For well over a year, Santa Ynez football coach Josh McClurg has been telling anyone who will listen about Logan Ast.
It's easy to see why.
Over the last two weeks, the Santa Ynez senior running back, who also doubles as a wideout, has broken a school record while racking up nearly 700 yards of offense.
Last week, in the 41-3 win over Dos Pueblos, Ast rushed for 327 yards on 32 carries, setting the school's single-game rushing record. He also scored four rushing touchdowns in that game.
The week before that, in a 46-28 win over Santa Barbara on March 26, Ast had his breakout game of the spring, piling up 283 total yards of offense and four rushing touchdowns.
The total damage: 657 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. In the last two games.
So far in three games this spring, Ast has 726 yards of offense and eight touchdowns. Lompoc actually did well to hold Ast to 68 yards of offense in its 24-7 win to start the season.
Since then, Ast has averaged over 325 yards of offense in the two wins.
McClurg has been high on his star since 2019, calling the senior his best player and holding a belief that he could help a college program.
Before the season start, Ast had just one goal in mind this spring.
"I just want to make everything that can be possible, possible," Ast said before the season kicked off. "We only have five games this spring, so I want to do everything I can. We have a great offensive line this year and I think we can do some things."
Ast was right. The offensive line has been fantastic, led by Nick Crandall, Aidan Cintron, Emilio Figueroa, Aiden Sim and Jose Rodriguez.
In his previous varsity seasons, Ast bounced between several different positions, playing linebacker, receiver and even some quarterback on occasion. Starting with the March 26 game against Santa Barbara, McClurg has had Ast play solely on offense, though not just at running back. Against the Dons, Ast totaled 121 receiving yards as a true wideout, not from catching passes out of the backfield.
"Last year was my first year at just running back. In years past I've gone back and forth, just finding spots," Ast said. "I was a quarterback, receiver, punter, linebacker, this year I'm a corner. I go back and forth, wherever the team needs me, just to help the team wherever I can."
With that said, Ast has found a favorite position, and it's not punter or linebacker.
"I love running back, you get the ball almost every time," Ast said. "I've got good chemistry with my quarterback (Bennett Redell), we've got the great line this year. I'm really excited to play running back."
McClurg said Ast used the extra time off this past year to develop physically, going from 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds to 6-foot-2, 205 pounds.
"Logan wants to walk on somewhere, preferably Cal Poly," McClurg said before the season started. "He got admitted there. So he's trying use this season to show what he can do."
He's definitely showing what he can do. As a junior, he carried the ball 48 times for 275 yards and two scores in a limited role. Ast had 16 carries for 135 yards and both those touchdowns against San Marcos in the final game of 2019. Ast also caught 11 passes for 131 yards and a score in 2019.
Redell, the Pirates' third-year quarterback who's also been playing well over the last two weeks, has been teammates with Ast since they were both 7 years old. Redell isn't surprised to see Ast breaking out this spring.
"He's always been the key athlete on the team, whether the coaches know it or not," Redell said. "I've always had so much trust in him with his hands and running capabilities, he's an excellent athlete all-around."
Ast and the Pirates will try to keep their red-hot streak going Friday with a game at San Marcos. The Pirates are scheduled to wrap up their spring season April 16 against Cabrillo.
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