Chieftain Notebook: Beating DeSales would almost assure Chiefs of playoff berth
LOGAN — It will be a lot easier to focus in on the Logan Chieftains’ post-season playoff chances next week once Friday night’s game at DeSales is in the books.
While a win in Columbus almost assuredly puts the Purple & White in the post-season for the first time in six years — the website “Drew Pasteur’s Ohio Fantastic 50” gives Logan a 99 percent chance at playing an 11th game by beating the Stallions — that number drops to 15 percent if the Chiefs lose.
The Chiefs thus probably have one more week in which they still can more than likely control their Division II playoff destiny.
The variables that always arise when it comes to making the playoffs are too numerous to list here, but suffice it to say every win that a vanquished Logan foe can get will not only be helpful but possibly quite necessary.
At this point, the Warren-at-Gallipolis SEOAL game is a playoff wash since both are Division IV schools and neither has yet to win a game this fall. The Chiefs play at Gallipolis next week and concludes their regular season with a week-10 home contest against Warren.
And a rivalry game in the far-eastern portion of the state that, in the past, Chieftain Nation has never given a second glance could be huge this weekend when a pair of traditional — but struggling — small-school powers collide.
Since the Chiefs have beaten Division VII Shadyside (1-6), they would get help if the Tigers make the two-mile trip to nearby rival Bellaire (also 1-6) Saturday afternoon and come away with a win. Although the points Logan would achieve wouldn’t be many, they might be just enough to be huge if the Purple & White lose at DeSales and need to sneak into the playoffs as a
No. 8 seed.
Numbers game: In addition to the 35-21 score, a few other numbers stand out from last week’s loss to Jackson.
Playing without injured running back Bryce McBride, Logan was held to a season-low 48 yards rushing, a far cry from the season low of 168 the previous week at Shadyside. Meanwhile, Jackson’s 307 rushing yards was a season-high against the Logan defense.
After the game, Logan coach Billy Burke expressed his disappointment that the Chiefs couldn’t make key defensive plays when they were needed, and one statistic especially bears out that fact: Jackson converted 9-of-13 third-down plays into first downs or touchdowns. Athens was 9-of-10 (and scored 49 points in a 61-49 loss to Logan) in such situations in the season opener.
The Ironmen, who have been prone to penalties and turnovers all season, were flagged for a whopping 111 penalty yards… but didn’t commit a single miscue. Jackson’s 27:26 time of offensive possession was second only to Meigs (28:19), and the Marauders nearly knocked off the Chiefs in week three.
Little again stands tall: While Lane Little threw a pair of interceptions last week, it’s something the standout senior signal-caller doesn’t do too often.
Patrick Angle threw 129 consecutive passes without an interception in 2009; Little is next in line with a pair of such triple-figure achievements. Last season, he threw 112 straight passes without suffering a pickoff, and last Friday he had a streak of 100 interception-less aerials snapped in the first half by Jackson.