Former SEOAL rival Warren deals Chieftains 28-14 setback
LOGAN — It would be really easy to simply attribute a rare football loss to Warren as just another example of how topsy-turvy the calendar year of 2020 has been.
But to do so would be a disservice to the Washington Countians.
It would be an unfair assessment because, unlike most Warren teams of Southeastern Ohio Athletic League football seasons past, these aren’t the Warriors most of your Chieftain Nation fathers or older brothers played against.
These Warriors are pretty good and they boast an excellent pitch-and-catch tandem.
Quarterback Kurt Taylor hooked up with fellow senior Evan Gandee on touchdown passes of 88, 20 and 22 yards and Taylor also scored a rushing touchdown as the Warriors dealt the Logan Chieftains a 28-14 Senior Night setback Friday in Logan Chieftain Stadium.
Logan (0-3) has, for the most part, dominated the all-time series with Warren, entering the evening with a 27-5 advantage. All but one of those games — the last meeting between the two schools in the fall of 2017 — were matchups in the SEOAL, which folded in the spring of ’17.
Warren’s last win over the Chiefs was a 49-8 rout at Warren back in 2012, a year after the Warriors edged the Purple & White 40-34 in double-overtime in Logan Chieftain Stadium. Take away those two games and Logan was 18-0 against Warren since the late 1990s
Friday night, the Warriors departed Hocking County with a much-deserved victory.
Although the final margin of defeat was two touchdowns, the Chiefs were down just 21-14 at halftime and were one possession away from a tie almost the entire second half.
And yet it also could have been a little worse for the Chieftains, who had a touchdown pass negated due to a penalty while Warren literally let three potential scoring passes to wide-open receivers slip through their hands.
Taylor finished 14-of-27 passing for 257 yards and the three aforementioned scores to Gandee, who hauled in seven passes for 177 yards.
Chieftain quarterback Ian Frasure had a solid night, hitting on 16-of-28 aerials for 236 yards and completing a pair of scoring throws to junior Traten Poling, who had six catches for 122 yards.
And while Logan cut down on its overall mistakes from last week’s 17-12 loss at Amanda-Clearcreek, the Chieftains still had a couple key penalties that thwarted drives or kept Warren drives alive.
“We cleaned some things up from last week and made some improvements but still had a couple mistakes,” Eddy said after the game. “I thought we moved the ball well but didn’t take advantage of some chances.”
Eddy also acknowledged the team on the other side of the field played a solid game for his former assistant coach.
“They have some nice receivers and they made some really good catches over our defensive backs who had pretty good position on them,” he pointed out. “That was a pretty good team we played tonight. They’re a really nice team with a lot of senior experience.”
And there’s a lot to be said for that.
While it’s no secret the Chieftains are still a youthful work in progress who are trying to find an identity, all of Warren’s starting skill-position players were seniors, with 10 of 11 starters on offense and seven of 11 on defense being seniors. And the other starters were juniors.
And while the Chiefs have yet to hold a lead this season — they came close on the game’s first play from scrimmage when Frasure connected with sophomore Brayden Sturgell on a 45-yard bomb to the Warren 27-yard line before the drive ended on downs — they answered each of Warren’s first two touchdowns with one of their own before Taylor’s 11-yard scoring run with 32.7 seconds left in the second quarter put the Warriors ahead to stay at 21-14.
Logan had no answers after that, getting no closer to the end zone than the Warren 41-yard line in the second half, where two of the Chiefs’ four second-half series on offense ended with interceptions.
The Chiefs had a TD pass called back during a promising 10-play drive that died at the Warren 22 late in the first period.
Then, after a penalty, Taylor threw a quick-out on the right sideline to Gandee, who got a couple great blocks and took the reception to the house 88 yards away with 1:59 left in the stanza.
Logan came right back and scored quickly, going 80 yards to paydirt on just four plays when Poling turned a short Frasure pass along the left sideline into a tip-toe 62-yard catch-and-run, crossing the goal line with 9.4 seconds left in the period. Frasure also booted the ensuing extra point.
Midway through the second quarter, the Warriors went on an excellent nine-play, 67-yard scoring drive, culminated by 23-yard and 20-yard Taylor-to-Gandee passes, the latter resulting in six points when Gandee made a terrific TD reception in the near right corner of the end zone.
And yet again the Chiefs showed resilience, taking advantage of a Warren facemask penalty — the Warriors won despite being flagged for 122 yards’ worth of penalties — and scoring on a 37-yard pitch-and run from Frasure to Poling, who took a swing pass the distance by making a couple outstanding cuts past outreaching Warren defenders along the sideline before cutting to the middle into open space with 3:39 left in the half.
It looked like Logan might take that 14-14 tie into halftime, but the Warriors quickly went 65 yards on eight plays, aided by a 15-yard Logan penalty for making a horsecollar tackle, and Taylor turned a scramble into his 11-yard scoring run with only 32.7 seconds left in the half.
Neither team could really get anything going offensively in the second half until the Warriors took over on their own 30-yard line after a punt with 10:40 remaining.
They chewed up 6:35 of valuable clock time with a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive, capped by a 22-yard TD pass from Taylor to Gandee, who made an outstanding over-the-shoulder reception in the back right corner of the end zone. Joel Chevalier’s fourth-straight successful placement kick gave Warren a 28-14 edge with 4:05 remaining and put the game on ice.
Both teams pretty much split time of possession on the night before Warren dominated the ball in the final quarter. The Warriors, who outgained the Purple & White 417-291 on the evening, controlled the ball in the second half thanks to an underclassman, sophomore Taylor Bowers, who gained 57 of his game-high 61 rushing yards during that time span.
Warren also kept a number of drives alive with grind-it-out late first-down conversions, going 9-of-15 on third down and 2-of-2 on fourth down while racking up 22 total first downs.
The Chiefs moved the ball in the middle of the field and got 16 first downs but seldom got in the shadow of the Warren end zone.
Caden McCarty led Logan with 40 rushing yards and also made four receptions for 20 yards.
The Chieftains now have to regroup again and prepare to take on undefeated (3-0) Bloom-Carroll, a 31-7 Mid-State League Buckeye Division winner over previously-undefeated Amanda-Clearcreek last night, next Friday in Logan Chieftain Stadium. It will be the first-ever football meeting between the two schools.
“These kids never quit and they hung in there again tonight,” Eddy said of his Chieftains. “Good things will come to this team if they keep working, and I know they will.”
Warren 28, Logan 14
Warren: Evan Gandee 88 pass from Kurt Taylor (Joel Chevalier kick), 1:59, 1Q
Logan: Traten Poling 62 pass from Ian Frasure (Frasure kick), 0:09.4, 1Q
Warren: Gandee 20 pass from Taylor (Chevalier kick), 4:45, 2Q
Logan: Poling 37 pass from Frasure (Frasure kick), 3:39, 2Q
Warren: Taylor 11 run (Chevalier kick), 0:32.7, 2Q
Warren: Gandee 22 pass from Taylor (Chevalier kick), 4:05, 4Q
Team Statistics W L
First Downs 22 16
Offensive Plays 62 51
Rushes-Yards 34-160 23-55
Passing Yards 257 236
Total Yards 417 291
Passes 14-28-1 16-28-2
Punts-Avg. 4-43.5 4-28.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 10-122 6-80
Possession 27:35 20:25
Rushing — Logan: Caden McCarty 13-40, Ian Frasure 7-29, Traten Poling 2-(-4), team 1-(-10). Warren leaders: Taylor Bowers 10-61, Kurt Taylor 7-39 1TD, Brayden Gerber 10-38, Evan Gandee 6-19.
Passing — Logan: Ian Frasure 16-28-2—236 2TD. Warren: Kurt Taylor 14-27-1—257 3TD, Evan Gandee 0-1-0—0.
Receiving — Logan: Traten Poling 6-122 2TD, Caden McCarty 4-20, Brayden Sturgell 2-58, Jonny McClelland 2-16, Owen Angle 1-15, Henry Pierce 1-5. Warren leaders: Evan Gandee 7-177 3TD, Joel Chevalier 4-53.