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December 24, 2008

Jones named best from Virginia

The 2008 Oscar Smith football team rolled over just about everything in its path on the way to winning the Group AAA, Division 6 state championship, and the end of the season hasn't done much to keep the accolades from piling up for the Tigers.

Perry Jones, a two-way star at running back and linebacker for the Tigers, has been chosen as The Associated Press Group AAA Player of the Year for 2008 by a panel of sports writers from the state, and he also leads the way on the defensive first team.

He has plenty of company, too, as five teammates - three on offense - also made the first team, and coach Richard Morgan was selected as the AP's coach of the year for 2008.

Jones, 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, rushed for 1,831 yards and scored 30 touchdowns. He accumulated 949 of those yards and 10 touchdowns in five playoff games, including 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers' 54-24 victory over Osbourn in the Division 6 title game.

On defense, Jones finished with 119 tackles and 10 sacks.

Jones is joined on the first team by Phillip Sims at quarterback, Tim Smith at wide receiver and center Charles Soule. The defense also has lineman Evan Hailes and linebacker Jerod Askew, all of whom combined to make Smith feel fortunate to just steer the ship.

Sims set a state record with six touchdown passes in the championship game, and finished with 3,167 passing yards and 38 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
Smith was understandably his favorite target, catching 73 passes for 1,681 yards and 24 touchdowns. He had four TDs in the championship game, when his six catches went for 224 yards.

The other first-team receiver is Andy Stallings of West Springfield, who had 68 receptions for 1,224 yards and 15 touchdowns as the favorite target of Bryn Renner. He threw for 3,123 yards and 35 touchdowns, ran for 10 more and didn't make the AP's first or second team.

The second-team quarterback, Adam Morgan of Dinwiddie, threw for 3,499 yards and a state record 48 touchdowns and finished as the state record holder in career completions, yards (9,152) and touchdowns (114) in guiding Dinwiddie to the Division 5 state championship game.

The first team tight end is Daquan Romero of Phoebus, which beat Dinwiddie 37-13 in the Division 5 title game. Romero finished the year with 34 catches for 695 yards and 11 TDs.

The running backs are Shawn Alston of Division 5 champion Phoebus, David Wilson of George Washington in Danville and Torrian Pace of Chantilly. Alston ran for 2,278 yards and 34 touchdowns, and finished with a 237-yard effort in the championship game. Wilson ran for 2,291 yards and 35 touchdowns, and Pace gained 2,711 yards and had 33 rushing touchdowns.

Joining Soule on the line are Meadowbrook teammates Morgan Moses at tackle and Derek Tinsley at guard, Hunter Steward of Kellam at tackle and Trevor Springman of Stone Bridge.

The placekicker, Drew Jarrett of Cox, had 12 field goals, including a 54-yarder, and finished his career with 29, the fourth-most in Virginia High School League history.

Antone Exum of Deep Run returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and had four TDs on punt returns to get the kick returner slot, and Desmond Coble of Meadowbrook is the utility player.

Coble threw for 1,553 yards and 16 touchdowns, ran for 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns, and had three interceptions from his defensive spot, returning one of those for a touchdown.

On defense, the line is anchored by Dominik Davenport of Phoebus, who played both ways at about 270 pounds and even scored 10 touchdowns running the ball. He's joined by Hailes, whose 81 tackles included 21 for losses, Jake Snyder of Deep Run, who had 24 sacks, and Brian Slay of Stone Bridge, who was in on 80 tackles, had four sacks and broke up seven passes.

Besides Jones and Askew, who had 128 tackles, including 12 sacks, and three interceptions, the linebackers are Jack Tyler of Oakton, who was in on 138 tackles with one fumble caused, one recovered and six interceptions, and Tyrell Wilson, the leader of Hampton's defense.

Leading the defensive backfield is Osbourn safety Jerrell McFadden. McFadden was in on 136 tackles, forced four fumbles, recovered two and had three interceptions. He also ran for more than 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns on offense.

Also in the defensive secondary, Tavon Gatlin of Green Run, Garett Patterson of Monacan FS, and Andrew Leonard of Oakton were named.

Gatlin had 12 interceptions to boost his career total to 28. Patterson had 71 tackles, three interceptions, two fumbles caused and three recovered. And Leonard had five interceptions, was in on 105 tackles, caused one fumble and knocked down seven passes.

David Eberhardt of Grassfield averaged 41 yards per punt and dropped 15 inside the opposing 20 yard-line and eight inside the opposing 5.


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