It took the Grizzlies a mere 40 seconds to get on the scoreboard Friday evening.
The quick start was certainly a welcome sight, as was the next four offensive possessions. Logan scored often in the first half and rolled to a first-round 4A state playoff win against Ogden at Crimson Field, 62-27.
The Grizzlies (3-7) snapped a two-game skid and got a number of players some playing time against the Tigers (3-8).
“We needed to reward the young kids with some game time because they have eared it,” Logan head coach Bart Bowen said. “We are not worried too much about those end points. We know what we did. ... We did a great job of the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, we had a few minor mistakes but fixed them. We had a great game defensively as well.”
In their last outing, the Grizzlies had suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss at Green Canyon by a point. Logan did not play last week, so the 16th-seeded Grizz had two weeks to think about that and prepare for the playoffs.
“We wanted this one,” said junior Isaac Larsen, who scored three touchdowns Friday. “... We lost in overtime on a play we shouldn’t have lost to. It definitely motivated us. We knew we could make a run at state, so now we just need to keep pushing.”
Larsen was all over the field in the first half. He caught two TD passes from Ethan Wilson, returned two punts for big yardage, setting up two scores, returned a kickoff 89 yards to paydirt and picked off a pass that led to another Logan score.
But he wanted one more score. He jokingly said he and running back Kade Thornley were trying to get four. Neither did.
Thornley had a monster game as well. The senior rushed for 216 yards on 17 carries and scored three times.
“We thought about this being our last game at home and we wanted to make it 100 percent the best home game because we have played here for eight plus years,” Thornley said. “... We were definitely consistent tonight. I’ve got to give credit all the offense and all the defense.”
How did the coach handle his star players wanting the ball when the game was out of hand?
“They (Larsen and Thornley) were in my ear the whole game, ‘coach, I get the next one,’” Bowen said. “You try and spread the ball around as much as much as you can. I try and reward some guys for great effort all season long.”
Logan’s offense scored on its first five possessions of the game and ran out of time before halftime on the sixth. The Grizzly defense scored, and Larsen got the special teams in the scoring as well.
“Our kids were hungry this week,” Bowen said.
Logan finished with 313 yards on the ground and 129 through the air as Wilson went 9 for 14 in the passing department.
“We haven’t had a full game of running and throwing, but today we pulled it together and did both,” Thornley said. “... Winning this game will give us a lot of momentum going into the next game. I think we can surprise people.”
It took the Grizzlies three plays to go 60 yards and score to start the game. Thornley had all of the yards, including a 46-yard TD scamper.
Larsen then caught scoring passes of 39 and 27 to give the hosts a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.
After a 36-yard punt return by Larsen set the Grizzlies up on the Ogden 32, Thornley scored from 11 yards out four plays later to even the TD race between teammates.
Ogden got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter, but Larsen quickly swung the momentum back Logan’s way with his kickoff return.
“I want to thank my blockers; those guys did a hell of a job tonight,” Larsen said. “I just saw the hole and hit it. That’s what happened.”
After a Larsen interception, Thornley scored from 19 yards out for his third and final TD of the game.
Andrew Thompson made it 48-7 at the break after picking off a Tiger pass and returning it 42 yards for a TD late in the opening half. Logan nearly scored again before halftime after another pick, this time by Christopher Shopbell.
The fourth interception of the night by the Grizzly defense set up a quick score to start the second half. Jaelin Hoth returned the pick 30 yards to the Ogden 10. Manase Tupou scored from 10 yards out to the delight of the Logan bench. Tupou just became eligible.
“He (Tupou) has come to practice all season long,” Bowen said. “We finally got him eligible and I wanted that kid to know we love him. He needed to feel that. He has helped us a lot.”
Logan took a 55-13 lead into the final quarter, and soon made it 62-13. The Grizzlies drove 92 yards on 12 plays to end the third and begin the fourth. Shopbell took a pitch from Wilson and scored from 15 yards out.
Logan now leads the all-time series with Ogden, 42-26-4, and have won six in a row. The series dates back to 1920.
Next up for the Grizzlies is a date at top-seeded Park City.
“Park City is a good team so we just need to practice hard and see what happens,” Larsen said.
“Park City is a great team,” Bowen said. “They are the top dog. We are excited for the opportunity to go play them.”