Friday night, though, the two teams met again in Madison in the final preseason test before next week’s season opener.
It was much different this time.
There was no mud and no standing water.
They only thing there was this time was a few carpet burns.
Logan and Scott met for the first time on Scott’s impressive new Field Turf playing field, which was just installed a couple of weeks ago.
The Wildcats were just as impressive as Scott’s few facility as Logan came away with a 35-28 victory over the Skyhawks before a surprisingly good preseason crowd in Madison.
Logan’s new starting quarterback — junior Chris Marcum — fired two touchdown passes to lead the Wildcats. One was a 65-yard strike to Khaleel Reynolds, while the other was a 12-yard touchdown pass to Justin Oney.
Senior running back Joe Street added a 5-yard touchdown run for Logan. Backup freshman quarterback Ryan Miller scored on a 15-yard TD run in the second half.
Logan also had its moments on defense as sophomore defensive back Brynden “Worm” Street had two leaping interceptions. The Wildcats’ other defensive playmaker, senior linebacker David Toney, also had a score as he stripped the Scott ball carrier and raced in for a 38-yard touchdown in the opening quarter. Toney has stayed busy on the gridiron this summer as he attended an elite linebackers camp on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
The Skyhawks also had a few moments as well. Scott quarterback Jesse Belcher had two touchdowns on runs of 2 and 61. Scott’s backup QB reached the end zone twice on runs of 17 and 18 in the second half.
All in all, Logan coach Gary Mullins was able to take away quite a few positives from the game and the entire preseason. The Wildcats scored nine touchdowns in the preseason opener against Tug Valley last Saturday.
Logan, coming off a 6-5 Class AAA playoff campaign, is set to open the 2011 season at county rival Man next Friday night. The Hillbillies are itching for another shot at Logan after getting trounced 55-18 in last season’s opener and then finishing a disappointing 4-6 after reaching the Super Six in Wheeling in 2009.
“We had two bad defensive plays and that led to two touchdowns. But they’ve got good running backs,” Mullins said of the Skyhawks, a 5-5 team last season. “We’ve got to shore that up but offensively, they put nine guys in the box and blitzed all night long and I thought that it was good that we had 27 points (at the half) when they were sending everybody.”
Mullins, a quarterback himself in his days wearing Logan’s Blue and Gold, said Marcum showed poise in the pocket and looks to be ready to take over the QB mantle from graduated four-year starter David Brown.
“He started out 7-for-7,” Mullins said. “Then he made that bad read on the interception. He usually doesn’t do that but he’ll be better at that. That’s just learning but I think that he’s been unbelievably good. I think teams that want to load the box on us are going to pay the price. He can stand in there because he’s a tough football player. We’re looking forward to going out next week when it counts next Friday night.”
Just like last year when Logan had first-year senior wide receiver Deyonta Coleman, the Wildcats seem just as dangerous this fall.
In addition to the backfield tandem of Street and Toney and leading returning receiver Reynolds, Logan has other options on the table.
One is basketball player T.J. Tomblin, who is out for football this season. Tomblin, who stands 6-foot-9, reeled in a 17-yard catch on the first drive of the game.
C.J. Williams, a junior and another Logan basketball player, also made a grab and scored on a two-point conversion pass.
Sophomore receiver Josh Rein had an 80-yard touchdown run wiped out late in the game due to an illegal block in the back penalty by the Wildcats.
“We’ve got a lot of good players,” Mullins said. “C.J. Williams is coming on strong at wideout. We just have to keep getting better every week. Next week it starts counting so we’ve got to be ready to play. Man will be the biggest team that we will play up front all season long. We’ve got to be ready to play.”
Despite a few missed tackles on some of Scott’s QB keepers, Logan’s first unit defense played well, Mullins said.
“Our guys on defense really run to the ball well,” he said. “We’ve hit really hard in our two scrimmages. But we’ve just got to get better. Like I told the team after the game if our number one goal is to beat Tug Valley and Scott in scrimmages they can go on home. Our goal is to win the Man game. That’s our number one goal. Our second goal is to be the county champion. Our third goal is to have a winning season and our fourth goal is to go to the playoffs and win our first playoff game. We have to go at them in that order and our first goal is Man.”
Mullins said he was impressed with Scott’s new Field Turf. Logan and Scott are set to meet during the regular season finale at LHS. The Wildcats aren’t expected to be back on the Madison carpet until 2012.
The scrimmage, though, served as a good preview for Logan, which plays three games on Field Turf this season — at Huntington, at Nicholas County and at new school Mingo Central in Red Jacket.
“I thought that it was unbelievable. It’s just a great surface to play on,” Mullins said. “It makes you excited to play football when you are out there on it. We’ll be on Field Turf three times this year and three times next year.”
Logan took its opening possession 70 yards in 11 plays, capped off with Joe Street’s 5-yard touchdown run. Matt Southers tacked on the PAT to make it 7-0 Logan at the 6:31 mark. The score was set up by a 34-yard screen to Street, the 17-yard pass play to Tomblin and Toney’s 13-yard run to the Scott 5-yard line.
Three plays later, Toney stripped the ball away from the Skyhawks and ran in for a 38-yard TD. The extra point kick by Zach Ellis was wide left but the Cats led 13-0 with 5:05 to go in the opening quarter.
Scott drove to the Logan 47 but a fourth down pass was intercepted by Worm Street at the LHS 25 and returned 13 yards to the 38.
Two plays later, Marcum fired to Reynolds for a 65-yard touchdown pass at the 1:00 mark of the first quarter. The PAT by Southers was good as the Wildcats led 20-0.
Scott’s Belcher scored on a 2-yard run with 9:18 to go in the first half to make it 20-6.
Then with 6:05 left until halftime, Marcum’s 12-yard TD pass to Oney and the Southers PAT pushed the Wildcats’ lead to 27-6. The score was set up by Toney’s 19-yard run and Joe Street’s 27-yard rumble to the Skyhawk 11.
Four plays later, Belcher ran in from 61 yards out on a fourth-and-one play to keep Scott in the game. The two-point conversion was good as the Skyhawks pulled to within 27-14 at the half.
Both teams then played one more varsity series to open the second half. Marcum threw an interception on Logan’s drive and Worm Street gave some payback with his second pick of the game near the end zone and returning it 48 yards to midfield.
Scott inched to within 27-20 in the third quarter as each team played its second-stringers.
Miller’s 15-yard TD run and his conversion pass to C.J. Williams gave the Wildcats some distance at 35-20 late in the third quarter.
The Skyhawks then added one more touchdown and two-point conversion to finish off the scoring at 35-28.
Bryce Goff also had an interception for Logan.
Logan’s Brian Craft boomed a punt for 44 yards. Scott’s punter also had a big one that went for 52 yards.
There were no kickoffs in the scrimmage as each team began possession on their own 30-yard line. There were also no punt returns.
Logan County’s other two high school teams — Chapmanville Regional and Man — were also scheduled to see its final preseason tests over the weekend.
Man was on the Field Turf at Nicholas County High School in Summersville as the Billies were set to scrimmage Shady Spring and Independence.
Chapmanville was at Williamstown.
The Tigers open the regular season next Friday night at home against Sissonville in a Cardinal Conference contest.