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Riffe's return still in question

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Bob Wojcieszak
George Washington running back Draven Riffe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fifth-ranked George Washington might have its leading rusher tonight, when the Patriots travel to Stadium Field to take on Parkersburg.

Senior tailback Draven Riffe doesn't want to miss his second consecutive game, but he won't make that decision. His ankle and coach will.

"I don't know yet," GW Coach Steve Edwards Jr. said when asked if Riffe would play against Parkersburg in the Class AAA teams' Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup. "We hope he will."

Edwards said Riffe is "probably in the 80 percent range."

"I know he is chomping at the bit, but you never want to rush those things," Edwards said of Riffe, a Boone County native who attended Scott as a freshman and sophomore and Van as a junior. "He is healing. Hopefully, he is good enough to go."

If Riffe isn't good enough to go, the Patriots will turn to senior Jacob Jackson, a wide receiver who moved to running back last week when Riffe was unable to play against Cabell Midland.

Jackson ran for 250 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries in the Patriots' 49-40 loss to the Knights.

"Jacob does a nice job for us," Edwards said. "We are very fortunate to have two young men who are really good at carrying the football. We will just go with what we have got. We try not to worry too much about those types of things."

Injuries are nothing new to Riffe, who missed most of 2010 and all of 2012 because of them. When he is healthy, however, he is productive.

Riffe was Scott's leading rusher and fourth-leading receiver in 2011, when he had 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns on 197 carries and 50 yards on nine catches. He had 506 yards and seven touchdowns on 55 carries and 77 yards and one score on five catches in 2010.

"I want to get back out there pretty bad, but I'm going to make smart decisions, not for myself, but for my team," Riffe said. "We have to look toward the playoffs, and I want to make sure I'm at full strength so I can help my team."

Riffe could find himself in a supporting role tonight.


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