LOGAN — It’s been nine long years since the Logan High School football team reached the post-season.
This could be the year the Wildcats end that.
Logan has one game left to play — a Nov. 5 showdown at Class AA No. 2-ranked and undefeated Herbert Hoover.
The Cats are 6-3 and observe a bye week this Friday.
Logan, coming off last week’s 24-14 win at home over Chapmanville, are expected to drop one spot from 13th to 14th in this week’s Class AA rankings.
The Wildcats are on the fence, and hope to stay in the top 16.
A win over Hoover would certainly get Logan in and give the Wildcats a ton of points in the ratings system. A loss to the Huskies and with some help, Logan still might be able to make it with a 6-4 mark as one of the lower seeds.
In the latter scenario, Logan would have to travel, possibly to Hoover again in a first-round matchup.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to beat one of the best teams in the state and put ourselves in the playoffs and not have to wait around for someone else to put us in,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “The next step for us is to get into the playoffs. It’s pretty simple for us. We will have to eventually beat them (Hoover) if we want to advance. If we beat them in Week 11 we would be in the playoffs and we would not play them. If we lose to them there’s a good chance we would have to go right back and play them in the playoffs. At some point we have to find a way to beat them.”
Mullins said he’s glad to be in the hunt so late in the season and the bye week comes at a good time for the Wildcats, which have been banged up in recent weeks with injuries.
“We’ll be off a couple of days this week and that will give us some time to prepare and rest up our bodies a little bit,” Mullins said. “We’ve had nine consecutive games and 11 counting the two scrimmage games. We have some things to work on and we can heal up too. I’m really proud of our guys. They have bought it and played hard. We’ve had an opportunity to win every game.”
Hoover, a 57-0 winner at Mingo Central last week, will be a huge challenge for the Wildcats.
The Huskies are set to play No. 1 Poca this Friday in the battle of the unbeatens.
Herbert Hoover, coached by Joey Fields, has outscored its opponents 414-36 this season.
Hoover’s closest game has been a 24-9 victory at Scott in its season opener. The Huskies led only 14-9 at halftime in that contest. Since then, they’ve beaten their next six opponents by an average of 51 points.
The Huskies have plenty of weapons with QB Dane Hatfield and his brother wideout Devin Hatfield.
Devin Hatfield also picked off a pair of passes last week, giving him eight on the season, including a 40-yard pick six. He also caught a 13-yard TD. Brenden Rash and Nathan Harper picked off the other passes for Hoover last week.
Dane Hatfield scored three touchdowns last week against the Miners on runs of 36, 7 and 5 and passed for two more, one going for 43 yards to Harper.
Hoover also has bruising senior running back Hunter Bartley, who has scored a Cardinal Conference best 17 touchdowns on the season. He reached the end zone twice against Mingo.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Many Wildcats have turned in fine numbers this season.
Senior QB Jordan Hayes is 111 of 201 passing (55.2 percent) with 1,431 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Kolton Goldie has been true on 11 of 20 passes for 214 yards and five touchdowns.
Goldie is also Logan’s leading rusher with 88 carries for 451 yards and four scores. Hayes has 225 yards on 56 attempts and a TD.
Carson Kirk leads Logan’s receiving corps with 42 catches for 728 yards and nine touchdowns.
Aiden Slack has 38 catches for 584 yards and seven scores.
Dawson Maynard has 11 catches for 201 yards and a TD. Garrett Williamson has another 164 yards on 15 catches and four touchdowns. Goldie has snared 13 passes for 137 yards.
DEFENSIVE LEADERS: Goldie leads the Logan defense this season with 75 total tackles. He also has a pair of fumble recoveries and two pass breakups.
Bryce Davis has 61.5 tackles and Brayden Chambers 58.5.
Slack has 52.5 tackles, two picks and four pass breakups. Landon Adkins has contributed 44.5 total tackles, two sacks and a blocked punt.
Noah McNeely has 41.5 tackles, while Chance Maynard has 42.5 stops, two interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown. Kirk has 26.5 tackles and two picks.
Williamson has 24.5 tackles and four fumble recoveries. Brennan Goff has 22 tackles.
Logan’s defense has improved greatly over the last two years, allowing just 16.5 points per game.
In the 2020 abbreviated season, Logan allowed 24 points per game. Back in 2019, the 1-9 Cats were giving up 52 points a game.
“Our defense has really played well,” Mullins said. “Everyone likes to talk about offense with me because we like to throw it around but we knew if the defense didn’t step up and get some stops we wouldn’t have had a chance to win very many games. The defense has been the key for us. It makes it easier on us that you don’t have to score 40 points in order to win a football game.”
INJURY REPORT: Logan has been banged up in recent weeks.
Wide receiver Dawson Maynard sat out last week reportedly due to a concussion and several other Wildcats have had the injury bug.
The Cats hope to heal up this week in the bye week.
“This is probably one of the most banged up teams that I’ve ever had,” Mullins said. “We didn’t have Dawson Maynard. Slack and Kirk were banged up and we didn’t know if they were going to be able to go last week. Hayes got hurt last week in the first quarter. Goldie was also banged up. We were unsure about who we were going to have on the field last week but we stepped up and new guys stepped up and made some big plays for us.”
AROUND THE CARDINAL CONFERENCE: The Class A A No. 1-ranked Poca Dots survived another close scare last Friday night with a come-from-behind 29-21 win at home over No. 9 Scott.
It was a week after escaping Logan in a 14-12 win, also at home.
Poca now stands at 7-0 on the season.
“I’m really proud of my guys. We got down and battled back,” Poca coach Seth Ramsey told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “We just made plays when we had to. They’re a really good football team. I am just so proud of what we did.”
For the Skyhawks, sophomore quarterback Matt Frye threw for 287 yards on 15 of 25 passing with Cooper Martin contributing 86 yards on 17 carries.
Malakai Woodard-Jones ran for 60 yards on 12 totes for Poca with QB Jordan Wolfe adding another 57 yards on 12 carries.
Poca has a huge Cardinal Conference showdown this Friday night at No. 2 Herbert Hoover (8-0) in a battle of the top two ranked teams in Double-A.
Both teams are tied for first place in the league standings with unblemished 6-0 records.
“We’ve gotta do the little things right and play our A game next Friday. We gotta be ready to meet the challenge,” Ramsey said.
Logan is tied for second place in the conference standings with Winfield as each are 5-2. The Generals are 5-3 overall.
Scott, at 5-3 overall and 3-3 in the league, is in third place.
The Cardinal Conference is expected to have five ranked teams again for the second straight week in this week’s WVSSAC ratings, which were slated to be released on Tuesday.
Poca is again projected to be No. 1 in the state with Hoover second.
Logan is slated to be 14th, Scott 15th and Winfield 16th.
The top 16 teams in each class qualify for the playoffs.
Scott hosts Winfield on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in another matchup of top 16 teams.
In other league action this Friday, Nitro (1-7) hosts Sissonville (2-6) and Chapmanville (2-6) hosts Mingo Central in a non-conference game.
Nitro was awarded a 1-0 forfeit win earlier in the season against Clay County.
Like Logan, Wayne is also off this week.