Gallia Academy scouting report: Chiefs seek one last win at Gallia’s Memorial Field
GALLIPOLIS — Logan will make its 34th — and perhaps final — trip to Memorial Field in Gallipolis on Friday night.
The Blue Devils, among the founding members of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League, will join the long list of departed members following the 2015-2016 school year.
Next season, Gallipolis will compete in the Ohio Valley Conference along with founding SEOAL members Ironton and Portsmouth.
The departure of the Gallia Countians is perhaps the bitterest pill to swallow to old fans of the SEOAL.
The Blue Devils are the Chieftains’ longest uninterrupted rival. The Purple & White have faced Gallia Academy every season since the league began a full round-robin schedule in 1937 with the exception of 1978, when Logan did not play the Blue Devils due to the LHS teachers’ strike that canceled most of the season.
Logan enters Friday night’s contest with a 42-40-1 overall mark against Gallipolis that includes four non-league games played in 1920, 1922, 2008, and 2009. In ’08 and ’09 the teams met as non-league opponents because of the SEOAL divisional format.
The Frenchmen hold the series lead in games played at Memorial Field, 17-15-1, but Logan hasn’t lost there since 2002.
The 2015 Blue Devils recorded their first win last Friday, defeating Warren 31-14 at Memorial Field. Gallipolis had previously lost to Meigs (26-12), River Valley (27-13), Washington C.H. (13-34), Marietta (21-12), Point Pleasant (76-29), Athens (35-0), and Minford (42-6). All seven defeats came against opponents who are currently .500 or better for the season.
Blue Devil quarterback Kole Carter (5-11, 185, senior) has accounted for nearly 88 percent of Gallipolis’ total offense, running for 676 yards and seven touchdowns and passing for 770 yards and nine touchdowns. He has completed 65 of 167 passes (39 percent) with 10 interceptions, while his 184 carries are nearly 75 percent of the team’s total carries.
Eric Ward (5-10, 190, senior), Devin Henry (5-11, 195, senior), Matt Bailey (5-9, 150, senior), and Colton Campbell (6-1, 160, junior) play the skill positions in the Blue Devils’ spread offense.
Bailey has made 27 receptions for 355 yards and three touchdowns with Henry adding 22 catches for 253 yards and two scores. Ward is the team’s second-leading rusher with 28 carries for 66 yards.
Brett Hively (6-0, 185, senior) plays tight end. The rest of the front line is made up of tackles Ty Howell (6-1, 230, junior) and Brett Johnson (6-3, 240, senior), guards Justin Reynolds (5-10, 200, senior) and Anthony Sipple (6-1, 200, senior), and center Drew VanSickle (6-3, 270, senior).
Blue Devil opponents average over 34 points per game while racking up nearly seven yards per rush attempt and nearly six yards per pass attempt. Opponents are gaining nearly 300 yards per game against the Gallia Countians’ 4-3 base defense.
Sipple and Johnson line up as the ends with Howell and Quinton Yager (5-10, 190, junior) playing inside at tackle. Ben Saylor (6-0, 240, sophomore) and Anthony Snodgrass (6-0, 215, junior) will rotate along the defensive line.
Reynolds, Ward, and Carter will all see time at the two inside linebacker spots with Carter and Hively playing at outside linebacker.
Garrett Burns (5-10, 148, sophomore) and Bailey are the cornerbacks with Campbell and Henry playing the two safety positions.
Bailey has handled the point after touchdown duties for the Blue Devils, who are unlikely to attempt a field goal. Bailey, Carter and Henry all return kicks for GAHS.
* * *
Logan football historian Spencer Waugh of loganfootball.com previews the Chiefs’ opponent every Thursday in The Logan Daily News.