Athletes Beyond Bartow: Lawrence leads Clemson to 2-0 start, Beasley misses second Titans' game


Facing his only non-conference opposition during the regular season, Trevor Lawrence roasted The Citadel to the tune of four total touchdowns despite not playing the entirety of the first half.

It's extremely early in the season, but the Clemson junior appears to be among the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy. His overall stats may not rival some other top quarterbacks who are forced to throw more often. Few can rival his efficiency, though.

In what seems all but certain to be his final season with the Tigers, Lawrence will be eyeing a third straight trip to the College Football Playoff. With Clemson 2-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country, he is well on his way to achieving that goal.

Elsewhere, some former local defensive standouts enjoyed successful days at the collegiate level this week.

Avery Showell posted a career-best seven tackles for Georgia Tech, while Middle Tennessee State's Jordan Ferguson and Wake Forest's JaCorey Johns each made three stops. Showell and Ferguson both recovered a fumble; Ferguson and Johns each managed a tackle for loss.

In the professional ranks, former Cartersville High pitcher Sam Howard had an uneven week ahead of the final few days of the abbreviated MLB season, and Adairsville High product Vic Beasley Jr. wound up sitting out his second consecutive game for his new team.

PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL

Sam Howard (Pittsburgh Pirates, Cartersville) — Over the past seven days, Howard posted two flawless appearances followed by a rough outing to conclude the week. The left-handed reliever was dominant Wednesday and Friday, retiring all five batters he faced, including striking out three of them. Things were a little rough Saturday, though, when the 27-year-old recorded just one out, while allowing two earned runs on three hits and a hit batsman. He suffered his third loss of the season as a result. Howard will look to end his overly positive year (2-3 record, 3.66 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) on a high note during the final week of the regular season.

PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

Vic Beasley Jr. (Tennessee Titans, Adairsville) — Beasley missed his second straight game to begin the season, but Tennessee improved to 2-0 with a narrow win over Jacksonville. All signs point towards Beasley (knee) making his Titans debut this coming week. The former Falcons defender practiced fully Thursday and Friday, carrying a questionable tag into Sunday before ultimately sitting out. Beasley will look to make his first appearance for Tennessee during this week's road trip to face winless Minnesota.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Isaiah Chaney (Wake Forest R-Fr., Cartersville) — Chaney made the participation report but didn't record any stats in a 45-42 loss Saturday at North Carolina State.

Jonathan Cruz (Charlotte Jr., Cartersville) — The 49ers were forced to cancel their road trip to in-state foe North Carolina after contract tracing-related quarantines depleted the offensive line. Charlotte is still scheduled to host Georgia State this week.

Jordan Ferguson (Middle Tennessee State R-Jr., Cartersville) — The Cartersville High graduate followed up his seven-tackle season debut with another solid game. In a 47-14 home loss to Troy, Ferguson compiled three tackles, including one tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery. His team will look for more success Friday at Texas-San Antonio.

JaCorey Johns (Wake Forest R-So., Cartersville) — Johns made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and assisted on two other stops in Saturday's high-scoring defeat. Next up for Wake Forest is a tough home draw, as Notre Dame visits Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Trevor Lawrence (Clemson Jr., Cartersville) — While most people across the country would have expected a huge performance against The Citadel, Lawrence's outing wound up being extremely efficient — even by his lofty standards. The 6-foot-6 signal-caller completed 8 of 9 passes for 168 yards, garnering a whopping 18.67 yards per attempt. He tossed three touchdown passes, each of which was perfectly thrown, and added a short rushing score in a 49-0 victory. On the season, Lawrence is 30-for-37 passing for 519 yards, with a 4:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He's added three rushing TDs, as well. Following an open date, top-ranked Clemson's next victim — err, opponent — is slated to be Virginia Oct. 3.

Avery Showell (Georgia Tech R-Jr., Cartersville) — Showell recorded a career-high seven tackles (four solo) in a 42-21 home defeat Saturday to Central Florida. The defensive back also recovered a fumble in the loss. Georgia Tech will have a chance to bounce back this week at Syracuse. -- Nicholas Sullivan, The Daily Tribune News prepared this report

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