West York’s James Johnson runs to open field on his way to a 22-yard touchdown while quarterback Brandon Kinneman celebrates in the backfield Friday
West York's James Johnson runs to open field on his way to a 22-yard touchdown while quarterback Brandon Kinneman celebrates in the backfield Friday during the Bulldogs' 31-7 win vs. Susquehanna Township. (FOR THE DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- MIKE ZORTMAN)

More: Bulldogs bask in District 3 semifinal win

West York coach Ron Miller compares his trio of running backs to a pitching staff.

He has a starter, a reliever and a closer.

On Friday night, with a huge assist from the offensive line, the running game threw the equivalent of a no-hitter in West York's 31-7 victory against Susquehanna Township in the District 3 Class AAA semifinals.

Those senior running backs -- Steven Wilson (11 carries for 85 yards, one touchdown), Brock Snellbaker (21 carries for 122 yards) and James Johnson (16 carries for 89 yards, one touchdown) -- were part of a rushing attack that ran 63 times for 353 yards.

"Steven Wilson probably had the best game of his career," Miller said. "Brock Snellbaker, when we needed the play, he got it for us, and then we bring in the hammer and that's James Johnson. Boy, did he put it away."

The undefeated Bulldogs were so successful with running the football they had scoring drives of 80 and 97 yards.

In the 80-yard touchdown drive -- capped by Wilson's 19-yard run with 49 seconds left in the first half -- the Bulldogs called 11 plays, only one of which was a pass.

"We just kept moving our feet the whole game," Wilson said. "The holes were big. We just kept moving the chains and kept the clock running."

The running backs also block for each other, including Snellbaker lending a hand in Wilson's touchdown run.


"Once I hit the outside, I saw Brock had the kid locked up," Wilson said. "I ran off his block and I knew I was in there. That was a game changing play."

Then came a 97-yard touchdown drive, capped by Johnson's 22-yard run with 5:50 remaining in the game. On that nine play drive -- all of which were runs -- all three running backs played a role.

It started with two carries by Snellbaker, followed by a touch by Wilson and was capped by Johnson getting the final six carries of the drive. Johnson accounted for 66 yards on that drive.

"We have a trio of running backs that constantly want to get the ball," Johnson said. "We all want to help the team. We're not selfish at all. If one back does good, we all do good."

In the first half alone, the Bulldogs ran 40 plays, 32 of which were runs. They piled up 159 rushing yards in the first 24 minutes.

"Coach Jim Snelbaker does a phenomenal job. I think he's the best line coach in the state," Miller said. "The line is five seniors that have been playing together since they were 5 or 6 years old.

"We read some press that we don't have a hammer running game," Miller said. "We just said if we want to get to Hersheypark, it has to start up front and we have to run the football."

The running backs praised their linemen, who controlled the line of scrimmage the whole game.

"Our line moved their defensive line," Brock Snellbaker said. "We just got rolling with the running game and we all had decent yards every play. I give all the credit to the line."

For a team with 24 seniors making the district championship game is a dream come true.

"Now we're going to Hersheypark and we're hoping to get a gold medal around our necks," Wilson said.