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GW coach not expecting hangover from rare loss

Chris Dorst
Injured George Washington running back Ryan Switzer (left) congratulates teammate Dustin Crouser after a run Friday night.

It's been a long time since George Washington had to bounce back from a regular-season loss.

Try nearly three years.

That's the hand that's been dealt to the Patriots, as they try to rebound from a 21-14 loss to Ashland Paul Blazer (Ky.) on Friday, which ended their regular-season winning streak at 27.

The last time GW fell in the regular season was a 24-21 home loss to Spring Valley in overtime on Sept. 18, 2009.

Since then, the Patriots posted back-to-back perfect 10-0 regular seasons and captured a pair of Mountain State Athletic Conference championships in 2010-11.

Coach Steve Edwards Jr., however, doesn't think there will be a lingering hangover from Friday's setback, in which GW was held to 156 net yards without tailback Ryan Switzer.

Switzer, last year's Kennedy Award winner as the state's top player, sat out the game with a concussion, but is expected to return for Friday's game at St. Albans.

"Shoot, no, it won't [bother me],'' Edwards said of the defeat. "I've lost 62 ballgames, something like that.

"Our kids will be OK. They're resilient. We played hard. We've suffered through some adversity and we've only played two ballgames. We just add that to the pile, and build from it.''

And if Switzer returns to the lineup and is his same old, explosive self, will GW return to its previous form?

"Maybe,'' Edwards said. "You never know.''

Ashland coach Leon Hart felt that GW didn't change its game plan much minus Switzer, but left the door open as to whether the Patriots were easier to defend without Switzer.

"To be honest, they didn't change much,'' Hart said, "and we didn't change much. We were running the same game plans. You've got a guy who's good enough to [commit to] North Carolina - he's a difference-maker in the ballgame. Now whether he's a difference-maker here or not tonight, I don't know.

"We played a kid last year [J.J. Jude of Johnson Central] who was the [all-time] rushing champion in the state of Kentucky and we held him to 80 yards. Our kids prepared all week long like [Switzer] was playing. We heard Wednesday he would not play, but we never said anything to our kids. They knew [Friday] because of Facebook or Twitter, you know, all that crap, that he was not going to play.

"Hey, we lost our starting tailback [senior Cody Watts] in a preseason scrimmage. I'm not saying he's Switzer, but he's our best running back. Injuries are part of the game. Our kids showed a lot of heart and character coming out and not laying down, and playing great defense in the second half.''

Shootout on the horizon?

Points could be racked up in bunches Friday when Hurricane visits Woodrow Wilson in an early-season MSAC showdown.

Each team is off to a 2-0 start and flashes a productive offense.

The Redskins have averaged 47.5 points in wins against Winfield and Nitro, while the Flying Eagles are averaging 37 points in victories over Princeton and Greenbrier East.

Hurricane won last year's matchup 21-14 in Putnam County.

Marcum up for a good day

Logan quarterback Chris Marcum sure shined during a 33-7 home win against Shady Spring, a Class AA semifinalist last year.

Marcum hit on 13 of 25 passes for 311 yards and one TD, ran for two more scores, intercepted a pass on defense and made five tackles. His pick came off Adam Weeks, Shady's all-state quarterback.

"Our offense took great strides tonight,'' said Logan coach Gary Mullins, "and our defense played great again.''

Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazette.com.


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