Preview: Jackson, Logan Set For SEOAL Clash

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The battle for the top spot in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League will take place at Logan Chieftain Stadium Friday, as the Jackson Ironmen come to town to battle the Logan Chieftains.

Both teams come into the contest with 3-3 overall records and a win apiece in the SEOAL.

Logan is currently on a two game winning streak, most recently defeating Portsmouth, 54-27, in its conference opener. The Chieftains have won three of their past four contests.

Jackson snapped a three-game losing streak at Warren a week ago with a 35-20 win. Large scoring differentials have told the story of Jackson’s season so far this season. In three wins, the Ironmen are beating opponents by an average of 40 point per game. But Jackson has also lost three contests by an average of 40 points.

First year Logan coach Billy Burke came into the season thinking that his team would be run-oriented, and so far that appears to be the case.

“We’ve really done well with the running game so far this year,” Burke said, “and that’s what we’re going to keep focused on.”

The Chieftain rushing attack has been the focus in practice and will continue to be as long success comes Logan’s way.

“We’ll continue with what we have done well,” Burke said. “The running game has worked and we’ll continue to make it work.”

Logan uses a three back rotation with Bryce McBride, Caleb McKinniss, and Isaac Schmeltzer.

One of Logan’s biggest rivals in football is Jackson, and the Ironmen are planning on an intense contest.

Jackson coach Andy Hall knows how important each game is in a league as small as the SEOAL.

“Our first goal is to win the league,” Hall said. “With only five teams in the league we can’t afford any mistakes.”

The main focus to prepare for the game with Logan is to get healthy. The Ironmen had 10 athletes sidelined with injuries last week, and need as many back on the field as possible to be successful.

“We need to get healthy during the week,” Hall said. “And we also need to get the younger kids ready just in case.”

Hall is looking to his junior captains and young quarterback to lead his team.

“With the recent knee injury to Derek Rafferty, we are really looking to [running back] Gabe Griffiths and [linebacker] Reagan Williams, who have both played pretty well,” Hall said. “We are also looking to sophomore [quarterback] Hunter Sexton, who is really coming into his own.”

Both teams are excited for what could be the deciding game for the SEOAL crown.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.