The Valparaiso University football team had three representatives as the Pioneer Football League announced its Academic All-PFL squads on Wednesday.
Senior running back Kyle Cartales (Loxahatchee, Fla. / Cardinal Newman), sophomore defensive back Michael Scarsella (Valparaiso, Ind. / Valparaiso) and fifth-year senior defensive back Nick Turner (Gurnee, Ill. / Warren Township) received Academic All-PFL Second Team status.
Turner finished second on the team in tackles at 76 (6.3 tackles per game), racking up 11.5 TFL to lead the team while also recording one sack, two pass breakups, one fumble recovery, two forced fumbles and four QB hurries. The fifth-year senior became the first Valpo player with 3.5 TFL in a single game since 2015 in the PFL opener at Drake. A 2017 All-PFL Second Team honoree, the team captain had a career-high 14 tackles on Nov. 2 at Davidson.
Turner exceeded 100 tackles during the 2017 season before missing 2018 with an injury. He finished his Valpo career with 261 total tackles. A three-time member of the PFL honor roll, Turner finished his undergraduate degree with a 3.44 GPA in management and is now pursuing a master’s in business administration.
Scarsella had 42 tackles in just eight games, averaging 5.25 tackles per game. He racked up five tackles for loss totaling 14 yards. A key member of the Valpo secondary, Scarsella had one sack, one interception, five pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He made an interception in Week 1 against full scholarship foe Eastern Kentucky. The sophomore accounted for Valpo’s lone sack in a game at Truman State, then accrued six tackles and recovered a fumble on Sept. 14 vs. Central Connecticut. Scarsella provided six tackles including 3.0 TFL on Oct. 5 at Drake. The Northwest Indiana native was a member of the 2018 PFL Academic honor roll and owns a 3.69 GPA in mechanical engineering.
Cartales accrued 111 receiving yards on 23 catches over nine games. He also rushed for 99 yards this season. The Valpo senior hauled in a career-high eight receptions to lead the team on Sept. 14 vs. Central Connecticut, tying for the most catches in a single game by a Valpo player since the 2016 campaign. A PFL Honor Roll selection throughout his collegiate career, Cartales owns a 3.55 grade point average in chemistry.
The league’s academic honors came a day after the unveiling of the 2019 All-PFL teams, with Jamari Booker representing Valpo on the All-PFL Second Team.