James Logan High spotted second seeded California High an early touchdown Saturday night and then ran over and around the Grizzlies and into a showdown with superpower De La Salle in the North Coast Section Division I football championship game.
The Colts put on notice the potent Spartans by shutting down the Grizzlies’ standout offense after giving up a game-opening 80-yard touchdown drive.
Warren Miles Long once again sparked the Logan running game with 148 yards and three touchdowns, but quarterback Jeffrey Prothro shared the spotlight, also with the legs more than his arm.
Prothro, who is heading for UCLA on a track and field scholarship as a triple-jumper, contributed 127 yards rushing while completing 3 of 7 passes for 30 yards. In all Logan chewed up 399 yards on the ground.
The senior capped the game with a run around left end on third-and-four and burst through a small alley up the left sideline while speeding to 65-yard touchdown that put a cherry on Logan’s sundae.
“Prothro is definitely a general on the offensive side of the ball,” said Logan head coach George Zuber.
But it also helps to have a back like Long, who has committed to Northwestern to play football. Long did not come close to the 289 yards rushing he piled up last week in a quarterfinal win over Freedom, but he broke free three or four times.
His 26-yard run capped Logan’s first possession of the game, when the Colts responded to Cal’s opening TD drive with a 69-yard drive on six plays.
Long later added scoring runs of 4 and 8 yards in the third quarter when the Colts stretched a 19-7 lead to 33-7.
Prothro, before capping the festivities, had run in for a touchdown from 6 yards with 47.3 seconds left in the first half. Damond Beasley also scored from 9 yards after setting up that second touchdown with a 24-yard run. Beasley finished with 47 yards on nine carries.
Karris Johnson was the workhorse for California High in a losing effort. Johnson gained more than 100 yards, but the Grizzlies (9-3) could not score after Johnson capped that first drive with an 8-yard scoring run.
Logan (12-1) now will face De La Salle (12-0) next Saturday night at Dublin High. Zuber said his Colts team is looking forward to the challenge.
“Obviously, De La Salle is a formidable opponent, but these guys have probably been thinking of this game for two years,” Zuber said. “But these guys believe and that’s half the battle.”
Zuber, in his seventh season guiding the Colts, said Logan had a tough road to get to the final, but he said playing a dangerous Freedom squad last week and then the Grizzlies in the semifinals have helped prepare the team.
The third seeded Colts’ approach to this game with Cal was admirable, he said. “The EBAL is kind of a great league, so I can see how they (the Grizzlies) were seeded two, but these guys were just in the way, our guys thought.”
But now it’s De La Salle that’s in the way.
Still, Prothro wasn’t thinking about next Saturday night. He just wanted to praise the Colts’ offensive line.
“All the credit goes to the offensive line,” Prothro said. “We challenged them to go out there and fire out there hard, and they did. They won the game tonight.”
As far as the surprising burst of speed he showed on his final run, Prothro smiled sheepishly and said:
“When I’m ever in the open field, I just don’t want to get caught. I don’t want to get clipped or anything, so I just try to get in the end zone.”