The NFL season kicked off this week, but it didn't get off to a great start for Vic Beasley Jr. and the Falcons. He had just one tackle in a loss to defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia in a near carbon copy of the playoff loss last season suffered by Atlanta at Lincoln Financial Field.
Other local players hoping to become the next Beasley had solid games across college football this weekend.
Woodland product Emmanuel Jones led the way with a monster showing against Arkansas. The sophomore did a little bit of everything, including picking off a pass and recording a sack, to help Colorado State upset its SEC foe. He'll look to repeat the performance this coming weekend against Florida.
Trevor Lawrence continued to show his prodigious talent in his first road game. The Clemson quarterback threw a 64-yard touchdown pass on his first snap. A 2018 Cartersville High graduate, Lawrence shared snaps with Kelly Bryant, but Bryant took the reps in the fourth quarter in the Tigers' win at Texas A&M.
Others who put forth great displays on the gridiron included former Adairsville stars DeAndre Applin and Chris Blackston, and ex-Cartersville specialists Gabriel Gridley and Jonathan Cruz.
Cruz was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the week after hitting three 40-plus field goals in his second college game, including one from 54 yards out.
On the pitch, Emily Collum — another former Tiger — stole the show. Her first collegiate goal proved to be the game-winner for Georgia Southwestern in a 2-1 victory on Sunday.
Vic Beasley Jr. (Atlanta Falcons; Adairsville) — Beasley had one tackle in the Falcons’ 18-12 season-opening loss Thursday night at Philadelphia. Atlanta (0-1) entertains the Carolina Panthers Sunday at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Quadre Allen (Tusculum Sr., Woodland) — Allen had a tackle for a 3-yard loss Saturday afternoon as the Pioneers won at Shorter, 61-14. Tusculum (1-1) opens South Atlantic Conference play Saturday at home against Limestone.
DeAndre Applin (Georgia State Sr., Adairsville) — After his opening-week performance earned him a spot on the Pro Football Focus Sun Belt Team of the Week, Applin had 11 total tackles (two solo, nine assists) in Saturday’s 41-7 loss at N.C. State. The Panthers (1-1) play at Memphis Friday night.
Chris Blackston (West Georgia Jr., Adairsville) — Blackston recorded seven tackles, including four solo stops, and a fumble recovery in Saturday’s 42-14 win by the 13th-ranked Wolves over visiting Limestone.
Bryce Burgess (Reinhardt Fr., Adairsville) — Burgess had one tackle assist in the Eagles’ 45-21 home-opening win over Georgetown (Kentucky). Reinhardt (1-1) was preseason ranked No. 2 in NAIA before being upset in its road opener August 23 at Bethel. The new NAIA poll will be released Monday. The Eagles’ play Saturday afternoon at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida.
Trevor Carlton (Reinhardt Sr., Cartersville) — Carlton had one tackle for a 5-yard loss Saturday in the Eagles’ 45-21 victory over visiting Georgetown (Kentucky).
Marcus Childers (Northern Illinois R-So., Adairsville) — Childers finished 18-of-33 for 111 yards as a passer and ran for 12 yards on a dozen attempts in a 17-6 loss to visiting Utah Saturday night at Huskie Stadium. Childers had a long completion of 16 yards and a long run of 19 yards. He did throw one interception and was sacked three times by the Pac-12 Utes. Northern Illinois (0-2) begins Mid-American Conference play Saturday afternoon at home against Central Michigan.
Xavior Coaxum (LaGrange So., Cartersville) — Coaxum, the Panthers’ starting free safety, had three tackles Saturday night in a 34-21 loss to visiting Berry College. Coaxum has 10 tackles in the Panthers’ first two games. LaGrange (0-2) has the week off before hosting Apprentice University on Sept. 22.
Jonathan Cruz (Charlotte Fr., Cartersville) — Cruz made all three of his field-goal attempts Saturday, including a 54-yarder in the second quarter, but the 49ers lost to visiting Appalachian State, 45-9. Cruz also converted a 46-yarder and a 48-yarder in the second quarter to account for all of his team’s points. All four of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. It earned Cruz his first collegiate honor — Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week. The 49ers (1-1) open C-USA play this Saturday night at home against Old Dominion.
Kurtis Feanny (Lenoir-Rhyne Fr., Woodland) — Feanny saw his first collegiate action Saturday night, but he did not make the stat sheet in a 51-24 win at North Greenville. The Bears (1-1) host Mars Hill University this Saturday night in Hickory, North Carolina.
Jordan Ferguson (Middle Tennessee State So., Cartersville) — Ferguson has now seen action in both of the Blue Raiders’ first two games including Saturday night’s 61-37 home win over Tennessee-Martin. MTSU (1-1) plays this Saturday night at third-ranked Georgia.
Miller Forristall (Alabama R-So., Cartersville) — Forristall was part of the receiver rotation for the top-ranked Crimson Tide in their 57-7 home win Saturday over Arkansas State. Alabama (2-0) begins SEC action this Saturday night at Ole Miss.
Gabriel Gridley (Angelo State Jr., Cartersville) — Gridley punted 10 times Saturday for a 45.9-yard average in a 41-24 loss at Abilene Christian University. One punt was for a touchback with four inside the 20-yard line. His longest punt went for 63 yards. The Rams (1-1) begin Lone Star Conference play this Saturday night when they host Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Hunter Hardin (Point So., Woodland) — Hardin saw action in the Skyhawks' 17-10 loss at Edward Waters College (Florida). Point (0-3) hosts Kentucky Christian University for homecoming this Saturday afternoon.
Kalin Heath (West Georgia Jr., Cartersville) — Heath had eight carries for 11 yards Saturday as the 13th-ranked Wolves beat visiting Limestone 42-14 in Carrollton. UWG (2-0) plays at Albany State this Saturday night.
Sean Holton (Davidson So., Cartersville) — Holton had one tackle in the Wildcats’ 49-28 win Saturday at home over Chowan. Davidson (2-0) will entertain Guilford Saturday night for their annual homecoming game at Richardson Stadium.
Lucas Johnson (Georgia State Sr., Cass) — The Panthers’ starting right tackle, Johnson was part of an offense that rushed for 129 yards and passed for 242 yards at N.C. State and even briefly held a 7-0 lead before losing 41-7 to the Wolfpack.
Emmanuel Jones (Colorado State So., Woodland) — Jones had an interception, a sack, five tackles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry in the Rams' 34-27 defeat of Arkansas Saturday night. CSU (1-2) plays at Florida this Saturday.
Bradley Kirk (Shorter Fr., Cartersville) — Kirk recorded a pair of tackles Saturday afternoon in the Hawks’ 61-14 loss to visiting Tusculum. Shorter (0-2) opens Gulf South Conference play this Saturday night in Pensacola at NCAA DII second-ranked University of West Florida.
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson Fr., Cartersville) — Lawrence tossed a 64-yard touchdown pass on his first play in a 28-26 victory at Texas A&M. Lawrence entered for his first series at the beginning of the second quarter. He finished the game 5-of-9 passing for a total of 93 yards and had two rushing attempts for negative-1 yards. Clemson (2-0) hosts Georgia Southern Saturday afternoon.
Darian Poellnitz (Miles College Fr., Cartersville) — Poellnitz had a pair of tackle assists last Thursday night in a 37-21 loss at 11th-ranked West Alabama. The Golden Bears (0-2) will host Fort Valley State Saturday evening in the prince Hall Americanism Football Classic in Fairfield, Alabama.
Mark Quattlebaum (Charlotte R-Sr., Cartersville) — Quattlebaum made two catches for a 1-yard total Saturday in the 49ers’ 45-9 home loss to Appalachian State. His first reception went for 3 yards before losing 2 yards on his next catch. He was targeted three times as a receiver and also made a pair of fair catches as a punt returner. UNCC (1-1) hosts Old Dominion Saturday night as they begin play in Conference USA.
Macland Shay (New Mexico Highlands Fr., Cass) — Shay saw action Saturday as the Cowboys remained unbeaten with a 65-37 win over visiting Adams State. Highlands (2-0, 2-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) travels to St. George, Utah, to play Dixie State Saturday night.
Garrett Shelton (Alabama State Fr., Cartersville) — Shelton saw action in the Hornets’ 63-9 loss Saturday night at seventh-ranked Auburn. ASU (1-1) plays at Kennesaw State Saturday evening.
Hiram Velez (West Florida Sr., Adairsville) — Velez was targeted four times and made one catch for nine yards in the 2nd-ranked Argonauts’ 38-17 loss at 10th-ranked Midwestern State. Unfortunately, Velez also fumbled on his only reception turning the ball over in the first quarter to the Mustangs. UWF (1-1) hosts Shorter Saturday night in both teams’ Gulf South Conference opener.
Jake Walker (Furman So., Cartersville resident) — Walker, the starting tight end for the 21st-ranked Paladins, did not have a catch and was targeted only once Saturday in a 45-7 loss at 15th-ranked Elon. Furman (0-2) plays its first home game Saturday afternoon and hosts Colgate of the Patriot League.
Lindsay Scifers (South Alabama Fr., Woodland) — Scifers placed 24th overall in the Azalea City Classic, hosted by South Alabama. The freshman was eighth on her team with a time of 22 minutes, 32 seconds.
Emily Collum (Georgia Southwestern Fr., Adairsville) — Collum scored her first career goal, and it proved to be the game-winning strike in Georgia Southwestern's 2-1 road win over Spring Hill College on Sunday. The freshman converted her only shot attempt in 40 minutes after firing off five shots (three on goal) across 42 minutes in a 3-2 double-overtime victory over Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday.
Katelynn Harbeke (Life Sr., Cass) — Harbeke recorded two shots, including one shot on goal, in Life's 3-0 win over Brewton Parker on Saturday.
Kurt Moore (Birmingham Southern Jr., Euharlee resident) — Moore earned the win in goal against Huntingdon, allowing two goals with three saves in a 3-2 overtime victory on Tuesday.
Marissa Mowry (Anderson Fr., Cartersville) — Mowry played nine minutes in Anderson's 4-0 loss to UNC Pembroke on Saturday after not seeing any time in Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Limestone.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.