PDT Sports Writer
Normally, the statistics never lie.
That rule held true in Friday’s Logan-Portsmouth match-up as the visiting Chieftains gained all 351 yards of their total offense on the ground. Of those 351, senior running back Cory McCarty accounted for 263 yards on 38 rushes and three touchdowns as Logan won 34-13 in the SEOAL opener for both schools.
Trojans coach Curt Clifford believed the recurring theme of the season took place again in this contest.
“As long as we’re going to continue to give up 34 points a game and squander offensive opportunities, we’re not going to get any better,” Clifford said. “We’re still five guys down. Here’s what I told the kids, we could have those five guys back but if we don’t play with a little bit more discipline and play with a little more sense of urgency, it doesn’t make any difference if those five guys come back or not.”
The Chieftains opened the scoring on the initial drive of the contest when McCarty sprinted for a 52-yard touchdown run. Portsmouth answered on its first chance at a rebuttal when quarterback Brandon Wedebrook hooked up with Alex Dickerson for a 38-yard touchdown pass.
After a Logan three-and-out, the Trojans had their first opportunity to take the lead in a game for the first time since they held a 7-0 first quarter lead lead at Minford. The chance was squandered on an incomplete pass on fourth-and-18 from the Chieftain 20.
Logan capitalized on the missed opportunity in the second quarter. McCarty picked up his second score of the game when he converted a fourth-and-3 into a 42-yard trip to pay dirt.
“They came down here and played pretty much mistake-free football,” Clifford said. “Very few penalties until there at the end.”
The lead grew to 20-7 when Wedebrook tried to get out of the shadow of his own goal post with a screen pass. Allen Mulford read the play and took the interception to the house from four yards.
Before the half, Portsmouth cut the deficit to 20-13 when Wedebrook found Dickerson for their second pitch-and-catch of the contest. The 21-yard score with 1:18 remaining gave the home team all the momentum heading into the locker room in front of the Homecoming crowd.
For the second time in as many weeks, the Trojans had an opportunity to score on their opening drive of the half but the drive stalled on a fourth-and-goal when Johnie Charles was stopped for a loss of one at the Logan 2-yard-line.
“We can’t stand prosperity,” Clifford said.
Just like the week before where the Portsmouth gave up a long-distance drive for a score against Ironton, the Chieftains went 98 yards on 14 plays and scored. For the final time of the night, McCarty crossed the goal line. The two-yard scamper capped a drive that ate up the remaining 6:11 of the third and the first ten seconds of the fourth.
“We just didn’t step up to the plate when we needed to,” Clifford said. “That’s two times in two weeks that we’ve been stopped on the 1-yard line and the team goes 99 yards the other way on us. This time it was just a slow death instead of a one-shot deal like it was against Ironton.”
The momentum swung heavily towards Logan when the ensuing squib kick was recovered by Justin Moore at the Trojan 29. The night’s scoring concluded with Nick Kost plunging through the end zone from 2 yards.
“We don’t stop anybody, all we try to do is slow people down,” Clifford said. “That’s all we try to do, just slow them down. We’re playing the kids that we’ve got.”
The Chieftains did not attempt a single pass on the night as quarterback Jack Music missed the game with an upper-body injury and was replaced by Caleb Lewellen. Wedebrook went 7-for-15 for 158 yards passing with a pair of touchdown tosses and a pair of interceptions. Johnie Charles was held to 76 yards on 12 totes.
After playing its first two home contests of the season, Portsmouth heads back on the road next week to take on Gallia Academy, which improved to 4-2 and 1-0 in the SEOAL with a 20-7 victory over Chillicothe. When asked if going back on the road may cure some of his team’s ailments, Clifford shook his head.
“I’d rather stay at home but we’ll go where we’ve got to go,” Clifford said.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or email@example.com.
Logan 7 13 0 14 — 34
Portsmouth 7 6 0 0 — 13
L — McCarty 52 run (Stevens kick) 9:20
P — Dickerson 38 pass from Wedebrook (DeLotell kick) 6:42
L — McCarty 42 run (Stevens kick) 8:00
L — A. Mulford 4 interception return (kick failed) 2:47
P — Dickerson 21 pass from Wedebrook (kick failed) 1:18
L — McCarty 2 run (McCarty rush) 11:50
L — Kost 2 run (kick blocked) 9:55
First Downs 17 14
Rush Att.-Yds. 54-351 23-123
Pass Att.-Comp.-Int. 0-0-0 15-7-2
Pass Yds. 0 158
Total Yds. 351 281
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Turnovers 0 3
Punts-Avg. 2-34.5 1-22.0
Pen.-Yds. 5-55 5-35
RUSHING: Logan — McCarty 38-263, Kost 14-84, Scarberry 2-4; Portsmouth — Charles 12-76, Wedebrook 7-36, Dickerson 4-11.
PASSING: Logan — Lewellen 0-0-0 0; Portsmouth — Wedebrook 15-7-2 158.
RECEIVING: Logan — None; Portsmouth — Dickerson 3-92, Lattimore 2-49, Lisath 1-10, Oliver 1-7.
RECORDS: Logan 1-5 (1-0); Portsmouth 1-5 (0-1).