SC had two more solid chances to get the lead back right after Jackson's kickoff return.
The Black Eagles drove to pick up a first down at the GW 35 as the fourth quarter started, but four straight Alexander passes fell incomplete - two of them in the end zone as SC tried, and failed, to attack a Switzer-free secondary.
SC's Trevond Reese, with defensive help, then stopped Crouser on a fourth-and-1 GW gamble from its own 44, and the Black Eagles took over in good shape with 9:47 left in the game. However, lineman Sam Plantz intercepted an attempted Alexander dumpoff pass on fourth down and the Patriots got the ball back.
"They kept putting pressure on us,'' Edwards said of the Black Eagles. "They were not letting us get adjusted. We had guys going down in between plays . . . it was chaotic out there. It was bad. We had to make [plans] on the run. It really looked bad because that's the way they were pushing us.''
SC was later doomed by a short punt that gave GW the ball at the Black Eagles' 47. Crouser broke off a 17-yard run early in the drive and converted a fourth-and-2 at the 13, setting up Johnson's late scoring run.
"I get maybe 10 percent of the reps at tailback in practice,'' Crouser said. "I was never expecting Switzer to go out like that. We did what we had to do.''
Edwards had no word on the severity of Switzer's injuries after the game. Switzer fell hard to the ground at his own sideline chasing an incomplete third-down pass with a little over seven minutes left in the first quarter. He dropped back to punt on the next play and did not return. He also serves as GW's punter, kickoff man and plays defensive back.
Switzer did provide the game's first score on a 63-yard run on the game's opening play from scrimmage.
"To our credit, we fought through and persevered,'' Edwards said. "We had lots of kids go out tonight, had a lot of kids out of position, and we were forced to come up with some things. To be able to weather that perfect storm in the first half, that's to our kids' credit. It shows some maturity on our guys. Other kids stepped up and they practiced what we preach - bail a main out.''
For SC, Reese caught six passes for 49 yards, Hampton six for 43 and Forrest five for 121.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.