Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Sept. 13, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Two weeks of New England NCAA Division III football are in the books, which means it is time to share our third Noontime Sports Top 20 Poll of the 2021 season.

This upcoming weekend will be an even busier weekend with teams from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) kicking off their respective campaign on Saturday, September 18.

Did you see our poll last week? If not, make sure to check out our Top 20 for the second week of the 2021 season!

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 1 | September 13, 2021)

  1. Western New England (2-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Golden Bears cruised past Westfield State last Friday for their second straight win and should be the favorite this weekend in a non-conference clash against Utica College.

  2. Endicott College (2-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): For the second straight week, the Gulls rallied in the second half to score an exciting victory against WPI. Will this trend continue this week against Catholic University?

  3. UMass Dartmouth (2-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): Once again, the Corsairs were challenged, but found a way to pull out a hard-fought victory against the Bulldogs of Dean College in their home opener.

  4. Williams College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The wait is over. The Ephs will take the field this Saturday against Middlebury College in a VERY important conference clash.

  5. Middlebury College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): The Panthers 2019 title defense officially begins Saturday, September 18 in Williamstown.

  6. Wesleyan University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): The Cardinals open their 2021 campaign on the road at Colby College, a team we believe will challenge the top teams like Wesleyan this fall.

  7. Trinity College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 7): The Bantams begin their season Saturday against Tufts University — this is an important conference clash for both squads that are eager to contend for the league crown.

  8. Salve Regina University (2-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 12): Once again, the Seahawks leaned on its rushing attack down the stretch to beat MIT at home, as well as its defense, which concluded the game with three sacks for 21 yards, seven tackles for a loss of 25 yards and one interception.

  9. MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): The Engineers remain in the ninth position despite dropping their first game to Salve Regina. MIT finished with 303 yards of total offense and will have an extra week to prepare for Dean College.

  10. WPI (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 10): Similar to the Engineers of Cambridge, the Engineers of Worcester suffered their initial setback of the 2021 season, however, last Friday’s loss was certainly a heartbreaker for WPI, which led Endicott, 21-7, heading into the final session.

  11. Springfield College (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 15): The Pride moved up four spots after scoring their initial victory on the road last Saturday at Rowan University. A real tough test is on the horizon for Springfield this weekend against Union College.

  12. Nichols College (2-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 12): The Bison scored their second win of the 2021 season last Saturday, however, it wasn’t easy as quarterback Logan Sawyer needed to engineer a second half comeback to lead Nichols past Anna Maria College on the road.

  13. Western Connecticut (1-1, 0-0 MASCAC | LW No. 8): After checking-in eighth last week, the Colonials tumbled to the 13th position after a dissapointing setback to an Albright College squad that struggled last week against Salisbury University.

  14. Husson University (1-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 13): The Eagles scored their initial win of the 2021 season last weekend, however, it wasn’t an easy three-point victory against Plymouth State.

  15. Tufts University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 14): The Jumbos have high hopes for 2021 — can they kick off their respective campaign with a win in Hartford, Connecticut this Saturday?

  16. University of New England (1-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 20): The Nor’easters overcame a 14 point deficit at the break to score an exciting overtime win on the road at Bridgewater State.

  17. Dean College (1-1, 0-0 ECFC | LW: No. 18): The Bulldogs endured their first setback of the season to UMass Dartmouth, but certainly proved their a team to watch this season.

  18. Coast Guard Academy (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 16): After scoring an opening day win, the Bears offense struggled against a Colonels defense that tallied four interceptions, five pass-breakups, three quarterback hurries, and seven tackles for a loss of 22 yards.

  19. Colby College (0-0, 0-0 | LW: No. 19): The Mules are the team to watch in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this fall.

  20. Mass. Maritime Academy (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Buccaneers defense shined last Friday night against SUNY-Maritime in the 13th Chowder Bowl.


    On The Rise: Amherst College, Anna Maria College, Bridgewater State, Castleton University, Curry College, and Plymouth State

Noontime Football Postgame: UNE Rallies To Beat Bridgewater State, 23-20 (OT)

The University of New England football team rallied to beat Bridgewater State on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Andrew Turco/Bridgewater State Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Here are five takeaways from the University of New England’s 23-20 overtime victory over Bridgewater State on Saturday afternoon.

  • The Nor’easters came back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force an extra session, and eventually win the game. 

    I talked to coach Mike Lichten and quarterback Matthew Harkins after the game, and they said one of the keys to victory was sticking to the game plan, even when playing from behind in the second half. And It worked.

    UNE dominated the second half, and finally scored the game’s final two touchdowns, including the tying score with six remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • UNE’s defense was exceptional in the second half, and was key part of their victory of the season. 

    After allowing 20 points and 359 yards of offense in the first half, the Nor’easters pitched a shutout and held the Bears to just 52 yards of total offense the rest of the way.
  • Special teams were critical in this one. 

    OK, I’m sure every coach in the country can tell you something about that, but there were five missed kicks in this game, including two that ‘doinked’ off an upright. The only ball that went through the uprights was the field goal in overtime by Abe Ruelas Villasenor.  He’s a freshman offensive lineman in addition to a kicker, and the Nor’easters’ blocking the Bears’ kick on the ensuing possesion resulted in a wild celebration, with UNE players rushing the field.
  • Despite the setback, I was impressed by the Bears’ quarterback James Cahoon, who completed 18 of 31 pases for 308 yards and two touchdowns. And it was also a big game for wide receiver Kyle Torres, who finished with 184 yards and one score.
  • Finally, one other player that was fun to watch — and yes, quite impressive — was halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a season-high 101 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown. The Winchendon, Massachusetts native reached the end zone once last weekend against Ithaca College, but did not tally 100 yards on the ground. Instead, he finished his team’s season-opener against the Bombers with 68 yards.

Next up: Both teams return to the field next Saturday, September 18 with Bridgewater State hosting Plymouth State at 3 p.m. and UNE traveling to Alfred State for a 12 p.m. kickoff.

Noontime Football Roundup: Maguire, Mauriello Lead Salve Regina Past MIT

Salve Regina University’s Joey Mauriello rushed for a game-high 195 yards and one touchdown on Saturday against MIT. PHOTO COURTESY: George Corrigan

By NoontimeSports.com

Jack Maguire completed 14 of 28 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns while Joey Mauriello rushed for a game-high 195 yards and one score as Salve Regina University hung on to defeat MIT, 21-16, in their home opener in Newport, Rhode Island. 

Mauriello’s lone touchdown with 2:58 remaining in the fourth quarter provided the Seahawks with a 12 point (21-9) advantage, which would be reduced to five points during the final minute when Chris Mauck connected with Keithen Shepard for a 13-yard touchdown. 

MIT was unable to recover the onside kick on the ensuing possession — Salve’s Jack Maguire would drain the clock with back-to-back kneel-downs.

Mauck finished with one touchdown — he also completed 14 of 30 passes or 168 yards while Jay Theriault led the Engineers rushing attack with 57 yards on 13 carries. 

MIT led Salve Regina, 9-7, after two frames, but saw their lead disappear early in the fourth quarter when Jack Maguire capped a seven-play, 69-yard drive with an eight-yard toss to Max DeVito, which provided the Seahawks with the lead for good. 

Abe Ruelas Villasenor capped an exciting comeback by the University of New England football team with a game-winning 39-yard field goal in overtime to provide the Nor’easters with a 23-20 road victory at Bridgewater State

Jaymeson Maheux and Matthew Harkins each rushed for a one-yard score in the fourth quarter, which sent the game to a fifth session. 

James Cahoon and the Bears of Bridgewater led UNE, 20-6, at the break, thanks to a pair of second-quarter touchdown strikes to Kyle Torres and Ryan Verria

Cam Mann recorded the Nor’easter’s lone touchdown in the first half when he capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a 14-yard score with 9:27 remaining in the second quarter. 

Nichols College also rallied to score its second win of the 2021 season as they erased a 20-7 deficit at the break to secure a hard-fought 27-23 win over Anna Maria College.

Quarterback Logan Sawyer concluded the game 19 of 36 for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Sawyer’s final touchdown strike — a 22-yard pass to Terrance Harris — capped a 20-3 second-half comeback. 

Anna Maria’s Alex Cohen concluded the non-conference tilt with 306 yards of total offense, including 270 yards through the air. 

Also this afternoon, UMass Dartmouth topped Dean College, 48-29, while Springfield College secured its first win of the 2021 season by defeating Rowan University by a score of 46-24.

Noontime Football Roundup: Endicott Rallies To Beat WPI, 28-21

The Endicott College football team rallied to beat WPI on Friday night. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By NoontimeSports.com

John Kenney rushed for a team-high 71 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown — his lone score capped an exciting fourth quarter that saw Endicott College rally from a two-touchdown deficit to defeat WPI, 28-21, on Friday evening at Hempstead Stadium.

Friday’s victory marked the second time this season Endicott has needed to rally past their opponent to secure a hard-fought victory — last Saturday, the Gulls overcame an eight-point deficit at the break to defeat St. Lawrence University.

Joe Leonard, Anthony Bracamonte, and Clayton Marengi combined for 161 passing yards while Mehdi Squalli and Tim Russell led the defense with eight total tackles, respectively.

WPI’s Brandon Winn led all rushers with two touchdowns while quarterback Dante Coccagnia completed 12 of 22 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown.

The Engineers led 14-0 at the break and 21-7 after three quarters.

Curtis Cann completed 14 of 25 passes for 213 yards while Kobe Copeland rushed for a game-high 31 yards and one score as Massachusetts Maritime Academy outlasted SUNY-Maritime, 14-6, in their season-opener and the 13th Chowder Bowl.

The Buccaneer’s defense concluded the game with three interceptions and ten tackles for a loss of 22 yards.

In Westfield, Dillon Kohl and Tyler Millerick combined for four rushing touchdowns while Bryce Karstetter and Tyler Millerick each through for one touchdown as Western New England rolled past Westfield State, 48-0.

Noontime Football Postgame: Malden Catholic 35, Weymouth 6

Malden Catholic celebrates its first win of the 2021 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan

MALDEN, Mass. — The Malden Catholic football team scored a convincing 35-6 victory on Friday evening against Weymouth in front of their home crowd at Donovan Field at Brother Gilbert Stadium.

Here are some takeaways and thoughts, as well as a few observations from the Lancers’ initial win of the 2021 fall season.

  • Friday’s win was a complete team effort. However, what really impressed me was the Lancers defense, along with their special teams.

    After forcing the Wildcats to go three and out on their initial series, Michael Azzari recorded a punt block, which would eventually be followed later in the half with a key sack during the final seconds of the second quarter, which allowed the Lancers to enter the break with a 21-6 advantage.

    When I asked Azzari about his blocked punt in the beginning of the first quarter, he thought he was going to score. “It was crazy,” he said.

    Unfortunately, the Lancers were unable to score on the ensuing possesion — the Weymouth defense, which did pose challenges to some running and passing plays — was able to stop Malden Catholic on the Wildcats’ one-yard line.

  • Malden Catholic first-year Jaiden Williams was a players to watch on both offense and defense this evening. Not only did he record a 12-yard rushing touchdown midway through the opening session, but he also recovered a key fumble late in the third quarter on defense.

    Williams said he was very excited to play his first varsity contest — he told me after the game how excited he was hearing his name echoed throughout the stadium. “I feel great,” Williams said when discussing his first varsity game and touchdown. “It’s a feeling I can’t explain.”

  • In addition to being impressed by Williams, I also enjoyed watching senior Aidan Sweeney, especially on his 50-yard touchdown run to the left at the end of the first half.

    When I asked Sweeney about his lone touchdown of the non-conference clash, he said that it was “somewhat our trick play.” Sweeney

    As you can see below, it appeared as if a few members of the Lancers offensive line were going in different directions before Sweeney burst through to the left side.

    “Thankfully, it worked out,” he said.

    Indeed, it did. And that touchdown — the team’s third of the contest — seemed to keep momentum on the Lancers’ side.

Sweeney will certainly be a player to watch on the Lancers this fall, but so will Williams and other members of the offense, along with quarterback Ryan Perry, who did a good job leading the squad on a few long drives that resulted in points.

  • All three players I spoke with after the game credited their teammates for the win, but also the fans, too — it was an exciting atmosphere for football that I (and most likely many) have not experienced since 2019.

    Said Azzari, “The energy was crazy, the crowd was going wild, it was a great time

Malden Catholic will look to continue its early momentum next Friday, September 17 when they host Gloucester at 7 p.m. The Fishermen lost to Hamilton-Wenham by a score of 13-7.

Weymouth will look to bounce back next Friday, as well, against Newton North.