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."