Hill School’s Matt Foltz (shown) and Grant Smith have teamed up to provide one of the deadliest duos in the area. (Photo by Tom Kelly III)
Hill School's Matt Foltz (shown) and Grant Smith have teamed up to provide one of the deadliest duos in the area. (Photo by Tom Kelly III)

Joe Montana had Jerry Rice. Peyton Manning had Marvin Harrison.

And, this fall at the Hill School, Matt Foltz has Grant Smith.

Foltz is the Rams' starting quarterback, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound specimen with a big arm.

The 6-4, 200-pound Smith is their senior wideout, having taken to the position like a duck to water after serving as Hill's QB for the past three seasons.

Together, the duo is rewriting the school record books and making life miserable for opposing defenses.

"That combination is pretty damn good,' is how Blair Academy coach Jim Stone put it after Saturday's 47-26 win over the Rams at Dell Field.

Grant Smith shifted to wide receiver when Matt Foltz came to town. The results have been record breaking. (Photo by Tom Kelly III)
Grant Smith shifted to wide receiver when Matt Foltz came to town. The results have been record breaking. (Photo by Tom Kelly III)

Foltz, a postgrad who previously played at Donegal in Lancaster County, threw for 310 yards against Blair (going 20-for-30) to increase his area-leading passing yardage total to 1,414 over six games.

His primary target is Smith, who after hauling in 13 receptions for a school single-game record 207 yards against the Bucs leads the area in both catches (50) and receiving yards (795).

Smith also shattered Adam Regensburg's school single-season reception mark of 40 Saturday.

"Each day they're building a better rapport out there and understanding what the other guy's doing,' Hill School coach Grey Simpson said of the twosome, which has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary 0-6 campaign thus far. "There was a slant pattern (Saturday) that their cornerback (star Anterio Bateman) read perfectly. Matt knew he had to throw it a little back behind him (Smith), and Grant just stuck his hands up there and snatched it. They both work hard and have been a joy to coach.'

Foltz has thrown for at least 195 yards in all but one game, highlighted by a 351-yard performance in a 35-25 loss to Springside Chestnut Academy in Week 3.

"The most impressive thing about Matt, by far, is his worth ethic and coachability,' Simpson said. "He's our hardest worker in practice every week; he takes nothing for granted. He comes out and wants to get better, whether it's by watching film, communicating with the coaches or listing to coaching points.

"He came here with an opportunity to throw the ball and show what he can do, and he works hard every day to get better.'

Though Foltz's arrival meant Smith's signal-calling days were over, the Royersford native made a virtually seamless transition to wide receiver.

He caught five balls for 129 yards and a touchdown in a season-opening 43-14 loss to Germantown Academy, then racked up 13 receptions for 197 yards and a TD in a 29-9 loss to Episcopal Academy the following week.

Smith's size, speed, route-running skills and uncanny athleticism make him virtually unstoppable at times.

"He's a special talent,' Simpson said. "When Matt came into the picture last spring, I really got excited about the potential of moving him to quarterback and Grant to receiver. It's a new position to him, but to his credit he's worked hard in practice to learn it.'

"Grant's probably the most gifted natural athlete I've ever seen on the field,' said Foltz. "You tell him what to do, and he goes out and does it. I see him one-on-one, and I try to get it out there and let him make a play.'

Smith's playmaking skills were readily apparent Saturday. After a first quarter in which Smith was held without a catch, Foltz found him three times in a four-play span on quick sideline patterns. The two also connected on crossing routes and a deep ball — when Smith outleapt two defenders for a 39-yard gain on a fourth-and-15 play in the third quarter to set up a Trey Humes' 1-yard TD run.

"He's got great hands,' Stone said of Smith. "He catches everything close to him. After seeing him catch the ball enough on the other side, we moved our best kid (Bateman) on him, and I think he's a Division 1 corner. We had some pretty good coverage on him, and he still made the catches. We game-planned to try and take that away from them. We knew it was coming and they still got it to him.'

And while Smith is finding out its better to receive this season, he is quick to credit Foltz for his eye-popping numbers.

"I definitely learned so much from Matt,' Smith said. "We're getting to the point where we know what each of us is looking for. He doesn't hang me out to dry, he puts it where it needs to be.

"We have a young team, but I'm still having a lot of fun. As much as we've been losing, it's a great group.'

Led by the area's top quarterback-to-receiver tandem.

GRAND PERFORMANCES

Three area running backs — Daniel Boone's Kyle Myers, Pottsgrove's Marquis Barefield and Upper Perkiomen's Aidan Schaffer — surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark last week.

Myers (who has run wild with 745 yards 10 TDs over the past four weeks) went for 207 in Boone's 27-20 win over Muhlenberg and currently stands at 1,133 for the season.

Barefield ran for 110 yards and one TD in the Falcons' 23-12 win over Perkiomen Valley that clinched at least a share of the Pioneer Athletic Conference title. He is at 1,086 for the season.

And Schaffer — who is at 1,004 after rushing for 69 yards in a 21-0 loss to Phoenixville — notched his second straight 1,000-yard season.

Owen J. Roberts' Wyatt Scott is the next-closest to the mark, needing 146 yards.

Speaking of top backs, Spring-Ford's Jarred Jones wrested away the area rushing lead from Boyertown's Cody Richmond with a 184-yard effort in a 47-3 win over Owen J. Roberts. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Jones, who also leads the area with 20 TDs, has run for 1,227 yards (25 more than Richmond) despite missing two games.

KICKING IT IN

Until last week, the performance of PAC-10 kickers had been pretty much a ... well, footnote to this season.

But several players put their best foot forward Friday, most notably Spring-Ford's David Gulati, who booted home a school-record 42-yard field goal (surpassing Eric Holt's 41-yarder) in the Rams' win over Owen J. Roberts. Gulati also hit a 24-yarder to increase his area-best field goal total to five and take over the area kicker scoring lead with 35 points.

Pottsgrove's Jon Klinger, who leads the area with 30 PATs, made his first field goal of the season a memorable one. He buried a 39-yarder 4:15 before halftime to break a 6-6 tie and put the Falcons up to stay in a 23-12 win over Perkiomen Valley.

Methacton's Taylor LeSage (33-yarder) and Owen J. Roberts' Matt Dinnocenti (29-yarder) also converted their first field goals.

AROUND THE AREA

Pottsgrove is 50-3 in PAC-10 play over the past five seasons. The Falcons have won 22 straight league regular-season contests since a 49-35 loss to Spring-Ford in Week 5 of the 2011 season. Boyertown, which defeated the Falcons 34-28 in Week 3 of 2010, and Owen J. Roberts, which dealt the Falcons a 49-20 defeat in Week 7 of 2010, are the lone other PAC-10 teams to have taken down Pottsgrove during that span. ... Phoenixville's Ian Brown, D.J. Brock, Damien Davido and Donnie Jackson all took part in an impressive secondary effort by the Phantoms that held league receiving leader Travis Kline of Upper Perkiomen without a catch in Friday's 21-0 victory. ... Daniel Boone's defense has 17 takeways in the past four weeks. Paul Galanti and Shayne Bookwalter each had interceptions and Kyle Myers and Cinque Ramsey both recovered fumbles as the Blazers forced four turnovers in Friday's 27-20 win over Muhlenberg. ... Hill School's Grant Smith isn't the only quarterback-turned-receiver enjoying success of late. Methacton's Kyle Lowery, who began the year at QB, caught four passes for 144 yards (including a 96-yard TD) in Friday's 38-6 win over Pottstown. Lowery is averaging a gaudy 28.5 yards for his 12 receptions.

DISTRICT 1 DOINGS

Spring-Ford is tied for eighth place with Central Bucks West in the latest District 1-AAAA power ratings with 1,110 points. Perkiomen Valley is 13th at 1,050, while Methacton (860) and Boyertown (830) are T25 and T27, respectively. Bayard Rustin (9-0) is first at 1,290. Pottsgrove remains atop the 1-AAA field at 1,290, with Phoenixville eighth at 810. ... D'Andre Pollard ran for 269 yards and three TDs Friday as Neshaminy improved to 9-0 with a 31-14 win over Abington. ... North Penn scored the game's final 29 points to defeat C.B. West 50-14 for its sixth straight win since an 0-3 start and halt a seven-game winning streak of the Bucks. ... Nick Pagel's TD run with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter and resultant conversion pass to Jake Barr gave Downingtown West a 29-28 win over Downingtown East

PIAA POTPOURRI

Pottsgrove is ranked No. 9 in the latest Pennsylvania Football News Class AAA rankings. Cathedral Prep (9-0) of District 10 takes over the top spot after Bishop McDevitt (now fourth) lost to Cedar Cliff 49-41. In Class AAAA, Upper St. Clair (9-0) of District 7 takes over the top spot after St. Joseph's Prep (now sixth) fell to Archbishop Ryan 27-14. ... Cedar Cliff's Andrew Ford threw for 409 yards in the aforementioned win over Bishop McDevitt, while Franklin's Kahlil West amassed 278 receiving yards in a 41-27 loss to Warren. ... Sto-Rox's Lenny Williams tossed three TD passes in Friday's 54-7 win over Rochester to give him 96 for his career — fourth all-time in state history.

Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.