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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Lawrence helps lead Jags to improbable playoff comeback


Former Cartersville High School quarterback Trevor Lawrence helped lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to an improbable NFL Wildcard playoff win Saturday night and continued a statistic that may also seem improbable for any quarterback playing at the highest level of the sport.


TREVOR LAWRENCE — Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL, 2nd-yr. pro; Clemson; Cartersville HS … One of the most amazing stats for Lawrence is he has never lost a start on a Saturday as a high school, college, or NFL quarterback. That accomplishment almost came to halt this past Saturday, but the Jacksonville quarterback and the Jaguars overcame a 27-point deficit and rallied to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 in an improbable Wild Card playoff win.

Lawrence struggled heavily in the first half as the Jags fell behind 27-0. He had a 0.0 passer rating through his team’s first seven series. The second-year pro was 5-for-18 for just 35 yards and was picked off four times in those possessions. He finished with 288 yards and four touchdowns, however, as the Jaguars outscored Los Angeles 24-3 in the second half and completed the third-largest comeback in NFL postseason history. In his last five drives, Lawrence was 23-for-29 for 253 yards and four touchdowns,

The rally began with a 9-yard Lawrence TD pass to Evan Engram with just 0:24 remaining in the first half. In the third quarter, the 23-year-old had a 6-yard scoring strike to Marvin Jones and connected with Zay Jones and a 39-yard scoring play to narrow the Chargers’ lead to 30-20. In the fourth quarter, a 9-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk followed by a crucial 2-point conversion lunge by Lawrence cut the Los Angeles lead to 30-28 with just over five minutes remaining. Following a defensive stop, Jacksonville was able to drive back down field on ten plays to set up a 36-yard, game-winning field goal by Riley Patterson as time expired. Lawrence finished the game 28-for-47 passing for 288 yards. He added one rushing carry for eight yards.

Jacksonville (10-8) advances to the AFC Divisional round and will play at the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs Saturday afternoon.


ASHTON HAGANS — Greensboro Swarm (NBA G-League; 3rd-year pro; Cartersville native; Kentucky; Newton HS) … averaged more than 12 points, just over four assists, four rebounds, and added one steal and one blocked shot as the Swarm went 2-1 last week. Greensboro lost last Tuesday at the Westchester Knicks and split games last Friday and Saturday at the Lakeland Magic. The Swarm (2-6) host the conference-leading Cleveland Charge Wednesday night and host the Windy City Bulls Saturday night. Greensboro is currently 13th in the NBA G League Eastern Conference.

A.J. MOSBY — Sudbury Five (6th year pro; NBL-Canada; Alcorn State; Cartersville HS) … scored 17 points and had eight assists, three rebounds, and one steal in a 129-116 home win over the Windsor Express. Sudbury (3-0) plays at the London (Ontario) Lightning Thursday and at the Express on Friday.


Braxton Benham

BRAXTON BENHAM — Berry College (So., Cass HS) … coming off a foot injury and off the Vikings’ bench, Benham scored 16 points with three steals, three assists, and two rebounds last Friday night in a 75-62 home win over Sewanee-University of the South. Sunday he returned to the starting lineup, scored nine points with five assists, four steals, and three rebounds in a 78-59 conference win over Centre College (Kentucky). Berry (14-2, 5-0 Southern Athletic Association) plays at Hendrix College (Arkansas) Friday night and at Rhodes College in Memphis Sunday.

CLAIRE DAVIS — Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fr., Cass HS) … made a start this past Saturday afternoon and scored six points, grabbed five rebounds, and made one steal in a 63-60 loss to Embry-Riddle University. PBAU (8-7, 4-5 Sunshine State Conference) plays at Barry University Wednesday night and at Eckerd College Saturday afternoon.

JUSTICE HAYES — Point University (So., Cass HS) … scored three points and had one rebound and one assist Saturday as the Skyhawks lost 77-72 at Montreat College. Point (10-8, 10-5 Appalachian Athletic Conference) hosts Truett-McConnell University Tuesday night, plays at Milligan University Thursday night, and entertains Union College (KY) Saturday night.

DiAnthony Heathcock

DiANTHONY HEATHCOCK — Columbia International University (Jr., Woodland HS) … finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and two steals this past Saturday as the Rams lost 71-66 at Bryan College. CIU (8-8, 7-6 Appalachian Athletic Conference) travels to Johnson University (TN) Tuesday night and plays at Montreat College Saturday afternoon.

HALEY JOHNSON — Central Georgia Tech CC (Fr., Cass HS) … scored four points and had one rebound and one steal last Thursday in a 67-53 home win over Brenau University JV. The Titans also lost Saturday at East Georgia State CC but box score information was not available at the time of this release. CGTCC (6-13, 1-6 GCAA) hosts Albany Tech Wednesday evening and travels to Andrew College Saturday afternoon.

KEARA McDANIEL — Toccoa Falls College (Fr., Cass HS) … had three rebounds and one steal in the Screaming Eagles’ 81-51 home win last Tuesday over Mississippi University for Women. Toccoa Falls (11-4, 3-1 National Christian College Athletic Association DII) plays at home Monday against Johnson & Wales (North Carolina) and travels to Welch College (Tennessee) Thursday night.

JAYLON PUGH — Lander University (Grad student, Cartersville HS) … scored four points with two rebounds and one steal last Wednesday in an 81-78 loss at Augusta University. He also grabbed two rebounds this past Saturday as the Bearcats won at Clayton State, 76-63. Lander (11-4, 3-2 Peach Belt Conference) plays three conference games at home this week facing Clayton State Monday, Columbus State Wednesday, and Georgia Southwestern Saturday.

LONDAISHA SMITH — Alderson Broaddus University (So., Cass HS) … had one steal last Wednesday in a 60-57 home victory over the University of Charleston (West Virginia). She then scored four points, had two rebounds, two steals, and one assist in a 112-49 loss Saturday afternoon at West Virginia State. The Battlers (4-11, 3-7 Mountain East Conference) play at West Liberty University Wednesday night and at Notre Dame College Saturday afternoon.

NAKIYAH WASHINGTON — Piedmont University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … scored five points, grabbed nine rebounds, had five assists, and five steals as the Lions won at Maryville College (Tennessee) this past Saturday, 64-59. Sunday afternoon she scored 11 points with seven boards, four assists, two steals, and had one blocked shot in a 77-63 loss at Berea College (Kentucky). This week, Piedmont (8-6, 4-1 Collegiate Conference of the South) hosts Belhaven University (Mississippi) Friday night and Huntingdon College Saturday afternoon.


GRAYSON BREEDLOVE — Lenoir Rhyne University (Jr., Cartersville HS) … in a 156-96 team loss at Queens University last Friday Breedlove placed third in the 200-yard backstroke (2:24.84); was 7th in the 100-yard backstroke (1:08.58); and was on a 7th-place 200-yard medley relay team (2:09.82). The Bears also won a home meet with King University 156.5 to 96.5 Saturday but those results were not available. LRU swims next at UNC-Pembroke this Saturday.

HARPER POWELL — Florida Tech (So., Adairsville HS) … in a 168-94 team loss this past Saturday at Lynn University, Powell was on her team’s third place 200-yard medley relay team (1:55.91) and was on the Panthers’ fourth place 400-yard freestyle relay team (3:55.18). Individually, she was fifth in the 50-yard freestyle (27.47) and sixth in the 100-yard freestyle (1:00.80). Next for Florida Tech is a meet at Saint Leo University this Saturday afternoon.


Angel Banda

ANGEL BANDA — Reinhardt University (Jr., Adairsville HS) … won his individual bouts Saturday as 12th-ranked Reinhardt beat Brewton-Parker 42-3 and host Montreat College (North Carolina) 53-6. Banda, a 125-pounder now ranked 12th nationally as an individual in NAIA, won both of his bouts by pinfall. Next for the Eagles will be their own Reinhardt Duals Saturday in Waleska.

KYLE GOLLHOFER — University of Northern Iowa (R-So., Woodland HS) … won his 125-pound bout 10-6 as 15th-ranked Northern Iowa won at Utah Valley last Friday night. The Panthers host 13th-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday, January 28.

Caleb Henson

CALEB HENSON — Virginia Tech (Fr., Woodland HS) … now ranked 11th nationally as an individual in the 149-pound division, Henson defeated 8th-ranked Jon Jon Milner of Appalachian State 6-4 Sunday as the 9th-ranked Hokies topped the 22nd-ranked Mountaineers 23-11. Virginia Tech returns to action Friday night at home against 5th-ranked N.C. State.

BRYCE KRESHO — Franklin & Marshall University (Fr., Cass HS) … a 149-pounder, Kresho dropped a 10-2 decision Saturday in the Diplomats’ 23-13 team loss to Drexel University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Franklin & Marshall hosts Gettysburg College Wednesday night and will face Long Island University and Hofstra University Saturday in New York.

JAXON SMITH — University of Maryland (Fr., Woodland HS) … now ranked 11th nationally in the 197-pound weight class, Smith pinned his opponents from Oklahoma and Ohio University this past Saturday at the Virginia Duals. The 23rd-ranked Terrapins also won both duals 18-16 and 27-13, respectively. On Sunday, Smith lost both his bouts as Maryland fell to Campbell University 21-14 and beat host Virginia 22-14. The Terps return to Big Ten action on Friday night when they host 7th-ranked Ohio State. They will then travel to 25th-ranked Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

JABRIL WILLIAMS — Midway University (So., Cartersville HS) … finished 1-2 in 165-pound bouts at the Central Baptist College Invitational this past weekend in Conway, Arkansas. The Eagles won the tournament claiming the program’s first-ever tournament victory. Midway finished 23 points ahead of second place Avila (Missouri). The Eagles wrestle next at the Missouri Valley Invitational in Marshall, Missouri this weekend.

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