CHARLESTON -- Even at this late stage of the season, George Washington's offense is still evolving.
With opposing defenses selling out to stop tailback Ryan Switzer's frequent bursts into and around the line of scrimmage, the Patriots are relying more and more on their other skill players as they make their way through the Class AAA playoffs.
They'll get another chance to show how far they've come when they host No. 11 Lewis County (9-2) at 7:30 Friday night at Steve Edwards Sr. Field in the quarterfinal round.
When senior fullback Dustin Crouser went down with a knee injury in the Capital game last month, GW turned to some of its other options to make up the difference.
Over the last three games, senior quarterback Trevor Bell has turned in his three highest passing totals of the season - 201 yards and two touchdowns against Columbus DeSales, 105 yards and a score against Parkersburg and last week, 191 yards and two TDs versus Hurricane in the opening round of the playoffs.
Bell has completed 31 of 41 attempts in those three games and has thrown just one interception in that stretch.
"I'm totally fine with that,'' Bell said. "I don't mind taking some of the pressure off Ryan and contributing through the air. Sure, we have great wide receivers here and a good running back in Trevon Johnson who can carry the ball. So we're all capable of carrying the load and taking some of it off Ryan.''
Johnson has become the team's de facto fullback, and helped whittle some time off the clock in Friday's 35-10 win over Hurricane, carrying nine times for 60 yards and a TD.
"He's kind of our power back, I guess you could call it,'' Switzer said. "When he gets the reps, and I go outside [as a receiver], they don't know if we're going to throw it every play. We're real balanced, and I'm proud of our guys for that.''
With Bell throwing more often to receivers like Jordan Clay, Switzer, Austin Giacomo and running back Jacob Jackson on screens, opposing defenses can't afford to stack eight, nine or even 10 players into the tackle box along the line of scrimmage.
"I mean, if they want to, they can,'' Switzer said. "But they're going to have to do a lot more than play us like [Hurricane] did.