Four D-III Football Games Have Been Played This Fall

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth NCAA D-III football game of the 2020 season is in the books as Bluffton University captured its only contest of the fall semester yesterday by defeating Adrian College, 28-21.

Bluffton University won its only game of the fall semester on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bluffton University Athletics)

Bluffton, which won’t return to Salzman Stadium until next February, was led by Darian Greeley, who rushed for a game-high 285 yards on 41 carries and three touchdowns while Brady Hauenstein paced the Beavers defense with seven total tackles. He also registered one forced fumble.

Yesterday’s contest marked the end to a few games that have been played this month – one more D-III game remains on the calendar for next month with Coast Guard Academy visiting Merchant Marine for the Secretaries’ Cup.

Coast Guard Academy is the only New England school competing this fall – as of now, nothing has been confirmed or reported about the potential for other teams in the region, including here in Massachusetts, to play a few games next spring.

As of this morning, Bluffton and Trine University remain the only D-III squads without a single setback – the Thunder have scored wins this month over Adrian and Manchester University.

For more NCAA D-III football coverage and news, make sure to check out the latest In The D3FB Huddle show with Frank Rossi and James Baker!

D3 Football Returns With Trine Topping Adrian

The Trine University football team returned to the field today for the first NCAA D-III game of 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trine University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

If you’re a fan of NCAA D-III football, then this post is for you as Trine University and Adrian College competed this afternoon with the Thunder scoring a 44-27 victory in Adrian, Michigan

The game marked the official return for D-III football – a majority of the teams remain on the sidelines, but apparently, four teams in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are playing a “round-robin” format this month, according to D3Football.com. 

Trine’s Xaine Kirby highlighted his team’s initial win of the season by rushing for a game-high 141 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns while Alex Price completed 6 of 16 passes for 129 yards and two scores. 

The Thunder led by at least one score after the first and second quarters before Adrian closed the gap late in the third when Jack Wurzer connected with Jimmie Clark for a 25-yard touchdown pass which brought the Bulldogs within one point (28-27). Trine would counter on the ensuing possession with Price connecting with Michael Chandle on a 42-yard pass before Kirby recorded the team’s final score during the final session. 

Adrian’s Jack Wurzer ended the contest with three touchdown passes and 231 passing yards while James Tow led both the Bulldogs defense and all defenders with a game-high 14 total tackles. 

Trine will return to action next Saturday, October 10 when they host Manchester University for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Adrian will be idle next weekend but will visit Manchester for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, October 17. 

New England D3 Football Notebook: MASCAC Teams Shine In First Week

West. Conn. State scored a dramatic win on Saturday to defeat Hartwick, 35-31. (Photo Credit: Western Connecticut State University Athletics)
West. Conn. State scored a dramatic win on Saturday to defeat Hartwick, 35-31. (Photo Credit: Western Connecticut State University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

It was an exciting first week of Division III New England football.

We saw some interesting outcomes, along with some impressive individual and team efforts to secure opening-day wins.

Perhaps one of the biggest stories of the week was Plymouth State earning its first win at Castleton since September 2010. It was also the Panthers’ first opening day victory since September 2011.

Plymouth State overcame a one-point (7-6) deficit at the break to secure a 20-7 win over the Spartans.

“We knew we had to win the third and fourth quarters,” Plymouth State sophomore quarterback Zach Edwards told the Rutland Herald.

Edwards helped the Panthers secure the lead for good when he connected with junior wide receive Chris Kelly on a 37-yard touchdown strike in the third quarter before first-year halfback David Hamilton clinched the victory for Plymouth State in the fourth with a one-yard plunge.

Plymouth State will look to double its win total on Saturday, September 10 when they host Mount Ida for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off.

More MASCAC Week One Success: Framingham State – the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) defending champions – commenced their title defense with an opening day victory over Endicott College. The win was the Rams’ fourth-straight opening days win against the Gulls.

Framingham State junior Stephen Beahn hauled in six catches for a school record 248 yards, while registering a trio of touchdowns.

According to the school’s release, Beahn was a linebacker last season, but ended yesterday’s contest with an average of 41.3 yards per reception.

Including Framingham State, six MASCAC teams earned opening day wins, including Fitchburg State, UMass Dartmouth and Westfield State. UMass Dartmouth tallied the most points among all nine squads, outscoring Mount Ida, 40-9, on Friday evening.

UMass Dartmouth led Mount Ida, 13-3, at the break, but pushed ahead for good by tallying 13 points in the third quarter and 14 points in the fourth. Junior linebacker Brandon Miller recorded a career-best 12 tackles, while senior quarterback Cory Burnham tossed four touchdowns and completed 13 of 26 passes for 150 yards.

Shawn Brathwaite – a junior quarterback transfer from American International College (AIC) – helped Westfield State commence its season with a 34-21 win over Nichols College. Brathwaite threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns in his debut for the Owls.

An exciting finish in Danbury, Connecticut: MIT and WPI may have been the game of the evening on Friday, but perhaps the most dramatic win on Saturday occurred in Danbury, Connecticut where Western Connecticut State University needed a late touchdown reception to defeat Hartwick.

Junior quarterback Quinn Fleeting helped the Colonials overcome a three-point (31-28) deficit with 54 seconds remaining when he located classmate Jaward Chisholm for an 81-yard touchdown pass to help the hosts claim an opening day 35-31 victory.

Fleeting concluded the game with four touchdowns passes, while connecting on 27 of 40 attempts for 425 yards. Chisholm led all receivers with 229 yards on 14 receptions. He also hauled in two of Fleeting’s touchdown passes.

Mass. College Lax Notebook: No. 3 Tufts Rolls Past No. 8 Endicott

Tufts' Cole Bailey recorded nine points this evening, netting five goals and dishing out four assists. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)
Tufts’ Cole Bailey recorded nine points this evening, netting five goals and dishing out four assists. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Third-ranked Tufts University scored an impressive win this evening, downing the eighth-ranked Endicott Colllege, 22-6, in Beverly.

Tufts’ Cole Bailey paced all scorers, including the Powder Blue and White with nine points on five goals and four assists. John Uppgren contributed four goals and four helpers.

Will Jennings led the Gulls with four goals, Kyle Weber netted one marker and Colin Bannon registered one goal and one assist in the setback.

Eight consecutive goals in the opening frame helped the Jumbos secure the lead for good. Uppgren commenced the 8-0 run by locating Zach Richman, who buried the feed past Endicott’s Cameron Bell. Jennings netted a pair in the second for Endicott, including a man-up goal, but the Jumbos countered, netting three consecutive tallies to secure a 13-4 cushion at the break.

Bell turned away 10 of 29 shots and Tufts’ Alex Salazar deflected 16 of 21 attempts. The Jumbos won the battle of the ground balls, scooping 54 grounders, while converting 22 of 25 clear attempts. Conor Helfrich and Ryan Le combined for 21 face-off victories.

Western New England halted Roger Williams’ eight-game winning streak by defeating the Hawks in Springfield, 11-4. Jon Bota led the Golden Bears with a hat trick, Justin Bard and Patrick Dillon netted a pair, and Brandon Body turned away 13 shots between the pipes.

Tim Kelly sliced the four-goal deficit for the visiting Hawks in the second quarter before teammate Jon Gomer brought Roger Williams within one goal at 8:53 in the third quarter. Western New England – leading 4-3 – stretched its advantage with a four-goal run, spanning the third and fourth quarters to push ahead for good.

Trailing 5-2 at the break, the Mount Ida Mustangs rallied with seven third quarter goals to secure an important Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory over visiting Lasell College. Mount Ida’s Jon Berry paced the Mustangs with five points on four goals and one assist, while Lucas Stralka dished out a trio of assists. Casey Sullivan led the Lasers with a hat trick and three helpers.

With the victory, the Mustangs find themselves a spot behind first-place Emmanuel College. The Saints, who are 7-0 in conference play, defeated St. Joseph’s College (Maine) in Boston this afternoon by a score of 12-4. Tony Cibelli led the Saints with four goals and one assist.

Make sure to follow Noontime Sports on Twitter (@NoontimeSports & @NoonSportsBlog) for local sports updates. Also, become a fan on Facebook by typing in “Noontime Sports” in the search bar or by visiting Facebook.com/NoonSports.

Weekend Notebook/Column: Reflecting on the MIT-WPI Rivalry

By Matt Noonan 

This is my very first – and hopefully more will follow, I will do my best, I promise! – of my Weekend Notebook/Column series. My plan is to post a weekly column every Sunday that highlights an event, game or moment from the past week in the world of Massachusetts’s college sports.

So, without further ado, here is my first Weekend Notebook/Column!

And if you would like to critique it, send me a note or possibly pitch an idea for this weekly column or any future blog posts, you can contact me at NoontimeSports@gmail.com.

MIT-WPI, A Great Rivalry: Yesterday, I had the great fortune of PA Announcing MIT-WPI men’s basketball, the first of two meetings this season. Prior to the contest, WPI head coach, Chris Bartley, remarked, “This must be a big game with you announcing.” I laughed and wished him good luck.

MIT-WPI has truly become a marquee matchup or a must-see over the past few seasons. Sure, you have Amherst-Williams and Bentley-Stonehill, two great matchups, too, but there really is something special about these games.

Yesterday’s contest truly demonstrated why this is a must-see matchup. MIT was victorious, claiming a 51-46 win over WPI. The game featured five ties and one lead change. Four players – two from each side – reached double-figures, while MIT and WPI recorded 31 team rebounds, respectively.

MIT and WPI will play their second game on February 11, a game that could determine seeding for the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament. The Engineers of WPI swept the regular season meeting last year, but lost to MIT in the semifinals of the conference tournament last March, 64-46.

“We just had to come out, bring lots of energy (and) make sure we were out there in every play, in the play, both mentally and physically, so we could get it done,” MIT’s Matt Redfield said after last year’s tournament win over their rival.

Who knows, maybe we could see MIT-WPI in the NEWMAC title game later this winter, it certainly is possible!

Since the 2011, MIT or WPI has either won the league and tournament crown. The Engineers of MIT, who have won the conference tournament in three of the last four seasons, have also finished as Regular Season Champions twice since the 2011 campaign. They also shared the regular season crown in 2012 with WPI.

WPI last won the Tournament in 2013, their first tournament victory since beating MIT in the title match, 69-56, in 2006.

Said Bartley after winning the 2013 Tournament Title against Springfield College, “It’s a great feeling because it’s been a long time.”

So, mark your calendar for February 11, the rematch of yesterday’s back-and-forth affair. And I promise you, it will be another great chapter in this rivalry of Engineers.

Links from Around the Web: 

* Stonehill College’s women’s basketball team won their sixth consecutive game yesterday, beating Pace, 63-46. Jamie Panton recorded a season-high 11 points in the win.

* A late three-pointer helped Williams’ men’s basketball team edge Amherst College in Williamstown. Check out the story from the Berkshire Eagle.

* Boston University’s Victoria Bach registered a career-best three points in last night’s 5-3 win over Maine.

Wheaton College’s women’s basketball team halted Springfield’s six-game winning streak yesterday with a 64-53 win. The Lyons are now in a three-way tie for first place in the conference with Babson College and Springfield.