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WAYNESBORO >> Last season, Waynesboro had plenty of playmakers on the offensive side.

There was quarterback Connor Fetterhoff, who threw for over 2,000 yards. There was Justin Marion, who rushed for over 1,200, and Matt Peck, who caught 40 balls for over 1,000 yards and 17 total touchdowns.

But there was one more player who made plenty of highlight plays, and that was running back Jake Wertz.

Wertz quietly had a solid season, finishing with 619 rushing yards on just 98 carries (6.32 yards per carry), as well as 14 catches for 289 yards and eight total touchdowns.

"He was absolutely a great contributor for us last season," Indian coach Steve Myers said. "He put up great numbers for us, and we expect him to do a lot more of the same this year."

"Justin was the No. 1 back last year, so I just tried to take advantage of my opportunities when I could," said Wertz, "but I want to do more this year."

And he should.

Myers expects to lean heavily on the senior and use him plenty in both the running game and passing game.

He said, "For a smaller guy, he's fearless. He has great vision, and he is tough to tackle. He stays low to the ground, and when he sees the hole, he hits it hard."

Wertz has put in plenty of work in the offseason to get ready for his heavy workload. He has concentrated on his footwork, speed and strength in hopes of leading the high-powered Indian offense.

"This is a great offense to be a part of," Wertz said. "The fast tempo is great. It allows us to wear down the other team and really put our feet down in the second half. Plus, with (QB) Brady (Riddell) and Matt (Peck), we should have a good passing game, which will only help the rushing attack."

Myers agrees, and he believes the emergence of Wertz will lead to plenty of big plays and high-scoring outputs.

"Other teams are going to have to pick their poison, and that's what's great about Jake," Myers said. "He had about 1,000 total yards (rushing and receiving combined), and we expect that to be a lot higher with more carries this season. He can easily be a 1,000-yard rusher."

Wertz also has big expectations for himself, and he think this Waynesboro team has a chance to be the best yet.

"Personally, I'm shooting for about 1,500 yards rushing and 500 receiving," Wertz said. "As a team, we definitely want to make it into the playoffs and beat every team in the division."

Wertz is certainly confident, and he will need to transfer that confidence to the field if Waynesboro wants to achieve its lofty goals this season.

Jake Wertz file

Grade: Senior

Size: 5-foot-9, 155 pounds

Positions: Running back and cornerback

Other interests: Hunting and fishing

Favorite football team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite player: Antonio Brown

To view Waynesboro's full season preview, visit GameTimePA's digital football preview.

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