The Bulldogs (10-0, 5-0 YAIAA Division II) became the school's fourth team to finish a regular season undefeated as they overwhelmed New Oxford, 35-0, on Friday night, denying the Colonials (4-6, 3-2) any thought of sharing the YAIAA Division II crown.
Maybe when West York running back Brock Snellbaker fumbled at the New Oxford 20 on the game's opening drive was there a sense it could happen. A quick three-and-out -- which was the beginning in a night of stalled drives, courtesy of the West York defense -- and a blocked punt that Devon Fissel ran back for a touchdown quickly changed that.
A few more scores and little movement for New Oxford, which was held to 91 total yards, added up to a Bulldogs celebration that included a few familiarities, such as walk down the home-side fence by players and coaches for high-fives with fans, friends and family. Almost the entire crowd from the bleachers lined the fence, more than 100 yards long.
One new element, however, was the banner that congratulated them for a 10-0 season.
"It said 9-1 eight times in my career," said Miller, recalling his previous teams at West York, as an assistant at Susquehanna University and as a player. "It's hard to do. We got the miracle win against Dallastown this year, and that's been the difference."
The last time a West York team was unbeaten at this point was 1991. Not even Miller's 2008 team that reached the state semifinals won its 10 regular-season games.
"What makes them different is, 'It's not about me, it's about us this year,'" Miller said, "and I've never met a group of kids that can put individual records aside ... They never ask."
Consider Snellbaker, the Bulldogs' leading rusher.
Miller said his carries were cut in half this season, "and you never hear about it" from him.
Snellbaker finished with 72 yards on 13 carries, all in the first half. He did, however, manage to catch a second-half pass from quarterback Brandon Kinneman and turn that into a 72-yard gain down to the 1-yard line.
That set up West York's fourth touchdown of the night, midway through the third quarter.
Kinneman, whose 81 yards rushing helped balance his passing, pointed to the defense as why West York is unbeaten and in position for a first-round District 3 Class AAA home game next week (the Bulldogs entered No. 2 behind Bishop McDevitt).
"I think we gain a lot of momentum when, defensively, we're making plays and flying around," Kinneman said. "We were flying around tonight, but we've got to get back to zero yards."
The closest New Oxford's first string came to scoring was on a second-quarter drive to the West York 27. It ended with an Anthony Trone interception of Anthony Lippy in the end zone.
Lippy was sacked six times Friday night, including one flattening hit at the West York sideline, courtesy of Delaware-bound senior Brody Kern.
"Our D-line has definitely picked it up," said Kern, who credited the team's depth up front in holding the Colonials to 52 yards rushing. "It was a little tough this week because of the storm to game plan and stuff like that.
"That's just adversity, and that's one thing our team is good at: facing adversity."
Miller spent chunks of the offseason chewing out his offensive and defensive linemen for "getting pushed around." After his 10th win of the season, the coach said "I could be punched and I'd still be smiling."
It helps when his linemen do the pushing.
New Oxford 0 0 0 0-- 0
West York 14 7 14 0 -- 35
WY -- Devon Fissel 23 punt block return (Chris Markel kick), 7:29
WY -- Brock Snellbaker 9 run (Markel kick), 0:55
WY -- Brandon Kinneman 49 run (Markel kick), 7:05
WY -- Kyle Welker 1 run (Markel kick), 5:56
WY -- James Johnson 1 run (Markel kick), 0:59
-- NO -- WY
First downs -- 8 -- 15
Rushes-yards -- 36-52 -- 45-231
Passing -- 6-8-1 -- 6-15-0
Passing yards -- 39 -- 123
Total yards -- 91 -- 354
Fumbles-lost -- 3-0 -- 2-1
Penalties-yards -- 6-40 -- 8-55
Rushing -- New Oxford, Wesley Beans 11-40, Nick Slusser 10-30, Anthony Lippy 5-(-)33, Hunter Kern 3-15, Matt Staub 2-8, Aaron Brown 1-1, Corey Gartrell 2-(-)1, Kairi Dukes 1-(-)3, Jordan Gardner 1-(-)5; West York, Snellbaker 13-72, Johnson 11-55, Kinneman 8-81, Steve Wilson 5-14, Anthony Trone 1-4, Zack Smith 1-17, Welker 2-1, Ross Campbell 4-(-)13.
Passing -- New Oxford, Lippy 5-7-1-22, Gardner 1-1-0-17; West York, Kinneman 6-14-0-123, Campbell 0-1-0-0.
Receiving -- New Oxford, Brown 2-9, Beans 1-3, George Bell 1-7, Slusser 1-3, Gartrell 1-17; West York, Zack Smith 2-18, Kingsley Chikezie 2-17, Snellbaker 1-72, Austin Bowser 1-16.