Despite early exits from the state football playoffs by most DeKalb teams, many players and teams had breakthrough seasons.
Avondale and Towers high schools both unexpectedly advanced to the playoffs, with the Blue Devils earning their first postseason berth in 20 years. One of the reasons for the Blue Devils’ success was running back Max Thompson, who led DeKalb County in rushing yards per game. The senior averaged a county-high 144 yards per game, 1,592 on the season with 14 touchdowns.
Only Stephenson’s Raymond Sanders, a Kentucky recruit, ran for more yards. Sanders led the county with 25 rushing touchdowns and ran for 1,604 yards.
Strong running games were a trademark of many DeKalb teams this season. Seven players rushed for more than 1,000 yards, and four teams – Stephenson, St. Pius, Marist and Tucker–averaged more than 240 yards rushing per game.
Christobal Dinham of Lithonia, who ran for 1,084 yards with seven touchdowns, had a single-game high this season of 313 yards against North Springs, eighth-best all-time in DeKalb County.
There were solid passing performances as well this season. Towers quarterback Miles Gooch was the top passer in the county. He threw for 2,204 yards with 19 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. Gooch completed 57.4 percent of his passes. He had the best single-game performance in the county with 363 yards passing against Grady, third-best all-time in the county.
Junior Vincent Dallas of Cedar Grove led the county with 10 touchdown receptions. He caught 33 passes for 780 yards in 10 games.
There was also plenty of solid defense, as four teams allowed less than 100 points all season – Stephenson, Southwest DeKalb, ML King and St. Pius. ML King allowed a county-low 49 points with seven shutouts.
Individually, Breon Isaac of Dunwoody led the county with seven interceptions and Southwest DeKalb linebacker Muhasabi Wakeel was the top tackler, averaging 14.1 stops per game.