Prep football: Winfield coach wants balanced offense against Logan
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tonight's Class AAA football matchup between Logan and Winfield is marked by conflicting trends.
The Wildcats (4-1) have qualified for the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. Winfield (2-3) has not played a postseason game since losing to James Monroe in the first round of the Class AA playoffs in 2005, but has a two-game home winning streak against Logan.
The teams meet at 7:30 p.m. today in Winfield.
"We beat them here in 2009 and in 2007, but we've played the last two years down at their place in order to sort out the contract," Winfield Coach Craig Snyder said Thursday. "We've had some good games with them, but the last two years they've had pretty good teams.
"To me, they look a lot like they did last year. They're big up front on both sides of the ball, and they have a lot of athleticism in the secondary."
A year ago, Logan handed Winfield a 28-10 loss en route to an 8-3 finish. While Snyder sees a number of similarities between this year's Wildcats team and the 2011 squad, the difference between Winfield version 2011 and version 2012 is striking.
A noticeable effect of Snyder's hiring - the first-year coach was a longtime assistant at the school before replacing former coach Willie Wilson this season - has been a commitment to a passing game.
Junior quarterback Toby Show has thrown for 824 yards and four touchdowns. Winfield threw for 586 yards as a team in 2011, when it finished 4-6.
"Toby's on pace to destroy our single-season passing record, which is about 1,200 yards," Snyder said.
Taylor Farley, a 2009 Winfield graduate, owns that school record.
"I just feel like having a more balanced offense is important. It obviously makes you more difficult to defend than if you're just pass-heavy or run-heavy," Snyder said.
Senior running back Seth Lewis has received the bulk of Winfield's carries this season and is fourth among area leaders with 616 rushing yards.
Snyder said the ability of his team to mix things up tonight will be key to their success.
"They're strengths are our weak spots, really," he said of Logan. "They've got size where we don't. We're kind of in the middle of plugging people into spots to fill in for guys who've gotten hurt in the last couple weeks."
The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Chris Marcum (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) and junior running back Brynden Street (6-2, 180). They are coming off a 20-0 win over Chapmanville last week.
Winfield dropped an 18-13 decision to Class AAA No. 8 Point Pleasant (4-0) at home a week ago. Snyder said that while he is keeping expectations at a reasonable level and focusing on growth rather than immediate results this season, the Generals are showing signs of life.
"People in the community and so forth are excited about this team. They know we've got a lot of young guys, and that numbers should continue to improve," he said. "I'm not already looking to next year or anything like that, but I think we've got some things going in the right direction."
In other area games:
Class AAA No. 7 Capital (3-1) at Hurricane (2-2) - The Cougars face a Hurricane team coming off a bye week and needing a win to gain momentum toward a possible playoff run. Capital is coming off its first loss of the season, a 20-17 heartbreaker lost in the final minutes to South Charleston.
Redskins junior Zach Pate remains one of the area's top offensive weapons, and has 778 yards of total offense to his credit. Capital remains one of the area's best rush defenses, but the Cougars have bent a little against the pass. Hurricane junior quarterback Austin Hensley leads the area with 1,006 yards passing and 13 touchdowns. He's thrown three interceptions.
Capital freshman quarterback Tyrhee Pratt has thrown for 713 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception.
Richwood (2-3) at Class A No. 4 Buffalo (3-1) - See story, page 1B
South Charleston (2-3) at St. Albans (0-5) - Black Eagles sophomore running back/linebacker A.D. Cunningham - the 2011 Kanawha Valley Rookie of the Year - is out for the season after suffering a separated shoulder against Capital last week.
Cunningham is the Black Eagles' leading rusher on the season, but Coach John Messinger found a potential gem against the Cougars in freshman quarterback Kentre Grier.
St. Albans is giving up an area-worst 46.4 points per game.
Riverside (1-3) at Parkersburg (3-2) - The Warriors are coming off a bye week and visit their life-long nemesis for the Big Reds' homecoming. Riverside senior quarterback Trevor Rumberg has thrown for 657 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions while also leading the Warriors in rushing, with 253 yards and two touchdowns.
Parkersburg senior running back Adam Lindamood leads the Big Reds with 502 yards and eight touchdowns.
Sissonville (2-2) at Tolsia (2-3) - Senior Trent Stowers figures to return to action against the Rebels, who are coming off a loss to Class A Tug Valley.
Stowers, who injured his ankle Sept. 14 against Scott, did not play last week in the Indians' 42-0 loss to defending state champion Wayne. He leads Sissonville with 359 rushing yards and 36 points.
Poca (2-3) at Herbert Hoover (0-5) - The Dots look to get back to .500 against a Huskies team that is struggling to move the ball in any way. Hoover averages area lows in points (12) and total offense (229 yards per game).
Other games tonight include Beckley (4-1) at Class AAA No. 1 Cabell Midland (5-0), Class AA No. 5 Scott (5-0) at Westside (3-2), Roane County (3-2) at Ripley (2-3), Brooke (0-5) at Class AAA No. 8 Point Pleasant (4-0), Ravenswood (2-2) at Ritchie County (3-2), Van (1-3) at Mount View (1-4), Valley (4-0) at Class A No. 9 Meadow Bridge (5-0), Chapmanville (2-3) at James Monroe (2-3), Independence (1-4) at Sherman (1-4)
Class AAA No. 3 George Washington (4-1), Nitro (2-2), Lincoln County (0-5) and Clay County (1-4) are idle.