Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gardner-Webb’s Lucas Beatty Tabbed FCS National Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb quarterback Lucas Beatty passed for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth Saturday against Wofford, and was honored as FCS National Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.

Beatty (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS) completed 22-of-33 passes for 233 yards and three scores and punched in a rushing score on a quarterback sneak in the third quarter. He responded with several clutch throws in the game, completing 85.7 percent of his third-down pass attempts. He engineered late scoring drives to end both halves.

With his team facing a 28-14 deficit with no momentum just before halftime, Beatty cranked up the tempo to march Gardner-Webb 52 yards in just six plays. He stepped out of pressure to hit tight end Seth Cranfill on a three-yard touchdown pass with just 6.7 seconds on the clock – trimming Wofford’s lead to one score at the break. He completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive for 37 yards.

Beatty took over late in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 36, and again led a key scoring drive. He hit on 4-of-6 passes to spark the 10-play, 59-yard march, eventually connecting on the game winner to All-America receiver and Walter Payton Award candidate Kenny Cook from five yards away and just 2:04 remaining in the game.

Beatty completed six of his final seven pass attempts in the game, and had two different stretches with five consecutive completions. The performance keyed the Runnin’ Bulldogs, who topped 40 points at home against an NCAA Division I foe for the first time since beating Presbyterian, 47-21, on October 18, 2008. The 43 points scored nearly matched Gardner-Webb’s total scoring output (44 points) through the first three games combined.

Gardner-Webb converted 25 first downs and had a season-high 358 yards offensively. Beatty’s distribution of passes was excellent, hitting seven different receivers in the game. The 43-36 win marked the first time Gardner-Webb defeated Wofford in Spangler Stadium since a 36-3 win in 1987.

Beatty also topped the 6,000-yard mark for his career with the performance and now has completed 556-of-911 passes for 6,152 yards and 31 touchdowns in 36 games. He ranks fifth in school history in passing yardage with eight regular season games remaining in his career. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder also has a 10-2 record in his last 12 starts at home, which includes three wins over top-25 opponents.

Beatty graduated in May, 2014, with a degree in business administration and is an Academic All-America candidate after earning first-team Capital One Academic All-District III honors in 2013. He is currently pursuing an MBA at Gardner-Webb.

Gardner-Webb travels to The Citadel this weekend, playing the Bulldogs for the first time on Saturday, September 27 at 6:00 pm in Charleston.

Courtesy of Gardner-Webb Media Services