BGA alum Beathard seeks improvement following first NFL start


BGA alum Beathard seeks improvement following first NFL start
Photo Credit To www.49ers.com

By CHIP CIRILLO

C.J. Beathard got a rough introduction to the National Football League in his first career start Sunday.

The former Battle Ground Academy quarterback completed 22-of-38 passes for 235 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a 40-10 loss to Dallas that dropped San Francisco to 0-7.

“Obviously, if you point out the score, it didn’t go very well at all,” Beathard said. “You never want to lose a game 40-10 and I think just as a whole as a team we didn’t play very well. We didn’t play the three phases of the game: offense, defense, special teams very well.”

Beathard scored the 49ers’ only touchdown on a 4-yard run with 6:14 left. He rushed for 30 yards on five carries.

“There are a lot of things to improve on, obviously, and come tomorrow we’ve got to put it behind us and move towards Philly,” Beathard said of next week’s game at Philadelphia.

The Eagles boast the NFL’s best record at 6-1 and Beathard will face a familiar rookie, Derek Barnett, a former defensive end at Brentwood Academy and Tennessee.

Dallas (3-3) sacked Beathard five times and he lost two fumbles.

“They brought a lot of pressure, it seemed like,” Beathard said. “I guess that was one of their game plan things, their deal to bring a lot of pressure, which we hadn’t seen them do much of. I guess when you’re a rookie, obviously, you’re new to the system, and they’re trying to see what you know and put you on your heels a little bit.”

The Cowboys blitzed Beathard 21 times for their highest percentage in a game since 2011, according to ESPN.

Beathard’s passer rating was 76.1.

“Your first start against anybody in the National Football League is going to be pretty nerve-wracking, especially for a quarterback who, in this league, is a position that is held in very high regard,” 49ers center Daniel Kilgore said. “I’m sure there are things that C.J. will look at and want to correct and get better at. That’s the same for everybody.”

Beathard became the starter after playing well in a backup role behind Brian Hoyer in a 27-24 loss to Washington last week.

He rallied San Francisco from a 17-0 deficit after entering the game in the second quarter.

The third-round draft pick completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with one TD and one interception against the Redskins.

“Yeah, good or bad, playing, C.J. will learn from it,” San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said of Beathard’s first start. “He’s a tough kid. By no means was he perfect. He did make some plays in the game and there were some he missed, too. It was similar to last week. I think he’ll learn from those.

“I think he came out early, got settled down a little bit as we got going. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep the score close to keep them in it and stick with some of the stuff we wanted to. But the type of kid C.J. is, the type of competitor he is, it’s going to be good tomorrow to get to sit down and watch the tape with him and really coach him up.”

The 49ers suffered their worst loss to Dallas since 1980 and matched their worst start in team history in 1979.

Beathard’s longest pass was a 48-yard completion to Marquise Goodwin in the first quarter.

BGA coach Roc Batten feels positive about Beathard’s future.

“He will persevere,” Batten said. “He’s smart, he’s strong, he’s a tough player and obviously, he’s playing at the highest level. He will find a way to will his way in terms of having success on that level because that’s the type of player he already is.”

Batten sent him a congratulatory text message the day after the Washington game.

One of Beathard’s biggest wins at BGA was a 35-17 upset of Montgomery Bell Academy during his senior year in 2011.

“He was electric on that night,” Batten said. “He was something like 29 of 30 or 29 of 31. He threw for 300-plus yards and four or five touchdowns. He was just in one of those zones where every ball he threw was on the money. It was one of those wow moments.”

Things were much more difficult Sunday, but Beathard vows to battle back.

“We are 0-7 and there’s only one way to go, and that’s up,” Beathard said. “I think we’ve got a lot of season left ahead of us to get better, and really turn the season around.”

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