Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Nine

Husson University is one of five New England NCAA Division III football teams to watch this week after their big win last weekend against the University of New England. (PHOTO COURTESY: Eric Ogden)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s that time of the week when we highlight five teams to watch this weekend in New England NCAA Division III football.

So, without further ado … let’s get after it!

Castleton University (4-3, 2-1 ECFC): The Spartans are in the mix for the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown after winning back-to-back league matchups against Dean College (21-13) and Keystone College (41-0).

Against the Giants, Evan Smith threw three touchdowns, Simon Davis Jr. rushed for a pair of scores, and the Spartans defense tallied 10 tackles for a loss of 50 yards and three interceptions.  

This week, the Spartans face an Anna Maria College squad that has won five consecutive matchups, as well as sits atop the ECFC standings. Saturday’s game could be considered a playoff game for the Spartans, who need to win their final three contests to remain in position to snatch their first-ever league crown.

Castleton has split its last two matchups with Anna Maria, falling to the AMCATs in 2018 before beating them one year later in 2019.  

Husson University (5-2, 2-1 CCC): Despite a week seven setback to Endicott College, the Eagles of Husson are very much in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown. However, they will need to win their final three contests and get some help.

This week, the Eagles will fly south to Dudley, Massachusetts to compete against a Nichols College squad that has yet to win a conference matchup this fall. The Bison lost their previous matchup with Husson in 2019 by a score of 31-7.

A win for the Eagles would certainly provide the Green and Gold with some much-needed momentum heading into a pair of important end-of-season matchups with Salve Regina University and Western New England. Both teams, along with Endicott are in the mix for the league title.

On Saturday, keep your eyes on Husson quarterback Nic Visser, who completed 25 of 39 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday against the University of New England.

Salve Regina University (7-1, 3-1 CCC): Like the Eagles of Husson, the Seahawks of Salve Regina are very much in the mix for their conference crown, thanks to a come-from-behind win last Saturday against Endicott.

But the biggest question facing the Seahawks heading into their final two contests of the 2021 season with Curry College and Husson is can last week’s big win carry them to two more victories?  

Salve Regina entered conference play with a great deal of momentum after rallying to beat Rowan University by a score of 50-35. But one week later, the Seahawks saw their five-game winning streak snapped by Western New England, which beat the Blue and Grey by a score of 41-3.

Since losing to the Golden Bears, the Seahawks have rebounded, winning three-straight while averaging five touchdowns per game. They will certainly need to score a few touchdowns, both this weekend and next weekend, especially if they want to finish with nine wins.

Trinity College (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC): The Bantams are one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have yet to lose a single game this season – the same could be said for Wesleyan University and Williams College. But can they find a way to finish the season with three more wins?

Last week, the Bantams fell behind early, but were able to rally and beat Colby College, 35-12, thanks to four touchdown passes from Spencer Fetter and a 139 rushing yards by William Kirby, who also located the end zone once at the end of the third quarter.

Perhaps the slow start against the Mules could be a blueprint for one of its three remaining foes – Amherst College, Wesleyan, and Williams – to beat the Blue and Gold, but it could also be a valuable learning lesson for a squad that has already won more games than they did in 2019.

Trinity will certainly be challenged these next three weeks but seem determined to finish their season without a single setback like they did in 2016.

UMass Dartmouth (6-2, 4-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs might be on the outside of the two-team race for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown, but they certainly can make things interesting by beating Bridgewater State this weekend.  

The Bears are one of two teams that have yet to lose a conference matchup this fall – the same could be said for Framingham State, which beat UMass Dartmouth in week three.

UMass Dartmouth has not beaten the Bears since 2014 when they beat Bridgewater State on their home turf by a score of 37-10.

Since their 27-point victory against the Bears, the Corsairs have lost five straight, including their most recent outing in 2019 when Bridgewater State registered 56 points, which was the most the Red and White produced in a single-game that season.

Since falling to Western Connecticut earlier this month, the Corsairs have won three consecutive matchups to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the final three weeks of the 2021 season.

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