The Class AAA No. 15-ranked Wildcats got it as Logan downed Winfield 31-20 at Logan Stadium.
The victory improved Logan to 4-2 on the season and kept its post-season hopes alive. Winfield dropped to 2-5 with the loss.
“We’re happy to be 4-2,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said after the game. “We put a lot into the Perry County game and came up short. We, of course, put a lot into the Chapmanville game and came up short. It’s easy to quit when that happens after you lose two heartbreakers when you had been so successful up until that point.”
Logan led just 13-10 at the half, but Winfield’s ball control running game kept moving the ball and kept churning out long drives.
In fact, the Wildcats didn’t run a single play from scrimmage in the entire third quarter.
The Generals went on a 13-play, 53-yard drive, culminating with Andy Ellington’s 37-yard field goal with 5:35 left in the third quarter to tie the game, 13-13.
But the Wildcats came right back.
Jason Spurlock, returning to the field just minutes after banging up his knee on a nasty, inadvertent collision with teammate Brynden Street on a Winfield pass play, then took the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. Gary Miller’s extra point kick was blocked but the Wildcats led 19-13 with 5:20 to go in the third.
“He put himself back in the game,” Mullins said of Spurlock. “He’s a gamer. He’s as tough a kid as you will ever meet. It was a tremendous shot that he took. The referees were talking when he was down on the field that that was the hardest hit that they had seen in a long time. He took it directly on the knee. After four plays later he was in the game returning the kick. He’s got a lot of guts.”
Winfield got the ball back and continued to drive the ball until the end of the stanza.
The Generals’ drive stalled, however, as Winfield faced a fourth-and-eight play at the Logan 11-yard line. The Generals could have had stable soccer-style kicker Ellington attempt a 28-yard field goal but instead went for it on fourth down. Quarterback Luke Miller’s pass fell incomplete, however, and Logan took over on its own 11 with 10:22 to go in the game.
Winfield ran 26 plays in the third quarter to none for Logan.
“I would hate to imagine how many offensive plays that they had compared to us,” Mullins said. “But this was by far the best assistant coaching effort that I’ve never had. We made a lot of adjustments in the booth and on the field. The players took those adjustments and executed them to perfection. That was the difference in the game because they went to the wishbone and we didn’t practice for that. We had to make adjustments on the fly. We gave up some yards but we played tough.”
Still trailing by six points, Winfield got the ball back but fumbled the ball away in the first turnover for either team.
It proved costly as Logan fullback Joe Street bulled in for a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 25-13 in favor of the Wildcats. Street scored two touchdowns in the game, also catching a 56-yard TD pass from Brown in the first half.
Mullins had praise for Street after the game.
“We’ve needed to give the ball to Joe more,” Mullins said. “Joe’s got a lot of passion and a lot of heart and our offensive line has been blocking good. This was one of our points of emphasis. We can throw it when we need to throw it but need to be able to run the ball. I told him, ‘Don’t bounce it. We don’t need you to score touchdowns. We want you to break people in two.’ That’s how he ran tonight. He has a very special person who watches down over him.”
But Winfield wasn’t ready to throw in towel.
The Generals answered as Miller tossed a touchdown pass to running back David Gaydosz. Ellington’s PAT was good and Winfield trailed just 25-20.
Logan drove the ball down field on its next possession and looked to run out the clock.
Coach Mullins rolled the dice with less than a minute to go and went for it on a fourth-and-four play deep in Winfield territory. The gamble paid off as QB David Brown lobbed a 32-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Deyonta Coleman with 30 seconds left in the game. The two-point conversion failed but the Wildcats led 31-20.
“They had us loaded in there. We were outnumbered and we weren’t going to get a first down running the ball,” Mullins said of why he decided to throw the ball. “It’s five seconds from throw to completion that we could’ve gotten off the clock. So we thought we’d give the best playmaker a chance to get one and he did.”
Nigel Wallace then sealed the win in the game’s final seconds as he intercepted Miller to end the game.
The Generals had went on top 3-0 early in the game with Ellington’s 27-yard field goal at the 3:29 mark of the first quarter.
Logan came right back.
Zach Ellis got it started as he recovered Winfield’s surprise on-side kick attempt.
Then on the very next play, Brown hit a streaking Coleman on a 56-yard bomb down the sideline. Miller’s PAT was good as Logan led 7-3.
Street then scored his first touchdown on a 56-yard screen pass with 4:20 left until halftime to make it 13-3 Logan. Miller’s PAT was wide left. The touchdown was set up on the previous play on Brown’s 31-yard pass to Brandon Horne.
Winfield responded with fullback Corey Langsdorf’s 27-yard run up the middle for a touchdown. Ellington’s PAT was good as the Generals cut it to 13-10.
Logan punted on its next drive and the Generals were able to drive the ball down to the Wildcat 37-yard line. With four seconds to go, Winfield elected to go for a 54-yard field goal attempt. Ellington’s line drive kick was on target but the ball fell just a bit short as the Wildcats went into the locker room ahead by three.
n Brown was 5-for-9 passing for 179 yards and three scores.
Coleman had two catches for 88 yards and two TDs.
Stevie Browning had one catch for three yards.
Street ran with the ball 13 times for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Brown had five carries for 50 yards.
David Toney had one rush for two yards.
Bubba Shepherd and Andrew Reynolds led the Wildcat defense with 16 and 15 tackles respectively.
Chris Marcum had 10 stops, while Toney and Spurlock had nine tackles apiece.
Seth Thatcher finished with six tackles, while Brynden Street had five and Derek Gleason four. Tyler Nelson and Miller had three each.
Wallace, Matt Southers, Keith Browning, Ellis, Justin Oney and Tyler Vernatter had one tackle each.
Marcum had two special teams tackles.
Vernatter, Ellis, Oney, Shepherd and Spurlock had one each.
Gleason also caused a fumble. Miller had one fumble recovery.
Wallace and Toney each had two pass breakups. Marcum and Reynolds had one each. Reynolds also had one QB pressure.
Khaleel Reynolds also had one on-side kick recovery as did Ellis.
Ellis punted three times for an average of 46 yards per kick.
Winfield ran 75 total plays in the game to just 31 for the Wildcats.
“It was amazing that we could win a game only having 31 offensive plays and Winfield having 75,” Coach Mullins said. “Our guys played tough and I am so proud to say that I coach them.”
The Wildcats return to action next Friday night at Class AA Herbert Hoover. The Huskies beat Chapmanville, 48-45, earlier in the season at Tiger Stadium.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Herbert Hoover High School football field at Falling Rock. The Huskies beat Logan 22-0 last season on the road. Logan and Herbert Hoover were once fellow members of the Triple-A Mountain State Athletic Conference and the 2A Cardinal Conference. The Huskies are still a member of the Cardinal.
“We’ve got to score early before the fog gets in there,” joked Mullins, referring to a previous game at Falling Rock. “A few years ago we were winning but the fog rolled in and we couldn’t throw it anymore. They’re a tough team.”