Looking back at Logan's first SEOAL championship: 1934
(Editor’s Note: Logan football historian Spencer Waugh is currently working on writing a complete history of Chieftain football, chronicling each season along with the players, coaches and characters that are a part of the Logan Football tradition. The following is an example of what to expect in the upcoming book.
Eighty years ago, the newly-named “Chieftains” won their first Southeastern Ohio Athletic League championship. The Chieftains have repeated that feat 25 times since then, including seven undefeated/untied regular seasons. Here is a look back at 1934... that first championship).
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John “Red” Longley was named the new head football coach at Logan High School in 1931, following two seasons spent as an assistant.
“Red,” nicknamed for both his hair color and fiery temper, rebuilt the LHS football program, which resulted in the school’s first SEOAL championship.
“Red” inherited a program that had gone 2-16 over the last two seasons and immediately set about restoring discipline throughout the squad with a focus on strong line play and good tackling.
By 1933, Logan improved, losing only one game in 10 played. However, three scoreless ties left the Chieftains with a 6-1-3 overall record, including a 4-1-1 mark in the SEOAL — at the time, Logan’s best finish ever.
Longley’s tenure culminated with the undefeated season of 1934: a perfect 10-0 record. In a short summary, the 1934 Chiefs finished as one of only eight unbeaten/untied teams in Class A (Ohio’s big school division), were the fourth-highest-scoring team in the entire state, and did not allow more than nine points in any one game.
Logan was led by an outstanding senior class that included future LHS Hall of Famers Dick Brandt (fullback), Pearl Derr (fullback), Ned Gabriel (quarterback), and Waldo Terrel (end). Terrel went on to play a starring role on the Ohio University football team.
A pair of talented underclassmen — junior Vaughn “Bus” Hansel and Bob Fitzgerald — led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Hansel, another Hall of Fame inductee, rushed for 614 yards and 14 touchdowns while Fitzgerald added 495 yards and nine scores.
The team opened with “warm-up” wins against Buchtel (12-9) and McArthur (25-8) before opening league play with a 32-0 victory against rival Athens. The Chieftains held the Bulldogs to only one first down and 12 net rushing yards. It was Logan’s largest win over the Athens Countians to that point in history.
A non-league win over Murray City (35-0) set up a showdown against the undefeated Pomeroy Purple Panthers.
In a game played before a standing-room only crowd at the Logan Athletic Field (as Bill Sauer Field was then known), Logan’s power-running attack overpowered Pomeroy to score twice and win 12-0.
The Purple Warriors followed with a blowout 60-6 win over Lancaster St. Mary’s that allowed many of the “future stars” to get in on the action.
The next week saw Logan overcome their toughest challenge against New Boston and escape with a narrow 13-7 victory. Hansel scored both touchdowns to give Logan a 13-0 lead before a potent New Boston passing attack nearly resulted in a comeback.
Logan made its first road trip the following week, traveling to Lancaster to play under the lights… still a new phenomenon at that time. Logan would not add lights to its field until the following season.
The Chieftains had not defeated Lancaster since 1921, with five losses and two ties going against them during that time span.
The headline of the Logan Republican read “Chieftains Scalp Lancaster Hi 30 to 0” with a sub-header of “Jinx buried as Logan scores in each period.”
But Coach Longley, when asked about the game, may have put it best: “I have always wondered how it would feel to coach a perfect football team, and I came as near as I’ll ever come (in that game).”
Logan disposed of Gallipolis in the French City by a score of 36-7 and closed the season with a resounding 49-6 thrashing of their bitter Thanksgiving rival Nelsonville on the home field.
Longley left Logan following the 1934 season, moving on to Ashland High School.
The Chiefs shared the 1934 championship with Middleport, at the time the area’s biggest powerhouse. The two teams did not play, as the league did not require round-robin play until 1939.
Logan tried to schedule a game with Middleport for the first weekend in December to played at Ohio University, but an agreement was never reached.
Look for stories on two other milestone teams: 1939 (75 years) and 1964 (50 years) — before the conclusion of the current season in The Logan Daily News.