TIFTON — Area football players continued to make their mark on the college football world last week.
Jack Raines had one of his best games of his career last Saturday. The former Tiftarea Panther turned in a team-leading (and career high) 12 tackles in a 34-17 Mercer loss to Chattanooga. One tackle was for a loss.
Another high went to J.D. King. King, who transferred from Oklahoma State to Georgia Southern, ran for 72 yards and a touchdown last Thursday against South Alabama, the most he’s had since becoming an Eagle.
King’s former teammate at Fitzgerald, James Graham, started at quarterback for Georgia Tech against North Carolina. Graham threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for 65 yards in the loss.
Rashod Bateman continued his strong season with 71 receiving yards on two receptions for Minnesota in a win against Illinois. The Golden Gophers found running much easier against the Illini and Bateman led the squad in yardage through the air. A week prior to Illinois, Bateman became the second fastest Minnesota player to reach 1,000 receiving yards following his 177 yards (with two scores) against Purdue.
He reached 1,000 yards in 17 games.
Starting for the defense Saturday, Tajhea Chambers made nine tackles for Arkansas State against Georgia State, two for losses and had a pass breakup. Marlon Jackson, formerly of Irwin County and now at Georgia Military College, dropped three men behind the line against Hocking College (Ohio). Deontae Overstreet (West Georgia) had six tackles against Shorter. Ron Jackson, now at Glenville State, had a pass breakup to go with two tackles against Fairmont State.
Fred Lloyd saw action for South Florida against UConn and made a stop. Tyler Moore had four tackles for Fort Valley State against Florida Tech.
On the offensive side of the ball, Mike Jones had nine carries and 34 yards for Lincoln (Mo.) in a loss to Pittsburg State (Kan.). Fernando Ramirez connected on all six of his extra point kicks in Valdosta State’s blowout 42-17 win against Mississippi College.
Other area players seeing action in last week’s games included Juwarren Byrd (for Greensboro), Patrick Felton (Northeast Mississippi Community College), Trendarius Henderson (Glenville State), Ches Jackson (Colorado State), Jameson Turner (Gardner Webb), Lecitus Smith (Virginia Tech) Austin Williams (Colorado) and Jakyron Young (West Georgia).