Throughout the entirety of this so-far perfect season, there has been little doubt as to the identity of the Dover football team. They are an in-your-face, ground-and-pound group that thrives on a big offensive line and a group of versatile backs. "We just love to run the football," said Chad Reed, the team's 6-foot-6, 325-pound lynchpin tackle.

Friday's 30-27 victory over Division II rival West York was no different. Dover ran the ball 51 times against the Bulldogs, plowing downfield at times with a sort of grinding efficiency.

But while the ground game was its typically effective self -- even without suspended star running back Tanner Link -- Dover got a big boost from a different source: It's passing game.

Eagles quarterback Connor Snyder turned in the finest offensive performance of his career. He accounted for all four Eagles touchdowns, three of those coming on the ground. The senior ran for 63 yards on 15 carries, frequently carrying a West York defender or two forward.

But Snyder did even more damage through the air. He completed 10 of his 14 passes, throwing for 234 yards and a score. He lofted a 61-yard touchdown pass on a pump-and-go to Caden Krout in the third quarter, with Krout making a fine adjustment on an underthrown ball.

A glance through the stats reveals just how rare such a passing performance has been for the Eagles. Consider:

- In the 17 games before Friday dating back to the start of last season, Dover had thrown for more than 100 yards only three times. It's previous high came against Garden Spot last year, when Snyder and Dan Mikos combined for 175 yards.

- In his previous six games this season, Snyder had only broken the 100-yard barrier once. He threw for a career-high 114 against Spring Grove.

The running game set the tone Friday. But it was the passing game which helped Dover finish off a 99-yard drive and take a 10-0 as the first half ran out. And it was the passing game which helped the Eagles press that advantage through the third quarter. Synder was 4-for-5 passing after halftime for 162 yards.

After Friday, Snyder's season passing totals look like this: 40-for-71 (56.3 percent), 649 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs. Not too shabby.

None of this changes Dover's identity, of course. Even Snyder said so after the game. "This is Dover football," the quarterback said. "We pound it down your throat, and until you stop it, we're not going to change a thing."

That may be the case. But if Dover ever wants to throw the ball, Snyder showed Friday he's more than capable.


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