NORTH FULTON, Ga. – In a year of outstanding performances by a number of North Fulton high school football players, two stood out above the rest.
Alpharetta quarterback Joshua Dobbs is the Offensive Player of the Year in North Fulton, amassing more than 4,000 yards of offense and accounting for 39 touchdowns.
Milton lineman Carl Lawson is the Defensive Player of the Year, recording 24.5 sacks and adding 11.5 other tackles for loss and 20 quarterback hits.
Dobbs and Lawson head up the North Fulton high school all-star team for 2012, highlighted by a senior class that is one of the most talented ever produced in this area.
Four of the area’s six Class AAAAAA teams won at least seven games and qualified for the state playoffs, while Blessed Trinity reached the second round of the playoffs in AAA before losing in the closing seconds to unbeaten Cartersville.
The area’s talent was most evident in the numbers put up by the top players on offense, beginning with seven quarterbacks who enjoyed very productive seasons.
Dobbs was 220 of 389 for 3,625 yards and 29 TDs to rank among the state’s most prolific passers, and added another 419 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing.
Johns Creek’s Skye Overton was a threat as both a runner and a passer, leading area quarterbacks with 953 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Overton also passed for 1,348 yards and seven scores.
Dobbs and Overton were first and second team all-North Fulton selections, with five other quarterbacks earning honorable mention honors.
Blessed Trinity’s Spencer McManes led the Titans to the second round of the state playoffs, passing for 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns. He ran for 327 yards and four scores.
Travis Marshall of Chattahoochee passed for 1,822 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 395 yards and five TDs, leading his team to the season’s biggest upset, a 29-28 victory over region champion and previously unbeaten West Forsyth.
Centennial’s Chase Rosenberg was second to Dobbs in passing yardage (2,283) and touchdowns (18), completing 195 of 343 attempts.
Ryan Monty was solid for the Roswell Hornets, completing 101 of 154 passes for 1,585 yards and 12 TDs with only two interceptions.
The lone non-senior among the group is Northview sophomore A.J. Pearson, who was 162 of 242 passing for 1,905 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The area also produced two 1,000-yard receivers, both juniors. Alpharetta’s Daniel Clements caught 60 passes for 1,286 yards and nine touchdowns, while Centennial’s Christian Robinson led the area in catches (72) and receiving touchdowns (11), and finished with 1,053 yards.
Joining them on the first team is Alpharetta senior Carlos Burse, who had 49 receptions for 854 yards and eight TDs.
Also putting up impressive numbers were second team receivers Bennett Barton of Roswell (42-742-7), Zach Sullivan of Northview (46-606-5) and Chattahoochee junior Collin Lisa, the lone non-senior of the trio (37-689-8).
The three first team running backs combined for more than 4,400 yards rushing and scored 60 touchdowns.
Leading the way was Milton’s Peyton Barber, who carried 225 times for 1,713 yards and 22 TDs. Northview’s Terrence Upshaw gained 1,267 yards on 163 attempts with 26 scores, and added another 232 yards and two TDs receiving. Roswell’s Andrew Kwateng rushed for 1,458 yards on 216 carries and had 10 touchdowns.
The three second team running backs will be back for the 2013 season. They are junior Chase Solomon of Johns Creek (160-1,006-12, 292 yards receiving); junior Treyvon Paulk of Milton (153-930-14) and freshman Milton Shelton of Blessed Trinity (161-894-9).
Milton’s highly touted offensive line, which helped Barber and Paulk amass almost 2,650 yards rushing, had three first team selections (Ethan Fromayan, Josh Harris and Cory Helms).
Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Blessed Trinity led the first team defense with three selections each, with linebackers Bryce Grauss of Alpharetta and sophomore Pat Jasinski of Blessed Trinity the lone non-seniors.
In an era of specialization, a handful of players merit mention for their excellent work in at least two areas. Among them were Johns Creek lineman Sam Arrington, WR/CB Sam Roberts of Blessed Trinity (31-512-5, five interceptions) and his teammate Nathaniel Maggio (DE/TE).
Despite being Roswell’s primary receiving threat, Barton capably handled the Hornets’ placekicking duties, and Johns Creek safety Will Somers, a first team selection on defense, also excelled as the team’s punter.