Tag: Adrian College

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Conference Predictions

The early expectation is that Trinity College will begin the 2022 season as the de-facto favorite to win the NESCAC. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

We’re less than 30 days from the start of a brand-new New England NCAA Division III Football season.

Are you excited?

I am, which is why I am ready to share my early predictions for which team will win their respective conference this fall.

Like most of our early season content, these picks are educated guesses. It’s possible these picks will be right while some could be wrong.

Anywho, allow me to share my early predictions for all five New England D-III football conferences.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): From top to bottom, this might be the most competitive conference in the region.

As of early August – and yes, a few weeks back – I was pretty sure Endicott College would be the favorite to win its second-straight title this fall. But from doing some additional research, I will change my mind and go with another team: Salve Regina University.

To me, the Seahawks might be the best team on paper in this conference heading into the upcoming season. They will return some key members of last year’s offense that averaged 199.2 rushing yards per game.

But while Salve Regina might be the squad receiving some early-season praise for its key returners, do not overlook Endicott, along with Husson University, Western New England, and the University of New England. All four squads, along with Curry College and Nichols College will provide the Seahawks with plenty of challenges this season.  

Noontime’s CCC Champion Prediction: Salve Regina University

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: University of New England

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): A new chapter of Anna Maria College football will begin this fall with first-year coach Steve Croce.

Croce, who was on the staff last year, will be tasked with continuing the squad’s momentum, which saw the AMCATs win their first-ever conference crown, as well as appear in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Like Salve Regina, Anna Maria will return some key members of last year’s squad on both offense and defense, including quarterback Alex Cohen, who concluded the 2021 season with 23 touchdown passes.

While Anna Maria appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, don’t overlook Alfred State College, a squad that appeared in its first-ever postseason contest last November. Additionally, the Pioneers set a new program record for wins with six victories. For the Blue and Yellow to continue its success this fall, they will need to do it without quarterback Aaron Jenkins, who will be competing for Adrian College this season.

One team to keep an eye on this fall is Keystone College, a squad that concluded its inaugural season winless but could pose problems for both its non-conference and conference foes.

Noontime’s ECFC Champion Prediction: Anna Maria College

Noontime’s Surprise ECFC Team of 2022: Keystone College

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State has been the team to beat over the last decade or so and should be the squad with a target on its back heading into training camp this month.

But don’t rule out the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth, which concluded the 2021 season with a league-best nine wins (that’s nine wins in 11 contests).

UMass Dartmouth earned some much-needed momentum heading into the postseason by capturing its first-ever New England Bowl Game last November – the Corsairs rolled past Alfred State, 42-16, thanks to a six-touchdown effort (four passing and two rushing scores) by Dante Aviles-Santos.

Aviles-Santos returns this fall hoping to lead the Corsairs to their first-ever conference crown. UMass Dartmouth has never won a MASCAC title and appears to be the team to beat on paper.

While UMass Dartmouth might be equipped to challenge the Rams for the top spot in the conference, don’t overlook Bridgewater State, which finished its 2021 campaign with six wins and a Cranberry Bowl victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Plymouth State, which ended its previous season with a 5-5 overall record, will also be in the mix for the conference crown.

Noontime’s MASCAC Champion Prediction: Framingham State  

Noontime’s Surprise MASCAC Team of 2022: Plymouth State  

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): The Bantams of Trinity College won eight games last season. They also lost one contest to Williams College, which captured the NESCAC crown with a perfect 9-0 record.

The loss to the Ephs should fuel a conference championship run for the Bantams this fall – Trinity, like other New England squads, will welcome back some key members of its 2021 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Linebacker Brian Casagrande, who led the Bantams’ defense with 46.0 total tackles, is also expected to return.

While Trinity will be the squad to watch in the NESCAC heading into their initial contest, the same could be said for others such as Amherst College, Colby College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University.

Williams College could also pose threats to Trinity’s title run with the Ephs representing the region on last month’s D3Football Preseason Poll. Williams is one of many teams receiving votes.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College  

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: Tufts University  

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): After starting their season with one win and three losses, Springfield College responded with a six-game winning streak that helped the Pride capture its second NEWMAC crown, as well as advance to the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The early expectation is that Springfield will be the de-facto favorite to win the NEWMAC this fall, but don’t overlook Merchant Marine, which finished its 2021 season with a 9-1 overall record.

The Mariners won their final two contests against Coast Guard Academy and Western New England – the win over the Golden Bears provided Merchant Marine with its second New England Bowl victory since beating Endicott in 2018. Additionally, the team’s final win was an ideal sendoff for longtime head coach Mike Toop, who guided the Silver and Blue to 70 wins in 17 seasons.

Toop announced he would be retiring last November.

Merchant Marine should be able to compete for the top spot with Springfield – sure, both teams will need to fill some graduation holes, but the same could be said for every team in college football.

A few other teams to watch in the NEWMAC include Catholic University, MIT, and WPI.

Noontime’s NEWMAC Champion Prediction: Springfield College  

Noontime’s Surprise NEWMAC Team of 2022: WPI

Three MIAA Games Highlight Week Seven Of The Spring Football Season

By NoontimeSports.com

For those us from Massachusetts, the acronym MIAA is often associated with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association but it is also used to abreviate the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. And this weekend, six MIAA teams will be in action with two games scheduled for Saturday, March 20 while Kalamazoo College and Olivet College will cap the weekend with an early afternoon kickoff on Sunday, March 21.

Hope College, which won the MIAA conference crown in 2019, will not be competing this weekend or spring, but will use this time to prepare for their initial fall contest against Anderson University on September 4.

Here are this weekend’s matchups:

  • Albion College at Trine University (Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. est.)
  • Adrian College at Alma College (Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. est.)
  • Kalamazoo College at Olivet College (Sunday, March 21 at 1 p.m. est.)

The Thunder of Trine enter the seventh week of the spring season with a perfect 2-0 record – they scored wins last October against Adrian (44-27) and Manchester University (37-0), and will attempt to capture their third-straight victory on Saturday, as well as their first win against Albion since 2018. Albion won the previous meeting in 2019 by a score of 24-14.

Similar to Trine, Adrian also competed last fall, appearing in three contests while securing an early October victory against Manchester (41-10). The Bulldogs enter their first spring game with a 1-2 record with hopes of evening the mark against an Alma squad they edged in 2019 by a score of 34-31.

Albion enters the spring season as the favorite, according to the MIAA preseason coaches poll, which was released earlier this month. The Britons secured five of six first-place votes while Olivet, which garnered one first-place selection, is projected to finish second. Trine rounded out the top three sports while Adrian and Alma are projected to finish fourth, respectively, while Kalamazoo rounded out the poll in the sixth position.

The MIAA’s spring season will run from this weekend to Saturday, April 17.


News and notes from the spring college football world

  • The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) spring season will kickoff this weekend with Greenville University visiting DePauw University. Saturday’s matchup with Greenville will be the Tigers’ final contest of the 2020-21 school year. – DePauw beat Ohio Wesleyan University last September before beating The College of Wooster. DePauw’s meeting with Wooster was an exhibition contest.
  • In case you missed it, four New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) teams kicked-off their spring seasons last weekend. William Patterson, which was initially scheduled to play last Saturday against Christopher Newport, will play its first game this Saturday, March 20 against Kean University. Kickoff between the two teams is scheduled for 12 p.m.
  • In honor of March Madness, ESPN asked the following question: what would a 64-team postseason bracket look like 2021? It is certainly an interesting read, but something we know (and sadly, most college fans do, as well) won’t happen.
  • The college football world has changed because of Covid-19, according to Chip Kelly, who believes Zoom will be something coaches will continue to use going forward, especially when connecting with recruits.
  • Last weekend was a busy weekend of NCAA D-II football – are you ready for more games this week?
  • Congratulations to former Fordham University quarterback Mike Nebrich, who has been inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

D3 Football Spring Games Will Begin In February

By Matt Noonan

Get ready for some NCAA D-III football games this spring.

Bluffton University’s football team will compete a few times this spring. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bluffton University Athletics)

As confirmed yesterday by our friends James Baker and Frank Rossi of In The (D3FB) Huddle, there will be some teams competing this spring – in fact, two games are currently slated to occur next month on Saturday, February 27, according to D3Football.com‘s scoreboard.

Bluffton University, which competed last October against Adrian College, is scheduled to compete in its first spring contest against Rose-Hulman while Mount Saint Joseph University will visit Manchester University. Both contests are scheduled to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. eastern.

Similar to Bluffton, Manchester also competed last fall – the Spartans dropped both contests to Trine University and Adrian College.

More games are expected to occur once the calendar flips from February to March, including the “Bronze Ball Game” between Manchester and Anderson University, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m. eastern. The Spartans captured the previous meeting in 2019 by a score of 70-54, thanks to eight rushing touchdowns by Donovan Henderson, Jr.

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.