Roswell Hornets lead all-North Fulton team
December 12, 2007
Roswell leads the way on the all-North Fulton high school football team for the 2007 season, with nine Hornets selected to the first team.
Making the first team on offense for the Hornets were the standout skill position trio of quarterback Dustin Taliaferro, tailback Alex Daniel and wide receiver Garrett Embry, plus standout linemen Cade Yates and Travis Dupart.
Yates is the only junior on the first team, and one of just three non-seniors on the 25-man squad. Roswell coach Tim McFarlin considers him "the best offensive lineman in the area." Dupart, who transferred to Roswell from out of state "was the most athletic lineman I saw this year," McFarlin said.
Lineman Curtis Hazelton, linebacker Ebele Okakpu and cornerback Dominique Wheeler keyed the Roswell defense, which contained every offense the Hornets faced this season with the exception of one half each against Centennial and Lowndes.
Jim Broadway, who kicked 12 field goals and averaged more than 41 yards per punt, is the first team kicker over a competitive field that included Centennial's Andrew Lord and Milton punter Chase Davidson.
Chattahoochee, Centennial, Northview and Blessed Trinity all had three first team selections.
Making the first team from Chattahoochee was two-way standout Elton Ford, who enjoyed an exceptional season from the safety position. Tailback Gary Grace averaged 7 yards per carry and almost 100 yards per game during the regular season with 13 touchdowns, while averaging fewer than 14 carries per contest.
Tackle Justin Smith was the focus of opposing blocking schemes, but keyed a Chattahoochee defense that was consistently stingy against the run.
The unsung hero for Centennial's improving offense was sophomore tackle David Yankey, one of two 10th graders to make first team and one of several returning offensive linemen who may take some of next year's focus off the glamour players in the backfield.
Defensively, the Knights featured a pair of outstanding defensive backs who were the team's most versatile performers. Cornerback Delonte Doles kept receivers in check and was a key offensive threat in a variety of areas.
Centennial coach Jeff Measor said safety Tyler Peterson "was probably our best defensive player overall," and was also the team's most dangerous receiver in limited duty. He sparked Centennial's comeback against Roswell, catching nine passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns.
Although it was a mostly disappointing season for Northview, the Titans got some big efforts from several offensive starters. Xzavian Brandon led the team in receiving yardage (493), average per reception (19) and touchdowns (five), with tight end Ross Pepe turning in a solid all-around effort.
Center Stephen Boegel keyed the offensive line that opened holes for second team running back Samoir Patrick (1,044 yards, 6.2 average, nine touchdowns) and quarterback Justin Tuggle, who had an excellent season and heads up the second team offense. Tuggle passed for 1,310 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 563 yards and six rushing TDs.
Tulane-bound tackle Harris Howard powered a strong Blessed Trinity ground game, with end Ben Kopacka and linebacker Matt Maloney leading a defense that allowed just 24 points in the Titans' seven wins.
Fellowship Christian relied on a number of two-way starters to reach the quarterfinals of the state Class A playoffs, with Martin Weatherby and Ben Williamson the Paladins' two most vital contributors.
Weatherby averaged well over 20 yards per reception, caught seven TD passes and returned a punt, kickoff and interception for touchdowns, as he starred on offense, defense and special teams. Williamson also enjoyed a productive season as a receiver, but his main impact was at defensive end, as he led the team in sacks and big defensive plays.
North Fulton's unknown standout this year was Mt. Pisgah sophomore Fedale Hall, who put up some staggering numbers for a team that went 2-8. Hall rushed for 1,686 yards and 25 touchdowns on 177 carries, had 319 yards and two touchdowns receiving, and piled up some big yardage on kickoff returns.
Hall had 650 yards of all-purpose offense and scored seven touchdowns in one game and was also a standout in the secondary for the Patriots.
The overall talent in the area kept a number of worthy players first team selection, among them running back Sam Burkhalter (1,240 yards, 17 touchdowns) of Blessed Trinity; sophomore offensive lineman Bradley Beaty of Milton; defensive linemen Nolan Grage of Chattahoochee and Cordian Hagans of Northview, who was hampered by injuries for much of the season; and safeties Alex Accurso of Milton and sophomore Jake Skole of Blessed Trinity.
North Fulton all-stars – 07
QB Dustin Taliaferro, Roswell Sr.
RB Alex Daniel, Roswell Sr.
RB Gary Grace, Chattahoochee Sr.
RB Fedale Hall, Mt. Pisgah So.
WR Garrett Embry, Roswell Sr.
WR Xzavian Brandon, Northview Sr.
WR Martin Weatherby, FCS Sr.
TE Ross Pepe, Northview Sr
T Harris Howard, BT Sr.
T Cade Yates, Roswell Jr.
T David Yankey, Centennial So.
G Travis Dupart, Roswell Sr.
C Stephen Boegel, Northview Sr.
DE Ben Kopacka, BT Sr.
DE Ben Williamson, FCS Sr.
DL Curtis Hazelton, Roswell Sr
DT Justin Smith, Chattahoochee Sr.
LB Ebele Okakpu, Roswell Sr
LB Matt Maloney, BT Sr.
LB Drew Collins, Milton Sr.
CB Dominique Wheeler, Roswell Sr.
CB Delonte Doles, Centennial Sr.
S Elton Ford, Chattahoochee Sr.
S Tyler Peterson, Centennial Sr.
K Jim Broadway, Roswell Sr.
QB Justin Tuggle, Northview Sr.
RB Sam Burkhalter, BT Jr.
RB Samoir Patrick, Northview Jr.
RB Toney Williams, Milton Jr.
WR Evan Gray, Alpharetta Sr.
WR Dan Stryzinski, Northview Sr.
T Bradley Beaty, Milton So.
T Jordan Toler, Chattahoochee Sr.
G Kevin Kimbell, Chattahoochee Sr.
C Matt Crisaf, BT Jr.
C Jim Brigham, FCS Sr.
DE John Manger, Centennial Sr.
DE Nolan Grage, Chattahoochee Sr.
DT Cordian Hagans, Northview Sr.
DT Kevin Steuterman, Alpharetta Sr.
LB Nick Spooner, Centennial Sr.
LB Kevin Sweet, Northview Sr.
LB Zach Waddell, Roswell Sr.
CB G Alalade, Chattahoochee Jr.
CB Matt Frate, BT Sr.
S Alex Accurso, Milton Sr.
S Jake Skole, BT So.
K Andrew Lord, Centennial Jr.
P Chase Davidson, Milton Sr.
QB Jimmy Stainback, FCS Jr.
RB Evan Rolader, FCS Sr.
Lance Martin, Milton Sr.
FB Marcus Nabors, Centennial Jr.
Bruce Johnson, BT Jr.
WR Najee Lenoir, Mt. Pisgah Sr.
TE – Mitchell Mills, Milton Sr.
OL Nick Milam, Northview Sr.
J.R. Esasky, FCS Sr.
Gorm Laursen, Mt. Pisgah Sr.
DE Euclid Cummings, Centennial So.
Andrew Quinlan, Milton Jr.
DT Stephen Howard, Chattahoochee Sr.
Carlin Carty, Centennial Sr.
Dillon Herbert, FCS Jr.
Brayden Knudson, Roswell Jr.
LB Jake Kelly, Chattahoochee Sr.
John Osborne, FCS Sr.
Jake Whitehurst, Northview Sr.
DB Matt Strok, BT Sr.
Will Mitchell, FCS Sr.
K Garrett Jack, BT Sr.
Jake Philpotts, FCS Jr.