Logan, which went 6-5 last season and lost in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs at No. 1 George Washington, is scheduled to open the season at Class A Man on Friday night.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Stadium.
The Hillbillies slumped to 4-6 last year and missed the playoffs, a year after reaching the Class A state championship game in 2009 at Wheeling’s Super Six.
When it comes to the Logan-Man game anything can happen and all cards are on the table.
Logan and its spread offense crushed the Billies 55-18 in last year’s season opener at LHS but the Wildcats know Man will be ready to enact some revenge this time around and will be fired up to play Logan in the traditional season opener between the two rivals.
Logan went 2-0 in the preseason, scoring nine touchdowns in a home scrimmage against Tug Valley on Aug. 13 and then went to Scott last Friday night and came away with a 35-28 victory over the Skyhawks on Scott High School’s new Field Turf.
Man scrimmaged at 3A George Washington two weeks ago and then played a preseason gridorama last Saturday at Nicholas County against Shady Spring and Independence.
Logan has had an edge in recent years in the Man series, going 8-3 against the Billies since 2000. The Cats are 4-3 against Man since current head coach Gary Mullins took over the reigns in 2004.
Mullins said Man is always a tough team to play.
“We watched them play at GW and they will be the biggest team up front that we play — out of the Triple-A teams and the Double-A teams,” he said. “They are huge. All of their linemen are 240 pounds and up. They are big, strong and physical.”
Man is led by returning quarterback Shane Browning and running back Jimmy Duba, both seniors.
“They run the ball right at you and defensively, they look really good,” Mullins said. “They got a great test at GW and they were able to see a lot of speed. They won’t be enamored by any speed that we might give them. I think they are going to be really good and they will be a whole lot better than they were last year. We just got on them early last year and they didn’t have an opportunity to come back. We don’t expect the game to be like that at all this year. We understand that we are going to have to fight for every yard and be ready to play our best game if we want to be 1-0.”
Since the disparity in classifications, Man stands much more to gain with a victory over Logan in that the Billies would get Triple-A points in the WVSSAC’s playoff format, which rewards 12 points for a 3A win, nine for 2A and just six for Class A.
Man’s 34-7 win over Logan in 2009 seemed to go a long way for the Billies in their march to the Class A state title game.
Mullins said it’s always difficult to play the Billies in the opener.
“Me personally, I would rather play this game later just so you can get a better feel,” he said. “But I understand the financial part of it. This game is always packed and everybody is excited to play. The classes and the records don’t matter. I’ve seen years when Logan is good and Man’s not and Man wins and when Logan isn’t supposed to be very good and Man is and Logan wins the game. You never know what is going to happen. The two teams always get after each other and there’s a lot of hard hitting. They look like they are going to do some new things on offense but they come right at you. They are going to test your manhood. We have to be ready for that.”
Logan is led by its senior backfield tandem of Joe Street and David Toney and new starting quarterback Chris Marcum, who takes over under center for graduated senior signal-caller and 2010 Kennedy Award candidate David Brown, a Logan starter in most of the last four seasons.
Street and Toney each rushed for more than 100 yards in the preseason win over Tug Valley.
In the Scott game, Logan was led by sophomore defensive back Worm Street, who had two interceptions. Toney, also a linebacker as he plays Iron Man Football, also had a 38-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Marcum tossed two TDs in the Scott scrimmage – one going to Khaleel Reynolds for a 65-yard score. Reynolds is Logan’s top returning wide receiver as Deyonta Coleman has graduated.
Man coach Harvey Arms comments on the Logan-Man game in Wednesday’s sports.