It’s do or die time for the Logan High School football team.
Win and the Wildcats are probably in the Class AAA playoffs.
Lose and Logan is out.
Logan (6-3), currently tied for 15th in this week’s Class AAA state rankings, will try to secure its first trip to the 3A playoffs in two years with a victory over Scott (3-6) on Friday night at home.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Logan Football Stadium. It will also be Senior Night for the Wildcats.
Logan, already enjoying its fourth straight winning season, hopes to advance to the Class AA playoffs for the third time in the last four years.
The Wildcats had first-round exits in 2010 and 2011 and just missed making it to the post-season last year with a 7-3 record and No. 17 state ranking. With the top 16 teams advancing to the playoffs, Logan would most definitely have to travel this year for a first-round playoff game on Nov. 15 at the No. 1, 2, 3 or 4 ranked team.
But in order for that to happen Logan must beat upset-minded Scott, a team that has struggled this year with an un-Scott-like losing season.
“We have to win to get in,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “Next time we lose our season is over. As long as we keep winning we keep advancing.”
The Skyhawks have had Logan’s number over the years, going 7-3 against Logan in the last 10 meetings.
The Cats, a 40-14 winner at home last week over 1-8 Nitro, hope to seal the deal on Friday night.
Scott is coming off last week’s 34-13 loss at Robert C. Byrd. The Skyhawks have dropped three straight, also falling 55-10 at No. 1-ranked Wayne on Oct. 11 and losing in a 14-13 nailbiter at home to Tolsia on Oct. 18.
The Skyhawks lost 40-35 at Herbert Hoover in the season opener, then won 46-21 over 3A dormat Lincoln County before falling 20-13 at rival Chapmanville and 22-20 at home to Sissonville the following week. Scott then won two games over Poca (59-14) and Westside (35-20).
Scott, coached by Shane Griffith, is led by quarterback Bo Jeffrey and running backs Cameron Loftus and Triston Crone.
The Skyhawks also have a good kicker in Dezmond Cordero-Lopez, who booted a 32-yard field goal in the Wayne game to give Scott a 3-0 lead early on.
Scott also scored in the game on a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Wayne, now 9-0 and seemingly headed for a third straight trip to the Wheeling Super Six, outgained Scott 551-154 in the game. The Skyhawks gave up 439 yards on the ground and 112 more in the air.
Jeffrey was 10-for-18 passing in the game for 91 yards.
Mullins said Scott will not roll over on Friday night.
“They don’t have that in them over there,” Mullins said. “They play hard and they spend a lot of time in the weight room. We know that we will get a great effort out of them. They are looking at ending our season and knocking us out of the playoffs. We know that this is going to be a tough game. We’re going to have to play our best to win.”
Mullins said Scott has a good team despite the losing record.
“We play a lot of 7-on-7 with those guys,” he said. “We know that they are very fast and physical. It’s a tough matchup for sure. They’ve had the upper hand on us for sure. It’s going to be tough. Our guys need to know that two years ago we were 8-1 and then last time they came in here we just beat Huntington and Hurricane and they came in here and kicked our butts. We know what is coming down here on Friday night that’s for sure.”
Mullins said Scott has had some tough losses this year.
“They’ve had some tough ones,” he said. “They’ve lost to Wayne and Sissonville and RCB. Those are some good football teams. It’s going to be tough for us because we know that they are going to load the line of scrimmage and put a lot of pressure on us. We definitely have to be able to take what they give us and not turn the ball over.”
Logan was led again last week by senior running back Bryden “Worm” Street, who surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau on the season as he scored four touchdowns and intercepted two passes on defense — one of which went for a 41-yard score. Street also scored touchdowns on runs of 9, 4 and 17.
Street finished with 20 rushes for 196 yards and the three rushing TDs on the evening. On the season, he’s racked up 123 carries for 1,106 yards and 11 scores. He’s averaging 8.99 yards per carry this season.
As a team Logan had 48 carries for 376 yards against Nitro. With the 91 yards passing, Logan amassed 467 yards of total offense.
Street will be honored on Friday night as part of Logan’s Senior Night festivities along with other seniors Tyler Vernatter, Daniel Hanks, Tyler Workman, Tyler Vance, Tim Saunders, Stephen Dilly, Clayton Marcum, Brett Musick, Josh Rein, Kyle Runyon, Preston Hepler, Jacob Vance, Jody Butcher, Aric Ooten, Ty Yeager, Daniel Miller and Daniel Faine.
“Our senior class has done so much when you look at the grand scheme of things since they’ve been here,” Coach Mullins said. “They’ve been to the playoffs twice already and they are trying to get three out of four. They’ve had four consecutive winning seasons which has never been done before. This is a great group of kids and they have played hard. If you look back at that four years there’s not been a whole lot of blowouts — not that you play for moral victories or anything like that — but they are in almost every game. That can’t always be said. We had a run there where we couldn’t hardly compete with anybody. This group has been a tremendous group to coach.”
Mullins said his senior class helped turn around Logan’s so-so program into a contender.
“They deserve the credit because they have turned it around,” he said. “We’ll always be indebted to these guys because they showed us how to work and how to fight through adversity and not make excuses. More than anything they are just great kids on top of everything else.”
Mullins said Musick, a starting wide receiver and senior, is still questionable for Friday’s game. He missed the Mingo Central and Nitro games with an injured knee.
“He’s week to week. We probably won’t know until Friday night before the game when we take him out to work him out,” Mullins said. “We’ll see if his knee can handle it. We want him to be out there but it’s a struggle for him right now. We don’t want him to do something to hurt him for later on down in life.”
Ranked No. 15 in the state, Logan is currently in line to travel to No. 2 Martinsburg for a first-round playoff game. The Wildcats could also face Huntington, Capital, George Washington or Point Pleasant depending on how Week 11 shakes out.
Martinsburg, located the far-off eastern Panhandle, is about a 7-hour trip from Logan and in the Washington DC market. Logan played Berkeley Springs on the Martinsburg football field in 2007 as the Wildcats lost 55-40 in the first round of the Double-A playoffs, one of four post-season berths in the Mullins era.
Mullins said he is not looking ahead.
“We have to beat Scott first,” he said. “If we beat Scott we know we would face one of four or five opponents on the road. But if we lose to Scott none of that matters. If we lose to Scott we won’t play anybody. We want to be in the playoffs. We know that they will all be good. Anyone we would play would have zero or one loss. But there’s really no need to think about that because if we don’t get this one on Friday night it won’t make any difference.”
Mullins said on Monday this would be his last season as the Logan football coach. He said he is stepping down at season’s end.
Mullins has been the head coach for 10 years.
Logan-Scott Football Series
Since 2000 (Scott leads 7-3):
2012: Logan 16, Scott 3
2011: Scott 38, Logan 7
2010: Logan 41, Scott 6
2009: Scott 13, Logan 6
2008: Scott 25, Logan 14
2007: Scott 40, Logan 21
2006: Scott 57, Logan 25
2005: Logan 15, Scott 12
2004: Scott 20, Logan 12
2003: Scott 41, Logan 14