Check out the statistics for the West York football team, and one name will keep popping up: Zack Smith.
There isn't much that the senior wide receiver/defensive back doesn't do for the Bulldogs.
"Zack is having a really special year," West York head coach Ron Miller said as his team prepared for Friday night's York-Adams Division II showdown at Northeastern. "He punts, he returns punts, he returns kicks, and obviously, there's his receiving."
That's not all. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 171-pound Smith also makes tackles and intercepts passes. He leads the team in picks with four.
There is one thing Smith does that gets overlooked.
"What people won't see is how much his blocking has improved," Miller said. "He wants to be the best he can be, and he wants to play at the next level, which I think he can do."
Smith agreed that he used to struggle with blocking.
"Coach Miller, he got on me last year about that," Smith said. "The beginning of this year, I was pretty bad at it, and he (Miller) would work the receivers for 10 minutes each day blocking. It got us all better."
Smith's receiving skills have enabled him to record a league-leading 44 catches this season for 772 yards (17.5 average) and 10 touchdowns.
While justifiably proud of his accomplishments, he doesn't like to talk about the catches or the interceptions. Smith would rather focus on the team and his connection with quarterback Brandon Kinneman.
"I've played with Brandon since I was 10 years old," Smith said. "We worked a lot during the offseason getting ready for this year. On Sunday, he would get all the receivers out, and we would get the steps down."
Kinneman has passed for 970 yards and 15 touchdowns while being intercepted just three times.
The Bulldogs have combined the passing game with a ground attack that generates 212 yards a game and a dominating defense to produce an 8-0 record.
West York is allowing just 9.1 points a game, and the Bulldogs' first-team defense hasn't given up a touchdown in the past five games.
Brock Snellbaker is West York's leading rusher with 546 yards (6.1 average). Kinneman has added 318 yards on the ground.
The Bulldogs are bidding for their sixth straight division title. Northeastern aims to deny West York and put up a championship banner in its gymnasium.
The Bobcats, like the Bulldogs, are 3-0 in league play.
"They're (Northeastern) highly explosive on offense with Daniel Adams and the receiving corps of (Zach) Moyer, (Braheem) Riley and (Joe) Beckhardt," Miller said. "All of them can run really well."
Adams is the league's fourth-leading rusher with 1,046 yards. Riley averages 25.9 yards a catch (11 for 285), Moyer, 18.5 (15 for 278) and Beckhardt, 15.2 (nine for 137).
Northeastern quarterback Alec Miller has passed for 721 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"Defensively, they go high pressure with a lot of people in the box which will make it difficult for us to run," Miller said. "But when you get down to these types of games, it comes down to the run game and stopping the run."
Miller isn't surprised that the Bobcats are his team's opponent in the huge Week 9 game.
"I knew that Coach (Brendan) Brown had a really nice team coming back this year," Miller said. "Hats off to he and his staff. I know how hard they work because I live in the (Northeastern) district."
Smith and his teammates are looking forward to the big game.
"It's going to be a tough match, a championship match on Friday," Smith said.
Miller is proud of the way his players have performed to arrive at the Northeastern game with a perfect record. The Bulldogs had two close calls, against Dallastown and Spring Grove, but they found a way to win both times.
"Each week has a different challenge," Miller said. "We get everyone's best shot, but what can you can say about our kids, they seem to respond to it."
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com.