LOGAN – With a 2-6 record on the season so far, the Logan Chieftains will be at home for their last game Friday night. It will be Senior Night, and the Chiefs will be hoping for their third win, against Zanesville.
The Blue Devils come into the game with a 5–3 record, 3–1 in league play. On Sept. 10 they lost 26-13 to the Fort Frye team that last Friday overwhelmed the Chieftains by a score of 49-14. So far on the season Zanesville has scored 228 points to its opponents’ 160, somewhat better than Logan’s numbers of 89 points for and 247 against.
Logan Head Coach Mike Eddy said the two teams have met occasionally in past years. He expects to face a team that broadly resembles Logan (as well as Fort Frye) in its offensive approach, and that, like Logan, is in the process of mastering a new offensive scheme with an emphasis on ball control.
“We played them a couple years ago, and they are vastly different than they were at that time as far as their style of play,” Eddy explained. “We were re used to seeing them as a spread team, throwing the ball all over the place. But somewhere early in the season, they transitioned – well, actually it was right after they played Fort Frye as well. Earlier in the year, and after that game, they kind of transformed themselves into Fort Frye. We’re going to see the exact same style of offense – it’s almost a mirror image of Fort Frye’s. They just do it with a different style, or a different type of athletes.”
When the wing T works, it allows a team to limit its opponents’ possessions while using up the clock and putting enough points on the board to win. Where it runs into trouble is in games – like several of the Chiefs’ games this season – when the opponent runs up a big point advantage early.
“That is definitely the downside of a ball control offense, is trying to score points quick, because you’re just not built for those big chunk plays that move the ball quickly down the field,” Eddy said. “This is more of a grind-it-out style of offense, controlling the clock and minimizing possession. So, yes, it’s not very favorable for a come-from-behind win.”
More than once this season the Chiefs have had to try to overcome a size disadvantage at the line of scrimmage – which will again be the case against Zanesville, though perhaps not quite as lopsidedly as in some other games.
“You know they’re going to be much bigger than us up front,” Eddy acknowledged. “They’re going to have some really talented running backs with a lot of speed, and this is going to be another challenge for us this year.”
Facing another wing T offensive team, Eddy said, may present Logan with some opportunities, as a team that runs the ball a lot can sometimes turn the ball over.
The Chiefs could get an emotional boost from playing on Senior Night, though Eddy admitted he’s got mixed feelings about it.
“Yeah, it’s always a very emotional night,” the coach said. “And it’s one that I personally never looked forward to, because you create such an attachment to these young men, and you know that that night kind of signifies the last chance you’re going to get to coach them. So there are a lot of emotions and a lot of sadness that go into that. But it’s also exciting in that it’s a celebration of their high school football career. So there’s a lot of things all wrapped up into one.”
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