HS FOOTBALL:West St. John 34, Logansport 18
The Logansport Tigers football team makes the nearly six-hour trek to Edgard to face the No. 1 West St. John Rams tonight at 7 p.m. in the Lousiana 1A semifinals.
Last week’s 1A quarterfinal playoff games
• Logansport 40, Varando 18
• West St. John 26, Jonesboro-Hodge 6
• Kentwood 14, Haynesville 10
• Oak Grove 34, Basile 6
This week’s 1A semifinal playoff games
• Logansport at. West St. John, 7 p.m.
• Kentwood vs. Oak Grove, 7 p.m.
The Logansport Tigers football team finds itself in familiar territory Friday as they make the nearly six-hour trek to Edgard to face the No. 1 West St. John Rams in the Tigers’ third consecutive the Lousiana 1A semifinals appearance.
But what is different from last year’s trip to the semifinals is that Logansport makes the trip less wide-eyed and more steely-eyed with experience.
“It was emotionally different last year,” said head coach Kevin Magee.
“It was kind of an unkonwn as they haven’t been there before, We just had a goal to play in December, and the semifinals gave us that chance.
“This year in the second round and the quarterfinals, we had the experience of winning it (the sate title). It was calming and the players were more business like. They came to work everyday.
“As we’ve told the players, ‘this is week is guaranted, next week is not unless you win.’”
The Tigers, who were seeded No. 5 in the 1A playoffs, knocked off No. 4 Varando last week. In addition to No. 1 West St. John, No. 3 Kenwood faces No. Oak Grove in the other semifinal.
Magee said the team will leave 9 a.m. Friday and stop along the way for lunch.
The team will stop at a high school field about an hour from Edgard in order to suit up and go through a walk-through in order to minimize the pre-game time on West St. John’s home field.
The defending state champion Tigers (13-0) carry a 27-game win streak to Edgard.
Magee said the Rams run the ball from two- and three-back sets and also have a good deep-threat pass game.
The key, he said, will be for the defense to get penetration into the backfield to disrupt the Rams’ running game.
By Stephen Ewing
For The Light and Champion
LOGANSPORT – The Logansport Tigers lit up the visiting Varando Wildcats, 40-18, ending the Wildcats’ season and advancing themselves to the state semifinals for the third consecutive year.
The Tigers travel to Edgard Friday to play the No. 1 West St. John Rams with a trip to the state title game on the line.
The Tigers started fast, jumping out to 14-0 lead with a pair of rushing touchdowns by Madrid Johnson (two yards) and Tresmin Brown (51 yards).
The Wildcats did get their ball-control, ground-and-pound offense in gear, and struck back with a two rushing touchdowns of their own. Both of their two-point conversions failed, leaving the Tigers up 14-12.
The Tigers blew the game open with two quick touchdowns to end the first half.
The first was a 12-yard run by Johnson, set up by a 73-yard pass from quarterback Dalton Shaw to John Stephens.
The second was set up by a three-and-out by the Tiger defense, which forced a punt that gave them the football at their own 27 yard line.
An 18-yard connection to Stephens set up a beautifully executed screen pass from Shaw to sophomore wideout Patrick Mims. Mims covered 51 yards on the pass and catch, which happened with just four seconds left on the first half clock.
The point-after conversion failed, but the Tigers took a 26-12 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers then iced the game on the first play from scrimmage with a 73-yard touchdown run by Brown. The PAT made the score 33-12.
The Wildcats scored again at the start of the final period, but another Shaw to Mims touchdown pass stretched the final score to 40-18.
Brown rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
“I give a shout out to my offensive line,” Brown said. “They opened up the holes and I just ran to daylight.”
Shaw completed 15 of 27 pass attempts for 331 yards and two touchdowns.
Mims caught five passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Stephens added five catches for 112 yards.
The Tiger defense was led by tackle Demicko Gray, who made 11 tackles, including three for losses, and one quarterback sack.
“They’re not really set up to play from behind, and we knew they weren’t really good in third and long,” said Tigers coach Kevin Magee. “So, it was really important for us to win on first down and get them behind the chains.
“That starts with controlling the line of scrimmage. I think we were really effective at doing that. They did score from depth on us a couple of times, but we knew if we could keep them from stringing together first downs they wouldn’t be able to keep pace with our offense.”
He went on to talk about the offensive fireworks.
“I thought we ran the ball really well early, and that’s just a result of us taking what they gave us. They kept their safeties back to defend the pass, and we had the numbers in the box that we like to run against.
“When they started to adjust to it, we started throwing the ball.” Magee also spoke about the upcoming matchup with West St. John.
“They’re big, they’re fast, and they’re physical. They’re probably the best football team we’ve seen this year.
“But, hey, this is what the playoffs is all about. If you’re going to be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s our mission this week.”
Kickoff at West St. John’s stadium is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
2017 Logansport Tigers
Sept. 1 W vs. Jonesboro-Hodge 34-19
Sept. 8 W @ Lakeview 42-0
Sept. 15 W Bossier 48-21
Sept. 22 W vs. Northwood 51-7* **
Sept. 29 W @ Montgomery 48-6*
Oct. 6 W vs. N. Webster 38-26
Oct. 13 W @ Univ. Academy* 49-0
Oct. 20 W @ Block* 41-6
Oct. 27 W vs. LaSalle 40-0*
Nov. 3 W vs. St. Mary* 36-30
Nov. 10 W vs. North Central*** 52-0
Nov. 17 W vs. Homer*** 48-0
Nov. 24 W vs. Verando*** 40-18
Dec. 1 @ W. St. John, 7 p.m. ***
*** Playoff game