Saturday will be a special day for some local Massachusetts college football teams, as some units will be competing for their conference championships, while others will attempt to earn one more victory for their seniors.
Below, we’ve provided overviews and predictions on three marquee matchups.
American International at New Haven (NE-10 Championship): You couldn’t have picked a better matchup for the inaugural Northeast-10 Conference championship game. It’s No. 1 vs. No. 2. It’s David vs. Goliath. It’s the “Greatest Show on Turf” vs. “Tom Brady’s 2001 New England Patriots.” And finally, it’s a chance for AIC to redeem themselves following last week’s 37-6 thrashing.
The Yellow Jackets won seven of their eight conference tilts this season, while the Chargers extended its streak from last year to 16-0.
AIC is 2-0 in championship games, according to the NE-10 Football Report (1999 and 2000 Eastern Football Conference Champions).
New Haven’s perfect record marks their fifth undefeated season in program history. The last time the Chargers concluded a season with no losses was in 1995.
Prediction: New Haven 33, AIC 21
Salve Regina at Framingham State (NEFC Championship): Both squads finished the regular season with nine wins. Their defenses were fantastic. However, one thing that separates the two squads is the running game.
Framingham State’s Melikke Van Alstyne led all rushers in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) in yards (1,467 yards) and touchdowns (14). Also, he eclipsed the 4,000 rushing yard mark for his career in a game against Coast Guard three weeks ago.
Expect FSU head coach Tom Kelley to utilize the running game against a defense that’s surrendered 1,828 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
Prediction: Framingham State 20, Salve Regina 14
Williams College at Amherst College: This is not a championship game, but instead the 127th meeting between these two prestigious institutions.
Trinity College will most likely wrap up the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) on Saturday; so don’t expect either squad to be doing some scoreboard watching. Although, you can expect Amherst senior quarterback Max Lippe to throw the ball a lot against a defensive unit that’s allowed 1,637 yards through the air.
The Lord Jeffs rank second in scoring and total defense, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Ephs offense will fare.
Williams head coach Aaron Kelton, who is in his third season, is 1-1 against Amherst.
The Lord Jeffs beat the Ephs last year and will attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time since 1985 and 1986.
Prediction: Amherst 31, Williams 17