Athletes Beyond Bartow: Lawrence, Clemson reach ACC title game; Beasley debuts with Raiders
This weekend saw Trevor Lawrence play likely his final regular-season game for Clemson the day before Vic Beasley Jr. suited up for his Las Vegas Raiders debut.
Facing Virginia Tech Saturday on the road, Lawrence had an uneven night through the air but still managed to account for three scores, thanks to a solid night rushing the ball. The junior threw for 195 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-22 passing, adding 41 yards and two scores on the ground.
With the win, Clemson, which is off this week, will face Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game Dec. 19 in Charlotte, North Carolina. It will be a rematch of a thrilling matchup from earlier in the season that the Fighting Irish won 47-40 in double overtime in South Bend, Indiana. The difference this time around — aside from the neutral-site venue — will be Lawrence, who missed the first meeting due to a positive COVID-19 test.
At the professional level, Beasley — a former Clemson standout — saw his first action, limited as it may have been, for the Raiders after recently being promoted from the team’s practice squad. The Adairsville native played eight snaps (13%) Sunday against the New York Jets — his first action in five weeks. After five seasons with Atlanta, Beasley played in five games with Tennessee this year before being released.
Elsewhere, Cartersville native Ashton Hagans landed a spot on the training camp roster for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hagans declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore season at Kentucky. Despite going undrafted, the 6-foot-3 point guard inked a two-way contract with Minnesota to begin his professional career.
Ashton Hagans (Cartersville native; Minnesota Timberwolves) — Minnesota announced an 18-player training camp roster Sunday. Hagans is the lone two-way player on the roster. He signed the deal after going undrafted last month. The Timberwolves are set to play three preseason games before opening the regular season Dec. 23.
Vic Beasley (Adairsville; Las Vegas Raiders) — Despite not recording any stats on his eight snaps, Beasley did manage to make his debut for Las Vegas in a 31-28 road win Saturday over the New York Jets. The Raiders are scheduled to play their next three games at home. First up is a visit from Indianapolis this coming Sunday.
DiAnthony Heathcock (Columbia International Fr., Woodland) — The true freshman scored two points, pulled down five rebounds and swatted a pair of shots in a 110-108 double-overtime loss last Wednesday at Truett McConnell. On the season, Heathcock has 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting across five appearances. He also has totaled 25 boards and six blocks in 60 minutes of play.
Jaylon Pugh (Furman Jr., Cartersville) — Pugh sank a pair of 3-pointers in an 89-49 victory over Southern Wesleyan last Wednesday at home. He also had an assist and a rebound in the win. On Saturday, Pugh didn’t score but did contribute a rebound and a steal in an 81-57 triumph at College of Charleston. Pugh has featured in every game this season for Furman (4-0), scoring 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting across 31 total minutes.
Trey Creamer (Charlotte R-Jr., Cartersville) — Making his season debut, Creamer was credited with assisting on one tackle in a 37-19 home loss Sunday to Western Kentucky. Charlotte (2-4, 2-2 Conference USA) is slated to face Marshall in its season finale Friday in Huntington, West Virginia.
Jonathan Cruz (Charlotte Jr., Cartersville) — Cruz nailed his only point-after try and didn’t attempt any field goals in Sunday’s defeat.
Miller Forristall (Alabama R-Sr., Cartersville) — The Crimson Tide’s starting tight end against LSU, Forristall didn’t record any catches, but Alabama cruised to a 55-17 win against the defending national champion. The top-ranked team in the country is now 9-0 and will close out the regular season this week at Arkansas.
Manny Jones (Colorado State Sr., Woodland) — Playing in their first game since Nov. 12, Colorado State fell 29-17 Saturday at San Diego State. Jones assisted on one tackle in the defeat. Having played just four total games, the Rams (1-3) are set to conclude the abbreviated season Saturday against Utah State.
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson Jr., Cartersville) — Lawrence finished with a season-low completion percentage but a season-best rushing total in a 45-10 win Saturday at Virginia Tech. The junior completed 12 of 22 pass attempts (55%) for 195 yards. He threw one touchdown but also one interception. On the ground, Lawrence piled up 41 yards and two scores. Having possibly played his final regular-season game for Clemson (9-1, 8-1 ACC), the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder enters the ACC Championship Game with 26 total touchdowns and three interceptions this year.
-- Contributor: Nicholas Sullivan, The Daily Tribune News