Twice in the first half, Edwards went on fourth down in his own half of the field, and neither call worked. GW also tried to pooch two kickoffs to keep them away from return men Jones and Green and two Patriots punts were shanked out of bounds after covering 18 and 22 yards.
"They're pretty dangerous back there,'' Edwards said, "but sometimes when we pooch it back there, we don't want to pooch it that short.
"[On the fourth-down calls], we felt like we needed to score some touchdowns because I thought if we could get one more touchdown, well, I thought three could get us there.''
Two TD runs by Riffe, covering 7 and 27 yards, put GW into its 14-6 advantage at the break. He finished with 145 yards on 19 carries, but wasn't available in the closing stages after reinjuring the same ankle that caused him to miss three games in the regular season. That came midway into the third quarter when he broke off what looked like a 75-yard run to the Oak Hill 1, but the play was called back by a holding penalty.
That put Jackson, a starting receiver and Riffe's backup at tailback, squarely into the spotlight as the game wound down.
Patriots quarterback Jon Alexander flashed some impressive scrambling ability and hit two passes to Giacomo to get GW to the Red Devils 22 in the final minute of regulation, but a first-down pass was tipped by Oak Hill's Antwon Smith and intercepted by linebacker Joey Re at his own 14 to force overtime.
When GW took its OT possession to the Oak Hill 3, it didn't hesitate to call the same halfback option pass it used on a 2-point conversion at Cabell Midland on Oct. 18. That time, it was intercepted and prevented GW from tying the game in the final minute of a loss. This time, it worked.
On fourth down from the 3, Jackson took a pitchout from Alexander to the right and looked like he'd made a burst to the corner of the end zone. However, he stopped and floated a pass to Giacomo standing all alone in the end zone.
"That was the same play,'' Jackson said. "We just worked on it a little bit more. I sold the run a little bit more and we got it in the end zone.''
Souk knew his defense was in a bad spot when Jackson pulled up to throw.
"Our corner was caught in a quandary there when they ran that halfback pass,'' Souk said. "If I come up, I'm beat. If I stay back, he's going to run it in. We had prepared for that, but we just thought it wasn't going to come at that time. They made a good call.''
Edwards said Riffe's injury didn't appear serious and thought he might be able to play next week.
GW's coaches and players are simply glad there is a next week
"When it comes to the playoffs,'' Jackson said, "you have to be prepared for every single team. Every single team's going to give all they've got -- 100 percent -- and just because it's Oak Hill, we can't lay down. We came prepared, they came prepared.''
@tag:Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.