George Washington has adopted the motto "We Can Make It Happen'' for the 2011 season.
It's plastered on the video scoreboard at Steve Edwards Sr. Field and adorns the schedule posters stuck all over the Patriots' home base. It's also blasted over the public address system (from the Chicago song "Dialogue Part 2'') every time GW charges onto the field.
Indeed, the Patriots made it happen in Thursday night's season opener.
All-stater Ryan Switzer flashed his all-around skills with 356 yards rushing and receiving and scored five touchdowns as George Washington burst out of the gates with a 61-0 victory over South Charleston in South Hills.
Switzer carried 16 times for 277 yards and four TDs and caught a 79-yard scoring bomb from first-year starter Trevor Bell in the final minute of the first half.
"I tried to tell everybody about us,'' Switzer said, "but don't get me wrong. We've got a lot of things to improve on. But it shows you what can happen when you do push yourself hard in practice, when you do run those extra sprints. Our guys came out fired up.''
The game was supposed to be a early season showdown of Class AAA state powers, but the Patriots would have none of that.
Fullback Dustin Crouser added 78 yards and three more touchdowns for GW on just five carries. The Patriots rolled up 373 yards on the ground and 475 total.
Bell attempted only four passes, but completed three for 102 yards and also ran twice for 12 yards.
GW burst into a 42-0 halftime lead on a variety of big plays.
Switzer had a TD run of 31 yards and a 79-yard scoring reception with 23 seconds left before the break. Crouser's TDs came on carries of 37, 1 and 11 yards.
Crouser's first score came after Switzer had apparently broken off a 70-yard touchdown run on GW's first offensive snap. The play was flagged at the SC 22, however, for unsportsmanlike conduct on the Patriots, and Crouser scored two plays later.
Malik Hampton also hit the end zone on a 9-yard run off a reverse.