Chieftain Notebook: Chiefs are having good success when attempting 2-point conversions
LOGAN — There has been a lot of talk around Chieftain Nation concerning the kicking game.
However, while Logan is just 4-of-11 when it comes to booting extras points — five of those seven missed PATs have been blocked — the Chiefs are 7-of-13 (54 percent) when it comes to successfully converting post-touchdown 2-point plays.
That means Logan has scored 18 points following its 24 touchdowns — that’s not a bad ratio of points when it comes to high school football — though they just haven’t gone about getting them in a conventional manner.
“There’s a philosophy out there among coaches that it’s probably better to go for two anyway because the chances that you get your two are pretty good, and if you miss one two and get the next two it’s like you kicked two extra points,” Logan coach Billy Burke said. “Some coaches even go with the philosophy of not even worrying about (kicking) the extra point because we might be able to get more out of our two-point conversions anyway.
“I’m pretty happy with our 2-point package and our ability to be able to convert,” he added.
“It’s not all on the kickers,” Burke pointed out. “We have some guys who just aren’t getting the job done of securing their gaps up front. (Last week against Cambridge) we had two instances where guys just kind of got run over.”
Logan had kicks blocked on both occasions.
“I don’t know that PAT is something we have to spend 45 minutes on in practice,” Burke noted. “(We need) guys being physical, holding their ground and getting it done, and they haven’t done a good enough job of that. We have offensive linemen who are really good (but on placement kicks) we just aren’t doing a good enough job of being big and holding our ground.”
A varsity soccer player, senior Stu Harper, has begun working with the Chieftains and may get a chance to boot some PATs.
“There’s a possibility we’ll utilize Stu,” Burke noted. “He’s never, ever been involved with football (before), let alone have such a huge responsibility.”
As has been pointed out before, Logan kickoffs are somewhat funky and bizarre… but there’s method to the madness, and they have been effective.
“The perception is that it ‘doesn’t look right’ that you just can’t automatically kick the extra point,” Burke said. “That’s kind of the same thing on our kickoff game: we’re not necessarily kicking these short kicks just to try and get the ball back. A lot of that is to prevent the opponent from establishing a return. We’re trying to eliminate the big play and at the same time might still be able to get an onside kick here or there.”
As mentioned, the kickoff strategy has been effective. On average, Logan opponents are gaining possession following a Chieftain KO at their own 35-yard line and are only averaging 12.9 yards per kickoff return, with the season high being 29 yards.
Logan foes have started a drive following a kickoff in Logan territory only twice and have commenced post-kickoff possession outside their own 40-yard line just five times.
Don’t sleep on Shadyside: If you think the Chiefs are going to travel nearly 270 miles round-trip for a gimme game next Friday at Shadyside, think again. Do not let Shadyside’s 0-4 record fool you.
Of Logan’s six remaining opponents, the Tigers — a perennial Division VII playoff participant — are one of three future Chieftain foes (along with Gallipolis and Warren) that have yet to win a game.
However, a whopping seven of Shadyside’s 10 opponents are off to 4-0 starts — the combined record of Shadyside’s opponents is 31-9 — and three of the four teams that have already beaten the Tigers are 4-0.
Magnolia (West Virginia), Caldwell and Meadowbrook have beaten the Tigers by a combined score of 96-6, with the other loss being a 20-6 setback at Monroe Central.
Four of the five undefeated Ohio schools on Shadyside’s schedule (Caldwell, Meadowbrook, Toronto, Logan and River Valley) are ranked in this week’s state Associated Press poll and are all in the post-season playoff hunt in their respective divisions. Toronto, which plays Shadyside this week, has outscored its four opponents 144-20.
Wheeling (WV) Central Catholic is also undefeated. In fact, the Tigers are the middle of a stretch in which they play five-consecutive undefeated teams, with Toronto, Logan and Wheeling Central on the slate the next three weeks.