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Prep football: Crouser done for season with torn ACL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Class AAA All-State linebacker and 2011 Huff Award runner-up Dustin Crouser has played his last game for George Washington High School.

While Crouser awaits an MRI on Thursday, he said it's likely he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the Patriots' 35-13 loss to Capital on Friday night.

"When it happened (in the third quarter), I was like, 'Well, this might be pretty serious,' but I played through the rest of the game," Crouser said. "It bothered me through the rest of the game."

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound two-way starter committed to the University of Charlotte early in the season, saying he didn't want to wait because of what could happen - like an injury.

"It ended up being the right decision, actually," Crouser said. "I haven't talked to Charlotte yet. I'm getting an MRI Thursday and then I'm going to call them."

Crouser is the second-leading tackler this season for the Patriots (6-2), who were ranked sixth in this week's Daily Mail Class AAA poll.

Crouser ends his season with 57 1/2 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks.

On offense, where he lines up at fullback, Crouser is the Patriots' second-leading rusher with 478 yards and two touchdowns on 59 carries.

A three-year starter for GW, Crouser finishes that run with 231 1/2 tackles, 35 tackles for loss and six sacks. He led the Patriots in all three categories in their Class AAA runner-up finish in 2011, and led the squad in tackles as a sophomore.

He carried the ball 162 times for 1,192 yards and 13 touchdowns since 2010.

George Washington hosts Columbus, Ohio-based St. Francis DeSales on Friday night.

The Patriots could also be without junior running back/defensive back Jacob Jackson, junior two-way lineman Jack Skidmore and senior two-way lineman Alex Jones, all of whom are nursing injuries.

As for Crouser, one of his concerns is the actual surgery. Despite a long career of playing football, he never has had surgery, except as a 2-year-old.

"I had my tonsils out when I was 2," he said. "I'm kind of nervous."

He's prepared to tackle the long road back so that he can begin his college career in Charlotte.

"I'm just trying to look at the positives," Crouser said. "I have a future and if I do everything I'm supposed to I should be fine in 6-8 months. Just a lot of rehab."

Crouser's injury is a tough loss for the Patriots, who are fifth in the Secondary School Activities Commission Class AAA rankings with two games remaining.

The top eight teams in each class host first-round playoff games.

In 2011, the Patriots reached the Class AAA title game where they dropped a 35-27 decision to Martinsburg.

The state playoffs begin Nov. 9 and continue until the Super Six at Wheeling Island Stadium on Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Preps Editor Derek Taylor contributed to this report.


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