2013 high school football season in North Fulton was more oriented towards offense than defense, with most of the offense conducted in the air.
Five North Fulton quarterbacks finished the season with more than 2,000 yards passing, with a sixth going over 1.900 yards through the air. Five players surpassed 900 receiving yards, with a sixth coming up just shy of that total.
Only two North Fulton backs rushed for more than 1,000 yards, with both needing three playoff games to get to 1,100 yards. The only other player to come close to 1,000 was Mount Pisgah quarterback Aaron Winchester, who also had three playoff games to add to his totals.
Winchester edged out Northview’s D.J. Pearson to earn first team quarterback on the 2013 all-North Fulton team, accounting for 3,254 yards of offense and 34 touchdowns in leading the Patriots to the Class A private school semifinals.
Pearson was second in the state in Class AAAAA passing yards with 2,531 and tossed 19 touchdown passes. Like Winchester, Pearson is a junior.
Brian Moore (Cambridge), Taz Wilson (Chattahoochee) and Austin King (Alpharetta) all passed for more than 2,000 yards and earned honorable mention status at quarterback along with Hunter Bryant (Fellowship Christian), who had over 1,900 passing yards and tied King for third in the area in touchdown passes (17).
Milton Shelton (1,130 yards) and Chad Manthey (1,100), both of Blessed Trinity, were the area’s leading rushers, with Winchester third at 982 yards. Shelton, a sophomore, was a first team selection at running back along with Chattahoochee’s Chase Nelson, who gained 744 yards rushing, giving him 2,900 yards in his career as a 4-year starter for the Cougars.
Making first team as an athlete was Johns Creek’s Chase Solomon, who moved from running back to quarterback midway through the season after multiple injuries to the Gladiators’ quarterbacks. Solomon rushed for 717 yards and 10 touchdowns to raise his career totals to over 3,000 yards rushing and well over 4,000 yards total offense.
Milton’s Chad Toliver was fourth in rushing with 781 yards, and made the first team as a kick returner with 847 return yards and three touchdowns. Making second team at running back was Northview’s Nathan Philips, who rushed for 778 yards and added another 340 as a receiver.
Northview’s Matt Biondich, a 5-foot-7, 155-pound receiver, is the North Fulton Offensive Player of the Year, catching 75 passes for 1,225 yards and 13 touchdowns, with his yardage total second in the state among all players.
Other first team receivers are Centennial’s Christian Robinson (64-966-7), Chattahoochee’s Colin Lisa (51-992-9) and Alpharetta’s Daniel Clements (47-751-6), with Robinson and Clements repeating their first team selections from 2012.
Also putting up big numbers were second team selections Nathan Waller of St. Francis (41-1,001-12), Penny Hart of Kings Ridge (44-974-8), Andre Harton of Alpharetta (37-898-10) and Avery Ward of Chattahoochee (37-778-5). Centennial’s Caden Herring had over 1,300 yards rushing and receiving and was a second team selection as an athlete.
Roswell, Cambridge and Mount Pisgah had several players each who shared the receiving duties, with eight players from the three teams earning honorable mention status at either receiver or running back.
Blessed Trinity and Northview both had two first team picks in the offensive line, with BT’s Zach Mitchler the area’s top two-way player at center and middle linebacker. Milton’s Nick Wilson is the lone junior among the group.
Chattahoochee’s Adam Abdellaoui is the first team kicker, connecting on 13 of 14 field goals and 17 of 18 PATs. Blessed Trinity’s Marc Nolan (11-15 FGs with a long of 52 yards) is second team.
Milton’s Matt Moskowitz edged out Ian Berryman of Fellowship Christian in a close competition for first team punter.
Alpharetta linebacker Bryce Grauss is the Defensive Player of the Year, and one of two players repeating as first team selection on defense. Blessed Trinity junior linebacker Pat Jasinski also is a repeat selection. Jasinski also contributed as a tight end for the Titans, catching 13 passes for 265 yards and five touchdowns.
Grauss was one of four first team defensive selections from Alpharetta, joining end Andrew Butcher and safeties Chase Stratton and Jay Youngblood.
Butcher, Mount Pisgah lineman Shingi Chigwere, Jasinski and Milton linebacker Quarte Sapp are all juniors, and will draw plenty of attention from college recruiters over the next year.
Among the second team selections are linebackers Devan Johnson of Northview and Carter McManes of Blessed Trinity, who also served as their team’s short yardage running backs and scored 10 touchdowns each.