South Charleston's last game against George Washington was entirely forgettable. But do the Black Eagles want to forget?
They were the test subjects last season as GW unveiled Ryan Switzer as its lead running back. That debut drew raves for Switzer and Patriots, who romped 61-0, vaulting Switzer into instant Kennedy Award contention and jump-starting GW toward a spot in the state finals.
A year later, no one expects a repeat performance when the two sides lock up at 7:30 tonight at Oakes Field in South Charleston. Oh, GW returns a bushel of talent from last year's 13-1 squad, including Switzer, who ran for 2,796 yards, scored 45 touchdowns and became the eighth junior to capture the Kennedy Award as the state's top player.
But SC brings back 14 starters of its own, and would certainly like to make amends for the whipping it absorbed last year. That is, if it wants to remember that game at all.
"I'm sure they do,'' said GW coach Steve Edwards Jr., "and I hope our kids remember, too, because that means we don't forget that they're not going to forget, if you know what I mean. We just have to prepare. They've got speed. They've got talent. They're a lot better than they were last year.''
The Black Eagles return their quarterback, Jon Alexander (1,067 yards passing, 14 TDs), their top rusher in Trevond Reese (721 yards, five TDs) and their top two receivers (Reese, Kevin Forrest).
SC coach John Messinger hopes his players have selective memories about last year's matchup, and recall how they competed much better in the second half after falling behind 42-0 at the break. Much of the damage was self-inflicted, as SC had five bad shotgun snaps to its quarterbacks and saw three punts travel 6, minus-1 and 14 yards.
"GW put it on us early,'' Messinger said. "We made some adjustments in the second half, and the kids started believing in their abilities.