By Brad Morris
How good was Logan Elm offensively on Friday in the first half?
Facing fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line with a second left before halftime, Conner Robinson’s pass was tipped at the line, but wide receiver Jason Sailor was able to scramble and still catch the football for a touchdown.
That play summed up a dominating first half, where the Braves seemed almost unstoppable on offense. Logan Elm scored on six of its seven possessions of the half and finished the game with 454 yards of total offense in a 48-21 non-league win over the visiting Logan Chieftains.
“Our guys came out with a lot of energy and we played pretty well, really, on both sides of the football in the first half,” Logan Elm coach Terry Holbert said. “We did a nice job of getting our playmakers involved on offense and sharing the football.”
The Braves (3-2) won the first-ever meeting between the two programs and also extended their winning streak to three games in the process, accomplishing the feat for the first time since 2015, when they won six-straight games to start that season 6-1.
“This feels great. It’s the first time we’ve won three-in-a-row while I’ve been in high school and it’s been awhile since Logan Elm has done this,” Robinson said. “We’ve been working hard and getting better every week and we are seeing the results on the field.”
Robinson connected with five different receivers and finished a sharp 18 of 22 passing for 243 yards and five touchdowns. The Logan Elm senior quarterback also added 87 yards rushing on 13 totes and a touchdown.
“Conner has such a good grasp of our offense and he’s shown tremendous growth throughout his career,” Holbert praised. “He goes through his progressions well, not locking in on one target and does a good job of seeing the whole field.
“He’s a tough-nosed young man and is one of our first most physical players since he also plays middle linebacker on defense. He’s just a tremendous leader and a quality young man.”
Gabe Chalfin led the Braves with six receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns and Sailor made 10 grabs for 77 yards and also scored twice.
“We have a great group of wide receivers and they honestly make my job easy,” Robinson said. “All I have to do is distribute the football and get it to them to make plays.
“We’ve really hit our stride over the last three weeks as an offense, scoring points and making big plays throwing and also running the football.”
Robinson was 3 of 3 passing for 47 yards on the opening possession of the game. Blayton Reid then capped the eight-play, 76-yard drive with a nine -yard run around left end, dragging defenders with him into the end zone.
“Our offensive line isn’t very big – our biggest lineman probably weighs around 250 pounds – but they work hard, they never quit and they’ve really stepped up their game over the last three weeks,” Robinson said. “We can’t move the football without them giving us time and opening up holes.”
Logan fumbled the ensuing kickoff with David Evans coming up with the recovery for the Braves.
Robinson went back to Evans five plays later on a 23-yard touchdown strike to double the advantage to 14-0.
The Braves put their third touchdown on the scoreboard late in the first quarter with a six-play, 80-yard drive. Robinson scrambled for a 29-yard gain and then, facing a fourth-and-three, connected with Chalfin on a slant that the LE senior took in from 43 yards out.
Logan Elm scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter on a 48-yard toss from Robinson to Chalfin, and passes of five and one yards by Robinson to Sailor, to take a commanding 41-7 lead into halftime.
The Braves scored their final touchdown in the third quarter on a one-yard keeper by Robinson.
Logan (0-5) finished the game with 235 yards of total offense, most of which came in the second half.
Quarterback Ian Frasure was 9 of 19 passing for 162 yards and a touchdown, and running back Caden McCarty had eight carries for 43 yards and two touchdowns.
The Braves added interceptions by Evans and Cole Westenbarger in the second half.
“Our defense has improved each of the last three weeks, and it was nice to see them produce some takeaways and turn in a good performance, minus a couple of long passes that we’ll look to clean up for the future,” Holbert said.
Logan Elm resumes Mid-State League Buckeye Division play next week at unbeaten Bloom-Carroll (5-0, 4-0).
“I’m so happy and so proud of our guys, because they’ve poured a lot of hard work in, not only this season but for the past few seasons,” Holbert said. “To see that hard work be rewarded is awesome.
“I know our guys aren’t satisfied and we saw a few things that we can clean up and continue to work on in practice next week leading into a tough game against Bloom-Carroll.”
Logan Elm 48, Logan 21
Logan 0 7 14 0—21
Logan Elm 21 20 7 0—48
LE: Blayton Reid 9 run (Gabe Chalfin kick), 9:35, 1Q
LE: David Evans 23 pass from Conner Robinson (Chalfin kick), 7:52, 1Q
LE: Chalfin 43 pass from Robinson (Chalfin kick), 0:54, 1Q
LE: Chalfin 48 pass from Robinson (Chalfin kick), 8:35, 2Q
LE: Jason Sailor 5 pass from Robinson (Caleb Eplin kick), 4:57, 2Q
Logan: Caden McCarty 1 run (Ian Frasure kick), 3:34, 2Q
LE: Sailor 1 pass from Robinson (kick failed), 0:00, 2Q
Logan: Traten Poling 61 pass from Frasure (McCarty pass from Frasure), 11:21, 3Q
LE: Robinson 1 run (Eplin kick), 3:06, 3Q
Logan: McCarty 3 run (run failed), 0:12, 3Q
Team Statistics LO LE
First Downs 7 23
Offensive Plays 38 74
Rushes-Yards 19-73 48-212
Passing Yards 162 242
Total Yards 235 454
Passes 9-19-2 21-26-0
Punts-Avg. 2-27.0 2-33.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-0
Penalties-Yards 1-10 6-41
Possession 16:45 31:15
Rushing — Logan: Caden McCarty 8-43 1TD, Ian Frasure 8-14, Traten Poling 1-11, Brandon Heft 1-6, Varik Fick 1-(-1). LE leaders: Conner Robinson 13-87 1TD, Blayton Reid 16-83 1TD.
Passing — Logan: Ian Frasure 9-19-2—162 1TD. LE: Conner Robinson 18-22-0—243 5TD, Carson Summers 3-4-0—(-1).
Receiving — Logan: Jonny McClelland 3-49, Traten Poling 2-62 1TD, Caden McCarty 2-(-2), Brandon Heft 1-49, Brayden Sturgell 1-4. LE: Jason Sailor 10-77 2TD, Gabe Chalfin 6-110 2TD, Cole Westenbarger 2-28, Braylen Baker 2-4, David Evans 1-23 TD.