By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan)
Following an impressive performance from a week ago against Endicott College, Husson Univeristy senior John Smith and the Eagles will look to continue that momentum this Saturday, October 7th when they host SUNY Maritime in an important Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash.
Smith, who tallied a career and season-best 301 yards against the Gulls, joined our friends at In The (D3FB) Huddle earlier this week to discuss his performance against the Gulls, but also this Saturday’s conference clash (as seen below!).
Make sure to follow In the (D3FB) Huddle on Twitter at @D3FBHuddle for updates, news and scores on both New England and Northeast D3 Football.
Last season, Smith recorded his 11th-straight 100 yard game as the Eagles soared passed the Privateers, 33-12. Smith registered a pair of touchdowns, while the defense limited SUNY Maritime to 230 yards of total offense, including 29 net yards rushing.
Both teams enter the contest 1-0 in league play – Husson defeated Dean College earlier this season, while SUNY Maritime topped Alfred State last weekend.
Inside the Numbers (SUNY Maritime vs. Husson): Saturday’s conference clash between the Eagles and Privateers will feature two of the top ECFC quarterbacks. SUNY Maritime’s junior quarterback Thomas Wright ranks first in the conference in passing yards per game (282.8), while Husson’s junior signal-caller Cory Brandon is fourth (129.5). Wright leads all ECFC quarterbacks with eight touchdowns, while Brandon is tied for third (four TD’s) with Anna Maria College first-year Jayson Wallace.
Smith is currently the conference’s leading rusher when it comes to yards per game (183.0) – he has currently tallied 732 yards on 129 carries, while rushing for eight scores.
SUNY Maritime junior Brandonn Drumgole leads the ECFC in touchdown receptions (five) and yards per game (114.5), while classmate Curtis Smith is second in receiving yards per game (63.8).
Brandon has targeted three different receivers this season for touchdowns, including senior tight end DJ Allen, who leads the Eagles with two touchdown receptions. Allen is second on the team in receptions (10) – he has accumulated 60 yards through four games – while first-year Kyree Calli leads the unit with 14 receptions for 218 yards.
One of the players to watch in this game will be SUNY Maritime senior kicker Matthew Murphy, who has converted six of seven field goals this season, including a 48-yard boot. Murphy has also been clutch on extra points, connecting on all 22 attempts.
Finally, Husson’s defense has yielded the fewest points to opponents this season (11.8), while SUNY Maritime has surrendered 20.5 points per game.
Framingham State-Fitchburg State to meet on Friday: If you’re looking for some ‘Friday Night Lights’ tomorrow – and are nearby Fitchburg, Massachusetts – then consider stopping by for this one as the Falcons host Framingham State in an important Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tilt.
Framingham State, which was idle last weekend, has won four-straight games this season, including a 19-13 win over Bridgewater State two weeks ago. The win over the Bears has provided the Rams with an inside track to the conference crown.
Fitchburg State enters tomorrow’s contest winners of two-straight – they recently beat Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 24-17, but also Bridgewater State, 31-29. Sophomore Nelson Valerio highlighted his team’s win over the Buccaneers with a touchdown pass, as well as 193 passing yards. Valerio will certainly be a player to watch in this contest.
Last season, the Rams scored a 14-0 victory, thanks to its defense, which recorded seven sacks and eight tackles for a loss. Framingham State also pounced on a pair of fumbles, while recording two interceptions.
Amherst-Middlebury, the Game to Watch this week in the NESCAC: Both Amherst and Middlebury have been rather impressive this season, combining for six wins.
However, come Saturday, one team will improve to 4-0, while the other will fall to 3-1.
Amherst concluded last week’s tilt against Bowdoin College with 464 yards of total offense, including 210 yards on the ground. Junior tailback Jack Hickey led the Mammoth’s rushing attack by recording 118 yards on 13 carries, while rushing for one score. Sophomore Biafra Okoronkwo recorded a season-best 41 yards on five carries, including a burst of 16-yards.
Sophomore James O’Regan recorded a career-best 136 receiving yards on six catches – he also scored a touchdown. Classmate Justin Berry hauled in his initial collegiate catch for 20 yards, which was followed by a 23-yard touchdown run by sophomore Ollie Eberth.
In addition to the Mammoth’s offense, the defense was impressive, tallying eight tackles for a loss of 59 yards, while also accounting for five sacks.
As for Middlebury, the player to watch will be senior quarterback Jared Lebowitz, who completed 28 of 52 yards for 389 yards and three touchdowns. Lebowitz and the Panthers’ offense is currently fifth in NCAA Division III 368.7 yards of offense per game.
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