Prep football: GW secondary impressive against Hurricane passing attack
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Hurricane quarterback Austin Hensley had an above-average throwing night against Class AAA No. 3 George Washington on Friday, but numbers can be deceiving.
Hensley threw for 174 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Patriots (3-1) in GW's 41-15 win, a total that is almost 30 yards more than the average number of passing yards given up by GW in its first three games.
But an 11-of-29 completion rate (37.9 percent) lowered Hensley's yards-per-attempt average to 6 yards, almost 3 yards below his season rate of 8.8 yards per attempt.
"I thought they did a nice job," GW Coach Steve Edwards Jr. said of the Patriots secondary that consists of Austin Blake, Jordan Clay, Austin Giacomo, Jacob Jackson and Ryan Switzer.
"They were challenged this week and knew they were in for a challenge. (Hensley's) a really good quarterback. They have good receivers who run nice routes, and they make you work. They make you play."
The Hurricane junior connected on touchdown passes of 30 yards (to Steven Handley) and 29 yards (to Zach Pate) and had another 37-yard completion to Koi Turner during the Redskins' first drive of the game. Aside from those three completions, Hensley was 8-of-26 for 79 yards and an interception.
Switzer, the 2011 Kennedy Award winner, intercepted Hensley's fifth pass of the game and returned it 55 yards to give GW a 14-0 lead with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
"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.
It was the second time Switzer had intercepted a Hensley pass and returned it for a touchdown in as many seasons. In 2011 in Hurricane, the North Carolina commitment picked Hensley off near midfield and coasted to a 50-yard return for a score in GW's 35-0 win.
Without a consistent passing attack, Hurricane (2-2) struggled to move the ball for much of the night.
The Redskins finished with 92 rushing yards on 28 attempts.
"We're developing game-time experience back there," Edwards said of his secondary, which has two first-time starters this season in Blake and Giacomo as well as a player (Jackson) who switched position from his starting spot in 2011.
"That's probably the least experience we have on the field is in that secondary," Edwards said. "They're getting better, and they're answering the call."
Hurricane is off this week before playing host to No. 5 Capital (3-0) on Sept. 28. GW travels to Princeton (0-4) this week.
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SISSONVILLE'S struggles against Scott continued Friday night, when the Class AA No. 6 Skyhawks (4-0) won a 27-18 dogfight at Joe Sawyers Field.
The win was Scott's seventh in a row against its Cardinal Conference rival. Sissonville (2-1) has not won a game in the series since a 51-12 blowout in 2001.
The teams entered Friday night's game as the top two teams in the initial Secondary School Activities Commission Class AA playoff ratings. Scott will stay at No. 1 after the win, and visits Poca (2-2) on Friday.
Sissonville dropped from No. 7 to No. 9 in this week's Daily Mail poll, and hosts top-ranked and defending state champion Wayne (3-0) this week.
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CAPITAL FRESHMAN quarterback Tyhree Pratt was 11 of 16 for 144 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars' 49-7 win over Princeton. Pratt has thrown 44 passes this season and has yet to throw an interception.
The 6-foot-1 freshman is 28 of 44 (63.6 percent) for 593 yards and nine touchdowns. Using the NCAA formula for quarterback rating, his rating stands at 244.3.
Currently, the top-rated quarterback in major college football is Marshall's Rakeem Cato, whose rating is 148.5
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WAYNE'S 84-42 road win at Class AA No. 9 Ravenswood (2-1) on Friday night marked the most points scored in a single game by the Pioneers in school history.
Wayne led 45-6 after the first quarter and 64-13 at halftime. A total of nine Wayne (3-0) players scored in the win.