HURRICANE, W.Va. - Win and they're in. Hurricane pretty well ended the playoff guessing with a convincing 41-14 victory against Logan on Friday night.
With their final game awaiting at No. 1 Cabell Midland, the Redskins needed to secure a sixth win against Logan Friday, and they did comfortably.
"A big win for us," Coach Jeremy Taylor said. "We needed it to get into the playoffs. I think it pretty much locks up a playoff bid."
Hurricane (6-3) established itself with the game's first play to start on the right foot toward that playoff lock. Junior Zach Pate returned the opening kickoff 82 yards to give the Redskins an early 7-0 advantage that spurred the Hurricane players.
"A lot of teams, that first few plays is going to set the tone and they set the tone," Taylor said.
The Redskins scored again on their first offensive possession, a 10-play drive. Koi Turner capped the drive on a 33-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Austin Hensley. Hurricane converted on a trick two-point conversion, but the play was later ruled no good as the holder's knee was down before he flipped to the scoring player. The Redskins led 13-0.
Logan (6-3) responded three plays later on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Chris Marcum to Josh Rein. The Wildcats pulled no closer though.
Hurricane scored on its ensuing possession on a 23-yard touchdown catch by Turner from Hensley.
While the Redskins scored their first two offensive touchdowns via the pass, it was the running game that dominated.
"I was fairly pleased how we ran the ball, controlled the ball," Taylor said. "Controlling the line of scrimmage was big, and I thought we could. I thought we were good enough to do that."
Steven Handley finished with 15 carries for 153 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown. Hurricane totaled 300 rushing yards.
Though Handley racked up the yards, he gave credit to the line for providing the path to the running game success.
"The line got all their blocks just keying on who they had, getting open holes, making space for me," he said.
Whether on the ground or through the air, Logan didn't seem capable of slowing the Hurricane offense enough to create a game.
"We're not very good at stopping the run," Logan Coach Gary Mullins said. "We knew that we would have a hard time cutting off their passing game unless we added more defensive backs into the game, so we were kind of in a Catch 22 there.
"We didn't have an answer for anything they were trying to do. We were trying to have answers. We just didn't have any."
Senior Cory Hurd added a 1-yard touchdown run in the first half's final minute as the Redskins led 27-7 at halftime.
It wasn't any better for the Wildcats in the second half.
Senior Zach Cooper also scored on a 1-yard run to push the advantage to 34-7.
Logan's Brynden Street scored Logan's final touchdown on a 20-yard rush on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Handley later capped his night with a 69-yard touchdown run on his final touch of the game.
Offense dominated the stat sheet, but defense ruled for Hurricane.
The Redskins secondary allowed one of the state's most prolific passers in Marcum for 180 yards, but Hurricane also forced three interceptions. Marcum finished just 8-of-25 on the night.
Meanwhile, Hensley passed efficiently completing 14-of-21 passes for 176 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
It's the victory that meant the most, though, Hensley said.
"We knew coming in this game, it was a big win, get the sixth win of the season, so we can clinch a playoff berth," he said. "It's exciting."
Hurricane now should be safely positioned in the playoffs.
Taylor said the Redskins aren't ready to set it on cruise, yet, though. They'll look to be the first team to knock off rival, undefeated Midland in the regular season finale.
"It would be nice to come out and win next week, too, because I sure as hell don't want to travel to Martinsburg or Cabell Midland again," he said.
"These kids, a lot of them know each other and stuff, so if they're not ready for that, then shoot, I don't know what they'll be ready for."
Hurricane will finish the regular season at Cabell Midland 7:30 p.m. Friday, while Logan plays at Scott 7:30 p.m. Friday.