LOGAN, W.Va. — It was like deja vu all over again.
The last time the Logan High School football team played host to the Scott Skyhawks was in the 2019 homecoming game, which resulted in a shutout victory by the Wildcats.
Fast forward two years to Friday night, Scott was again the Wildcats’ homecoming opponent.
The result was another Logan win, 21-12, at a rainy Willis-Nisbet Stadium as the Skyhawks and Cats battled in a key match-up between Class AA playoff contenders.
Logan improved to 5-2 on the season with the victory and stayed in the post-season hunt. The Wildcats, ranked 17th in the state in this week’s playoff rankings, are hoping to break into the top 16 and secure its first playoff berth in eight years.
Scott, tied for ninth with North Marion and Frankfort this week, dropped to 4-2 and lost to Logan for the sixth straight time.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said his team stepped up nicely in the critical Cardinal Conference clash, calling it a “football fist fight.”
Leading 14-12 in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats sealed it with Kolton Goldie’s 5-yard touchdown jump pass out of the Wildcat formation to Garrett Williamson on a fourth-and-goal play with 57.9 seconds left in the game.
The decisive score capped off a 15-play, 79-yard drive which consumed 9:20 off the clock.
“Man, we really battled,” Mullins said. “We started off really good but we missed a couple of opportunities but we just couldn’t get anything going offensively. That’s a testament to them obviously. They are pretty good. When we got the ball the last time we just challenged those guys and told them that we can’t give them the ball back. I’m real proud of those guys. It’s been a long time since we won a football fist fight. That’s a great team and we were happy to get the victory.”
Scott’s defense had stuffed the Wildcats’ on the previous three downs — all running plays.
“In our offense we can move our guys around a lot,” Mullins said. “That makes it hard to see where they are. We tried to run it in the play before so we put Garrett at tight end, hoping that they would forget about him. Then Kolton popped up and tossed it to him. It was a great catch by Garrett.”
Logan led 14-12 at the intermission and both teams had their chances in the second half.
Goldie snared a Jordan Hayes bomb at mid-field, broke two tackles and raced 69 yards to the Scott 4. The drive was foiled, however, after a penalty, a sack and three incomplete passes.
Scott’s Isaac Setser missed a 32-yard field goal with 27.7 ticks to go in the third quarter as he hooked it wide right.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Isaiah Brown picked off Hayes, giving Scott a first-and-10 at the Logan 29. The Skyhawks, however, turned the ball over on downs at the 21.
Mullins said he was happy to hold on for the win.
“Every time we play Scott this is what the game usually looks like,” he said. “They had (former) Coach (Corky) Griffith forever and he’s one of my favorite guys. They have a lot of guys that play their guts out and we had some guys to match their intensity.”
The win keeps Logan in the playoff picture.
“That’s down the road,” Mullins said. “We wanted to have a non-losing season and that was goal number one. We want to be county champions and that’s goal two. Playoffs is goal three. You can’t get to any of those without having a non-losing season.”
Logan jumped on top 14-0 early on Scott.
Hayes tossed to Aiden Slack on a 25-yard TD pass with 10:58 to go in the first quarter as Logan led 6-0.
Scott then had a special teams blunder as a bad snap on a punt resulted in a minus-10-yard boot by Skyhawks’ punter Kevin Neal, giving the Cats the ball on the 15.
Hayes then fired to Slack two snaps later on a 9-yard scoring strike. Hayes connected with Goldie on the 2-point conversion pass, putting Logan on top 14-0 with 8:12 left in the first.
Scott QB Matt Frye was later picked off by Slack in the end zone but the Skyhawks were able to get on the board at the 9:58 mark of the second quarter with Frye’s 25-yard TD run. The fake play on the PAT failed, leaving the score at 14-6.
Scott cut it to 14-12 with 4:59 left until the break on Cooper Martin’s 18-yard TD run.
Logan has gone just 9-27 over the course of the last four seasons and have endured seven straight non-winning seasons.
Scott, 2-7 last year, have suffered six straight losing campaigns.
First-year Scott coach Jeremy Dolin said Mullins’ analogy of a “football fist fight” was spot on.
“That’s pretty accurate,” Dolin said. “We knew going in that we could not give up the big plays and right off the start they had the big plays and that put us in the hole. We finally got some momentum going late in the second quarter and into the third. Our backs were finding some holes. It was a hard fought game.”
Logan leads 31-11-2 in the all-time series dating back to 1926.
The Skyhawks and the Wildcats did not meet last year due to scheduling issues. That broke a string of 17 straight meetings from 2003-19.
Scott’s last win in the series was a 60-34 whitewash of the Cats in 2014.
Logan is scheduled to return to action next Friday, Oct. 15 at Class AA No. 3-ranked Poca in a 7 pm kickoff. Scott hosts No. 7 Liberty-Raleigh in a non-conference game next Friday in a 7:30 pm kick.
“We go to Poca and they’ve embarrassed us the last five years,” Mullins said. “So we’re ready for the challenge next week.”
Peyton Ilderton was named at halftime as the LHS homecoming queen.
There was a moment of silence before the game to honor Nathan Bush, a WVOW radio color commentator, who passed away earlier in the week at the age of 31.