LOGAN - Though Logan's scoring chances were few and far between, they were dangerous enough to put Warren's Southeastern Ohio Athletic League soccer championship hopes in jeopardy Thursday night in Logan Chieftain Stadium.
The Warriors left Hocking County with a hard-earned 1-1 draw, but it was enough for the Washington Countians to finish in a tie with Chillicothe for the conference championship.
Even though they were out-shot 18-3, the Chiefs did a great job of playing spoiler - Warren didn't win the title outright, which the Warriors could have done with a victory Thursday night - and came close to pulling off an upset.
"A draw is okay with me tonight," said Logan coach Ian Riddlebarger. "You'd like to get a win at home, especially on Senior Night, but once we scored I felt like (the Warriors) controlled the rest of the half and I didn't feel real good about our scoring chances? not that we score a lot, anyway."
The Chiefs managed just one shot on goal in the first half - and it found its way into the back of the net. Justin Doyle booted a terrific corner kick that Mitchell Clark headed in with 36:26 still to play in the opening 40 minutes.
But the Chieftains didn't manage another shot - let alone an attempt on goal - for the next 68 minutes.
In the interim, Warren (which, along with Chillicothe, completed conference play with a 5-1-2 slate) had several shots and good scoring chances, only to be thwarted either by the Logan defense or by Chieftain goalkeeper Cody Wilson, who wound up making 10 saves on the Warriors' 11 shots on goal.
Warren dominated possession in the first half. After taking that quick lead, Logan didn't get the ball within 20 yards of the Warrior goal before the intermission.
Warren's Alex Miller and Nathan Robinson both had a couple of great scoring opportunities, but Wilson either saved the day or the Warriors sent a shot just wide. Logan's Mitchell Cook-Solt also cleared a dangerous ball in the box before the Warriors could get a foot on it.
Wilson made a stellar save off a header by Miller off a Warren corner kick with a little more than 10 minutes left in the half to preserve Logan's tenuous lead, but the Warriors finally got the equalizer with 5:25 left in the half.
Eli Duff tracked down a great pass in the box and drove it into the lower right corner past Wilson, who didn't have a chance to make the save.
The Chiefs struggled to keep Warren off the board the rest of the half. The Warriors came oh-so-close to taking the lead 30 seconds before the break but Robinson drilled a crossing shot from the right side of the penalty area that rolled just wide of the left post.
"The second half was more back-and-forth," Riddlebarger said. "There was still a lot of pressure (by the Warren offense), but I didn't feel it was as one-sided a game as the first half was.
"We tried defend better the second half," he added. "I thought we were much more defensively solid the second half. Matt (Freeman) and Pat (Klinger) in the center especially did a really good job."
Warren indeed still controlled the ball most of the second half, but didn't have as many quality chances on goal as in the first half.
Robinson drilled a shot off the crossbar midway through the half and Wilson had to make a save on Nick Koch when he dribbled through the Logan defense close enough for a shot from about 15 yards out on the right side of the box.
With 8:24 left in the game, Klinger had a long free kick - more than 40 yards away from the goal - that Warren keeper Cody Stanley saved as he was slipping to the Logan Chieftain Stadium turf. The ball dropped in front of a wide-open net, just waiting for someone to pounce on it.
"Pat hit a great free kick," Riddlebarger stated. "He dropped it right in there. That was a ball that kind of got lost for a moment where I don't think we realized it was laying there."
One person did, however: Warren defender Greyson Cantley. He alertly got to it and kicked it out of bounds past the right post to get the ball out of harm's way.
Then, with 4:30 left in the game, the Chiefs made one of their few runs at the Warren goal and the Warriors made a poor pass while trying to clear. The ball went to Doyle about 30 yards out, and Stanley had to make a great save to preserve the 1-1 deadlock.
"That one with 4 minutes left just sat there for Justin. It went onto his weaker (kicking) foot, but he put it on goal," Riddlebarger said.
It was a chippy, physical game and both teams lost key players to injury.
Logan senior Keith Tolliver was carried off the field in the first half but didn't want his Senior Night to end that way.
"He was begging me to go back on," Riddlebarger revealed, "and was able to give us some decent minutes. (Senior Night was) the reason he was doing everything he could to get back out there."
It was the final home match for Tolliver, Ben Starkey, Freeman, Klinger, A.J. Kisor, Cook-Solt, Finn Fuller, Kameron Nelis and Daniel Diamond, all of whom were honored in pregame ceremonies.
Logan thus finished SEOAL play with a strange record. The Chiefs were fourth out of five teams with a 1-2-5 record, tying Warren twice and the other three schools (Chillicothe, Jackson and Gallipolis) once.
In fact, Logan went 0-1-3 against the co-champion Warriors and Cavaliers, losing only 1-0 at Chillicothe when that match was called early in the second half due to lightning.
Who knows, Logan might have came back to win that match - or, as the records indicate now, at least earn a draw.
"I wish we could have had a few more wins this year," Riddlebarger said. "Just a crazy number of ties."
Logan is now 4-5-5 overall heading into its regular-season finale Saturday night at Alexander before playing its Central District Division I tournament opener Wednesday at Columbus Whetstone.