By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
SHADY SPRING —
Shady Spring is still looking for its first points of the 2013 season, but coach Vince Culicerto was able to take some positives from Friday’s 39-0 loss to Logan at H.B. Thomas Field.
The Tigers’ second blanking in as many games did leave a lot to be desired, but was a far cry from their 69-0 loss to Princeton to start the season. Logan led just 13-0 at halftime, and the Tigers put together some impressive drives that were thwarted by turnovers or penalties.
“That was the best half we have put together (this season),” Culicerto said. “We’re getting the ball moved to the other side of the field. Now we just have to find paydirt. I think once they get a taste of it, it will get contagious and get better. But we just can’t punch it in.”
Logan (2-0), which beat rival Man 40-20 in Week 1, got a 7-yard touchdown run from Tyler Vernatter in the first quarter and a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Miller to Brett Musick in the second for its 13-0 advantage.
The half wasn’t all good for the Wildcats.
Miller went down with an injury to his left knee with 6:55 to play in the second quarter. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior could be heard screaming from the press box.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said preliminarily diagnosis is a sprain. Miller, who suffered the same injury during basketball season, stayed with the team and in uniform. After the game, Miller said he could not put weight on his leg while being carried around by teammates Daniel Miller and Daniel Hanks.
“We don’t know anything. They said it felt tight,” Mullins said. “We’re just praying that it’s for the best right now.”
Shady (0-2) drove into Logan territory on its first drive, keyed by a 19-yard completion from Timmy Culicerto to Steven Chhabra after consecutive penalties put the Tigers in a third-and-13 situation.
The drive ended when Culicerto was intercepted on a deep pass on third-and-10 from the Wildcats 40.
It was that kind of night for the Tigers, who showed signs of being able to move the ball throughout the game. But they turned the ball over five times, each at crucial moments.
A critical moment of the game was the kickoff to open the second half. Logan’s Clayton Marcum returned the ball all the way to the Shady Spring 15-yard line. The Wildcats needed six plays to cover that abbreviated distance, but Vernatter’s second touchdown, from two yards, made it a 19-0 game.
“They returned that kickoff and the heads got down,” Culicerto said.
Logan scored on in its next three possessions to run away.
Freshman Noah Corbet took over for Miller at quarterback and, after looking tentative early, was able to lead the Wildcats offense. He threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Josh Rein late in the third quarter and followed that with a two-point conversion run.
“With Ryan in there, we’re either going to run it or he’s going to throw it,” Mullins said. “With Noah in there, we’re more spread, faster, shiftier. We turn into a little more option.
“I would say, in Shady’s defense, they had never seen him before. Ryan Miller’s not an option quarterback, so it was probably one of those things they had never seen before.”
Matthew Cox led Logan with 92 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Vernatter finished with 70 yards on eight carries.
Corbet completed seven of 10 passes for 59 yards.
Tyler Hanson ran seven times for 53 yards and Jonathan Hardy 19 for 47 for the Tigers.
Logan will take on Lincoln County next Friday, while Shady hosts Greenbrier East.
“Logan’s a good team and they get after it,” Culicerto said. “They came out on top tonight. We’ve just got to keep on working.”
— E-mail: gfauber@
L (2-0) 6 7 20 6 — 39
SS (0-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
L: Tyler Vernatter 7 run (kick failed), 2:58.
L: Brett Musick 20 pass from Ryan Miller (Daniel Hanks kick), 10:59.
L: Vernatter 2 run (run failed), 8:59.
L: Josh Rein 23 pass from Noah Corbet (Corbet run), 3:30.
L: Matthew Cox 54 run (run failed), :00.
L: Tyler Vance 13 run (kick failed), 6:18.
RUSHING — L: Cox 7-92, Vernatter 8-70, Clayton Marcum 4-36, Vance 3-28, Corbet 6-18, Miller 2-16, Daniel Browning 2-11, Clifton Duncan 2-10, Mark Adams 2-0, Gavin Ellis 1-(-2). SS: Tyler Hanson 7-53, Jonathan Hardy 19-47, Timmy Culicerto 3-(-7).
PASSING — L: Corbet 7-10-0-59, Miller 2-3-0-25. SS: Culicerto 6-15-3-39.
RECEIVING — L: Rein 5-52, Musick 3-39, Marcum 1-(-2). SS: Steven Chhabra 4-34, Hanson 1-4, Jordan Meadows 1-1.
TURNOVERS — L: Adam Smith (2 INT), Jacob Browning (FR). SS: Hanson (FR).