Braves want to continue turnaround season with playoff win over Bobcats

By Brad Morris

Terry Holbert had a glowing smile across his face last Friday as he watched the Logan Elm Braves celebrate a 34-17 win over Pickaway County rival Teays Valley to cap the best regular-season for the program since 2011.

“Our guys have worked so hard for us,” said Holbert, in his eighth season of leading the Braves. “A lot of those guys are three-and-four-year starters that we had to throw to the fire when they were young, and they had to learn on the varsity level.

“They’ve continued to work hard, continued to grow and they had an unbelievable offseason to prepare for this season that is paying dividends with big wins like this.”

The Braves (8-2) have achieved a number of milestones that have been years in the making.

• First win over Miami Trace since 2017.
• First win over Hamilton Township since 2011 and first win along Rathmell Road since 2008.
• Back-to-back wins in 2020 and 2022 against Amanda-Clearcreek in The Pit.
• First win over Teays Valley since 2014.
• First Pickaway County championship since 2014.
• Most wins in a season since 2011.
• First earned home playoff game since 2009.

Sixth-seeded Logan Elm hopes to add some more lines to that list when it opens postseason play on Friday and hosts No. 11 seeded Cambridge (7-3) in a Division IV, Region 15 first-round game.

“We’ve had incredible support this season from our parents, students and the community and we are looking forward to a big, rowdy crowd on Friday night,” Holbert said. “We can’t wait until Friday night gets here.”

Logan Elm’s Blayton Reid has rushed for 18 touchdowns entering the postseason on Friday against Cambridge. Photo courtesy of Scott Iles Photography

Cambridge is slated to bring a pass-first spread offense into the contest, led by senior quarterback Caden Moore, who has completed 189 of 272 passes for 2,678 yards. Moore has completed 69.5 percent of his passes and has thrown for 31 touchdowns this season against just four interceptions.

Moore’s targets include senior Davion Bahr (46 receptions for 887 yards and 15 touchdowns) and 6-1 junior Devin Ogle (50 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns).

“Cambridge will look to pass the football between 65-to-70 percent of the time and run most of its offense out of the spread in an empty set,” Holbert said. “(Moore) is a very good quarterback and he has an excellent group of three-to-four playmakers on the perimeter that can catch and run with the football pretty well.

“We are going to have to be very disciplined in all facets of the game. Cambridge will throw the football quite a bit, but then they can hit you with a few runs and they have a couple of kids who can run the football.”

The Braves are coming off limiting Teays Valley to 171 yards passing and one touchdown a week ago when the Vikings attempted 31 passes.

“That was good prep heading into this game, because Teays Valley had a nice freshman quarterback and some playmakers on the perimeter,” Holbert said. “One difference is Cambridge is a more experienced team than what Teays Valley had.

“Our secondary stepped up and did an outstanding job last week and we’re going to need them to do that again on Friday night.”

Cambridge enters the game yielding an average of 19.1 points per game. In a 30-21 loss last week to Region 15 top-seed St. Clairsville, the Bobcats yielded 427 yards of total offense, including 290 on the ground.

“Cambridge is very unique on defense, because they can use a five-man front and shift down to a four-or-three-man front against a spread set,” Holbert observed. “They have a lot of moving pieces defensively, so our kids are going to have to be very solid following their rules and be able to adjust on the fly. Cambridge can give you different looks on consecutive plays.”

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