By Preston Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 20, 2010; 1:48 AM
So here No. 20 Battlefield was, trying to defend its Virginia AAA Division 6 Northwest Region championship, playing on the same field where No. 10 Hylton had ended the Bobcats' 33-game regular season winning streak less than two months ago. And Battlefield put the region semifinal largely in the hands of a quarterback who spent much of the season on the junior varsity.
Bobcats sophomore Ryan Swingle, who started on the varsity and then went down to JV for seasoning, proved he belonged with the big boys, throwing for 193 yards and three touchdowns to lift Battlefield to a 49-14 humbling of previously unbeaten Hylton on a night when the Bulldogs had to be thankful their scoreboard wasn't working.
Swingle completed seven of eight passes - the exception was a drop - while rotating snaps with senior Devon Greene, who also turned in a sturdy performance under center.
It's a formula the Bobcats have used for the past few games, only with a bit more passing in the region semis. The team's previous season high through the air had been 99 yards.
"We just wanted to go with what they hadn't seen," said Swingle, who had completed 18 varsity passes all season. "Just do what we do. We ran the ball and that opened up the play action. I'm comfortable. I've been doing it for a while. I just do what they teach me to do."
"It's hard, but it also helps in certain ways, too," Swingle added, in regard to alternating snaps. "They just see different people at different times. They don't know what to expect."
"He's grown a lot," Battlefield Coach Mark Cox said. "If you saw the first couple of games, he struggled a little bit. They've both grown a lot. Devon's matured as well as far as decision making. . . .We knew we were going to be more aggressive calling the plays tonight."
Hylton senior quarterback Dominique Miller, who recently committed to the University of Richmond, riddled the Bobcats in the previous meeting, a 19-14 win on Sept. 24. Last night, he completed 17 of 39 passes for 214 yards but threw four interceptions, three picked off by Quantray Wilkerson.
Battlefield (10-2) will play at No. 4 Colonial Forge next week in the region title game. Colonial Forge advanced to the final with a 43-19 win over Franklin County.
"I think they've been playing to get a chance to play Hylton again," Cox said of how that earlier loss stung his team. "I'm proud of them and they deserve it tonight."
"Revenge was big," Swingle said. "We practiced extra hard this week just to get revenge."