The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 17, 2013

Surging Trojans take on East Juniata

By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item

— COCOLAMUS — The Upper Dauphin Trojans have picked the right time of the year to start a winning streak in the Tri-Valley League.

After scoring only 13 points in its back-to-back losses to Pine Grove and Tri-Valley, Upper Dauphin (4-3, 3-3 TVL), has scored 69 points in the two comeback wins.

“We’re in a good position right now and we have three games coming up that we feel we can be competitive in,” Trojans coach Brent Bell said. “We’ve moved up to the number four team in the district rankings and we are pretty happy about that right now.”

The Trojans were trailing at the half in each of the comeback wins.

“We made adjustments at halftime as a staff and our players responded, which was part of the reason they won,” Bell said. “Their desire to win right now is sky high.”

Bell said that East Juniata is an improved team from last year.

“David (Brantley) is one of the better athletes in our league and we are aware of that going into the game and we have to contain him,” Bell added.

Bell noted the kids got together after the Tri-Valley loss and signed a contract with themselves that they wanted to go 7-3 this year.

“I think that is a very realistic goal and with EJ being in Triple A, those points are very important to us as we want to move up in the playoff seedings.”

Brantley’s health has been a big concern for Tigers head coach Simon Cameron this season.

“He’s getting better health wise and we went unscathed with him last week.” Cameron said.

The Tigers (2-5, 1-5 TVL) were shut out last week against Line Mountain in suffering their fifth straight loss.

It was the second time the Tigers have been shut out this year and they’ve been outscored 173-72 in the five-game losing streak.

“We’ve had a player take a play off here and another take a play off and you can’t have that happen in football. We’re a young team and we are working on correcting that mistake,” he added.

“We’ve made some changes at running back as we need to get our blocking better. We’ve hung in there but it’s taking more time that I would like for it to do.”

Cameron noted that he didn’t see players taking plays off in the scrimmages or training camp.

“I think in our games against Tri-Valley and Pine Grove, they are solid teams, and that got the kids down and they started to feel sorry for themselves. Football is a game of momentum and a game of emotions, you can’t take a play off,” he said.

Cameron noted that the Trojans are a solid team with solid size on the offensive and defensive lines and they run a solid option game.

“Mac Ney is a very good quarterback and he can run and actually throw the ball as well, he’s a good athlete with a good arm,” he said of the Trojans signal caller.

“We have to take away the option and, if we do, we are relatively confident that we can slow then down.”