Brock Netter, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — When you don’t control time of possession, it becomes increasingly hard to win a football game.
That’s a well-known fact. But it’s different once you experience it up close and personal.
Logan (1-4) held the ball for just over 29 minutes Thursday evening, compared to Chillicothe’s mark of just under 19. The Chieftains converted drives into touchdowns and escaped Herrnstein Field with an 18-7 victory over the Cavaliers (1-4), notching their first win of the season.
“Our guys fought really hard, but we had a lot of tough breaks and things that didn’t go our way,” Chillicothe coach Doug Pryor said. “We expect to win and the kids expect to win, but this is a tough loss. This was one of the games where we started too late offensively and defensively, and by the time we got going, it was too late.”
The Chieftains passed the ball just three times on the evening, totaling just five yards. But their running game was nearly unstoppable as they totaled 272 yards on 55 attempts, led by Caden McCarty’s 37-carry, 154-yard, three-touchdown performance.
“There were a few times we came up with a couple of stops. But credit to Logan for continuing to come at us,” Pryor said. “When they’re running the ball the way they did, it makes for a shorter game. With a power running game, it eventually wears you down and you just try to rally the troops to keep their heads up. We didn’t force a lot of third downs and they stayed right on schedule with how they ran their offense.”
After a scoreless first quarter, McCarty went straight to work. He plunged into the end zone on the first play of the second quarter from four yards out for a 6-0 lead … following a failed two-point conversion.
The Cavaliers fumbled on the following possession, setting up Logan with a short field. McCarty later found the end zone again, this time from a yard out, for a 12-0 halftime lead.
“We still had a chance,” Pryor said. “It was a matter of us continuing to go do our job and good things will happen. We needed to have a ‘next play’ mentality and prevent them from getting first downs. They kept getting four to six yards a carry so we needed to stop that.”
Chillicothe finally got some momentum after Christian Benson connected with Courtland Duncan on a 27-yard strike, the Cavaliers’ longest play of the night. Benson ran it in from seven yards out on the next snap, trimming Logan’s lead to 12-7.
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However, two drives later, McCarty responded with the dagger from four yards out to tally the final score.
McCarty was aided by quarterback Braeden Spatar, who rushed for 117 yards on 17 carries. Spatar was 3-for-5 through the air for 22 yards.
Benson led Chillicothe statistically, throwing for 71 yards on 8-of-15 pass attempts. He also rushed for 51 yards on 11 attempts and scored.
“Our defense gave us a shot, and that’s all you can ask for. But we didn’t capitalize,” Pryor said. “We got a stop and had our chance but didn’t move the ball. Then Logan turned around and punched it in to the seal the game.”
Chillicothe opens up Frontier Athletic Conference play on the road, next Friday, at Washington Court House.
“We just have to stay together, keep the faith and trust in one another knowing that we will improve,” Pryor said. “Just keep practicing hard and know that we will improve. That’s our message to our team this week. We’ll still have things to play for, such as the conference championship. So we’ll right the ship.”