Beasley takes NFL sacks title; notable week for local collegiate players
Vic Beasley had a scare early in the first quarter of the Atlanta Falcons' win Sunday over the New Orleans Saints, but the Adairsville native returned in the second quarter to sack Drew Brees and capture the NFL sacks title for the 2016 regular season. The sack brought Beasley to within one sack of the Falcons' franchise record for a season held by John Abraham.
Beasley's play highlights this week's updates of 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' for current professional and collegiate athletes with ties to the Cartersville and Bartow County community.
At the collegiate level, Hayes Linn completed his senior football season at Air Force with a bowl win, Miller Forristall and the Alabama Crimson Tide advanced to the National Championship Game in Tampa, and A.J. Mosby continues to make his mark on the hardwoods with Alcorn State University.
VIC BEASLEY, JR. — Atlanta Falcons (2nd year pro, DE/LB, Clemson, Adairsville HS). . . Beasley told reporters post game Sunday that his shoulder “popped out” in a first quarter collision with a Saints’ lineman, but it quickly started feeling better. After a first quarter trip to the locker room for an X-ray on his shoulder that proved negative, Beasley returned in the second period and collected a sack of Drew Brees. That play gave him 15.5 sacks for the season and the NFL title in the category. He finished two sacks ahead of Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and three ahead of Lorenzo Alexander (Buffalo), Danielle Hunter (Minnesota), and Markus Golden (Arizona). Meanwhile Sunday, the Falcons were cruising to 35-13 halftime lead and eventually coasted to a 38-32 victory over New Orleans. The win clinched a first round playoff bye for the NFC South Division champions and granted the Falcons the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the Dallas Cowboys. Atlanta finished the regular season with an 11-5 mark. Beasley finished the regular season with 39 tackles and a league-leading six forced fumbles (tied at six with Oakland linebacker Bruce Irvin). Beasley also defended two passes. The Falcons playoff opponent will be decided by the outcome of this weekend’s NFC Wild Card games. The 6th-seeded Detroit LIons will play at the 3rd-seeded Seattle Seahawks while 5th-seeded New York Giants travel to the 4th-seeded Green Bay Packers.
As the top seed, Dallas will host the lowest surviving seed in the Divisional Round. Atlanta will entertain the highest surviving seed on Saturday, January 14 at 4:30pm.
MILLER FORRISTALL — University of Alabama (Fr., TE, Cartersville HS). . . fellow tight end O.J. Howard got all the receiving targets, but Forristall was a key ingredient on multiple plays for the Crimson Tide’s vaunted rushing attack Saturday in a 24-7 national semifinal victory over No. 4 Washington at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in the Georgia Dome. Top-ranked Alabama (14-0) will face No. 2 Clemson in the National Championship Game Monday, January 9 in Tampa.
HAYES LINN — Air Force (Sr., DB, Cartersville HS). . . wrapped up his collegiate career with one tackle in the Falcons’ 45-21 Arizona Bowl win over South Alabama December 30 in Tucson. Linn had 32 tackles and three passes defended in 11 games during the 2016 season. He missed two games due to injury. He played in 49 games during his career and compiled 58 career tackles. Air Force was 10-3 this season and finished 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference.
HIRAM VELEZ — Troy University (Jr., WR, Adairsville HS). . . saw action in the Trojans’ 28-23 win over Ohio University at the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, AL. Velez finished the season with 10 receptions in 13 games played for 113 yards and one touchdown. The scoring play was a 47-yard catch vs. Austin Peay. Troy finished the season 10-3 overall and was 6-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.
PRO AND COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SYDNEY BOYD — Brewton Parker College (Soph., G, Woodland HS). . . scored two points and grabbed a pair of rebounds in a 79-63 loss at Martin Methodist December 29. The Lady Barons also lost a conference game at Bethel University December 30, 80-51. Brewton-Parker (4-5, 0-3 Southern States Athletic Conference) open a four-game, conference homestand Thursday against William Carey University and wlll host Blue Mountain College Saturday.
EMMANUEL HOLLOWAY — UU-Korihait, Finnish Professional League (G, Illinois State, Woodland HS). . . scored six points and collected two rebounds with two assists in a 91-57 loss December 28 to second place Salon Vilpas. In rematch with Salon Vilpas December 30, Holloway totaled 15 points with six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one blocked shot, but his team lost 76-74. UU-Korihait (4-14) plays Kataja Wednesday and Helsinki January 11.
A.J. MOSBY — Alcorn State University (Jr., PG/SG, Cartersville HS). . . scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds with seven assists and one steal while the Braves snapped a six-game losing skid December 22 with an 83-68 win over Rust College. Mosby scored three points with three rebounds, four assists, and one steal as Alcorn State lost 63-53 December 20 at Grand Canyon University. Mosby, recently named Alcorn State Male Athlete of the Week, has started all 11 games for the Braves. He is averaging 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and better than two assists per game. Alcorn State (3-8) opens play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Monday and Wednesday with home games against Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M before traveling to Jackson State Saturday.
ADRIAN RODGERS — Malbus Oresund Malmo, Swedish Professional League (Cartersville native, Southern University) . . . scored 10 points with four rebounds and three assists in a 109-71 loss at home to first place BC LF Luleå December 20. Rodgers leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game. Malbas Oresund (1-14) will host KFUM Nassjo Tuesday and play at Uppsala January 10.
DARIUS THROWER — Truett-McConnell College (Fresh., G, Excel Christian Academy). . . scored three points and had one rebound in the Bears’ 88-54 exhibition loss at North Carolina Central December 28. TMC (5-9, 1-5 Appalachian Athletic Conference) returns to conference play Tuesday by hosting St. Andrews (NC) and will travel to Point University Thurday before hosting Reinhardt University Saturday.
CARROD WATSON — University of North Georgia (R-Fresh., F/C, Woodland HS). . . saw his first collegiate action December 19 in a home 76-73 Peach Belt Conference win over Lander University. Watson logged 14 minutes, collected four rebounds and blocked one shot. He also saw playing time in an 89-76 exhibition loss at Kennesaw State December 31. UNG (6-5, 2-0 PBC) returns to conference play Wednesday at Flagler College and plays at Armstrong State Friday.
HAKEEM WINTERS — Point University (Soph., F, Cartersville HS). . . scored 23 points and collected 13 rebounds with one assist and one steal in a 108-80 loss at Armstrong State University December 30. Point (2-13, 1-5 Appalachian Athletic Conference) plays at Bryan College (TN) Tuesday, hosts Truett-McConnell Thursday, and travels to Milligan College (TN) Saturday.
Did we miss someone this week? Please let us know. Use the 'Contact' page of this website or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Bartow Sports Zone 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' page to find links to all the current local athletes in the pros and on collegiate rosters.