Athens scouting report: Plenty has changed at Athens as 'Dogs, Chiefs renew rivalry
THE PLAINS — For the first time since 2007, the Logan Chieftains and the Athens Bulldogs will meet on the gridiron.
And while the two teams will meet in The Plains, just like they did in 2007, not much else is the same, including a completely renovated Rutter Field at Scott Riggs and Family Stadium that many Chieftain fans will be seeing for the first time.
In 2007, Logan won its fourth-straight Southeastern Ohio Athletic League championship while the Bulldogs were limping to a last-place finish before moving to the Tri-Valley Conference.
The Purple & White recorded a 12th-straight victory over their rivals by a 62-6 score. While Logan would go on to success the next two seasons, the last five years has seen the program fall from the lofty heights achieved from 1999-2009.
For the Green and Gold, however, the move to the TVC-Ohio has paid dividends.
The Bulldogs have plenty of once-in-a-lifetime talent to replace.
Record-setting quarterback Joey Burrow is now wearing Ohio State Scarlet and Gray; running back Trae Williams has improved his look with Northwestern’s purple, and the Luehrman twins stuck with green at Ohio University.
But the cupboard is far from empty at AHS.
Running back Zacciah Saltzman (5-11, 210, senior), receiver Heath Wiseman (6-0, 180, senior), and McGuinness Davies (5-11, 250, senior) are returning starters on offense while Kolby Rogers (5-11, 255, senior), Dylan Cochran (6-1, 210, senior) and Trey Keiffer (5-11, 200, senior) are returning starters on defense.
Under center, Brendan Sano (6-3, 205, junior) takes over for the magnificent Burrow in the Bulldog spread offense. Like Burrow, Sano’s father is an assistant coach for Ohio University. Sano has a strong accurate arm that will threaten the LHS secondary.
Saltzman, a receiver last year, moves into the backfield to replace Williams. Cochran and Rogers will both see time at H-back for the ‘Dogs offense. Cortez Guiney (5-7, 150, senior) will split time between running back and receiver.
Wiseman will be the top pass-catching target. Keiffer, Hunter Mullins (6-1, 175, senior), Andy Kostival (5-10, 190, junior), and Robert Dickelman (6-2, 175, sophomore) round out the Athens receiver unit.
Davies and Nick Englemann (6-2, 210, junior) will bookend guards Brody Rodgers (6-4, 255, junior) and Brock Stewart (6-0, 240, junior) on the line along with center Luke Carpenter (6-0, 225, junior). Cam Kasler (6-3, 290, junior) adds depth.
Defensively, Rogers and Austin Roseman (5-9, 180, senior) will be bookended by Cochran and Carpenter with Waylon Bradbury (6-1, 220, junior) and Engelmann adding depth.
Jack Haseley (5-10, 160, sophomore) and Kostival will be the inside linebackers with Saltzman lining up as an outside linebacker. Caleb McFerren (5-6, 180, senior) will also see some playing time.
Keiffer and Gainey will be the cornerbacks while Mullins and Wiseman will man the safety spots. Dickelman will also see some time at safety.
Junior Nick Gribble (6-2, 160, junior) will handle the kicking duties while Bradbury will do the punting. Wiseman and Saltzman are dangerous kick returners.
Logan football historian Spencer Waugh of loganfootball.com previews the Chiefs’ opponent every Thursday in The Logan Daily News.