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Switzer's back in a flash for patriots

By D.J. Williams

There's been chatter in the local barbershops, high schools and even grocery stores for the last two weeks as to when George Washington tailback and North Carolina recruit Ryan Switzer would return to the field.

On Friday, he did, and he didn't disappoint.

Switzer ripped off touchdown runs of 60 and 56 yards on just his second and third carries of the night en route to 233 yards on 10 carries with three touchdowns as GW routed St. Albans 68-23 at Crawford Field.

Friday night's game was Switzer's first game back since suffering a concussion in the first quarter of the season opener against South Charleston. Switzer sat out last week's 21-14 loss to Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer.

"It was awesome," Switzer said of his first game action in two weeks. "I really can't put it into words. I had those first-game jitters. I'm just really blessed that I got a second chance to play.

"I felt really good. My legs were fine because I still conditioned [during practice]."

His first-half numbers supported his claim that he felt good.

On GW's third possession of the game, Switzer was stopped for a loss of 6 yards on his first run. On the next play, Switzer broke free for a 76-yard touchdown as he outran SA defenders and cut across field on the only defender who had a chance. The touchdown was his third of the game and first quarter.

At the half, Switzer had 220 yards on nine carries. Switzer just carried the ball once for 13 yards in the third quarter.

"It felt good to have him back," said GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. "He came out unscathed. He played hard and showed a sign of being healthy again. That's what we are looking for. The team rallied around it. I thought all our guys played pretty good tonight."

"With him [Switzer] back, it makes people have to guard the whole field on us. That's what great players do and we have a lot of great players around him. That brings out the best in everyone."

Jacob Jackson contributed with 94 yards on five carries and two touchdowns for GW (2-1).

After Switzer scored GW's first three touchdowns, the floodgates opened. Trevor Bell connected with Trevon Johnson on a 29-yard touchdown reception, Jackson scored on runs of 60 and 2 yards and Zach Malone returned an interception 47 yards, his first of two 47-yard interception returns on the night. SA (0-3) avoided being blanked in the first half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Michael Cain.

At the half, GW led 55-7, accumulating 415 total offensive yards (358 rushing, 57 passing) to SA's 78 yards (37 rushing, 41 passing).

GW scored on six of its first nine possessions. None of them took more than five plays.

"I thought they missed that [big-play ability] while I was out," Switzer said. "When I'm in the game, I draw a lot of attention. We have a lot of guys who can do things in space."

"The kids were blocking really well," Edwards said. "We were able to get some guys out in space. We had a speed advantage tonight and that was evident. Our kids were able to take advantage of that."

Switzer didn't want to get caught up in Friday's win for too long as he knows that there are still many games left in the season.

"We need to get back on track," Switzer said. "We still have a long season. We have some tough games down the road. We play Hurricane next week at home. We have a lot of energy right now. We just need to continue the momentum from tonight's game and get back to work on Monday."

Cain led SA, which has given up an average of 57.6 points in its three games this year, with 114 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

 


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