LOGAN – Coming off a 27-0 loss to the St. Charles Cardinals last Friday in which they gave up three touchdowns in the first quarter and never really managed to get their own offense into gear, the Logan Chieftains will face the Meigs Marauders this Friday.
Both teams have played the Athens Bulldogs this season; the Marauders lost that game 49-35, while Logan scored its only win so far, beating the Bulldogs 24-14. Meigs comes into Chieftain Stadium with a record of 2-4, while Logan’s stands at 1-5.
Logan has been shut out twice, by Sheridan and St. Charles, and has been outscored in its five games by 188 points to 58.
While losing four out of its six games so far, Meigs has actually managed to outscore its opponents overall, 182-173 – a statistic that’s skewed by the Marauders’ whopping point total in their 81-36 win over Belpre.
Logan Head Coach Mike Eddy said one factor his team needs to be ready for with Meigs is the play of senior quarterback Coulter Cleland (6-0, 188 pounds).
“They’ve still got a great quarterback,” Eddy said. “Cleland’s been starting for them for at least three years if not more; I can’t remember if he started as a freshman or not. But you know he’s a very talented quarterback, very savvy, has got a lot of experience, really knows how to make things happen even when they break down a little bit. So he’s just as much of a threat to run the ball as he is to throw it.”
Eddy said he expects to be facing a potent offensive attack from Meigs. “They’re going to run a spread style off and make us play out in space,” he predicted. “They’ll throw the ball quick into the flat, and then take a shot downfield three or four plays later. So we’re going to have to play some assignment football.”
Defensing Meigs will be “a tough order,” he said. “They really give you a lot of things that you have to address and you have to account for, and that makes their offense dangerous. And they’ve been in some shootouts the last couple of weeks, and just came up short a couple of times.”
For Logan the offensive assignment will be to continue to work the ball-control-oriented wing-T offense. It wasn’t of much use against St. Charles, which ran up the score so high in the first half that moving the chains and eating up the clock wasn’t really a viable strategy for the Chieftains. But the team’s committed to making it work, Eddy suggested.
“We’re not going to be reinventing the wheel here,” he said. “I think our kids are just now really coming into full understanding of the offense, you know – we’re just now to the point where we can sit down at coaches’ meetings on the weekends and kind of tweak, and make some adaptions to our offense because our players are at the point where they really understand it and get it. And also I just think it fits our personnel so well – these are the kind of kids that we have; they’re built for playing this style of offense… and we believe in it and we’re just going to keep trying to get better.”
While not a long-standing backyard rivalry like a Logan-Athens game, a meeting with Meigs does have some history.
“It’s not as long standing as some of the others like Jackson and Athens, but we have I think somewhere around – I’m guessing here – but I think there’s been like 30 meetings between the two teams or somewhere in that area,” Eddy said. “So it is a team that we’re somewhat familiar with. We know each other a little bit. And I know they do a good job of putting their kids in positions to be successful.”