ROCK HILL, S.C. - The South Atlantic Conference Football Players of the Week have been announced for the week ending October 18, 2009. Newberry College quarterback Brandon Gantt was named Offensive Player of the Week, Newberry safety Ron Parker was named Defensive Player of the Week and Catawba College placekicker Thomas Trexler was named Special Teams Player of the Week.
Gantt, a senior from Lexington, S.C. (Middle Tenn. St. Univ. / Heathwood Hall HS), recorded 347 yards of offense in the 35-27 road win over Wingate on Saturday, handing the Bulldogs their first conference loss of the season. He completed 20-of-39 passes for a career-high 336 yards, a touchdown and an interception; he also had nine carries for 11 yards. The touchdown was a 26-yard connection with David Smith in the fourth quarter that gave Newberry the lead for good. The 336 yards is Gantt's career high and is ninth all-time in the Newberry record books. The game marked the third time Gantt has passed for over 330 yards this season (333 at Valdosta State, 335 at Austin Peay).
Gantt has 1,960 yards of total offense this season, which is the eighth-best season in Newberry history. His 3,833 career total offensive yards are seventh in the Newberry records. He currently has 1,776 passing yards this year, which stands as the eighth-best in school history at the moment, and his 3,168 career passing yards is seventh in the Newberry annals.
Gantt has won the SAC Player of the Week award three times this season and in his career. He is one of only 15 Division II players named as a national semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's Campbell Trophy and National Scholar-Athlete Award. The senior is a two-time SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll pick and was an ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Player in 2008.
Parker, a senior from St. Helena Island, S.C. (Beaufort HS) had two interceptions in the 35-27 win at Wingate, including a 54-yard pickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for what turned out to be the game-winning score for Newberry. He also made three tackles and had a total of three pass breakups.
This is Parker's first career SAC Player of the Week award. He leads the team and is second in the conference with a total of 62 tackles in seven games. He also leads the team in interceptions (5), interception return yardage (74) and passes defended (12).
Trexler, a sophomore from Wilmington, N.C. (New Hanover HS), made two first-half field goals (39 & 36 yards) and was perfect on five PAT attemtps in the 41-27 win at Tusculum. His first FG of 39 yards put the Indians on top 10-6 and his second, from 36 yards, tied the game at 13-13. On the season, Trexler has made 5-of-8 field goals and is 23-of-25 on PAT's, totaling 38 points. He also helped bottle Tusculum up on kickoffs as the Pioneers averaged starting on its own 25 on his eight kickoffs. Tusculum started inside its 20 on three occasions.
SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Aug. 31 - Brandon Gantt, Newberry
Sept. 7 - Brandon Gantt, Newberry
Sept. 14 - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill
Sept. 21 - Bo Cordell, Tusculum
Sept. 28 - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill -and- Alex Good, Carson-Newman
Oct. 5 - S.J. Worrell, Newberry
Oct. 12 - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill
Oct. 19 - Brandon Gantt, Newberry
Aug. 31 - Robert Fletcher, Wingate
Sept. 7 - Marqus Davis, Catawba
Sept. 14 - Stanley Jones, Brevard
Sept. 21 - Miles Washington, Tusculum
Sept. 28 - Tylan Merkerson, Wingate
Oct. 5 - Andre Moyd, Newberry
Oct. 12 - Robert Fletcher, Wingate
Oct. 19 - Ron Parker, Newberry
Aug. 31 - Cam Thompkins, Lenoir-Rhyne
Sept. 7 - Jamont Jones, Lenoir-Rhyne
Sept. 14 - Demetrius Smedley, Mars Hill
Sept. 21 - Chris Jones, Carson-Newman
Sept. 28 - Carlos Lopez, Carson-Newman
Oct. 5 - Artis Gilmore, Lenoir-Rhyne
Oct. 12 - Eric Watts, Brevard
Oct. 19 - Thomas Trexler, Catawba