by Beau Wicker
Logansport’s recent losing streak in football has included some tough-luck losses, none tougher than last week’s loss to Anderson as time expired.
On Friday night the Berries took chance out of the equation with a dominating performance in the second half at Marion.
The Berries came out of the half a determined group while at the same time the Giants self-destructed, and Logansport was able to roll to a 39-13 win.
The Berries snapped a 12-game losing streak with the win and a 10-game losing streak in North Central Conference play.
“We want to keep this going for as long as possible,” Logan coach Brad Urban said. “The mental hurdle is hopefully over with and we can get going to be a better football team and not worry about that streak, because it does weigh on you, it’s hard to block out. Now it’s over with we’ve got an NCC win, got our first win of the season. It’s a continuous step forward and that’s the way we want to go. I think we’re playing better football on both sides of the ball and that’s what you want to do.”
The Berries (1-4, 1-2 NCC) played a pretty sloppy first half and trailed 13-12 at the break. But they got it going in the second half, outscoring the Giants 27-0 in the final two quarters including 20-0 in the third quarter.
“The first half I made some poor judgements and that’s OK if we can make up for it,” said LHS quarterback Ryan Schrock, who rushed for 141 yards and four touchdowns in the contest.
“I think the second half we just came out with an attitude to just drive and that we’re going to score every drive. The linemen stepped it up. I just thought we played really well the second half.”
Urban said the Berries went back to the basics playing smash-mouth football in the second half.
Urban talked about what took place at halftime.
“First, I told them how I felt. Second, we drew basically three plays up on the board and we ran two of them. A simple dive play is all we ran in the second half. It’s all about execution,” he said.
Schrock either handed the ball off to fullback Jacob Shelton or kept the ball on a fake on most of the plays in the second half. Shelton finished with 68 yards rushing and two TDs on 13 carries for the contest.
“We changed the motions and formations to make it look a little bit different, but basically we ran the same play about 90 percent of the time in the second half and they never did stop it,” Urban said.
The Berries outgained the Giants 291-169 in total yardage, including 291-90 on the ground. The Giants completed just 5 of 19 passes for the game, and they had 10 penalties for 63 yards to go with three turnovers in the contest.
A big difference from last season was the Berries held Marion’s Will Collins in check. Last season Collins rushed for 411 yards and five TDs in the Giants’ 56-49 win at Berry Stadium. But on Friday night Collins didn’t have near the room to run he had a year ago, and he was held to 57 yards rushing on 11 carries and added one catch for six yards.
The Giants’ lone score of the night on offense was a 35-yard TD pass from Niko Trevino to Spencer Reynolds near the end of the first half.
Jacob Brown led the Berries’ defense with 8.5 tackles. Jose Salinas and Ed Hurst each had an interception. Salinas returned his pick 33 yards that set up a 2-yard TD run by Shelton that gave Logan a 32-13 lead late in the third quarter.
Brown added a 64-yard kickoff return that set up Schrock’s second TD of the game that gave Logan a 12-6 lead in the first half.
Logan recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff that also led to a quick score.
Reynolds picked off a late pitch by Schrock and returned the fumble 35 yards for a touchdown for the Giants in the first half, and they took a 13-12 lead into halftime after Reynold’s touchdown catch.
But the Berries took just 1:44 to score on their first drive of the second half, capped by a 41-yard TD run by Schrock, and the Giants (1-4, 0-2) weren’t able to keep up from there.
The Berries’ last win before Friday was in Week 2 last year against Peru. Their last NCC win was in October of 2011 against New Castle.
“It’s been a year. It feels good, but we can’t be satisfied. We’re still 1-4 now,” Schrock said. “Muncie Central next week, that’s all we’re focused on. Celebrate tonight and tomorrow it’s back to work.”
The Berries had almost ended their streak last week against Anderson but had to wait one more week.
“That hurt,” Schrock said. “Shoot, you feel like you’re going to win and you kind of have something taken away. I think we practiced this week with an attitude that, hey, we’re getting something back.”