Lawrence, Forristall find end zone in season openers
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) scores the first touchdown of the season near Georgia Tech defensive back Ajani Kerr (38) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson Thursday, August 29, 2019. (Photo: Ken Ruinard / staff)
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) searches for an open teammate during their game against Georgia Tech at Memorial Stadium Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (Photo: JOSH MORGAN/Staff)
The $800 answer, “This Georgia-based high school produced the players who scored the first touchdowns of the 2019 football season for the preseason top two ranked teams in FBS.”
Nobody buzzes in — because this is Jeopardy! and none of the contestants know anything about sports — so a bemused Alex Trebek says, “Cartersville High. Shall we look at the $1,000 clue just for fun?”
Top-ranked Clemson began the year with an easy enough 52-14 home win over Georgia Tech on Thursday. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence opened the scoring with a short touchdown run to give the defending national champion an early lead.
Two days later, Miller Forristall, who moved from quarterback to tight end during Lawrence’s freshman season with the Canes, hauled in a pass, made a nice open-field move and fought into the end zone. His touchdown broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter of an eventual 42-3 win for No. 2-ranked Alabama against Duke in Atlanta.
The two former teammates met in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game last season, and many prognosticators expect a rematch later this year.
After one week, the teams still appear on a collision course. Either way, Lawrence and Forristall’s season-opening touchdowns became the answer to a trivia question to stump anybody outside of Bartow County.
On the diamond, Sam Howard received another trip to the majors with the Rockies promoting him for the final month of the season. Another former Cartersville pitcher, Elliott Anderson is currently trying to help his minor league affiliate win the Appalachian League championship.
Elliott Anderson (Burlington Royals, Kansas City Royals organization; Cartersville) — Anderson pitched the eighth and ninth innings last Tuesday in a non-save opportunity and 10-4 win at the Bluefield Blue Jays. Anderson allowed no runs on two hits and struck out two. His season ERA is now 0.91 in 19 appearances, spanning 29 2/3 innings. The first year pro has three saves in four opportunities. He has walked only 12 (two intentionally) and opponents have a .211 batting average against him. In Game 3 of the Royals best-of-three Appalachian League playoff series with Pulaski, Anderson worked a perfect eighth inning and was one of six Royals pitchers utilized in the rubber game. Burlington outlasted Pulaski to win 5-4 in 17 innings to reach the league’s championship series. Game 1 for the Royals in the best of three title series was scheduled to take place Monday at the Johnson City Cardinals. Games 2 and 3 (if needed) will be at Burlington.
Sam Howard (Colorado Rockies; Cartersville) — Howard, who was voted Triple-A Albuquerque’s Pitcher of the Year by his teammates, was called up to the MLB Rockies roster this past week and made home appearances against the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wednesday night in an eventual 7-4 loss to Boston, Howard was called in from the bullpen in the fifth inning to face a pair of batters. He issued a walk to Mitch Moreland and then struck out Brock Holt for the second out of the inning before being lifted. In Saturday’s 11-4 loss to the Pirates, the southpaw worked the final two frames, allowing a ninth inning run. He struck out the side in the eighth around one hit. Howard added one more strikeout on the night, but overall, he yielded a run on three hits. In Triple-A this season, he was 4-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 42 appearances with 62 strikeouts. In now eight MLB appearances in 2019, Howard has a 6.75 ERA in 10 2/3 innings with 13 strikeouts. The Rockies are 59-79 and are out of the playoff race, trailing the NL West Division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by 29 games.
Connor Justus (Mobile BayBears, L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville) — In five games this past week, Justus was 2-for-16 at the plate with two walks. He scored four runs. For the season, he has a .184 batting average through 115 games and 347 official at-bats. He has two homers and 23 RBIs. Defensively, Justus has a .951 fielding average, while playing mostly at shortstop. Mobile (50-86) missed the postseason and ended the season with a 5-4 loss to the Tennessee Smokies. Justus went 1-for-4 in the defeat.
Trey Creamer (Fort Scott CC So., Cartersville) — Creamer returned three kickoffs for an 18.7-yard average Aug. 24 in a 20-16 win over Highland CC. Stats were unavailable for Fort Scott’s 40-29 win this past Saturday at Coffeyville CC. The Greyhounds (2-0) will host Hutchinson CC Sept 14.
Jonathan Cruz (Charlotte So., Cartersville) — Cruz kicked off eight times for a 61-yard average and two touchbacks Thursday night in the 49ers’ 49-28 win over Gardner-Webb. He also made all seven of his extra point attempts. Charlotte (1-0) travels to Appalachian State Saturday afternoon.
Miller Forristall (Alabama R-Jr., Cartersville) — Forristall caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa to open the Crimson Tide’s scoring in the second quarter of a 42-3 blowout of Duke in Atlanta. He later added another catch for a 6-yard gain. Alabama (1-0) hosts New Mexico State Saturday.
JaCorey Johns (Wake Forest R-Fr., Cartersville) — Johns had a quarterback hurry on a third-and-8 play to help force a punt in the fourth quarter as the Demon Deacons edged Utah State Friday night, 38-35. Wake Forest (1-0) travels to Houston to play at Rice.
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson So., Cartersville) — Lawrence completed 13 of 23 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown Thursday night, as top-ranked Clemson beat visiting Georgia Tech 52-14. Lawrence also ran three times for 24 yards and one score — the team’s first touchdown of the season. He did throw a pair of interceptions with his long pass play going 62 yards to Tee Higgins in the second quarter for a touchdown. The Tigers (1-0, 1-0 ACC) will host Texas A&M at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Avery Showell (Georgia Tech R-So., Cartersville) — Showell made a fourth quarter solo tackle in the Yellow Jackets’ 52-14 loss last Thursday night at top-ranked Clemson. Georgia Tech (0-1, 0-1 ACC) hosts South Florida at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Courtney Rhea (Berry College So., Cartersville) — Rhea was inserted in the 80th minute of the Vikings’ 4-2 loss Sunday at University of New England. Berry (1-1) also had a win Friday at Maine Maritime. They return home to play Piedmont Wednesday and host Wesleyan Sunday afternoon.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.