View Mobile Site

Take a sneak peek at The Times' new website

August 17th, 2017 08:11 a.m.


Football player of the week: Duncan puts a charge in North Hall's offense

POSTED: November 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.

North Hall High’s Graham Duncan plays a difficult, but very important position in the Trojan offense: wingback.

Though not a common position in traditional offensive schemes, the wingback is responsible for a number of duties. Duncan’s workload includes not only catching passes or handling carries in any given situation, but he also has to block defenders, and be incredibly fast while doing it.

But the 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior hasn’t let the rigors of playing his position keep him from finding success this season. Such was the case last Friday in a 55-24 win against Chestatee, when he caught two passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns and had 64 yards and another touchdown on three carries for the Trojans (5-3, 4-0 Region 7A-AAA).

“I did what I was supposed to do,” Duncan said. “Some of the plays were designed for me, and everyone did their job, so they worked to perfection.”

Not only did the win keep North Hall perfect in subregion play, it also put the Trojans one win away from a subregion title and earning home-field advantage in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament, something Duncan believes would improve North Hall’s chances in the playoffs.

“We enjoy our fans here,” Duncan said. “I think we have one of the best environments in the state.”

Should Duncan repeat last Friday’s performance over the next two weeks, the Trojans could be the favorite to win their last two games against a winless Gilmer team and a Lumpkin County team they have beaten the last five meetings.

Doing that may not be too difficult for Duncan to do, if just touching the ball is enough to for him to find the end zone. Duncan only handled the ball on offense on five occasions last Friday, but moved it an average of 34.6 yards every time it was in his hands.

The biggest play of those five possessions was an 88-yard reception from quarterback Blayne Gilmer that gave the Trojans an 18-point lead early in the second quarter. After catching the pass, Duncan simply outran several Chestatee defenders and darted upfield.

“We saw on film that I would be open, and it worked,” Duncan said. “I just happened to be in a perfect spot.”

Outrunning the opponent has become a familiar theme for Duncan this year, and his performances at scouting combines have shown why. At a Nike combine in Charlotte, N.C. in March, he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and had a 38-inch vertical jump, two numbers that have made him a desirable receiver by college scouts, and an even more valuable athlete for North Hall coach Bob Christmas.

“Initially, his speed is greatest asset, but lately he has become a more complete player,” Christmas said. “He’s blocking well, he’s running the football hard and his vision has gotten better.”

Duncan has achieved success off the field as well. With a grade point average of 4.0 and a score of 1100 on his SAT, finding a college to play football while managing classes may not be too hard of a task. Though he has yet to receive any scholarship offers, he has spoken to coaches from Wofford and numerous Division II schools with interest in him playing wide receiver or cornerback.

“He has a lot going for him,” Christmas said. “With all of those things he has going for, and now having game film of him, he’s going to have options.”

But until he puts on a cap and gown, then sheds green and white for a new set of colors, Duncan still has at least two more games to punish defenses both on the ground and through the air on Friday night.

“We have to win these next two games, and I know we can,” he said.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.




Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...