Chieftains find themselves on wrong side of history
Playing in the state playoffs for the first time since 2009 — in this COVID-altered season, all Ohio teams were given the option of playing in the tournament — the Chiefs suffered the worst loss in program history.
Host Big Walnut tallied 48 first-half points and scored on eight-consecutive offensive possessions — as well as getting a defensive touchdown — and routed the Purple & White 62-0 in rural Delaware County.
The record-setting loss eclipsed a 58-0 setback at the hands of Dublin Jerome four years ago and matched the most points ever allowed by a Logan team, dating back to a 62-7 setback at the hands of Columbus West in 1930.
Plain and simple, the winless (0-7) Chieftains were simply dominated.
Had it not been for sophomore Varik Fick breaking a 45-yard run in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs would have been held to negative yardage. As it was, Logan finished with just 25 yards of offense (14 passing, 11 rushing) and only two first downs.
Big Walnut, which finished with 24 first downs and 486 yards’ worth of offense, had 16 first downs before Logan finally eked one out late in the first half on backup quarterback Brayden Sturgell’s 12-yard run.
There’s no way to sugar-coat that it was simply an awful night for the Chieftains… and Logan coach Mike Eddy didn’t try to do so.
“It’s one of those speechless moments. There’s no explanation,” Eddy stated. “Yes, (Big Walnut is) a good football team, but that was anything but a solid performance from us. That’s not what I expected to see tonight.”
Teams had until the Thursday before their week-five games to opt out of the post-season and that was a consideration for the Chiefs, who are a young and inexperienced team, not to mention they’ve been very banged-up physically for several weeks.
“We talked about do we want to opt out or do we want to be in the playoffs,” Eddy said. “We talked to the players about it and they said ‘coach, this is an opportunity for us, we want to go play.’ So we know they wanted to play. The desire to play this game was there. The execution of that on the field didn’t necessarily come to pass.
“I thought we had some opportunities early (and) if we could have made something happen in those situations maybe it’s a little bit different,” he continued, “but I’m afraid it’s a situation where we’re sitting around waiting for the bad thing to happen…and then once it happens, there’s it is, there’s the bad thing.
“That’s a difficult concept to overcome and you don’t overcome that until you starting having success. And this evening we didn’t have any success to even try and build some confidence why we were on the field.”
Big Walnut certainly played with that confidence. The Eagles scored four touchdowns on the ground, four more through the air and added a defensive score by recovering a Logan fumble in the end zone.
Had it not been for an overthrown pass intended for a wide-open wide receiver well behind the Logan defense on their first possession of the night, the Eagles would have scored on all nine of their possessions until missing a 45-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Both teams only played their starters the first half, using reserves and freshmen in a running-clock second half.
“I know it was an embarrassing situation for everybody involved,” Eddy said. “I was heartbroken for the players when they didn’t have an opportunity to finish this game, but we had potentially already lost two more starters (to injury) and we came in short-handed anyway.
“In the first half we had a couple of guys really getting banged-up and we knew (the Eagles) were going to play their younger kids,” he continued, “so it just didn’t make sense to me to risk these guys further injury knowing there are still more football games left to play.”
Starting quarterback Jagger Barnett went 13-of-18 passing for 153 yards and three touchdowns — two to Grant Coulson and one to Cam Gladden — and ran for a fourth. Running back Caden Williams ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns and Christian Takatch recovered a Logan fumble on a strip-sack late in the second quarter.
All that happened in the first half, which included a 35-point second period. Backup players added two more touchdowns in the third stanza.
Since Meigs cancelled out on a week-eight game, the Chieftains don’t have a game scheduled for next weekend as of right now.
“A couple of teams have reached out to us and wanted to play but we wanted to be patient and see what happens after tonight,” Eddy revealed. “It comes down to seeing what happens and seeing what teams are available for us to play. It might be short notice, but (the Chiefs are looking for) the opportunity play somebody and go compete.”
No matter who challenges the Purple & White next weekend, they face internal challenges of their own in trying to recover from this disastrous game.
“This is going to be one of the greatest tests they have ever faced. How do you respond after this?” Eddy said. “That’s a huge test in life, and that’s one of the reasons I still love doing this because this is an example of what life really is. When you least expect it, you get hit the hardest but you’re still expected to stand up and do the right thing and continue to move on, gain strength from it and grow as a person.
“That’s what we’ve got to do,” he added. “We’ll get back to work in the morning. The attitude they bring, the emotion they bring, the mental toughness they bring is going to have a lot to say about how the rest of this season looks like.”
Eddy noted there are few positives when it comes to being winless this late in the season.
“Standing here 0-and-7, you don’t want to say ‘well, it’s not about winning and losing,’ because it is,” Eddy said. “There’s an aspect to this game where it requires us to be winners, but at the same time our greatest goal is to become better men… and if for some way it was God’s plan for this season to happen the way it did to strengthen these young men, then I have to accept that.
“But there’s no way to walk away from here feeling like anything positive happened,” he added. “We have to show up in the morning. We have a job to do. We have expectations that we need to try to meet and we’ll see how tough we are.”
Big Walnut 62, Logan 0
Logan 0 0 0 0— 0
Big Walnut 13 35 14 0—62
BW: Caden Williams 36 run (kick blocked), 8:33, 1Q
BW: Williams 9 run (Zach Willoughby-Neal kick), 2:06, 1Q
BW: Grant Coulson 19 pass from Jagger Barnett (Willoughby-Neal kick), 10:14, 2Q
BW: Barnett 5 run (Willoughby-Neal kick), 5:49, 2Q
BW: Cam Gladden 29 pass from Barnett (Willoughby-Neal kick), 3:38, 2Q
BW: Christian Takatch fumble recovery in end zone (Willoughby-Neal kick), 2:50, 2Q
BW: Coulson 30 pass from Barnett (Willoughby-Neal kick), 1:43, 2Q
BW: Dom Salazar 23 pass from Jake Nier (Willoughby-Neal kick), 10:02, 3Q
BW: Jordy Barrera 1 run (Willoughby-Neal kick), 2:28, 3Q
Team Statistics LO BW
First Downs 2 24
Offensive Plays 38 59
Rushes-Yards 32-11 36-301
Passing Yards 14 185
Total Yards 25 486
Passes 3-6-0 13-23-0
Punts-Avg. 7-35.0 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 2-10 5-35
Possession 22:29 25:31
Rushing — Logan: Varik Fick 5-52, Caden McCarty 9-12, Brayden Sturgell 3-10, Alex Thompson 1-3, J.D. Turner 1-3, Traten Poling 1-2, Hunter Hill 5-(-8), Ian Frasure 6-(-53), team 1-(-10). Big Walnut leaders: Caden Williams 13-111 2TD, Shane White 8-81, Jordy Barrera 8-58 1TD, Jagger Bennett 3-36 1TD.
Passing — Logan: Ian Frasure 2-5-0—15, Brayden Sturgell 1-1-0—(-1). Big Walnut: Jagger Barnett 11-18-0—153, Jake Nier 2-5-0—32 1TD.
Receiving — Logan: Traten Poling 2-15, Henry Pierce 1-(-1). Big Walnut: Grant Coulson 5-78 2TD, Cam Gladden 5-63 1TD, Teddy Dancer 2-21, Dom Salazar 1-23 1TD.