The action really heated up in the second half.
Haley ran a fake punt 46 yards on fourth-and-14 from his own 48, putting Capital at the GW 6. Three plays later, Pratt sprinted left from the 1 and found a diving Davis in the end zone for a tiebreaking TD, putting Capital up 14-7.
GW drove 51 yards for its second score, an 8-yard Bell to Jacob Jackson toss in the left flat - their second scoring connection of the game. The extra-point attempt by Reed Deer, however, never had a chance as three Capital players arrived the instant he put his foot to the ball, snuffing out the try and leaving the Cougars ahead 14-13.
Richmond then got a do-over during perhaps the game's most crucial period.
From his own 40, Richmond took an option pitch, cut back against the grain and looked ready to sprint 60 yards for a TD. Switzer, however, tracked Richmond down at the goal line, coming all the way across the field to knock the ball loose as the two tumbled into the end zone. Switzer came up with the ball for a touchback.
But the good feeling lasted only a few seconds for the Patriots. On GW's second offensive play, a bad snap to Bell out of shotgun formation was covered by Capital's Khalil Bush at the Patriots 19. On the next play, Richmond broke off his first TD run.
"We had a big break right there,'' Edwards said, "but we had the bad snap. Those things are a lack of concentration. Plus, the other team forces you into a lack of concentration sometimes. They out-effort you sometimes.''
GW, now down 21-13, had to punt it away on its next two possessions and the third one ended with Vanover's pick-six for Capital.
The Patriots were forced to go for it on fourth-and-2 at their own 34 on the ensuing drive, but Pittman and James Walton submarined Crouser for no gain. That set up Richmond's 2-yard TD run with 2:54 to go that bumped the margin to 35-13.
Carpenter said he wasn't aware of what scheme his defensive coaches were using, and didn't care to know.
"I stay away from those defensive guys,'' Carpenter said. "I don't want to know the game plan. Just get me the ball back. I think our kids did a good job playing the box in front of them. That's what's hard about being a young guy. You have to trust what you've been coached to do. I think we did that tonight. If we could afford game balls, we'd give one to all of them, and give all the defensive coaches one.''
Pratt hit on 5 of 14 passes for 86 yards, and GW's Bell completed 8 of 16 for 73.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.