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Athletes Beyond Bartow: College football opens across the nation

While a few programs opened their 2018 college football seasons a week earlier, this past week saw most teams across the nation play their season openers.

As a result, many of the football 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' hit the gridiron this past weekend with their college teams for their first games of the 2018 campaign.


QUADRE ALLEN — Tusculum College (Sr., DB, Woodland HS)… saw action in the Pioneers’ 13-3 loss to visiting North Greenville last Thursday. Tusculum (0-1) plays at Shorter this Saturday.

DEANDRE APPLIN — Georgia State University (Sr., DB, Adairsville HS)… started at safety and had one tackle and an interception in the Panthers’ 24-20 home win last Thursday over FCS 5th-ranked Kennesaw State. Applin returned his second quarter pick 12 yards to the KSU 37 yard line. It set up the Panthers’ second touchdown to tie the game 14-14. GSU (1-0) travels to Raleigh, NC to take on North Carolina State this Saturday.

CHRIS BLACKSTON — University of West Georgia (Jr., DB, Adairsville HS)… started at free safety and finished with five tackles, including one for a three-yard loss as the NCAA D2 25th-ranked Wolves beat visiting Catawba 34-3. Blackston was also credited with one quarterback hurry. UWG (1-0) plays at Limestone this Saturday afternoon.

DALEN CURTIS — Brevard College (Soph., FB, Cartersville HS)… converted from the offensive line to fullback this season, Curtis had an eight yard reception in the Tornados’ 34-13 loss at Davidson. Brevard (0-1) has a week off before hosting Allen University September 15.

MARCUS CHILDERS — Northern Illinois University (R-Soph., QB, Adairsville HS)… the Huskies’ starter at quarterback was 14-for-25 passing for 105 yards and a touchdown during NIU’s season opening 33-7 loss Saturday at Iowa. Childers threw one interception and was sacked five times. He rushed ten times for 15 net yards and even caught one pass for five yards. Northern Illinois (0-1) plays its home opener this Saturday against Utah.

XAVIOR COAXUM — LaGrange College (Soph., DB, Cartersville HS)… the Panthers’ starter at free safety, Coaxum had seven tackles Saturday in a 34-28 loss at Birmingham Southern. LaGrange (0-1) will entertain visiting Berry College this Saturday night at Callaway Stadium.

JONATHAN CRUZ — UNC-Charlotte (Fr., PK, Cartersville HS)… connected on a pair of first half field goals and made four PAT kicks in his collegiate debut as the 49er’s beat visiting Fordham 34-10. Cruz did miss a 27-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds of the first half. His seven kickoffs averaged 60 yards with three touchbacks. UNCC (1-0) will host Appalachian State this Saturday night.

JORDAN FERGUSON — Middle Tennessee State University (Soph., DL, Cartersville HS)… saw action in three quarters of the Blue Raiders’ 35-7 loss Saturday night at Vanderbilt. MTSU (0-1) hosts Tennessee-Martin this Saturday night.

MILLER FORRISTALL — University of Alabama (R-Soph., TE, Cartersville HS)… saw action in the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s opening 51-14 victory Saturday night over Louisville in Orlando. Alabama (1-0) hosts Arkansas State this Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa.

GABE GRIDLEY — Angelo State University (Jr.,P, Cartersville HS)… had six punts for a 38.5 yard average including a long kick of 49 yards and five punts downed inside the 20 yard line as the Rams won Saturday at Western Oregon 24-17. ASU (1-0) travels to Abilene Christian University this Saturday night.

HUNTER HARDIN — Point University (Soph., OL, Woodland HS)… saw action in the second half of the Skyhawks’ 48-7 loss at Stetson Saturday. Hardin was also on the PAT team for Point’s extra point. PU (0-2) hosts Edward Waters College this Saturday afternoon.

KALIN HEATH — University of West Georgia (Jr., RB, Cartersville HS)… in his first action as a member of the NCAA D2 19th-ranked Wolves, Heath, a transfer from UAB who was previously red-shirted at Kansas State, finished with seven yards on four, fourth quarter carries. He picked up eight yards on his first attempt, but later had a two-yard loss in the same series. West Georgia routed Catawba 34-3 to start the season 1-0 and will travel to Limestone University this Saturday.

SEAN HOLTON — Davidson College (Soph., DB, Cartersville HS)… recorded two tackles as the Wildcats defeated visiting Brevard College Saturday, 34-13. Davidson (1-0) plays host to Chowan this Saturday night.

LUCAS JOHNSON — Georgia State University (Sr., OL, Cass HS)… started at right tackle last Thursday in the Panthers’ 24-20 home win over Kennesaw State. Johnson was part of an offensive unit that gained 315 total yards (128 rushing on 38 attempts / 187 passing on 28 attempts). GSU (1-0) plays this Saturday at N.C. State.

EMMANUEL JONES — Colorado State University (Soph., LB, Woodland HS)… had three tackles Friday night as the Rams lost to rival Colorado in Denver, 45-13. CSU (0-2) hosts Arkansas this Saturday evening.

BRADLEY KIRK — Shorter University (Fr., DB, Cartersville HS)… a starter in the Hawks’ defensive backfield, Kirk was credited with six tackles and a forced fumble in his collegiate debut. Unfortunately, Shorter suffered a 66-9 loss at Samford. The Hawks (0-1) will host Tusculum College this Saturday afternoon at Barron Stadium in Rome.

TREVOR LAWRENCE — Clemson University (Fr., QB, Cartersville HS)… sharing time with starter Kelly Bryant, Lawrence finished 9-for-15 or 137 yards and three touchdowns with a long connection of 42 yards as the Tigers blasted Furman 48-7. The true freshman also had three rushes for one net yard in his collegiate debut. His scoring plays included a second quarter, six-yard TD pass to Diondre Overton; a third quarter 15-yard TD pass to Justyn Ross; and a fourth quarter 9-yard TD pass to Braden Galloway. Second-ranked Clemson (1-0) hits the road this Saturday for an inter-conference matchup at Texas A&M.

DARIAN POELLNITZ — Miles College (Fr., DL, Cartersville HS)… was credited with one solo tackle Saturday in the Golden Bears’ 37-0 loss at Alabama A&M. Miles (0-1) travels to Livingston, AL Thursday night to face NCAA D2 17th-ranked University of West Alabama.

MARK QUATTLEBAUM — UNC-Charlotte (R-Sr., SL, Cartersville HS)… started as the 49ers slot receiver and punt returner in a 34-10 opening day win over visiting Fordham. Quattlebaum was targeted only once as a receiver and had a one-yard rush in the game. He also had an 18-yard punt return along with a pair of fair catches and one lost fumble in the return game. Charlotte (1-0) hosts Appalachian State this Saturday night.

SEVEN RICHARDS — Jacksonville University (Fr., OL, Cass HS)… saw his first-ever collegiate action in the Dolphins’ season opening 63-14 victory over St. Augustine’s. Jacksonville rushed for 424 yards and passed for another 120 in their win. The Dolphins (1-0) travel north to Macon, GA this Saturday to challenge Mercer.

JOHN SCIFERS — University of West Georgia (R-Soph., PK, Woodland HS)… missed a 32-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter of last Thursday’s 34-3 win over Catawba. 19th-ranked UWG (1-0) travels to Limestone College this Saturday afternoon.

MACLAND SHAY — New Mexico Highlands University (Fr., DB, Cass HS)… saw action in the Cowboys’ 45-31 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win over Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Highlands (1-0) hosts Adams State University this Saturday afternoon in another conference game.

HIRAM VELEZ — University of West Florida (R-Sr., WR, Adairsville HS)… saw playing time in the NCAA D2 2nd-ranked Argonauts’ 19-9 win at home over No. 22 Carson-Newman last Thursday. UWF (1-0) travels to Wichita Falls, TX this Saturday night to play 11th-ranked Midwestern State.

BRANDON WADE — Ellsworth CC (Soph., DL, Cartersville HS)… had three tackles, including two for loss, but the Panthers lost 17-10 to Highland Community CC Saturday in Iowa Falls, IA. Ellsworth (0-2) hosts Garden City CC next Saturday afternoon.

JAKE WALKER — Furman University (Soph., TE, Cartersville resident, Darlington HS)… started at tight end for the FCS 21st-ranked Paladins, but was not targeted in the Furman passing game during a 48-7 loss to 2nd-ranked Clemson. Furman (0-1) plays at FCS 13th-ranked Elon this Saturday.

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