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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Lawrence, Blackston, and Johns have big weeks on the gridiron

An open date seemed to come at the right time for Clemson and former Cartersville High quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Following a close call against North Carolina in late September, the Tigers had a bye week before returning to action with a 45-14 rout of Florida State.

Lawrence put together a solid showing, although it wasn't imperative with the way the Clemson defense played, finishing 17-for-25 for 170 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He added 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

It hasn't been quite the season most envisioned for the sophomore coming off a national title in January. However, Clemson is still undefeated with a fairly tame schedule the rest of the way, giving Lawrence and the offense plenty of time to reach their potential ahead of postseason play.

Elsewhere, a couple of former local standout defensive players put together great performances at the collegiate level. Adairsville High product Chris Blackston paced West Georgia with six tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Wake Forest's JaCorey Johns, a former Cane, racked up seven stops, three tackles for loss and a half-sack.

There were several other great performances outside of football this past week. Payton Putzer scored the winning goal in a match for the Young Harris women's soccer team; Cheyenne Spinks and her North Georgia teammates dominated a cross country race in Milledgeville; and Nedu Evans helped Augusta volleyball produce a 3-1 record over the weekend.


Vic Beasley (Atlanta Falcons; Adairsville) — Beasley finished with one tackle and one pass breakup in the Falcons' heartbreaking 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.


Terry Berdin (Reinhardt So., Cartersville) — Berdin had two rushing attempts for a total of 6 yards in a 45-14 rout of Bluefield by No. 20 Reinhardt in Saturday's home game.

Chris Blackston (West Georgia Sr., Adairsville) — Blackston (photo) led the Wolves in tackles with six (five solo). He had a tackle for loss, sack and fumble recovery in a 42-21 victory over North Greenville.

Bryce Burgess (Reinhardt So., Adairsville) — Burgess chipped in on both sides of the ball, carrying once for 2 yards and breaking up a pass in Saturday's win.

Kaleb Chatmon (Charleston Southern Fr., Cartersville) — Chatmon returned two kickoffs, totaling 32 yards, in a 45-23 loss Saturday at Kennesaw State.

Marcus Childers (Northern Illinois R-Jr., Adairsville) — Childers played just three snaps but made a big impact in the Huskies' come-from-behind win Saturday against Ohio. He rushed for 5 yards on a play in the first quarter. After halftime, the backup quarterback broke off a 70-yard run and followed that up with a 3-yard pass completion. NIU's starter reentered the next snap, and the team found the end zone. The touchdown helped the Huskies overcome a 21-10 deficit en route to a 39-36 win, which came down to a successful 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Jonathan Cruz (Charlotte So., Cartersville) — Cruz made his only field goal attempt — a 31-yarder — to open the scoring in Saturday's 48-23 road loss at Florida International. He sent three of his five kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. However, Cruz only converted 2 of 3 point after tries.

Dalen Curtis (Brevard College Jr., Cartersville) — Curtis had a 2-yard carry in a 24-23 road loss Saturday at Methodist.

Kurtis Feanny (Lenoir-Rhyne So., Woodland) — Feanny participated in D-II eighth-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne's 38-14 win Saturday at Tusculum.

Miller Forristall (Alabama R-Jr., Cartersville) — Forristall hauled in one catch for 11 yards in the top-ranked Crimson Tide's 47-28 road victory Saturday against then-No. 24 Texas A&M.

Sean Holton (Davidson Jr., Cartersville) — Holton participated in Davidson's 37-17 home loss Saturday against San Diego.

Brady Jernigan (Maryville Sr., Woodland) — Jernigan recorded one solo tackle in a 45-35 road loss to Huntingdon on Saturday.

JaCorey Johns (Wake Forest R-Fr., Cartersville) — Johns piled up seven tackles, including three solo, with three tackles for loss and a half-sack. Wake Forest, though, dropped its first game of the season in a 62-59 thriller against Louisville Saturday at home.

Emmanuel Jones (Colorado State Jr., Woodland) — Jones (photo) made the participation report but did not record any stats in a 35-21 road win Friday night at New Mexico.

Bradley Kirk (Shorter So., Cartersville) — Kirk contributed with two tackles in a 41-0 defeat Saturday at West Alabama.

Trevor Lawrence (Clemson So., Cartersville) — Lawrence and now-No. 3 Clemson demolished Florida State by a 45-14 final score Saturday at home. He completed 17 of 25 pass attempts for 170 yards, three touchdowns and one interception through the air. He had a 3-yard touchdown pass to Travis Etienne and connected with Justyn Ross from 10 and 8 yards out for a pair of scores. Lawrence added an 8-yard touchdown run. It's his fifth rushing score of the season, and he has one in each of his five games against Power-5 opponents.

Jacob Potter (Kennesaw State So., Adairsville) — Potter (photo, #64) served as a captain for the Owls, who are ranked No. 4 in FCS, in Saturday's home win.

Nick Root (Carson-Newman R-Fr., Cartersville) — Root saw action in Carson-Newman's 59-14 triumph over Catawba Saturday at home.

Avery Showell (Georgia Tech R-So., Cartersville) — Showell contributed three tackles, including two solo, in Saturday's 41-23 road loss to Duke.


Parker Breedlove (Reinhardt Fr., Cartersville) — Breedlove was 400th overall out of 500-plus runners in the Royals Cross Country Challenge Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a team, the Eagles finished 31st out of 57 teams. Breedlove finished the 8k race in 29 minutes, 11.1 seconds — good enough for sixth-best on his team.

Cheyenne Spinks (North Georgia Fr., Woodland) — The Nighthawks dominated the Georgia College Bobcat Cross Country Invitational Saturday in Milledgeville. North Georgia took half of the top 20 spots in the 6k race with Spinks (23:38.9) finishing ninth on her team but 17th overall in the 105-person field.


Lindsey Bonner (York Jr., Cartersville) — Bonner competed as an individual in the NYU Fall Invitational this past weekend in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She finished the two-day event with a plus-39, placing tied for 33rd. Her York teammates wound up fourth out of nine teams.


Emily Collum (Georgia Southwestern So., Adairsville) — Collum saw 25 minutes in a 3-0 loss to North Georgia Wednesday and managed to play 31 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Francis Marion on Saturday.

Havyn Isaac (Georgia Military Fr., Adairsville) — Isaac was in net for a 90-minute shutout of Andrew College Friday. She didn't need to make any saves in the comprehensive 7-0 win. Stats were unavailable for Georgia Military's other two games this past week — a 3-2 loss to Oxford and 2-1 defeat against South Georgia State.

Kurt Moore (Birmingham Southern Sr., Euharlee resident) — Birmingham Southern suffered a pair of heavy defeats this past week, falling 9-0 to Oglethorpe and succumbing 5-1 to Berry. Moore did make eight saves apiece in the two losses.

Marissa Mowry (Anderson So., Cartersville) — Mowry played the entire 90 minutes of a narrow 2-1 win over Mars Hill Saturday on the road.

Madison Putzer (Young Harris Jr., Cartersville) — Putzer played 18 combined minutes in a pair of games this past week. She saw 14 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Columbus State Wednesday and four in a 3-1 win over Lander Saturday.

Payton Putzer (Young Harris Jr., Cartersville) — Putzer scored the game-winning goal in the victory over Lander with her 30th-minute goal off a rebound proving to be enough for the win. It was her only shot attempt in either game. She started the loss and the win, playing 66 and 63 minutes, respectively.

Courtney Rhea (Berry So., Cartersville) — Rhea featured in two of Berry's three games this past week. She played roughly 19 minutes in a 1-0 Tuesday loss to Emory, was on the field the entire second half of a 6-1 Friday win over Millsaps and did not play in a 2-0 Sunday defeat to Birmingham Southern.

Logan Vermaas (North Georgia Fr., Cass) — Vermaas did not play in the win over Georgia Southwestern but saw the field for the final 15 minutes of a 3-0 triumph over Aiken on Saturday.


Nedu Evans (Augusta Fr., Cartersville) — Augusta finished 3-1 over the weekend, defeating Lenoir-Rhyne (3-0) and Mars Hill (3-1) Friday before falling to Carson-Newman (3-1) and edging Lincoln Memorial (3-2) Saturday. Evans featured in every set across the four matches. She totaled 19 kills, three digs and seven block assists.

Grace Hunter (Brewton-Parker Fr., Cartersville) — Hunter posted five kills and one assist in a three-set loss to Bethel on Saturday. No stats were available from another three-set loss Friday at Blue Mountain.

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