D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week Nine)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

We’re just two days away from another busy (and important) weekend of New England D-III Football.

Similar to last week, every Thursday for the remainder of the season will be dedicated to highlighting all five New England conference races. We’ll tell you which team(s) is in position to win their respective conference, as well as the squads that still have a chance to win or share their respective league titles.

As usual, you can follow our New England D-III Football coverage, as well as other regional updates (and news) at @Noontime_FB on Twitter.


Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Current Leaders: Endicott College and Western New England 

In The Hunt: Nichols College 

Analysis: Endicott and Western New England are scheduled to meet this weekend – it is a big game. The winner will most likely have the inside track to the conference title.

Western New England does have wins over Nichols and University of New England, two teams the Gulls of Endicott have yet to face this season.

This matchup – Endicott versus Western New England – always seems to come down to the final drive or the play in the trenches. It will certainly be an exciting game to follow.

With a four-overtime win last Saturday against UNE, Nichols is still very much alive to win or share the conference crown, however, they need to win their final three contests, beginning this weekend against Husson University.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Current Leader: Dean College 

In The Hunt: Gallaudet University and SUNY-Maritime 

Analysis: With wins over Gallaudet and SUNY-Maritime, Dean is in prime position to capture its first-ever ECFC crown.

The Bulldogs play their final two games at home, including this Saturday when they host Alfred State. A win over Alfred State seems like a lock for the Bulldogs, however, the Pioneers have provided their conference foes with multiple challenges the past three weeks.


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Current Leader: Framingham State 

In The Hunt: Bridgewater State and Western Connecticut

Analysis: With a 39-14 win last Saturday over the Colonials of Western Connecticut, Framingham State has positioned itself to win the MASCAC title, but they must score victories against Bridgewater State (week 10) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (this Saturday). Western Connecticut has beaten both teams, so they currently own the tie-breaker.

Bridgewater State is still very much alive after rebounding from an 0-3 start with four-straight conference wins. The Bears need to win their final three contests to have a chance to claim their second conference title.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Current Leader: Middlebury College 

In The Hunt: Wesleyan University and Williams College 

Analysis: With two weeks remaining in the NESCAC season, Middlebury appears to be the front-runner, but faces a Hamilton College squad that could provide the Panthers with some challenges. The Continentals enter the game with a lot of momentum following recent wins against Amherst College and Tufts University.

Wesleyan and Williams meet this week with the winner moving into the second position in the standings. If Middlebury gets tripped up by Hamilton, then whoever wins this particular meeting would be tied with the Panthers heading into the final week of the NESCAC season (the NESCAC plays a nine-week schedule, so next week is the final week of the 2019 season).


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

Current Leader: WPI 

In The Hunt: MIT and Springfield College 

Analysis: The Engineers of Worcester – that would be WPI, to be exact – appear to be a lock to win this conference, especially after a commanding win last Saturday against Merchant Marine. They face MIT on Saturday in what is a must-win game for the Engineers of Cambridge. A win over MIT on Saturday should provide WPI with enough momentum to cap their season with back-to-back wins against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich University.

If MIT beats WPI, then they must end their season with wins against Norwich and Springfield to have a chance to secure the conference’s automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Springfield is idle this weekend, but is still very much alive, despite falling to WPI during the fourth week of the season.

Player Perspective: Michael Pina (Nichols College)

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Michael Pina threw for a career-best 329 yards this past weekend, along with three touchdowns, which helped Nichols College outlast the University of New England in four-overtimes. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jill Souza)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

For quarterback Michael Pina, last Saturday’s four-overtime win against the University of New England had the feel of a dramatic movie – it seemed as if it would never end.

“It was wild to be a part of a game like that,” said Pina. “It felt like we were in a movie.”

But eventually, the game would conclude with Pina’s team scoring the game-winning touchdown – a two-yard plunge by junior halfback Joshua Pierre-Charles – which helped Nichols College escape with a 51-48 victory.

Pina concluded the game by throwing for a career-best 329 yards, while also rushing for a season-high 53 yards on nine carries. He tossed three touchdowns, too, which helped the Bison move to 5-2 for the first time since 2001.

For his effort against UNE, Pina was named this week’s recipient of the New England Football Writers Association Gold Helmet Award for Division II/III, which is presented by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Pina, as noted in Monday’s release about the Gold Helmet award, is currently second all-time in program history in touchdown passes (30) and fourth in passing yards (3,442).

Following Saturday’s exciting win, Noontime Sports caught-up with Pina to discuss what it was like to be a part of a four-overtime contest and what his team’s outlook is for this upcoming week’s contest against Husson University.

Tell me about this past week’s effort from your offense and defense. What was the takeaway from both you and your teammates following an exciting four-overtime win against UNE? 

This past week’s game was the most exciting game most of us have ever played in. We fought through a lot of adversity on both sides of the ball to come out with the win.

No matter what I can always count on the guy to my left and right to give it (their best) effort. Our offensive line was huge in the run game and that all starts with the great leadership from senior captain Sam Gallant. We were able to rush the ball for four touchdowns.

You threw for a career-high 329 yards in the win. Did you imagine you would throw the ball that much against the Nor’easters? 

I wouldn’t say that I imagined (I was going to throw that much against UNE), however, I am always ready to do whatever our coaches ask of me. Whether it is throwing the ball, running the ball or even blocking a defender, (I’ll do what is needed to help our team win).

Your team is still in contention for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title, so what is the mindset heading into another game week this week?  

The mindset heading into another game is to go 1-0 this week. That has been our goal every week this season. Whatever week it is, we must give full attention to that opponent.

Do you think the offense and defense are peaking at the right time? 

Yes, I do believe the offense and defense are peaking at the right time. I also believe our special teams are peaking at the right time, too.

I feel as if all three units can attack the opponent in multiple ways, which makes us dangerous (heading into the final three weeks of the regular season).

Finally – and I know it is only Wednesday – but what must you (and your teammates) do to be successful again this Saturday against Husson?

We have to have the best week of practice we’ve had all year long. Husson University is a team that won multiple championships in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). They will be extremely well-coached and will want to come to our home field and beat us.

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Tuesday, Oct. 29th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the eighth week of the 2019 New England Division III football season in the books, it is now to unveil our Zelos Athletics Team of the Week.

Similar to our ‘Players of the Week’  Zelos Athletics is also powering our teams of the week, which can be seen (here on our site) every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.


Offensive Players of the Week

Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman completed 31 of 41 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns while adding 24 yards on six carries and one score, which helped the Golden Bears beat Curry College.

Trevor Chase (Norwich University): Chase snagged seven catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday against Maine Maritime Academy.

Leesandro Colon (Westfield State): Colon rush for a team-high 132 yards on 20 carries (6.6 yards) and two touchdowns as the Owls claimed their first win of the 2019 season against Fitchburg State.

Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 20 of 25 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns against Maine Maritime Academy while adding 28 yards on five carries.

Connor Field (WPI): Field rushed for 129 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns, which helped the Engineers defeated Merchant Marine.

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Against Worcester State, Gacioch completed 18 of 31 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown, while adding 39 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns.

Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Against Bowdoin College, Jernigan completed 13 of 24 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 53 yards on 12 carries and two scores.

Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Juvelier completed 30 of 54 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns against Western New England while adding 14 yards on nine carries and one touchdown.

Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University): Mauriello rushed for 202 yards on 27 carries and five touchdowns against Becker College.

Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen tallied 129 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown while catching one pass for 78 yards and one score.

Julian Nyland (WPI): Nyland completed 14 of 18 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns while adding 17 yards on three carries and one score as the Engineers rolled past Merchant Marine in Worcester.

Brian Peters (University of New England): Peters completed 34 of 50 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday against Nichols College.

Michael Pina (Nichols College): Pina tallied 382 total yards of offense last Saturday in an exciting four-overtime win against the University of New England. The Bison signal-caller completed 29 of 48 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns while adding 53 yards on nine carries (5.9 yards).

Frank Roche (Tufts University): Roche hauled in a game-high six receptions for 136 yards and three touchdowns against Hamilton College.

Matthew Simco (Wesleyan University): Simco caught five passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday, which helped the Cardinals score a bounce-back win against Amherst College.

Chad Shade (Springfield College): Against Catholic University, Shade completed three of seven passes for 92 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 66 yards on 13 carries and one score.

Terrell Watts (Dean College): Watts racked up 275 yards of total offense against Gallaudet University, including 26 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns.

Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski completed 15 of 25 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for a game-high 84 yards on 16 carries and one score.


Defensive Players of the Week

Tyshawn Anderson (Anna Maria): Anderson tallied 13 total tackles, including eight solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of nine yards and a pair of forced fumbles against SUNY-Maritime last Saturday.

Ben Anthony (Williams College): Anthony stuffed the stat sheet against Trinity College by posting seven total tackles, including four solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded one interception (43 yards).

Colin McCabe (Mass. Maritime Academy): McCabe posted seven total tackles, including six solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 13 yards against Plymouth State.

Joe Gowetski (Bowdoin College): Gowetski was a player to watch last Saturday as he posted 14 total tackles, including 11 solo stops and six tackles for a loss of 22 yards. Additionally, he recorded one forced fumble.

Avantaye Salomon (Norwich University): Against Maine Maritime Academy, Salomon tallied four total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 21 yards and one forced fumble. He also finished the game with two sacks for a loss of 18 yards.

Joshua Smiley (Framingham State): Smiley tallied five solo tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 24 yards and one forced fumble which helped the Rams defeat Western Connecticut.

Mehdi Squalli (Endicott College): Against Husson University, Squalli posted seven total tackles, including three solo stops and a half-of-a-tackle for a one-yard loss. Additionally, he recorded an interception for 30 yards while registering one pass break-up.

Brian Tucker (Western Connecticut): Against Framingham State, Tucker posted seven solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of three yards, while recording one fumble recovery.


Special Teamers of the Week

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano tallied 11 points last Saturday against Husson off seven kicks, including two field goals with the longest being a 46-yard kick. Additionally, the senior kicker recorded eight kickoffs for 497 yards with four kicks resulting in a touchback.

Kevin Heintz (University of New England): Heintz concluded Saturday’s four-overtime thriller against Nichols College with 12 points off eight kicks, including two field goals (longest field goal was a 40-yard boot). Additionally, Heintz punted the ball four times with two kicks landing inside the Nichols’ 20-yard-line.

Andy Kenosh (Castleton University): Kenosh was a perfect three-for-three on field goals against Alfred State – his longest kick was a 31-yard field goal.

Bryce Wade (WPI): Wade tallied 10 points off 10 kicks, including a 39-yard field goal as WPI defeated Merchant Marine last Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall.

D3 Football: Zelos Athletics Players Of The Week (Oct. 28th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the eighth week of the New England Division III Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too


This season, Noontime Sports will select at least one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week.

The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season and shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Salve Regina University second-year back Joey Mauriello rushed for five touchdowns last Saturday in his team’s win over Becker College. PHOTO COURTESY: George Corrigan

Offensive Player of the Week: Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University | Halfback | Colts Neck, N.J.): For the second time this season, Mauriello rushed for five touchdowns as the Seahawks defeated Becker College, 45-0, last Saturday in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league play.

The second-year halfback rushed for 202 yards on 27 carries, which is an average of 7.5 yards per play. Mauriello has rushed for 200 yards three times this season while racking up 1,084 yards on 151 carries and 17 touchdowns in seven contests. Additionally, the New Jersey native has caught 11 passes for 80 yards.


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Joshua Smiley and the Rams defense shined this past weekend against Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin Photography)

Defensive Player of the Week: Joshua Smiley (Framingham State | Defensive End | Springfield, Mass.): Smiley was one of three defenders to record at least one sack last Saturday as the Rams defense shined in a battle of first-place teams.

The junior defensive end recorded a season-high three sacks for a loss of 24 yards, while also recording one forced fumble in his team’s 39-14 win over Western Connecticut. Smiley ended the game with five total tackles – three of those stops were sacks.

Through seven contests this fall, Smiley has tallied 27.0 total tackles, including 18 solo stops and seven-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 39 yards.


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WPI’s Bryce Wade posted a season-high 12 points last week, which helped the Engineers defeat Merchant Marine, 66-13. (PHOTO COURTESY: WPI Athletics)

Special Teams: Bryce Wade (WPI | Punter/Kicker | Modesto, Calif.): Wade tallied a season-high 12 points off 10 kicks last Saturday against Merchant Marine, including a season-long 39-yard field goal.

Additionally, Wade recorded 10 kickoffs for 606 yards with two kicks resulting in a touchback. He also punted the ball once for 40 yards.

Through seven games, Wade has tallied a career-high 57 points off 36 extra points and seven field goals.

D3 Football: Week Nine Poll (Monday, Oct. 28th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Welcome to the ninth week of the New England D-III Football season.

Once again, WPI remains our top team – they looked very impressive this past weekend against Merchant Marine – while Endicott College and Western New England remain our second and third teams, respectively. The Gulls and Golden Bears will meet this upcoming weekend in a game that could perhaps decide the winner of the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) conference.

Framingham State moved into the top five with a 39-14 win this past Saturday against Western Connecticut, which tumbled two spots to the seventh position, while Springfield College remained our sixth-best team in the region.

MIT moved into the Top 10 with an important win over Coast Guard Academy, while Williams College secured the ninth position with its sixth victory of the 2019 season.

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 


New England D-III Football Week Nine Poll| October 28th, 2019

1. WPI  7-0, 4-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Endicott College  6-1, 4-0 CCC Last Week: No. 2
3. Western New England  6-1, 4-0 CCC Last Week: No. 3
4. Middlebury College  7-0, 7-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 4
5. Framingham State  5-2, 5-0 MASCAC Last Week: No. 7 
6. Springfield College  5-3, 4-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 6 
7. Western Connecticut 6-1, 4-1 MASCAC Last Week: No. 5
8. Bridgewater State  4-3, 4-1 MASCAC Last Week: No. 9 
9. Williams College  6-1, 6-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 11
10. MIT  4-2, 3-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 15 
11. UMass Dartmouth  5-2, 3-2 MASCAC Last Week: No. 10 
12. Amherst College  4-3, 4-3 NESCAC Last Week: No. 8
13. Trinity College  4-3, 4-3 NESCAC Last Week: No. 13
14. Norwich University 5-2, 2-2 NEWMAC  Last Week: No. 14
15. Nichols College  5-2, 3-1 CCC Last Week: No. 16 
16. Wesleyan University 6-1, 6-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 17 
17. Coast Guard Academy 5-3, 2-3 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 12
18. Plymouth State  6-2, 4-2 MASCAC Last Week: Not Ranked
19. Mass. Maritime Acad. 5-2, 3-2 MASCAC Last Week: No. 18
20. Univ. of New England 3-4, 1-3 CCC Last Week: No. 19 

On the Rise: Dean College and Salve Regina


New England D-III Top 20 Polls: Preseason Poll | Week One Poll |Week Two Poll| Week Three Poll |Week Four Poll| Week Five Poll|Week Six|Week Seven |Week Eight 


As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today!