POY Watch: Lawrence, Bateman closing in on state records

Cartersville QB Trevor Lawrence (#16) needs 105 passing yards and six passing touchdowns to break the state records held by former Gainesville QB Deshaun Watson. SPECIAL/Daniel Varnado

State records are about to fall, and Trevor Lawrence is the main stalker. But keep an eye on Rashod Bateman, the Tift County wide receiver. He’s chasing the record books, too.

Lawrence’s day is almost at hand. The Cartersville quarterback has moved within 105 passing yards and six passing touchdowns of breaking the Georgia career records of 13,077 and 155 held by Deshaun Watson.

The yardage record is almost certain to fall Friday, when Cartersville plays Chapel Hill.

The TD record is also a possibility. Lawrence has thrown six TD passes in a game four times, most recently against LaGrange on Oct. 10, when he threw six, all in the first half. Lawrence has thrown five TD passes in a game six times. Five would tie the record of Watson, the Houston Texans quarterback from Gainesville.

Of note, Cartersville’s final regular-season contest comes against Troup on Nov. 3 in a game that likely will decide the Region 5-AAAA championship. That game will match Lawrence against the state’s leader in passing yards, Montez Crowe, who also is in the POY Watch.

Meanwhile, Tift’s Bateman is suddenly close to a state record of his own. After a 218-yard effort against No. 1 Lowndes last week, Bateman has 1,116 receiving yards on the season. That’s 139.5 per game. At that pace, Bateman would have 1,674 through 12 games. The state record, set by Demarco Robinson of M.L. King in 2010, is 1,655.

In other POW Watch news, Rome DL/LB Adam Anderson will announce his college choice on Thursday. Anderson reportedly is choosing between Georgia and Alabama.

The POY Watch is designed to be a fun look at some of the best players. Players naturally will drift in and out, and that should not be taken as a critique of their season. It is an honor to appear in the POW Watch even for a single week.

1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville: Lawrence was 15-of-19 passing for 295 yards and four touchdowns in a 63-0 victory over Sandy Creek. For the season, the Clemson commit is 118-of-161 passing (.733) for 2,360 yards and 30 touchdowns with one interception. He needs 106 yards and six touchdowns to break the Georgia career records of 13,077 and 155 held by Deshaun Watson. Cartersville is 8-0 ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA.

2. QB Justin Fields, Harrison: Fields was 19-of-25 passing for 266 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-13 victory over South Cobb. Fields rushed for 38 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. On the season, Fields is 93-of-141 passing (.660) for 1,503 yards and 20 touchdowns with two interceptions. He has rushed for 748 yards and 14 touchdowns on 96 carries (7.8 ypc). Fields is the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country. Harrison is 5-2 and ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAAA.

3. QB Michael Barrett, Lowndes: Barrett was 12-of-20 passing for 172 yards and rushed for 99 yards on 14 carries in a 51-38 victory over Tift County. For the season, Barrett is 65-of-101 passing (.644) for 1,119 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception. He has rushed for 629 yards and nine touchdowns on 76 carries (8.3 ypc). Barrett has offers from Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee, among others. Lowndes (8-0) is averaging a state-best 54.1 points per game and is ranked No. 1 in AAAAAAA.

4. DL Adam Anderson, Rome: Anderson had five tackles, two for losses, in only 24 plays on defense in a 49-0 victory over Cass. Starters were pulled after Rome took a 42-0 halftime lead. For the season, Anderson has 40 tackles, 17 for losses, nine sacks, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. He is the consensus No. 2 OLB prospect nationally and is set to announce his college choice Thursday. Rome is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA.

5. WR Rashod Bateman, Tift County: Bateman had 10 receptions for 218 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-38 loss to Lowndes. For the season, Bateman has 48 catches for a state-leading 1,116 yards (23.6 ypc) and 15 touchdowns. Bateman has at least one TD reception in every game. Bateman is committed to Minnesota. Tift is 7-1 and ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAAAA.

6. QB Bailey Fisher, Rabun County: Fisher was 8-of-12 passing for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 63-7 victory over Social Circle. Fisher rushed for 30 yards. Fisher has thrown for at least two touchdowns and rushed for at least one in every game. For the season, Fisher is 92-of-136 (.676) for 1,606 yards and 17 touchdowns and only one interception. He has rushed for 476 yards and 15 touchdowns on 83 carries (5.7 ypc). Undersized at 5 feet, 11 inches and 195 pounds, Fisher has Division II offers. Rabun County is 7-0 and ranked No. 4 in Class AA.

7. RB/CB Kyler McMichael, Greater Atlanta Christian: McMichael rushed for 75 yards and three touchdowns on just five carries in a 61-14 victory over Lumpkin County. He had one tackle. On the season, McMichael has rushed for 790 yards and 15 touchdowns on 62 carries (11.9 ypc). He has scored a touchdown every five times he has touched the ball. He has 11 tackles as a cornerback. McMichael, an AJC Super 11 pick and a top-25 national recruit, is committed to Clemson. GAC is 7-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class AAA.

8. DB/LB Otis Reese, Lee County: Reese had 13 tackles, two for losses, in a 16-13 overtime victory over Northside (Warner Robins). For the season, Reese has 68 tackles, 11 for losses, three sacks, five pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Reese is the consensus No. 7 OLB prospect nationally and committed to Michigan. Lee County is 8-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA.

9. QB Montez Crowe, Troup: Crowe was 15-of-25 passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-0 victory over LaGrange. For the season, Crowe is 117-of-177 (.661) for 2,410 yards and 26 touchdowns, albeit it with 10 interceptions. He threw for 525 yards and eight touchdowns in a game against Sandy Creek. Crowe has one offer, from Morgan State. Troup is 7-0 and ranked No. 8 in Class AAAA. That’s Troup’s highest ranking since 2005.

10. DE Brenton Cox, Stockbridge: Cox had two solo tackles and a sack in a 14-0 victory over Eagle’s Landing. On the season, Cox has 25 tackles and leads the team in tackles for losses (five) and sacks (four). Stockbridge, ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAAA, has shut out three opponents and allows 4.4 points per game, the fewest in the state. Cox, the reigning Region 4-AAAAA defensive player of the year, is committed to Ohio State. He’s rated the consensus No. 2 strongside DE prospect nationally. Stockbridge is 7-0 and ranked No. 3.

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