Chieftain Notebook: Chiefs hope several issues don't hamper play along lines
LOGAN — Hopefully, the Chieftains won’t be too thin along the offensive and defensive lines when Friday night’s game gets under way.
Senior Keith Martin and junior Tommy Hayden both exited last Friday’s loss at Jackson with ankle injuries, and another lineman, junior Josh Rardain, will have to serve a two-game suspension after being ejected as the result of a fourth-quarter altercation last week at Jackson.
(Rardain was, unfortunately, the player whom the officials saw retaliating after a Jackson defender had torn his helmet off during a scrum following a pass play. The Jackson player was not ejected, however; he was only ‘penalized’ via the Jackson portion of offsetting penalties before the stripes then assessed a 15-yard penalty on Rardain).
“I looked on the field at one point and we had several guys on the offensive line who wouldn’t normally be out there,” he added, “so if we can get them back and create a little more continuity on our offensive and defensive lines, it will a big impact for us.”
Burke has been pleased with the play along both lines, and a couple players have come in and given the Purple & White a lift.
“I feel pretty good about our offensive and defensive lines,” Burke said. “I know we get thin at times, but we protected Lane (quarterback Lane Little) okay on Friday night with some guys who haven’t played a lot on the offensive line. Our line play is one of our strengths right now.
“Eddie (Lanning) has come in and provided a spark,” he continued. “He did some great things on the offensive line, and Brandon Skinner as well. They’ve come along and started to do the things we’re looking for on the line.”
Lanning — a junior who had to sit out the first five games as per OHSAA rules after transferring from Lancaster Fisher Catholic in the off-season — has already played a bigger role than expected. He was in on eight tackles (two solo) — second only to linebacker Dean Jordan’s 10 — last week against Jackson.
“Tommy goes down, so Brandon Skinner, who doesn’t a lot on the offensive line, is called to duty,” Burke said. “He’s normally a right tackle and now he’s playing left tackle. It might not sound like a big deal, but it is a big deal when a kid is asked to play on a different side of the football.”
Those were among the highlights culled from last week’s Jackson game film.
“Bryce (McBride) continued to run the football hard and Domonic Micochero came in and gave us some nice spark on the defensive side,” Burke noted.
Micochero “got a concussion during the Teays Valley game, so that kind of threw a wrench into things,” he continued. “But he’s a good player and one of those guys who’s a gamer. When the ball’s snapped, he gets after it and makes plays. That’s the type of effort and mentality we need out of guys.”
Little’s big streak ends: Until Jackson’s Derek Rafferty picked him off in the second quarter last week, junior quarterback Lane Little had thrown 112 consecutive passes without suffering an interception.
After some quick research earlier this week, Logan football historian Spencer Waugh and this writer came to the conclusion that it’s second all-time behind a string of 129-straight passes Patrick Angle threw at the conclusion of the 2009 season without an interception.
Nick Kost set a complete single-season record last fall by throwing 78 passes without a single pickoff when, as a team, the Chiefs didn’t have a pass intercepted (in 93 total attempts) for just the second time in school history.
Goodbye, Zanesville: The two-year home-and-home series with Zanesville ends with Friday night’s game.
Zanesville — a member of the SEOAL for three years and now a member of the East Central Ohio League — has re-adjusted its ECOL schedule to move divisional foe Cambridge into the week-eight slot starting next year.
That created a week-four opening for Cambridge and, ironically, led to a two-year contract between Logan and the Guernsey Countians for 2015 (at Logan) and 2016 (at Cambridge) in week four.
Columbus DeSales (currently 6-1) takes Zanesville’s place in week eight the next two seasons, with the ’15 game at DeSales and the ’16 game in Logan Chieftain Stadium.
Ready regrets?: Columbus Bishop Ready is 5-2 and sits seventh in this week’s Division VI Region 21 standings. The Silver Knights’ two losses? Jackson (42-14) and Loudonville (64-14) — the same two undefeated, state-ranked teams the Chiefs have also lost to this fall.