The Offense

Football/offense

High School Sports

December 15, 2003

Joe Akers

Hereford

The highly recruited junior preseason All-American is being looked at by colleges nationwide for his prowess on both sides of the line. At 6-2, 310 pounds, and with a 40-yard dash time of 5.0 seconds, the returning All-Metro selection used quick feet, good hands and overpowering strength to dominate the opposition. Rarely coming off the field, Akers, a member of two state championship teams, will be among a number of returning seniors to next year's Bulls.

Brandon Albert

Glen Burnie

Albert, extremely athletic for a 6-7, 320-pounder, anchored both the offensive and defensive lines of the Gophers. On defense, Albert used his speed and instincts to run down opposing ball carriers and make 65 tackles. Thanks primarily to the efforts of Albert, the Gophers enjoyed upset wins over schools such as highly touted Class 2A regional playoff contender Southern-Anne Arundel. The senior is considered a Division I prospect and is among the most highly recruited linemen on the East Coast.

Adam Berry

Bel Air

Berry, a lightning-quick, 5-11, 150-pound junior, was accounted for on nearly every down this season by at least one defender and usually two, but still managed to make big plays. On the receiving end of passes from quarterback and twin brother, Andrew, a second-team All-Metro selection, Berry caught 35 passes for 626 yards and 10 touchdowns. Harford County's leading receiver in yardage, Berry, who was also the Bobcats' return man, paired with Willie Bell to form one of the most productive receiver tandems in the area.

Scott Burley

Woodlawn

The 6-6, 320-pounder has earned a reputation as one of the premier run blockers in the state, and he is headed for the University of Maryland on a full football scholarship. Burley had 45 pancake blocks (knocking a defender on his back) and allowed only one sack in his two seasons. Largely as a result of Burley's pass-blocking skill, his leadership on the offensive line and his ability him to hold most defensive linemen at bay, Warriors quarterback Justin Ross passed for nearly 20 touchdowns. A second-team All-Metro selection last fall, Burley was highly recruited before committing to the Terps.

Brent Cash

Joppatowne

It seems that Joppatowne, which runs a power-I offense that relies on a bruising and chain-moving runner, always has a good tailback, and this year was no different. In his first year as starting tailback, Cash (5-11, 175 pounds) excelled, using good vision and a physical straight-ahead style to total a Harford County-leading 1,820 yards rushing (believed to be a school record) and 28 touchdowns, a county high. The senior averaged over 7 yards per carry and had at least one touchdown in every game, including eight touchdowns in the playoffs for the improbable Class 1A titlists. Cash, who also returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score, recorded four touchdowns in a 33-28 win over Bel Air.

Chris Desautels

Broadneck

The 6-3, 175-pound junior kicker has booted an Anne Arundel County-record 11 field goals, 10 in the regular season. The other came in a 17-14 playoff win over Arundel, and his longest was 42 yards. Desautels converted 40 of 46 extra-point kicks, and his ability to kick for distance was critical in containing the opposition's return personnel. Teams had to account for Desautels' skills in every close game. His field goals were the difference for the Bruins in regular-season wins over Severna Park (10-7) and Arundel (17-14).

Ben Gabbard

Broadneck

Big and intimidating at 6-4 and 290 pounds, Gabbard is a three-year starter at center. His blend of agility and footwork set him apart as one of the best linemen in the state. Gabbard, who anchors the offensive line and calls blocking schemes, was the recipient of the Al Laramore Award, given to Anne Arundel County's best lineman. A Division I prospect with a 4.0 grade-point average, Gabbard also is the Bruins' long snapper.

Cameron Goldberg

McDonogh

Coach Dom Damico had an invaluable weapon on both sides of the ball with the 6-6, 260-pound two-way lineman. Goldberg did not give up a sack for an offense that was effective both passing and running.

Defensively, he was also skillful, making 82 tackles and 12 sacks to help the Eagles to a 7-3 record. Stanford, Duke and California have offered scholarships, and Virginia, Maryland and Wake Forest also are interested in the senior.

Jason Goode

Woodlawn

The athletic and versatile Goode can do a lot of things well, but he excelled as a tight end with 19 receptions for 400 yards and five touchdowns for the Warriors. He also rushed for 476 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, Goode performed well on special teams, returning a touchdown 86 yards for a score.

A testament to Goode's versatility is the fact that he ranked with South Carroll's T.J. Swanson as one of the best athletes at a summer camp for quarterbacks, a position Goode played at Curley before transferring to the Warriors this fall. The 6-4, 230-pound senior has scholarship offers from Colorado, Boston College and Georgetown.

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