JACKSON — Logan will renew its rivalry with the Jackson Ironmen on Friday night at Alumni Stadium after a two-year hiatus. It’s a welcome scheduling return for Logan’s most-played opponent.
The two founding members of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League have met 95 times on the gridiron, with Logan holding a 46-45-4 edge in the series, which dates back to 1917. The two teams have met in all but five seasons since 1935.
Adding to the rivalry’s rich history are the combined 51 SEOAL championships, 26 belonging to Logan and 25 for the Ironmen.
Current Jackson coach Andy Hall has taken the program to new heights. Currently in his 11th season, his 83-29 record includes a pair of perfect 10-0 seasons and six playoff appearances. His 2015 squad became the second Jackson squad to reach a regional final and the only to do so by winning two games to get there.
Jackson, which will move to week one on Logan’s schedule next season, has thus far defeated a pair of former SEOAL rivals in Wellston (23-6) and Athens (31-26). The game against Wellston closed out the 108-game rivalry between those two Jackson County schools.
The 2019 Ironmen have been suffocating on the defensive side of the football and have overpowered opponents on offense when running the football.
The red and white use multiple formations and philosophies to move the football on offense. They will line up in shotgun spread formations or with two tight ends and three running backs. The Ironman ground game is averaging over 5.5 yards per carry (94 carries for 520 yards).
At quarterback, Jared Icenhower (6-0, 185, senior) is in his third year as a starter and has completed 13 of 26 passes for 175 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions this fall.
Joining him in the backfield are Jayden Spires (6-0, 205, senior) and Brice Graham (6-2, 205, senior). Spires leads the team with 279 yards on 42 carries while scoring twice and also has caught two passes for 14 yards and another score. Graham adds 187 yards and a team leading four touchdowns on 35 attempts.
Icenhower’s top targets are Tristan Prater (6-0, 170, sophomore) and Garrett Daily (6-0, 180, senior). Prater has five catches for 84 yards and a score while Daily adds four grabs for 26 yards.
Freshman Jacob Winters (6-1, 215) is a multi-purpose threat who will line-up as an H-back and in the slot.
Treylan Davis (6-5, 215, junior) and Carson Strange (6-0, 195, senior) are the tight ends. Davis has one catch for 48 yards.
The Ironmen start four seniors and a junior on the O-line. The tackles are Reece Graham (6-3, 200, senior) and Blake Cross (5-10, 225, junior), the guards are Trevor Norris (6-3, 270, senior) and Ty Ruckel (5-10, 225, senior), and the center is Aaron Causey (6-0, 220, senior).
Defensively, the red and white have held opponents to a meager 63 yards on 46 attempts. Logan, which had two separate runners break the century mark in a single game for the first time since 2014 against Teays Valley, will likely find its ground game facing more opposition than last week.
Jackson will line up in a 3-4 base defense that can quickly load the box by moving linebackers and safeties on to the line of scrimmage and near the linebackers, respectively. Many of those same players are athletic enough to play in space on the edges.
Up front, Mitchell Johnson (5-11, 190, senior) is a menace from his nose guard post while Anthony Parks (6-3, 200, senior) and Ruckel are quick and strong at the other defensive line spots.
Davis and Grant Mastin (6-1, 210, sophomore) are stout run-stoppers from their inside linebacker positions and are flanked by Jayden Spires and Evan Spires (6-0, 190, sophomore) at outside linebacker. Cross adds depth on the inside.
Prater, Icenhower, and Daily will all see time at cornerback while Brice Graham, Winters, and Brice Parks (5-10, 190, senior) will all see time at the two safety positions.
Isaac Kuhn (5-7, 150, junior) will handle placekicking duties, with Icenhower doing the punting. Prater and Jayden Spires are the return specialists.
Logan football historian Spencer Waugh of loganfootball.com previews the Chiefs’ opponent every Thursday in The Logan Daily News.