"If I don't play, I will try to motivate my teammates and make them feel like I'm still there even though I'm not on the field with them," he said.
Although Jackson showed he is a capable backup, the Patriots are better offensively with Riffe running the ball. Additionally, senior quarterback Jon Alexander can hurt opponents through the air.
Alexander has completed 35-of-56 passes for 707 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. Senior wide receiver Austin Giacomo (12-265-6) and Jackson (8-149-3) have combined for 20 catches for 414 yards and nine touchdowns.
"It gives us more depth," Edwards said of Riffe's presence. "When you have to deal with Draven in the backfield and Jacob and Giacomo at wide receiver, those are three quality athletes who can score and do a lot of things. Jon throws well and gets us in the right position. It is always good to have all of the pieces of the puzzle in place."
Riffe singlehandedly has outrushed the Big Reds despite playing in one less game. Riffe has 155 carries for 1,379 yards and 18 touchdowns in six games, while the Big Reds have 305 carries for 1,197 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Jackson (57-513-11) and Giacomo (9-115-3) also have contributed to the Patriots' ground game, which has amassed 2,620 yards and 38 touchdowns on 347 carries.
"He is dangerous," Parkersburg Coach Don Reeves said of Riffe, who also has five catches for 104 yards and one touchdown for GW. "He can score at anytime. His burst of speed makes us a little bit leery. We can't let him get loose because he will get away from us. That has been our problem this year."
Reeves said it will be just as difficult to contain Jackson if Riffe doesn't play.
"They are able to do that because of the guys they have up front," Reeves said. "They are pretty solid up front. We have to control the ball, keep it out of their hands and keep them from scoring so many points. We had six starters out last week, and we feel confident we will have at least five of them back this week. Hopefully, we will make it a game and pull off the upset."
With or without Riffe, GW (6-1) should be able to run the football against Parkersburg (2-5). The Big Reds allow 398.1 total yards per game, including 251.6 rushing yards. Their opponents have rushed 270 times for 1,761 yards and 27 touchdowns.
"We always hope we can go in there and run the football," Edwards said. "Every time we take the field, we hope we can and we think we can. Nobody likes to go to Plan B, but we can throw the ball equally well. We are just going to go in there with the same game plan we always do - hope to run the football and do what the other team allows us to do."