logan rushed 26 times for 231 yards. Brant Williams led the way with five rushes for 71 yards and a score. Marcum had 10 carries for 68 yards and a score. Street added 59 more yards on six attempts, while Reynolds had five totes for 33 yards.
The Wildcats outgained Mingo Central 399-260 in total yards.
Street led Logan’s defense with eight tackles. Thomas Hunter, Chris Marcum and Not only did it put the Wildcats (6-2) back into the Class 3A playoff picture with two games left to play, it also secured Logan’s third straight winning season.
Mingo’s May finished the game with 16 rushes for 106 yards for the game. Chance Lester had 15 carries for 75 yards. Joseph Hall had nine carries for 20 yards and three catches for 19 net yards.
The Miners finished with 260 yards of total offense with 45 rushes for 216 yards. Quarterback Matt Lester was 7-for-13 passing for 44 yards. He also fired a complete pass on one of the two successful two-point conversions.
(Logan Banner Sports Editor Paul Adkins contributed to this article.)