Tag Archives: AIC Football

Mass. College Football: Camping With American International College (AIC) Football

By Matt Noonan

American International College (AIC) enters the 2015 season projected to be the runner-up in the Northeast-10 Conference, but that prediction isn’t what head coach Art Wilkins is focused on at this time.

AIC Football commences its season on Saturday, September 5 with a non-conference game against Bryant University (Photo Credit: SportsLogos.net)

AIC Football commences its season on Saturday, September 5 with a non-conference game against Bryant University (Photo Credit: SportsLogos.net)

Instead, the legendary head coach, who enters his 21st season with AIC, is focused on preparing the Yellow Jackets for its week one opponent: Bryant University.

“I think Mr. (Bill) Belichick has the right approach (to a new season),” said Wilkins, “one game at a time.”

AIC will travel to Rhode Island this Saturday (Sept. 5) to face a Bulldogs squad that was picked to capture the Northeast Conference. Bryant garnered four first-place votes and is coming off an impressive campaign that included eight victories, which tied a program record for wins.

“(We have) a one game season right now and after (we play Bryant) there will be another one (game season), but it is a one game season,” said Wilkins.

Quarterback Kevin Arduino has graduated after a very impressive four-year career, but is expected to assist the team as an assistant coach.

“You (can) never replace a great player (like Kevin), but we’re doing the second best thing. Since he can’t play anymore, we’re going to let him coach and see if some of the magic dust (helps),” said Wilkins.

The Yellow Jackets have five quarterbacks on its roster, including sophomore Shawn Brathwaite, who completed four passes last season and tossed a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 31 yards and one score.

Another quarterback to keep an eye on is senior Adam Salvador, who competed in nine games last season, but did not register a single pass. Instead, the senior signal caller rushed for 137 yards on 43 attempts and averaged 15.2 yards per game.

At tailback, expect the Yellow Jackets to rotate five or six players, including junior Marcel DePina, who hails from New Bedford, Massachusetts. DePina registered one touchdown last season on 19 carries, while rushing for 133 yards. He also returned a pair of punts for 34 yards.

“DePina has looked great,” said Wilkins. “I think he is going to be an exceptional player. He is the one we’re counting on right now (at halfback).”

Similar to tailback, the wide receiving core will rely on five or six players to assist the offense. Junior Evan Graham – a Springfield, Massachusetts native – is back after finishing second on the team in receptions (41). Graham, who competed in 11 games, was second on the team in touchdowns (five) and receiving yards (655).

“We think (our receiving core) is the best position on offense right, so we’ll see how it comes together during the first several games,” Wilkins said. “This is an exciting bunch.”

On defense, the Yellow Jackets will count on senior linebacker Demetrius Steed – a Boston native that competed for Bedford High School. Steed ranked third on the team in total tackles (72), but recorded 38 solo stops, four sacks, seven tackles for a loss and a trio of pass-breakups.

“He’s the guy that leads by example and has a high energy level and (can) translate that to his teammates,” said Wilkins. “He is everything you could want.”

AIC also returns seniors Andrew Justice (defensive end), Danny Omoregie (defensive line) and Daquan Holmes (defensive back). Sophomore Rob Hansen returns after leading all freshmen defenders with five total tackles and three solo stops.

Following the Yellow Jackets’ season-opener against the Bulldogs, AIC will commence conference play with a home contest against Southern Connecticut University on Saturday, September 12. The Yellow Jackets will then travel to University of New Haven on Saturday, September 19 before concluding the first month of play with a 1:00 p.m. kick-off against Saint Anselm College at home.

AIC and LIU Post, which competed in the conference’s championship last season, will meet in Springfield on Saturday, October 3 for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off. LIU Post was picked to capture the NE-10 crown for the second consecutive season.

Mass. College Football: NCAA Tourney Predictions

By Matt Noonan 

Three local teams will be competing this weekend in the first round of the NCAA Division 2 and 3 tournaments, and below are game previews and predictions.

NCAA Div. 2 Tournament

American International College at West Chester University: The Yellow Jackets, who captured the Northeast-10 Conference crown last weekend with a victory over Stonehill College will look to keep their momentum going against an impressive Rams unit. AIC, which returns to the tournament for the first time since 2008, enters their first round contest with a seven-game winning streak. AIC is headed by junior quarterback Kevin Arduino, who led the NE-10 with 20 rushing scores, while passing for 13 touchdowns.

WCU, who’ll be tomorrow’s host, won 9 of 10 contests this season. Their only loss came against Bloomsburg, the second seed in the region, which will face the winner of this matchup.

Keep an eye on WCU’s running back Rondell White, a senior tailback that rushed for 1,683 yards and 19 touchdowns. Also, don’t overlook quarterback Sean McCartney, who concluded the regular season with 24 touchdowns and 2,483 passing yards.

Prediction: AIC 24, WCU 22 – Stopping Arduino won’t be an easy task. He’s guided the Yellow Jackets to some impressive conference wins this season and will certainly look to beat the Rams with both his legs, as well as his arm. The Rams offense will certainly challenge the Yellow Jackets defense, especially with their ground game, but AIC should pull this out with possibly a late touchdown or defensive stop.

NCAA Div. 3 Tournament:

Endicott College at Rowan University: Both teams earned a spot in the tournament following conference championship wins as the Gulls topped Salve Regina last weekend, while the Profs defeated TCNJ.

Against the Seahawks, the Gulls defense held their opponent to 325 total yards of offense, while quarterback Drew Frenette completed 14 of 30 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Spencer Walsh rushed for 118 yard on 37 carries. Look for both players to step up in this contest, especially Walsh, who will assist with opening up his team’s passing game.

Rowan is averaging 21 points per game, and as a team, they’ve rushed for 1,600 yards and held their opponents to 1,096 total rushing yards. Withler Marcelin leads the unit with 1,174 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns (nine touchdowns on the ground). Defensively, keep an eye on Chris Alvarez, who’s recorded 14 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks in 10 games.   

Prediction: Endicott 28, Rowan 27 – Both teams can run the ball, but the biggest question will be who can stop it? Obviously Endicott’s defense will look to repeat their performance from a week ago where they stopped one of the better New England offenses, while Rowan will look to their offense, which registered four touchdowns against TCNJ. Similar to AIC-WCU, look for a big defensive stop to shift the momentum to the eventual winner.

Framingham State at Ithaca College: For the second straight season, the Rams are headed back to the postseason after capturing the inaugural MASCAC crown. Yet, their run toward a championship won’t be easy, as they’ll face the winner of the Empire-8.

FSU is led by running back Melikke Van Alstyne, who recently eclipsed the 6,000-yard mark against Worcester State. He also registered three scores against the Lancers, too.

Van Alstyne considers this week’s opponent a mix of Endicott and Westfield State; two teams Framingham State defeated this year.

“I’d say (they’re) like Endicott, but tough like Westfield,” said the senior halfback. “They’re definitely a big and physical team, so we’ve got to bring our A-game.”

Tom Kelley, who is in his seventh year on the sidelines, know his team will need to play its best football of the season in order to advance to the second round.

“We have a lot of guys who remember (losing to in the tournament last year), they remember that feeling,” said Kelley. “The one thing we learned was that we can stand up to the rest of the country and that we can play with the NJAC teams and Empire-8, so we’re going to find that out this week.

“Ithaca is a very good football team. They don’t score a lot, but they don’t give up a lot. They’re very consistent, they don’t make a lot of mistakes, and they have a very good special teams, a very good defense and a very good offense, but our kids (feel) that we can play (with these teams), so we just to play our best game and see what happens.”

As Kelley mentioned, the Bombers defense finished first in their conference in points allowed (151), while their offense ranked seventh in points (220).

Prediction: FSU 21, Ithaca College 14 – This has the possibility of being an upset, especially if the Rams can get their running game going against an impressive defense. FSU’s defense stepped up down the stretch, especially against Bridgewater State. Their win against the Bears maybe their signature victory of the season, so look for a low scoring affair and possibly a late Van Alstyne touchdown to seal the win.

Mass. College Football: Week 10 Teams Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 10th week of the college football season in the books, it is now time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Teams of the Week.

Division 1 – Boston College: Three touchdowns and two field goals in the second half was what helped the Eagles defeat Virginia Tech in Chestnut Hill.

Kevin Pierre-Louis returned an interception for a touchdown, which provided Boston College with the lead for good before Andre Williams pushed the hosts ahead on a 62-yard rushing touchdown.

Williams led all rushers with 166 yards and two scores, while quarterback Chase Rettig completed 11-of-14 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown.

Alex Amidon led the Eagles’ receiving core with three catches for 53 yards.

The Eagles, who snapped a two-game losing streak, will travel to New Mexico next weekend for their final non-conference contest of the season.

Division 2 – American International: The Yellow Jackets secured a spot in the Northeast-10 Conference championship game this past weekend with a 43-34 win over New Haven.

Kevin Arduino completed 19-of-31 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushed for 166 yards on 22 carries and three scores. Stephan Davis led AIC’s receiving core with six catches for 80 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Jaquawne Simpkins and Darion Chappel each recorded eight total stops. Simpkins finished with one sack for a loss of six yards.

AIC concluded the contest with 29 first downs, six more than New Haven, along with 486 yards of total offense (243 passing yards and 243 rushing yards). The Yellow Jackets also won the time of possession battle, too.

The Yellow Jackets will be at home this weekend for their final regular season contest against Southern Connecticut; kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Division 3 – Framingham State: Tom Kelley’s squad won another “Kelley Cup” on Saturday as the Rams defeated Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 58-12.

Framingham State raced out to a 20-0 lead thanks to three rushing scores, two by quarterback Nick Colson before the Buccaneers closed the gap with two touchdowns.

The Rams pushed ahead for good by outscoring the Bucs in the second quarter, 24-0, which helped them earn their sixth straight win.

Quarterback Matthew Silva completed 15-of-24 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns, while Melikke Van Alstyne rushed for 228 yards on 25 carries and two scores. Jared Gauthier led all receivers with five catches for 87 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Patrick McGrath led the unit with nine total stops, while Michael Altavesta recorded six solo tackles and a pass breakup.

The Rams will travel to Bridgewater this weekend to face the Bears, who were on a bye this past weekend.

Mass. College Football: AIC, Stonehill Clinch NE-10 Championship Berths

By Matt Noonan

American International College (AIC) and Stonehill College will compete for the Northeast-10 Conference Championship in two weeks as both squads secured spots in the title match yesterday with conference wins. The Skyhawks defeated Pace, while AIC topped New Haven.

AIC is currently slated to host the championship in two weeks (Saturday, Nov. 16), but could travel to Easton if they lose next weekend to Southern Connecticut and Stonehill beats Merrimack College.

The Yellow Jackets defeated the Skyhawks earlier this season, 31-10, but since that particular setback, Stonehill has won four straight.

For more information on the Skyhawks — HOP HERE

For more information on the Yellow Jackets — HOP HERE