At that point, Switzer woke up and stung the Stallions, starting with a 57-yard kickoff return. He was fortunate on the play, though - he fumbled and a teammate somehow wrestled the ball away in an intense pile of humanity.
Switzer didn't let loose of the ball again, whether on his 15-yard draw or his 45-yard field-reversing run off a swing pass on the next possession. Those two scores gave GW a 28-12 lead with 1:00 left in the third quarter.
"We had to be patient," Edwards said of Switzer's eventually explosion. "We had some young kids playing, we had to get some things opened up, and we were able to do that. Our offensive coaches did a great job today of moving him around and taking advantage of some things that we saw, and coming back to it. And the kids executed - it's all about execution."
DeSales had plenty of life left at that point, as Perrine hit two big passes on a 77-yard drive. Andrew Sparks took advantage of a breakdown in coverage to haul in a 41-yard pass, and Perrine ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 28-20 with 10:40 left.
Still behind and not confident in their kick coverage, the Stallions tried an onside kick and recovered. But there was one problem: The kick traveled about 9 yards and 33 inches, the officials ruled, just short of the required 10 yards. The Patriots then drove 49 yards in 11 plays and nearly five minutes, going ahead 35-20 on Trevon Johnson's 2-yard run.
That put the Stallions in desperation mode, and they couldn't escape their own end. The Patriots answered with Bell's 1-yard run and Switzer's 26-yard scoring scoot with 38.8 seconds left.
DeSales entered the game ranked 10th in Ohio's Division 3 Region 10, and needed to climb two spots to make the playoffs. With the loss, the Stallions will stay home next week for the first time since 1993.
Two of the Stallions' losses came in triple overtime, making Friday's trip home even more painful.
"When it's your last game like this, it's even tougher, and tough for your seniors," said DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins. "They played hard; we just didn't play well enough. We played poorly on special teams, gave up too many return yards. Had trips to the red zone where we didn't get any points.
"George Washington's a good team and Switzer's an unbelievable player, but we didn't do ourselves any favors by giving them as many chances as we did."
Switzer rushed for 86 yards on 16 carries and had two receptions for 48 yards.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.