Under The Helmet with Framingham State’s Quron Wright & Joshua Onujiogu

FSU Social Noontime Helmet

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A new season of Framingham State football is set to begin tomorrow, (Saturday, September 1st) when the Rams host Endicott College in a non-conference clash at 12 p.m.

Last season, the Rams went 10-1, earning a share of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with Plymouth State before capturing its second-straight New England Bowl championship.

This season, the Rams hope to continue its  momentum from last year by leaning on its upperclassmen, including senior halfback Quron Wright and junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu. Both players will be counted on to lead the offense and defensive, respectively.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with both student-athletes to share their outlook for the upcoming season, but also what they must do to help their respective unit, too.


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Quron Wright (2) will once again be asked to lead the Framingham State ground game this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Quron Wright | Senior Halfback | Worcester, Mass. 

On the upperclassmen leading this year’s team: We have a bunch of new guys on this year’s team, so coach (Tom Kelley) is really putting an emphasis on the upperclassmen with helping the young guys learn their roles, while also learning where they need to be on the field (during different situations).

On this year’s offense: We’re keeping the focus on the same things we did last year, which is just trying to be a little bit faster, while keeping opposing defenses on their heels. Our biggest goal is making sure the upperclassmen make plays when needed.

On preparing for his final season: I worked out a lot this summer. I was coming off a good season from last year, so I just want to keep improving. I watched a lot of film and found things I needed to improve on this season. But for me, my goal is to be more involved in the blocking game on offense, so that has been something I have been working on this offseason.

On what motivates you to be successful: I keep the focus on myself (and improving every day). I personally think I am one of the best (running) backs in the area, so I am extremely motivated and want to end (my final season with the Rams) on a high note.

On facing Endicott College: We don’t have much film on them, so we don’t (always) know what to expect. We just try to go in there and get a feel for them, and then go from there. But it is always fun playing against them. It should be even more fun this year since we will be at home.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this fall: We finished 10-1 last year, but it wasn’t what we expected, so this year we have emphasized trying to take that next step (to contend for a national title).


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Joshua Onujiogu (91) will be counted on to lead the Framingham State Rams defense this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Joshua Onujiogu | Junior Defensive End | Wareham, Mass.

On the team’s defense: I think we’re getting better, but there is a lot more work we need to do (due to some key graduation losses from last year’s squad), but we just need to keep working hard. We will be fine.

On what the defense must improve on: We need to improve our communication.

On facing your team’s offense in practice every day: I think we’re facing one of the best offenses that we are going to see this year, so it definitely helps us get better.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this season: Yeah, that is the top goal and we really want (to compete for a national championship this season).


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

Football Friday Notebook: Friday Night Lights Returns to New England!

NS Football Notebook Logo

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Friday, Noontime Sports fans and friends!

We have some exciting news to share: Friday Night Lights has officially returned to New England – let’s go!

(Special thanks to Coach Eric Taylor for some inspirational words to kick-off the very first Friday Night Lights weekend in New England!). 

So, while we anxiously await for games to kickoff, let’s dish out some links and news from the New England football world.


Friday Night Lights Games to Watch/Follow/Attend Tonight (Friday, Aug. 31st)

WPI at Anna Maria, 7 p.m.
Western New England at Springfield College, 7 p.m.
Nichols at Westfield State, 7 p.m.
Becker at MIT, 7 p.m.
Dean at Curry, 7 p.m. 


News and Notes from the New England Football World 

Ryan Jones enjoyed a successful debut under center last night for the Coast Guard Academy football team – he finished with 411 yards of total offense. He tossed a career-best 336 yards for two scores, while rushing for 75 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown.

Despite falling to Coast Guard in its first-ever varsity contest, University of New England quarterback Brian Peters said it was “awesome” to be on the gridiron last night.

Despite the distance, the UNE fans made sure to support their Nor’Easters on the road last night when they traveled to New London, Connecticut to face-off against Coast Guard.

Prior to last night’s tilt against UNE, Coast Guard offensive coordinator Ray LaForte told quarterback Ryan Jones the following: “I’m going to make you better.”

University of Maine pounded its rival last night, defeating University of New Hampshire, 35-7, in Orono, Maine. Perhaps this was a statement win?

Last night was the final preseason game for the New England Patriots, so here are 17 thoughts from the great Chad Finn of the Boston Globe!

Finally, an in case you missed it piece from the Washington Post: A California high school football team has chosen to cancel its season after being outscored, 102-0, in its first two contests.


Tweet of the Week 

Did you see Danny Etling‘s 86-yard touchdown run last night against the New York Giants? If not, make sure to watch it now (below!).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB!  

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week One (Aug. 30-Sept. 1st)

10 Games To Watch Week One 2018

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Football has finally returned to New England – welcome back, we missed you!

And with the return of a brand new football season, it can only mean one thing: 10 Games to Watch has officially returned to Noontime Sports (get excited!).

So – similar to last year – we will highlight 10 New England D3 contests to watch (and follow/attend) this weekend, as well as our predictions for each contest, too. And as always, you can let us know what you think of our predictions by sending us a tweet to @NoontimeSports or @Noontime_FB (our brand new football Twitter handle!).

Let’s kick-off a BRAND new season with our first installment of 10 Games to Watch in week one!


Univ. of New England at Coast Guard Academy (Thursday, Aug. 30th | 7 p.m.): The Bears open its 2018 campaign against a new opponent (UNE), which will certainly be a team to watch this fall as a first-year varsity program. But tonight, we’ll take the Bears over the Nor’Easters, which will be led by junior quarterback Ryan JonesPREDICTION: Coast Guard 28, UNE 10 

WPI at Anna Maria (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): WPI is one of our teams to watch this fall – as we mentioned earlier this week, they are very determined to challenge Springfield College for the top spot in the NEWMAC – so look for the Engineers to begin their season with a week one win against a non-conference/Worcester area foe. PREDICTION: WPI 35, Anna Maria 14 

Western New England at Springfield College (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): Junior Hunter Belzo and the Pride’s offense will look to continue its momentum from last season, which began with an opening day win over their neighbors in the Battle for the Pynchon SawPREDICTION: Springfield 28, WNE 21 

Dean College at Curry College (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): This will be a good test for the Colonels, who were picked to finish third in the CCC (tied with Endicott College). Sure, they graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad, which advanced to the New England Bowl, but an opening day win against the Bulldogs could provide the Purple and White with some much-needed early season momentum. PREDICTION: Curry 27, Dean 14 

Becker College at MIT (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): Coach Brian Bubna and the Engineers will look to begin a new chapter – and yes, a new season, as well! – with a win against a Becker squad they topped last season on the road. PREDICTION: MIT 21, Becker 7 

Endicott College at Framingham State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): For the past few seasons, the Rams of Framingham State have had their way with the Gulls of Endicott. However, this game has the making for a potential upset, so don’t be surprised if the Blue and Green fly home to Beverly with an opening day win. PREDICTION: Endicott 24, Framingham State 20 

Buffalo State at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): Buffalo State should certainly provide some challenges for the Bears of Bridgewater State, which almost defeated the Bengals last season in New York. This game has the makings for an exciting first week contest, which could come down to the final drive. PREDICTION: Buffalo State 26, Bridgewater State 17 

Salve Regina at Worcester State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): If the Lancers hope to contend for the MASCAC crown this fall they must find a way to get past some of the region’s top teams, including Salve Regina. The Seahawks were picked to finish second the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll on Wednesday, and will certainly provide Worcester State with some challenges on both sides of the ball. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 29, Worcester State 24 

Husson Univ. at Union College (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 1 p.m.): An opening day win against a talented Union squad would be a tremendous ways to start the post-John Smith era at Husson. The Eagles return some key pieces from last year’s squad, which should certainly help them contend against some of the best teams in both New England and New York this fall. PREDICTION: Husson 17, Union 13 

Plymouth State at Castleton Univ. (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 1 p.m.): The Panthers maybe the favorite in this contest, but don’t overlook the Spartans’ offense, which will be led by senior wide-out Ryan Barry and classmate/halfback Moe HarrisPREDICTION: Castleton 21, Plymouth State 20 

New England D3 Football 2018 Predictions

Preseason Predictions

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the first New England D3 football game scheduled for Thursday, August 30th – University of New England will travel to New London, Connecticut to play its first-ever varsity contest against Coast Guard Academy – it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports 2018 Season Projections, which includes our five picks to win each conference, along with teams to watch and dark horses.


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

Projected Conference Winner 

Western New England: A new era has officially begun at WNE with Jason Lebeau taking over for Keith Emery. The Golden Bears are certainly the favorite in this conference, but do have some questions heading into a new season. However, we expect WNE to celebrate another CCC title, but they could encounter some challenges along the way. Look for junior tailback Peter Hoff to lead the offense, while senior linebacker Mike Chirco will oversee the defense.

Team to Watch

Curry College: Sure, the Colonels may have graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad, but there seems to be some early season excitement surrounding the Purple and White. Once again, coach Skip Bandini will ask everyone to step-up, especially when the game is on the line.

Dark Horse   

Endicott College: Similar to WNE, Endicott will be under new leadership this fall with first-year coach Paul McGonagle returning to the Beverly campus to lead a squad that certainly has potential to make 2018 an exciting fall. They have solid pieces on both sides of the ball and will certainly provide challenges to both their conference and non-conference foes.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) 

Projected Conference Winner 

Husson University: The John Smith era may have ended last November, but don’t overlook these Eagles, who will once again be a team to watch in New England. Senior quarterback Cory Brandon returns and should be in for a solid final season with the Green and Gold – look for him to target classmate and wide out Kyle Gaudet and junior Quintarian Brown. On defense, senior linebacker Elvin Suazo will lead a unit that limited opposing offenses to an average of two touchdowns per game last season. Classmate and defensive lineman Tarik Smith is back, as well, and will certainly be a player to watch up front.

Team to Watch 

SUNY Maritime: The Privateers certainly have what it takes to challenge the Eagles for the top spot – they also have what it takes to make another postseason appearance after finishing its 2017 campaign 9-2 overall, as well. Senior quarterback Thomas Wright has some of his favorite targets back from last season, so look for him to connect with classmates Brandonn Drumgole and Curtis Smith. Wright should have enough time to go through the motions with two key members of last year’s line back this fall: seniors Nick Acevedo and Dean Lynch. Junior linebacker Liam Bailey will lead the Privateers defense – he will receive some help from classmate and defensive end Payton Campbell. SUNY Maritime will be under new leadership this season as Vincent DiGaetano returns to Throggs Neck, New York – he was with the program from 2005-2015.

Dark Horse 

Gallaudet University:  The Bison could surprise some folks this fall – they were picked to finish fifth in the ECFC Coaches Preseason Poll, but could perhaps finish maybe a spot or two higher by the conclusion of the 2018 season. Look for senior Dylan Mento (wide receiver) and junior Timel Benton (quarterback) to power the offense, while senior Louie Akuffo (linebacker) lead the defense after recording a career-best 55 solo stops last fall.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Projected Conference Winner 

Framingham State: It’s hard to pick against these Rams, who graduated some key pieces of last year’s squad. However, the same determination from a year ago remains with this team – they are coming off back-to-back New England Bowl championships and hope to return to the NCAA Tournament in mid-November. Senior halfback Quron Wright should lead the offense once again – look for sophomore wide-out Shaq Joseph to become a familiar target for junior quarterback Adam Wojenski. Junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu returns – he will be tasked with leading a unit that does have some question marks heading into a new campaign, but should definitely improve as the season progresses.

Team to Watch 

Plymouth State: Picked to finish second in this summer’s MASCAC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Panthers welcome back a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, which should once again keep them in the mix for a conference crown. Offensively, the team returns most of its returners (and contributors) from last season, including senior quarterback Zack Edwards and junior wide-out Jacob Szulc. Senior halfback Mitch Banuskevich is also back, as well – he led the team’s rushing attack last fall with 668 yards on 166 carries. Defensively, the Panthers graduated some key players, but do return junior defensive back Matt Shea.

Dark Horse 

Worcester State: Keep an eye on the offensive combo of senior quarterback Noah Brum and junior tight end Jacob Maher. These two will be tasked with leading the Lancers offense, along with senior halfbacks Dexter Andrews and Hunter Paupaw. Sophomore linebacker Mike Quinn enjoyed a successful first season with the Lancers – he led all defenders with 100 total tackles, and will certainly be the player to watch on defense.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Projected Winner 

Trinity College: The Bantams return 14 starters from last season, including senior  running back Max Chipouras, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Chipouras should be the focal point of the Bantams’ offense as quarterback Sonny Puzzo graduated – they will also have to make up for the loss of two-time All-American Chris Simmons on the line, as well. Senior defensive end Corey Jean Jacques should anchor one of the best defenses in both the NESCAC and New England.

Team to Watch 

Amherst College: Don’t overlook this Mammoths squad, which on paper looks like a team that could contend for some NESCAC hardware this season. Junior quarterback OIlie Eberth is back and will have a few familiar targets to throw to, including classmate James O’Regan and senior Bo Berluti. On defense, look no further than senior Andrew Yamin, who will  once again provide nightmares for opposing offenses.

Dark Horse 

Williams College: Coach Mark Raymond led the Ephs to an impressive 6-3 mark last fall, which included a season finale win over rival Amherst College. The win over the Mammoths could be the momentum Williams needs to contend for a NESCAC crown this season. Sophomore quarterback Bobby Maimaron was extremely impressive in his first season – he will once again be a player to watch on offense this fall.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) 

Projected Winner 

Springfield College: Sure, some pieces from last year’s unit graduated, but that won’t slow down the Pride’s momentum, which should certainly continue this season. Junior tailback Hunter Belzo will be tasked with carrying the load – the same could be said for classmate and quarterback Chad Shade. And the good news is both Belzo and Shade will be able to run behind junior center Nick Bainter, who will be tasked with anchoring Springfield’s o-line. Senior Nick Giorgio will be the player to watch on defense for the Pride – he should receive some help from classmates Josh Corporan (linebacker), Marlowe Scott (defensive back) and Johnny Bianchi (strong safety).

Team to Watch 

WPI: This Engineers squad seems extremely determined to challenge Springfield College for the top spot in the NEWMAC. A good chunk of last year’s team returns, including junior halfbacks Sean McAllen and Connor Field, seniors Luca Cerasani (d-line) and Sam Malafronte (linebacker), along with junior Nick Ostrowski (linebacker). WPI also returns place kicker and punter Spencer Herrington – he will be ready for the big kick when his number is called.

Dark Horse 

Merchant Marine: Sure, the Mariners will look a tad bit different this fall than last year – and the year before, too – but this young squad could provide some challenges on both sides of the ball when they enter NEWMAC play in a few weeks. Senior fullbacks Wiley Martin and Joseph Bellomo will be tasked with leading an offense that will be without quarterback Bryce Moorse, who graduated in the spring. Senior defensive back Brooks Cannell will be a player to watch on defense this fall, as well.

Want more New England football? Then make sure to toss us a follow on Twitter: @Noontime_FB 

Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Poll: Week One (Aug. 27th, 2018)

Noontime Poll Week One

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports  & @Noontime_FB 

The first week of the New England D3 Football season has finally arrived, which means it is time to unveil our initial Top 10 poll of the season, as well as what teams are on the rise.

This year’s Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football poll is assembled by local coaches and media members. 


New England D3 Football: Week One Poll | Monday, August 27th, 2018 

1. Springfield College 

0-0 NEWMAC Week One: WNE (8/31)

2. Trinity College 

0-0 NESCAC

Week One: Colby (9/15)

3. Husson University

0-0 ECFC

Week One:  Union (9/1)

4. Framingham State 

0-0 MASCAC

Week One: Endicott (9/1)

5. WPI 

0-0 NEWMAC

Week One: Anna Maria (8/31)

6. Amherst College 

0-0 NESCAC

Week One: Bates (9/15)

7. WNE 

0-0 CCC

Week One: Springfield (8/31)

8. Plymouth State 

0-0 MASCAC

Week One: Castleton (9/1)

9.  MIT 

0-0 NEWMAC

Week One: Becker (8/31)

10. Curry College 

0-0 CCC

Week One: Dean (8/31)

ON THE RISE: Endicott College (0-0), Middlebury College (0-0),Wesleyan University (0-0), Western Conn. (0-0), Williams College (0-0) and Worcester State (0-0) 


Want more New England football coverage? Then make sure to toss @Noontime_FB a follow on Twitter NOW!