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PURCELL -- Cole Swayze, Purcell's sophomore quarterback, might be the best Dragon to come down the pike in a generation.
The old Dragons in the press box wonder who's better, Joe McReynolds, who played a year at Oklahoma in the 1970s, or Swayze, the kid who ran for 161 yards on 13 carries in a Friday night monsoon, leading Purcell past Washington 35-6.
Maybe the question is this:
Did McReynolds ever become a verb?
Because in Washington today, after what happened on Conger Field, the Warrior faithful must be telling one another their team didn't lose so much as get Swayzed.
The game really came down to just a few plays in the first half.
Up 7-0, but close to stymied in their own end, the Dragons faced 2nd and 10 from their own 11. So Swayze picked his way through the line and kept going for 44 yards. Four plays later he carried for 5 into the end zone and it was 13-0.
A little later, in the second quarter, the score unchanged, the Dragons faced 3rd and 12 at their own 20, the Warriors hoping to pin them deep, force a punt and make it a one-touchdown game before the half. Instead, Swayze picked his way 39 yards on the next snap and 41 on the one after that.
The Dragons led 21-0.
Washington made the mistake of going to the air on its next series, freezing the clock and giving Purcell one more chance with the ball. So Swayze sparked a quick 46-yard drive with a 23-yard run. A few snaps later Garrett Goldsby was in the end zone from 4 yards.
Swayze gave the Dragon fans a scare in the second half, walking off the field on a gimpy left ankle not to return. A year ago, his season ended when he broke his left femur.
"It's just a twisted ankle, nothing big," he said after the game. "When you're playing the game of football, you're going to get hurt now and then."
As for his huge night, he tried spreading the credit around.
"The line did a really good job of blocking and when they do their job, it makes my job look really good because I can start to read the defense and see what they're doing," Swayze said. "I really give it up to them for allowing me to do my job well."
Purcell coach Mike Wilson, who's been at Purcell, as he likes to say, "since 1979, on and off," invoked another Dragon quarterback, Adam Savage, when attempting to rank Swayze historically. Savage graduated in 2001 before heading off to the Air Force Academy.
Swayze's future may be similarly bright or blinding. At 6-3, close to 200 pounds in only his second year of high school, he may just be getting started.
"He reads that option stuff pretty well," Wilson said. "He's got a good head on his shoulders and he's pretty fast."
With Swayze in the training room, Purcell ran in place most of the second half. Washington never threatened to make it a game, but got on the board when Chance Pistole scored from 5 yards one play after Justin Noel scampered for 45.
The Dragons added a late score on a 14-yard run from Damien Shea.
Raining almost the entire game, the Dragons did not attempt a pass. With their quarterback running more than 10 yards a pop, they didn't need to.
Clay Horning 366-3526 email@example.com
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