October 5, 2013
Logan Daily News
LOGAN — Call it what you will — student body left/right… jet sweep… Green Bay Packers/Notre Dame sweep, etc. — but whatever you call Logan’s offense Friday night, make sure you call it record-setting.
The same Logan Chieftains who were held to negative-30 rushing yards two weeks ago by Loudonville literally swept the Portsmouth Trojans out of Logan Chieftain Stadium with a school-record 562 ground yards en route to a 54-27 victory in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League opener for both teams.
In a game of not just big, but huge plays, Isaac Schmeltzer scored five touchdowns, Bryce McBride had two on rambles of 99 and 84 yards, and Evan DeLong returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for six points as the Chieftains (3-3 overall) opened SEOAL play with a resounding victory.
Logan had struggled to score 73 points in its first five games combined before jumping on an injury-riddled Portsmouth (2-4) team that was missing four starters on its defense, including two linebackers, for 54.
Schmeltzer and McBride both rushed for 223 yards and became the first-ever duo of Chieftain runners to eclipse 200 yards in the same game. Logan’s 562 rushing yards bested the all-time school record of 536 (at Warren in 2006), and McBride tied a record that can never be broken with his 99-yard scoring jaunt midway through the third period
Portsmouth punter Zach Delotell twice came up with great kicks that pinned the Chiefs inside their own 1-yard line, Logan drove 99 yards on a series late in the second period and another midway through the third. The Chiefs also had a 95-yard drive.
Seven of Friday night’s 12 touchdowns were on plays that ranged between 37 and 99 yards.
Schmeltzer scored on TD runs of 37, 4, 17, 15 and 63 yards; McBride added a big 84-yard scoring ramble to his 99-yarder, and DeLong quickly brought the Homecoming crowd to its feet by taking the opening kickoff 85 yards to paydirt to stake Logan to a lead it would not relinquish.
Then, after Logan’s Brandon Arnett picked off a Sky Oliver pass on Portsmouth’s second offensive play from scrimmage — Oliver went 22-of-34 passing for 232 yards, but Logan intercepted five of his passes (one less than the Chiefs had all season and equaling the number they had in 2011) — Schmeltzer swept around right end for 37 yards and a score on Logan’s second play from scrimmage and a 14-0 lead with 10:22 still left in the opening period.
Portsmouth got right back into the game, however, when Johnnie Charles took the ensuing kickoff at the PHS 3-yard line, cut down the right sideline and found a 97-yard lane to the Logan end zone. Just like that, it was 14-6 Logan, with 20 points scored in less than two minutes to open the game.
The Trojans threatened to tie after forcing Logan’s only punt of the night, but Chieftain defensive back Casey Phillips made a great interception in the end zone to keep the Trojans at bay.
McBride then took a sweep around left end and outran the Trojans 84 yards to the end zone and a 21-6 Logan lead with 3:33 still to play in the opening stanza.
The Chiefs would eventually wear down the short-handed Trojans. Logan rushed for 304 yards in the first half alone and didn’t throw a pass until late in the third quarter. They eventually rolled up a 40-6 lead after McBride’s 99-yard run tied the all-time school record set by Larry Bainter against Middleport in 1960… a record that can be tied, but never broken.
“They’re a big, physical team, and that’s something we saw on film,” said Jason Sparks, Portsmouth’s first-year mentor. “You never can really put it in full perspective until you see it in person. Hats off to them; they were better than us tonight. They imposed their will on us in the running game. We take pride in (defense), but they were better than us tonight.”
With a lot of smaller players in the lineup, the Chiefs broke through countless tackles and got dozens, if not hundreds, of yards after breaking them.
A 21-point run (this wasn’t a basketball game, but the score sure looks that way) produced on a 3-yard scoring run by Charles, a 47-yard jaunt by Oliver, and an 18-yard hookup between Oliver and Austin Hollins, the latter with 7:17 still to play in the game, pulled the Trojans within 40-27.
But Logan recovered an onside kick and drove 48 yards on seven plays to a TD, with Schmeltzer doing the honors from 15 yards out, to give the Chiefs some breathing room.
Oliver was then picked off by Logan’s Dominic Micochero, setting up a game-capping 63-yard TD ramble by Schmeltzer down the left sideline. He was barely touched until a Portsmouth player tried to shove him out of bounds around the PHS 10-yard line; Schmeltzer shrugged it off, stayed inbounds and scored with 2:43 to play.
Sparks was pleased with the way his team fought back from a 34-point deficit to at least make the Chiefs sweat a bit.
“We have some scrappers,” Sparks said. “They’re fighting and fighting and fighting, and I hate it for them because they have to see results. To me, and to our coaches, we see results right now: we see kids getting better.”
The Chiefs are a team that, having won just six games the previous three season after a decade-long run of success, are trying to turn the proverbial corner. Going 3-1 in their last four games is certainly a confidence-booster.
Phillips intercepted two Portsmouth passes — both in the opening quarter — while Arnett, Micochero and Dominick Stevens all ended Portsmouth drives with pickoffs as well… and DeLong’s kickoff to open the game certainly set a tone for the Chiefs.
Portsmouth 6 0 14 7—27
Logan 21 13 6 14—54
L: Evan DeLong 85 kickoff return (Charles Bowlby kick), 11:47
L: Isaac Schmeltzer 37 run (Bowlby kick), 10:22
P: Johnnie Charles 97 kickoff return (kick failed), 10:08
L: Bryce McBride 84 run (Bowlby kick), 3:33
L: Schmeltzer 4 run (kick blocked), 8:48
L: Schmeltzer 17 run (Bowlby kick), 2:24
L: McBride 99 run (kick failed), 5:41
P: Charles 3 run (pass failed), 4:25
P: Sky Oliver 47 run (Austin Hollins run), 0:01.5
P: Hollins 18 pass from Oliver (Zach Delotell kick), 7:17
L: Schmeltzer 15 run (Bowlby kick), 4:17
L: Schmeltzer 63 run (Bowlby kick), 2:32
First Downs 20 17
Offensive Plays 54 61
Rushes-Yards 50-562 27-153
Passing Yards 27 232
Total Yards 589 385
Passes 2-4-0 22-34-5
Punts-Avg. 1-35.0 3-44.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 8-70 7-40
Rushing: Logan, Isaac Schmeltzer 11-223, Bryce McBride 8-223, Nick Kost 20-89. Kody McKinnis 8-25, Nick Maniskas 1-6, team 2-(-4); Portsmouth, Sky Oliver 10-132, Johnnie Charles 15-37, Austin Hollins 1-(-5), team 1-(11)
Passing: Logan, Nick Kost 2-4-0—27; Portsmouth, Sky Oliver 22-34-5—232
Receiving: Logan, Kevin Fisher 1-19, Isiah Smith 1-1, Isaac Schmeltzer 0-7 (yardage from a lateral); Portsmouth, Austin Hollins 7-83, Isiaha Lisath 6-67, Alex Dickerson 5-44, Khalil Lattimore 2-35, Johnnie Charles 2-3
Records — Portsmouth 2-4 (0-1); Logan 3-3 (1-0).