Chieftain Notebook: Chiefs getting healthier, beginning to develop depth
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By CRAIG DUNN Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
LOGAN — In the past, at this point of the season, the Logan Chieftains have been a beaten-up group of football players.
That wasn’t always just from the normal (and, sometimes, above normal) wear and tear of the game itself, but also from getting physically knocked around by the Lancaster Golden Gales in the season opener. Logan and Lancaster met in the season opener from 2004 to 2014.
The Chiefs won just twice… and, even in those two years they won, they didn’t escape Lancaster’s physical wrath.
The Gales were always bigger physically — it always seemed that Lancaster had at least one huge lineman preparing to play Division I football — and usually had at least two- or three-dozen more players in the upper three grades.
The Chiefs got two injured players back last week.
Senior linebacker Domonic Micochero, who missed the first two games with an elbow injury, saw his first regular-season game action against Meigs and had a solid outing, recording two solo tackles and six assists. He also had a tackle for loss and broke up a pass.
Junior Kyle Spelock, also a linebacker, returned after missing the Teays Valley game and contributed nine total tackles (three solos) and a quarterback sack.
“It was nice to see Domonic Micochero back out there on the field,” said Logan coach Billy Burke. “He said he felt pretty good.”
Having Micochero back is a boost to a team looking to build its depth.
“He really solidifies our sam (linebacker) position and Tommy Hayden can go back to playing anchor or end,” Burke stated. “That will make us better.
“Guys are getting more experience,” he added. “One guy, (sophomore lineman) Kamryn Carter, we’re asking him to do some things for us on defense. He’s got to continue to get comfortable with what we’re asking him to do because the more he can play, the better that we’ll be. That holds true with everybody else, too.”
Running it close: If you thought the Chiefs ran it awfully close in rallying past Meigs last week, you were right.
According to Logan football historian Spencer Waugh, when Logan scored its go-ahead touchdown with 2:35 to play, it marked the Chiefs’ latest come-from-behind, game-winning touchdown since Logan scored on a 60-yard "double-pass" with 2:02 remaining against Marietta in 2001. That TD rallied the Chiefs to a 10-6 victory.
It was Logan's latest "winning" score since the Chiefs scored with 22 seconds left to break a 21-21 tie in defeating visiting Jackson 28-21 in Logan Chieftain Stadium two years ago… Burke's first season as head coach.
More on the Bobcats: Cambridge, Logan’s 88th all-time opponent — two weeks hence, Shadyside will become No. 89 — is a member of the East Central Ohio League, which includes former Southeastern Ohio Athletic League members Zanesville and Marietta.
After this week, the Bobcats’ six remaining games will be against ECOL foes — four of them in the rugged Scarlet Division, which boasts perennial playoff teams Zanesville, Dover and New Philadelphia as well as Marietta.
Cambridge replaced Loudonville — a first-time foe back in 2013 — in the week-four slot on the Logan schedule. The Chiefs and Bobcats are also slated to meet in week four next season (Sept. 16) in Cambridge.
Logan and Cambridge had tentatively planned to play a home-and-home two-game series in 2008 and 2009 before Logan wound up moving games with Gallia Academy into the week-four slots those two seasons.
The Bobcats are coming off a 4-6 season in 2014 — their first losing season since going 4-6 in 2008 — and they’ve only made the state playoffs three times (2004 through 2006) in school history. The 2006 team went 10-0 in the regular season before being eliminated in the second round of the Division III playoffs. Cambridge is now a Division IV school.
Etcetera: After recording just three sacks in their first two games, Logan defenders sacked Meigs quarterback Cody Bartrum nine times last week. Kory Henthorne and Colton Stilwell had two apiece, and Henthorne also had two tackles for loss. … Isaiah Smith (nine solo tackles) and Hayden (six) were each involved in 14 tackles against the Marauders. … Logan’s No. 15 ranking in the state Associated Press football poll is the Chiefs’ first mention in the AP poll since 2009, when they reached an all-time high if third in Division II. ... Logan's junior varsity game scheduled for Saturday at Warren has been canceled because the Warriors do not have enough players available. The Logan freshmen will still play Saturday at Warren, however, with the game kicking off at 10 a.m.