Starting in the second game of the season, Logan coach Gary Mullins saw the talent and intangibles that eventually would send his team to the playoffs again.
In that game at Nicholas County, the Wildcats lost their quarterback on the game's fifth play - but improvised nicely and picked up a 25-0 victory.
From there, they rallied dramatically on the road against Chapmanville and Huntington, scoring touchdowns late in the game and winning each time on 2-point conversions - with 1:15 left against Chapmanville and with less than a minute against Huntington.
Those gutsy victories have given the No. 4 Wildcats (8-2) a second consecutive playoff berth and their first home playoff game since 1990. In the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs, they will face No. 13 Parkersburg South (6-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Logan, seeking the first football playoff victory in school history.
"It all started with Nicholas County,'' said Mullins. "Our quarterback went out with an MCL tear. In the past when we had big injuries like that, we had a hard time bouncing back. But we never missed a stride there and came together as a team when that happened.''
After quarterback Chris Marcum left the Nicholas game, Khaleel Reynolds, a 5-foot-9 180-pound junior, entered and played well enough to keep the job, although Marcum later rejoined the team and sometimes relieves Reynolds at QB.
Reynolds, who's a passing and running threat and even catches an occasional pass, was especially impressive in leading the Wildcats to a 22-21 victory at Chapmanville and to a 28-27 victory at Huntington.
"In the fourth quarter, he's unbelievable,'' said Mullins. "He led us on an 80-yard drive in the Chapmanville game for us to win. He led two back-to-back drives in the Huntington game and had an amazing run at the end of that game. Against Hurricane, he had a 60-some-yard touchdown run and a 30-some-yard touchdown run in the first half of that game. He can do it by throwing it and running it.''
Reynolds has completed 20-of-55 passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions and has run 67 times for 463 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and five TDs.
"He keeps a lot of plays going,'' said Mullins.
Marcum, a 6-3, 185-pound junior, has come off the bench to complete 11-of-28 passes for 189 yards with no scores and two interceptions.
The Wildcats' leading rusher is Joe Street, a 6-0, 235-pound senior who has gained 1,176 yards on 195 carries (6.0 average) and 16 touchdowns, but he suffered an ankle injury in the ninth game of the season and played sparingly in the season finale, a 38-7 home loss to Scott on Friday.
Mullins says he doesn't know if Street will be ready for Parkersburg South.
"I don't have any idea,'' said the coach. "I just know it's our first home playoff game since 1990, and I know everybody in this town will be jacked up and hoping he'll get himself in there.''
If Street is unavailable, the Wildcats likely will depend more heavily on David Toney, a 6-0, 215-pound senior, who carried 126 times for 809 yards (6.4 average) and six scores.