D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week Nine)

NSConfRaceWatchSOCIAL

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.

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