David Brantley heads TVL football All Stars
Eleven Tri-Valley League football players from Juniata’s two high schools were honored by the conference as league all-stars.
The list was headed by East Juniata offensive weapon David Brantley. Brantley was the only player in the league to lead his team in both passing and rushing.
“It was a good accomplishment for him,” East Juniata coach Simon Cameron said. “I didn’t realize he led the team in passing and rushing. Overall, he was a real solid player for us.”
For Brantley’s distinguishing play, he was honored as the Tri-Valley League’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
He accounted for 1,025 yards rushing, 503 yards passing and nine offensive touchdowns.
Brantley also earned league honors as the first-team variety back, first-team returner and second-team defensive back. He lead the conference’s qualified returners in average return at 29.63 yards and took one back for a touchdown.
Kevin Allen of East Juniata was also honored as a first-team wide receiver selection. Allen lead the conference in receptions (31), finishing second in receiving yards (535), and grabbed three touchdowns.
“He was an outstanding player,” Cameron said. “He really went after it.”
Cameron also complimented Allen’s downfield blocking and noted how it often got Brantley some extra yardage.
He also earned a second-team defensive back honor by picking off six passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown, while accumulating a team-high 90 tackles.
“He was really a key to our defensive backfield,” Cameron said. “He covered a lot of the field. He cleaned up a lot of the trash that came through the front line.”
East Juniata’s Dalton Rowe was a second-team punter, an honorable mention defensive end and a honorable mention kicker.
“He went a little unnoticed,” Cameron said. “He played out of position. He’s a tough kid. He gave us everything he had.”
The Tigers’ Adam Zerby was also a two-way honorable mention for his play at guard and on the defensive line.
“He was our best offensive lineman,” Cameron said of Zerby. “He did an awesome job as far as blocking for us.”
Matt Aurand (honorable mention; wide receiver) and Brody Hetrick (honorable mention; center) rounded out the East Juniata selections.
“Brody was the epitome of sacrificing for the team,” Cameron said. “He was an outstanding center in his first year playing the position. He had an ankle injury and you had to pull him off the field.”
Five Juniata Indians also made the conference’s all-league team.
Juniata was led by Chad Eberle, who, like Brantley was honored in all three facets of the game – offense, defense and special teams.
Eberle earned first-team honors as a defensive back and a returner. He was named a first-team returner for leading the conference in punt return yards (274), average (34.25) and touchdowns (three). Eberle scored 10 touchdowns, kicked 23 extra points and added two field goals to total 89 points, good for fifth in the TVL.
He was named a second-team kicker, honorable mention variety back (615 yards, 5 TDs) and honorable mention punter.
“He was just Mr. Do-it-All for us. He never came off the field,” Juniata coach Gary Klingensmith said. “I can remember him being beaten only one time all year on a pass, and that was on a perfect fingertip catch. He had six interceptions, too, which is very impressive.
“He returned punts and kickoffs for us. Three of his first four punt returns were for touchdowns. He quickly developed a reputation there.”
He was a dangerous runner with great speed and good hands “and about 150 pounds wet,” Klingensmith said, adding that the variety back category was one of the most contested.
Dakota McNemar was the second Indian honored by the conference as a second-team wide receiver. He led the conference in yards per catch with an astounding 37.75 on 12 catches, two of which went for touchdowns.
“Dakota was a running back last year, but he had the speed and I knew with Eberle, (Ty) Treaster and (Neil) Bodley – who was supposed to be coming back – there was not enough room,” Klingensmith said. “We decided to use his speed at end. It turned out to be a very good decision.”
McNemar was 10 yards per catch better than any other qualified receiver in the league, and his average was among the best in the history of the program, his coach said.
Treaster was honored by the league as a second-team tailback for totaling 483 yards rushing. He led Juniata with 12 touchdowns on the season, 11 of which came on the ground.
“He’s a smart player; he could play any position in our backfield,” Klingensmith said. “He’s a good, hard-playing kid who also excels as a blocker.”
Tyler Clark was an honorable mention quarterback and Josh Newcamp rounded out the selections as an honorable mention defensive end. Clark, the coach said, should prove to be prolific in the annals of Juniata football.
“I think you have to look far before you to find a freshman high school quarterback with those kind of stats,” he said.
Including non-league play, Clark threw for 1,269 yard, just short of the school record, Klingensmith noted.
“And I think he’s only going to get better,” the coach added.
Newcamp, he felt, was underrated.
“All-star teams are like this, every year,” Klingensmith said. “There’s always somebody you felt should have been given more credit. This year it was Josh Newcamp – the most consistent player on our team, the backbone of our team.”