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Prep football: Switzer, GW pull away from Hurricane


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Different coach, different location, same combo, same result.

George Washington senior Ryan Switzer picked off an Austin Hensley pass at his own 45 yard line in the first quarter Friday night, then bobbed and wove his way through the Hurricane defense for a 55-yard touchdown that highlighted the Kennedy Award winner's 2012 home debut in a 41-15 Patriots win.

"He was wide and he wasn't going to run a comeback, which is their favorite route so I just played the inside and he threw it right to me," Switzer said.

A year ago in Hurricane, Switzer jumped a route on a Hensley pass and returned the interception for a 50-yard TD in a 35-0 GW win.

On Friday, Switzer's score put the Patriots (3-1) ahead 14-0, and after a quick stop on Hurricane's ensuing drive, the North Carolina-bound Switzer took a handoff and ripped off 52-yard touchdown run on first down to all but put the game away before halftime.

Hurricane (2-2) was given new life before intermission, however. On fourth-and-20 from the GW 40, the Redskins were granted a fresh set of downs on a pass interference call against GW's Trevon Johnson. Although Switzer ultimately ended the drive with one of his three pass break-ups on the night four plays later, it set field position for what led to a 29-yard touchdown pass from Hensley to junior Zach Pate with 1:10 left in the half.

"It changed a little, and it will when you have silly penalties like that," GW Coach Steve Edwards Jr. said. "They become controlling, and you really don't want that to happen.

"We talked about it halftime - being able to control the emotions and ups and downs and highs and lows during the ballgame, and to keep out composure. We wanted to keep doing what we do."

Switzer got some assistance in the second half from senior quarterback Trevor Bell that helped swing momentum back in the Patriots' favor for good. A 27-yard pass to Austin Giacomo on third-and-8 call from the GW 45 gave the Patriots a fresh set of downs, and two plays later Bell called his own number to score on a 16-yard run that gave GW a 34-15 lead with 8:33 left in the game.

Bell, who completed 3 of 8 passes for 49 yards, gained 35 yards on four carries, including a long of 33 yards. He was sacked once for an 11-yard loss.

"We recognized some things and the (coaches) did a nice job making some good calls," Edwards said. "Those were things where - with Ryan being healthy - it helps us get a lot more people in play. You've got to be able to defend the field on us."

Switzer, who entered the game with just 12 carries on the season for 302 yards, carried 30 times for 266 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He missed the Patriots' home opener on Aug. 31 after suffering a concussion in GW's season opener a week earlier.

"I guess they wanted to get me back up to my average number of carries," Switzer said with a laugh. "I feel fine. I could go work out and do whatever, so I feel good."

Hensley threw for 174 yards, but completed just 11 of 29 pass attempts. Pate, who entered the game with 359 rushing yards and 348 receiving yards, carried just three times for 10 yards. He caught three passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Steven Handley, who caught a 30-yard touchdown pass in the loss, led the Redskins with 40 rushing yards on nine carries.

Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at"> or 304-348-5170. Follow him at


Hurricane            0              7              0              8              --             15

George Washington       14           7              7              13           --             41

Team statistics

Hurricane            GW

First downs         16           19

Total yards          266         428

Rushes-yards     28-92     50-379

Passing 174         49

Comp-Att-Int     11-29-1 3-8-1

Punts-Avg.          3-29.7    1-40.0

Fumbles-Lost     2-0          1-0

Penalties-Yards 11-76     6-55

First quarter

GW - Dustin Crouser 7 run (Reed Deer kick), 2:24

GW - Ryan Switzer 55 interception return (Deer kick), :52

Second quarter

GW - Switzer 52 run (Deer kick), 11:02

Hurricane - Zach Pate 29 pass from Austin Hensley (Michael Molina kick), 1:10

Third quarter

GW - Switzer 28 run (Deer kick), 4:18

Fourth quarter

Hurricane - Steven Handley 30 pass from Hensley (Alex Wolford pass from Zach Cooper), 11:52

GW - Trevor Bell 16 run (kick blocked), 8:33

GW - Crouser 7 run (Deer kick), 5:07

Individual statistics

Rushing: Hurricane - Steven Handley 9-40, Cory Hurd 6-28, Zach Pate 3-10, Austin Hensley 3-8, Jeremy Francis 6-6, Team 1-0; GW - Ryan Switzer 30-266, Dustin Crouser 7-44, Trevor Bell 4-35, Austin Giacomo 3-22, Jacob Jackson 3-18, Anderson 2-5, Team 1-(minus 11).

Passing: Hurricane - Hensley 11-29-1-174; GW - Bell 3-8-1-49.

Receiving: Hurricane - Koi Turner 4-59, Pate 3-52, Handley 1-30, Alex Wolford 2-20, Zach Fitzsimmons 1-13; GW - Giacomo 1-27, Jordan Clay 2-22.



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