Chieftain Notebook: Chieftains not shy about embracing their lofty goals
LOGAN — It's no secret the senior-dominated Logan Chieftains have lofty goals this season.
Teays Valley coach Mark Weber referred to the Purple & White as "a playoff team" after the Chiefs took control in the early stages and defeated his Vikings 27-7 last Friday.
Not only are the Purple & White looking to regain the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League title — they won it in 2013, only to have Jackson wrest it away from them last fall — but they are looking at extending their season beyond 10 regular-season contests.
"That is sort of the elephant in the room," Logan coach Billy Burke said. "That's hopefully everybody's goal every single season, to be in the playoffs and win a league championship."
"Some coaches have the philosophy we don't ever talk about it and play just one game at a time," Burke noted, "but I believe the reality is it's there. By not talking about it, you're kind of talking about it.
"I think our kids understand," he continued. "One of their big things is about leaving a legacy (at LHS) and being a team that gets remembered. There are not a whole lot of teams that have enough success where people really look back and really remember them. We know if we don't take care of business each and every week, and each and every day in practice, that's going to tarnish the legacy this group wants to leave."
Logan has made the post-season playoffs eight times. The Chieftains have four all-time playoff wins.
"If we do all of those things, then there's a good chance the chips will fall in our favor," Burke said. "It's (a matter of) taking care of business each and every day and one week at a time… and they know that."
While it's way, way, way too early to look at potential playoff scenarios — heck, the Ohio High School Athletic Association won't release its official rankings for a few weeks yet — according to state computer ratings expert Joe Eitel (joeeitel.com), wins over Athens and Teays Valley place the Chiefs fifth in Division II Region 5, which would be good for a playoff game at either Mount Vernon or Worthington Kilbourne.
Only nine of the region's 27 teams — Delaware, Uniontown Lake, Mount Vernon, Kilbourne, Logan, Wooster, Watkins Memorial, Groveport and Tri-Valley — have opened the season with back-to-back wins.
Foes start slow: The 10 teams on Logan's 2015 schedule combined for a 75-39 record (a .658 winning percentage). With the exception of Warren, all of them won at least four games.
Most of them are off to slow starts this season.
Only Meigs and Jackson are 2-0 while four Logan opponents (Nelsonville-York, Teays Valley, Cambridge and DeSales) are 1-1 and the other four (Gallipolis, Warren, Athens and Shadyside) are 0-2 for a combined record of 8-12.
And to remain undefeated, Jackson had to survive a huge scare Saturday night when the Ironmen got past visiting Chillicothe 19-16 in overtime for their 15th-straight regular-season victory.
Leading 13-7 midway in the final period, the Ironmen had a punt blocked and Chillicothe recovered in the end zone for the game-tying score, only to miss the ensuing extra-point kick by less than a foot wide left. The Cavs then opened the OT with a field goal before Jackson's Blake McCoy went untouched for a 17-yard touchdown run on the Ironmen’s overtime possession.
Etcetera: Senior running back Bryce McBride already has 499 yards and five touchdowns this season. He ran for 227 yards and three scores on just 14 attempts in last season's lopsided win at Meigs. … Senior quarterback Lane Little threw two interceptions last week, the first time in his varsity career that he was picked off twice in a single game. … Senior wide receiver Isaiah Smith extended his streak with a reception to 18 consecutive games against Teays Valley.
More on Meigs: The Marauders set a school record by scoring 79 points (against Fairland) the week prior to facing the Chiefs last season. While their offense hasn't approached that kind of number, the Marauders are averaging 34 points per game in their two wins over Gallia Academy and Amanda-Clearcreek. ... Friday night marks the first time the Marauders have played in Hocking County in 33 years and, thus, their first-ever appearance in Logan Chieftain Stadium. Logan defeated Meigs 21-17 at Bill Sauer Field in 1982, the Marauders' final season in the SEOAL before joining the Tri-Valley Conference prior to the 1983-84 season.