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Logan rallies over No. 2 Fort Sumner

Posted Date: 10/16/2023

Logan rallies over No. 2 Fort Sumner

came back from a three-touchdown deficit in the third quarter to nab a 38-34 district victory over No. 2-ranked and de
fending state champion Fort Sumner in eight-man football action on Friday.

Logan senior quarterback Brock Burns threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Aydin Kotara scored three TDs. Logan was ranked sixth coming into the game at Fort Sumner.

The Longhorns defense also forced two turnovers — including an interception return for a touchdown by Kotara. The Logan D also halted the Foxes’ offense on three possessions during the crucial second half.

“The boys played outstanding team ball and never quit,” Logan coach Dwayne Roberts said. “I’m very proud of them. I don’t think anybody in the state predicted that outcome. It was huge.”

The win vaulted the Longhorns (6-2, 2-0) into contention for the district title, with a highly consequential home game at 7 p.m. Friday against No. 1-ranked Melrose (7-1, 2-0). Melrose crushed district foe Clayton 54-0 on Friday.

The Foxes (5-1, 1-1) commanded a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in total offense and held the Longhorns to just 33 yards rushing.

But in addition to being damaged by its two turnovers in the second half, Fort Sumner totaled 92 yards in penalties.

Fort Sumner surged to a 20-6 lead by intermission, with Logan’s only score a 21-yard touchdown pass from Burns to Kotara in the first quarter.

The Longhorns narrowed the gap to 20-14 early in the third quarter when Kotara intercepted a pass from Foxes freshman quarterback Jordan Holland and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.

The Foxes answered with two touchdowns — one on a 22-yard reception by Aaron Torres and the other on AJ Lucero’s 8-yard run — to take a 34-14 lead with 3:58 left in the quarter.

On Logan’s next possession, two face-mask penalties by Fort Sumner moved the ball into the red zone. On third-and-10, Stratton Schoonover caught a 16-yard TD pass from Burns and scored a two-point conversion to cut the Foxes’ lead to 34-22 with less than a minute remaining in the quarter.

Logan defender Payson Nials stripped the ball from Lucero during a rushing attempt on Fort Sumner’s next possession, and Bill DeLuca recovered on Logan’s 31-yard line.

Burns connected on passes of 33 and 22 yards to give his team a first down at the 3-yard line. Izaiah Kneitz then made a 2-yard touchdown run, and Kotara caught a pass for the two-point conversion to cut Fort Sumner’s advantage to 34-30 with about eight minutes left.

On the Foxes’ next possession, the Longhorns halted them on four downs. That set up Burns’ 42-yard go-ahead TD pass to Kotara with 6:40 left. Kneitz ran in the two-point conversion for a 38-34 lead.

On Fort Sumner’s next possession, Logan’s defense threw Lucero for a loss on third-and-3 and batted away Holland’s pass on fourth down.

Roberts said his defense went more to a four-man front during the second half to help counter Fort Sumner’s hulking linemen.

He said his team also showed more endurance late in the game.

“Our guys had a lot left in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We really worked on our conditioning all year so we could go all four quarters. And our speed played a big role at the end.”

Logan’s offense also was stopped on four downs on its next possession, but not without burning more than two minutes off the clock.

The Foxes got the ball back at their 36-yard line with 1:55 left but were almost immediately flagged for delay of game. Logan stymied a possible halfback pass, then forced three straight pass incompletions by Holland, giving the ball back to the Longhorns.

That led to Burns kneeling during the next three snaps to run out the clock and extinguish Fort Sumner’s hopes.