Two freshmen from Bartow County had breakout performances on the college football field Saturday.
Pressed into action by a malfunctioning offense, Adairsville alum Marcus Childers took the reins of Northern Illinois’ offense and led the Huskies to a 24-3 win over Kent State.
Childers threw for three touchdowns in the win.
Out west, Emmanuel Jones was a handful for Utah State’s offensive line, getting two sacks in a 27-14 Colorado State win.
In other news, DeAndre Applin and Isaiah Ross also had big defensive games, and John Scifers, Gabe Gridley and Trase Fezzia got some good work in on special teams.
DeAndre Applin (Georgia State Jr., Adairsville) — Applin had five tackles, tied for third on the team, Saturday as Georgia State edged out Central Carolina 27-21 on the road. In four games, he now has 19 total tackles, which is tied for second on the Panthers. 13 of those have been solo efforts, which is also tied for second on the team.
Chris Blackston (West Georgia So., Adairsville) — Blackston saw action Saturday as West Georgia beat Valdosta State 42-13 in the Battle for the Peach Basket.
Terrius Callahan (Austin Peay Fr., Cartersville) — Callahan saw action Saturday as Austin Peay lost 34-14 to Jacksonville State.
Trevor Carlton (Reinhardt So., Cartersville) — Carlton had one solo tackle Saturday in Reinhardt’s 53-7 homecoming win over Cumberlands.
Marcus Childers (Northern Illinois Fr., Adairsville) — It might be Marcus Childers time at Northern Illinois after the former Adairsville Tiger relieved starter Daniel Santacatarina in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Kent State and led the Huskies to a 24-3 win. Childers finished 13-of-21 passing for 114 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran 17 times for 65 net yards, leading the team in those categories too. After two drives from Santacaterina that produced a total of two yards, Childers came in and immediately led a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, converting a third-and-9 with a 28-yard carry and finishing the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass. He would go on to throw a 25-yard score with one minute left in the first half, and a 2-yard score early in the third quarter to put the Huskies up 21-3. As reported by several news outlets after the game, NIU coach Rod Carey was unsure about whether Childers would start next week at Buffalo.
Dalen Curtis (Brevard College Fr., Cartersville) — Curtis started at center Saturday as Brevard got a homecoming win, 21-14 over Virginia-Lynchburg.
Trase Fezzia (Ellsworth Community College Fr., Cartersville) — Fezzia made three solo tackles as a defensive back Saturday as Ellsworth narrowly lost to Independence CC, 44-38. He also handled kick return duties for Ellsworth, returning six kickoffs for a total of 162 yards, an average of 27 yards per attempt.
T.L. Ford (UNC-Charlotte Sr., Cartersville) — Ford started at wide receiver, but didn’t record a catch Saturday in a tough day for Charlotte’s offense. The 49ers picked up just 212 total yards in a 14-3 loss to Marshall.
Gordon Gray (Kennesaw State Jr., Cartersville) — Gray saw time Saturday as Kennesaw State beat Texas Southern 48-3.
Gabriel Gridley (ASA College Fr., Cartersville) — Gridley punted three times for 109 yards, an average of 34 yards per kick, as ASA beat Lackawanna 21-14 Friday.
Emmanuel Jones (Colorado State Fr., Woodland) — Jones might have had his breakout game Saturday against Utah State in a 27-14 win. The linebacker had four total tackles and two sacks, which went for a combined loss of 13 yards. That was tied for the team lead in a good defensive effort that saw the Rams pick up seven sacks as a team. His first sack came in the second quarter on a third-and-4, forcing a punt. His second takedown came later in the quarter, just after Utah State had broken into CSU territory with time running down in the half. The 7-yard loss turned a second-and-10 into a third-and-17, helping to kill Utah State’s scoring opportunity.
Rodney Mitchell (Coastal Carolina Sr., Cartersville) — Mitchell started at left tackle Saturday in Coastal’s loss to Georgia State.
Mark Quattlebaum (UNC-Charlotte Jr., Cartersville) — Quattlebaum had one catch for four yards Saturday in Charlotte’s loss to Marshall.
Isaiah Ross (Point Sr., Woodland) — Ross racked up seven tackles (five solo) Satuday as Point beat Pikeville 34-31. He also had a pass breakup. Ross has 26 tackles on the season, good for fifth on the Skyhawks, despite not starting a single game. Ross also returned two kickoffs for a total of seven yards.
John Scifers (West Georgia So., Woodland) — Scifers appears to have solidified himself as West Georgia’s kickoff man, kicking off seven times with an average of 56 yards per as the Wolves beat Valdosta State Saturday.
Brett Shedd (Shorter So., Woodland) — Shedd saw action Saturday as Shorter lost 42-14 to Gardner-Webb.
Shelby Townsend Jr. (Georgia Southern Jr., Woodland) — Townsend saw action as Georgia Southern lost to Arkansas State 43-25 last Wednesday.
Jake Walker (Furman Fr., Cartersville resident) — Walker saw action Saturday as Furman beat Chattanooga 41-17.