"I rely a lot on our experience and maturity. Especially in close games, it's important for a team to be able to keep focus, and I believe that comes with maturity," Edwards said.
The GW linebacking corps of seniors Dustin Crouser (6-3, 225) and Trevon Johnson (6-1, 205) and junior Zach Malone (6-0, 205) anchor a defensive lineup that gives up an average of just 267.7 yards per game. Malone is the squad's leading tackler, with 581/2 total stops and five tackles for loss. Crouser is next, with 51 tackles and 111/2 TFL.
While GW has won five consecutive games and remains in the hunt for home-field advantage in the playoffs, Capital has lost three of its last four games.
Edwards said he could empathize with Capital and Carpenter through their recent stretch of shortcomings, pointing specifically to the 2010 Class AAA playoff quarterfinals in which the top-seeded Patriots led Brooke at home at halftime only to fall, 28-21.
"It happened to us at home in the playoffs. We just didn't come out of the locker room for the second half. That's hard to figure out. If I really knew, this would be a different kind of interview," Edwards said with a laugh.
"I'd be on the circuit if I knew that answer. 'Tell us, teacher. Tell us about your book.' "
Meanwhile, Capital possesses one of the few lineups capable of keeping up with GW speedster Ryan Switzer (5-10, 175).
The senior running back leads all Class AAA players with 1,523 rushing yards on 98 carries. The North Carolina commitment and 2011 Kennedy Award winner has 19 rushing touchdowns and 21 total touchdowns.
"That's the question for us. How can we slow him down," Carpenter said.
Capital is giving up just 156.1 rushing yards per game, which is second in the area only to George Washington (153.9).
Switzer has averaged 253.8 yards rushing in the six games in which he's played this season. He missed all of the GW's loss to Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer with a concussion.