Logan quarterback Jaxon Cogar is brought down by two Man defenders during the first quarter of the Wildcats 20-7 victory last Thursday night at Willis-Nisbet Stadium. (Boothe Davis/Captured by the Moment Photography)
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN Starting the season with a win is always good, but it doesn’t always lead to success.
Fresh off a 20-7 triumph over county rival Man, the Logan Wildcats will look to start 2-0 for the second consecutive season with a win on the road at Sissonville in the Cardinal Conference opener for the Wildcats.
In the season opening win against Man, Logan outgained Man 276-87 in total yards, ran 60 plays to the Hillbillies 26 and possessed the ball for 32:36 to Man’s 15:24.
“Not many times I can remember us being able to run the ball like that against Man, so I hope that is a good sign of things to come,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “We were excited to get out there and get the opening game win. Man is always tough, and they played hard as usual.”
Jaxon Cogar, making his first start under center for Logan after transferring from Westside during basketball season, ran for 132 yards and threw for 85 yards in the win.
Aiden Slack rushed for 80 yards, had 19 receiving yards, returned a kickoff for 50 yards and a punt for 23 yards to account for 174 all-purpose yards.
“Going forward it will be important for us to expand our offense when we need to,” Mullins said. “Cogar and Slack gave us a great one-two punch, and those two guys are as good as anybody at their position. We expect big things out of them every week.”
Friday night’s Cardinal Conference opener with Sissonville will be a first for Logan as it will be the ParMar Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week and will be broadcasted on television.
County rivals Chapmanville and Man have been featured in the past. The Tigers have appeared twice, falling to Wayne in 2018 and losing to Sissonville in 2021, while Man has made one appearance losing to Point Pleasant in 2019.
For the Wildcats, it will be their first ever appearance and a chance to showcase their style of play to the state of West Virginia.
“It is our first game, and we are looking forward to the opportunity,” Mullins said. “It gives us a great opportunity to show where our program is, and let people know that we can play some pretty good football in southern West Virginia.”
Sissonville is coming off a season-opening road loss to Chapmanville, 43-26, last week. The Indians were 2-8 last season including a 40-14 loss at Logan.
The Indians return a number of talented players from last season including quarterback Ethan Taylor, leading rusher Cameron Arbogast, leading receiver Jacob Wiseman and freshman receiver Malachi Thompson.
Taylor completed 18 of his 36 passes last week for 151 yards and two touchdowns against Chapmanville. Arbogast ran for 58 yards on 12 attempts and found the endzone twice while Thompson hauled in three receptions for 47 yards and one touchdown. Wiseman caught three passed for 38 yards and returned a fumble 18 yards to set up Sissonville’s first touchdown.
“They are very explosive, play hard and are well coached,” Mullins said. “Most teams would be 0-1 after playing Chapmanville, so we better be ready to play.”
“I am sure we will get their best shot,” Mullins added. “If you don’t show up to play in the Cardinal (Conference) every week you (will) lose.”
Logan will look to avoid a letdown and look to start 1-0 in conference play for a second consecutive. The Wildcats finished 5-3 in the Cardinal last season and finished in a third-place tie with Winfield behind league champion Herbert Hoover and second place Poca.
The Cardinal Conference, which was thought to be Herbert Hoover’s to lose this season, saw some surprising results last week with Scott defeating Hoover, 34-19, and Nitro upsetting Poca, 27-26, in opening week action.
“The Scott score didn’t surprise me as much as most people because I saw them (Scott) in the summer, and I knew they would be good,” Mullins said. “Hopefully, our team’s takeaway from last week is that you better be prepared every week.”
Given the results, how does Mullins see the conference shaping up this season?
“I would say the conference is more wide open as I have seen it in a while,” Mullins said.
Logan snapped a five-game losing streak to Sissonville with last season’s win at Willis-Nisbet Stadium and leads the all-time series 7-5.
Kickoff from Joe Sawyers Field is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen online at www.wchstv.com. The game can also be seen on Stirr 11.2 and on channel 125 for Optimum customers in the Logan area.