And welcome to our first of many ‘Football Friday’ posts, which will revisit (and yes, highlight, too) previous campaigns, stories, and games we have covered since our blog began pressing the publish button back in May 2009.
Today, we’re revisiting last year’s perfect season by the Middlebury College football team, which saw the Panthers win nine games, as well as capture the 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title.
The 2019 NESCAC crown was the team’s first outright title since 2007. It was also the program’s fourth championship – they shared the crown in 2000 and 2013.
Middlebury’s run toward its first conference crown in nearly a decade featured many twists and turns, including an epic double-overtime win over Amherst College (34-31), along with two hard-fought season-ending victories against Hamilton College (14-7) and Tufts University (31-24).
While the team’s three-point win over the Mammoths may have been their most thrilling victory of the 2019 season, they also scored some dramatic (and last second) victories against Colby College (27-26) and Williams College (17-13).
The one-point win over the Mules was something I discussed with Colby’s head coach Jack Cosgrove earlier this summer – he told me it “would have been a great win for (his) program.”
Middlebury, which entered the game riding a four-game winning streak, was held to just seven points in the final frame while the visitors produced 13 points on two touchdowns – they almost finished the frame with 16 points, but a game-ending 29-yard field goal sailed wide of the goalposts.
“Yeah, we were in a football game,” Cosgrove said of his team’s heartbreaking defeat to the Panthers.
But beyond their epic and dramatic finishes, Middlebury’s most impressive performance of the 2019 season occurred one week after their win over Colby when they defeated Wesleyan University in a battle of undefeated teams.
Jack Pistorius led the Panthers defense with 10 total tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 11 yards while Nick Leone finished with four total stops, which included three tackles for a loss of 12 yards.
Middlebury would continue its winning ways over the next three weeks to cap its perfect season, but as noted above, their final two victories over Hamilton and Tufts were certainly not easy.
The Continentals of Hamilton limited the Panthers to their fewest points in a single contest (14) – they also kept Middlebury off the scoreboard for three-straight quarters.
Against the Jumbos, Middlebury needed its defense to fend off a late rally by Tufts, which came within one touchdown with 13 seconds remaining. The Panthers recovered the onside kick on the ensuing kickoff to not only seal the win but cap its magical season with a perfect season.
Unfortunately, the Panthers won’t have a chance to defend their conference crown this fall due to the conference canceling competition because of the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, but you can bet that Middlebury would have been ready to go toe-to-toe with its conference foes, including both Wesleyan and Williams College, which finished their respective campaigns with identical 8-1 records.
The 2019 NESCAC football season was exciting, but the wait for its next kickoff – not just Middlebury’s, but all 10 teams – will certainly be worth it.
Welcome to a brand new week here at Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com), which will be highlighting some of our favorite games we have watched or covered, beginning with ten of our favorite games from the D3 Football world last fall.
Our list highlighted ten games from last season in no particular order – we hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane as much as we enjoyed producing it.
Share your thoughts on our list below or send us a tweet to either @NoontimeNation or @NoontimeSports.
The win – the team’s first since beating the Rams, 34-7, in 2012 – was highlighted by Joe Kalosky‘s five touchdown passes while the defense recorded four interceptions and one sack. Endicott’s Justin McEwen concluded the game with five receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
The opening day win over the Rams certainly provided the Gulls with momentum to finish its 2019 slate with nine wins. And those nine victories matched the 2012 squad, which also finished with an identical record of 9-2.
Framingham State outlasts UMass Dartmouth for a much-needed week five victory. The Corsairs entered their week five meeting with the Rams with a great deal of momentum – they had won four-straight contests leading up to the highly anticipated contest, including an impressive 48-41 win over Husson University.
UMD was certainly ready (and prepared) to go toe-to-toe with the Rams, who needed a second-half rally to beat the Corsairs, 39-33.
Framingham State overcame a 13-point differential at the break by outscoring the visitors, 26-7, thanks to Adam Wojenski, who concluded the game with five touchdown passes, along with 53 yards on 11 carries.
Jernigan, Maldjian leads Middlebury College past Wesleyan University: Both Middlebury and Wesleyan entered their mid-October meeting as the top two teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). And the winner – as both teams knew – would secure sole possession of first place heading into the final three weeks of the regular season.
Middlebury broke open a tie game early in the second quarter with a two-yard touchdown run by Alex Maldjian, which helped the Panthers push ahead for good. Maldjian concluded the marquee matchup with 95 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns while Will Jernigan completed 18 of 25 passes for 359 yards and four touchdowns.
As for the Middlebury defense, the unit recorded four sacks for a loss of 27 yards, three pass break-ups, and one interception.
Hamilton College Stuns Amherst College with a last-second field goal. The last time the Continentals beat the Mammoths was more than two decades ago, but on Saturday, October 19th, 2019, the Blue and Gold scored an exciting 31-28 victory, thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Sam Thoreen as time expired. The win evened Hamilton’s mark at the time at 3-3 while Amherst fell to 4-2.
Thoreen finished the game with 11 points off three field goals and two extra points.
Mauck, Shepard lead MIT past WPI in overtime. In a must-win game for the MIT football team, the Engineers of Cambridge found a way to outlast WPI and keep their title hopes alive.
With less than 90 seconds remaining, Chris Mauck drove the Engineers into field goal range where Mark Wright drilled a 41-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session – well, the second additional session, to be exact – the Engineers again relied on Mauck, who connected with Keithen Shepard for a 23-yard game-winning touchdown that provided MIT with its first win over WPI since 1900.
The loss snapped an impressive seven-game winning streak by WPI, which included wins over RPI and Springfield College.
MIT would go onto win their second-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) title two weeks later against Springfield College.
Kingsley’s Fourth-Quarter Touchdown sends Anna Maria past Alfred State. Trailing Alfred State, 20-6, with 13:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, the AMCATs of Anna Maria needed to score two touchdowns as well as stop the Pioneers’ offense. And that is exactly what they did.
Kingsley concluded the game with 192 passing yards on 12 of 31 pass attempts while Tyshawn Anderson led all defenders with 24 total tackles, including 16 solo stops, three tackles for a loss of seven yards, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Terrell Watts threw for seven touchdowns while completing 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards. Errol Breaux led all receivers with eight catches for 125 yards and five touchdowns.
Two weeks after scoring an exciting four-point win over the Pioneers, the Bulldogs competed in their first-ever New England Bowl game against Endicott.
Fedorchak’s record day highlights Western New England’s win over Westfield State. In an early-season matchup against Westfield State, Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak established a pair of single-game records in the Golden Bears’ 56-35 win.
Fedorchak concluded the game with nine receptions for 319 yards and five touchdowns. He ended the opening frame by breaking the previous records for receiving yards (183) and touchdowns (three).
As a team, Western New England outgained Westfield State 701-354 while converting six of eight third-down attempts.
Quarterback Alec Coleman completed 22 of 27 passes for 403 yards and five touchdowns. He also registered 43 yards on the ground and one score.
Bates College rolls past Bowdoin College in its first nighttime contest. The Bobcats halted a seven-game losing streak under the lights in early November with a commanding 30-5 win over Bowdoin College, thanks to a pair of touchdown receptions by Jackson Hayes. Quarterback Brendan Costa completed 9 of 17 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns while Tyler Bridge rushed for a game-high 188 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.
As for the Bobcats’ defense, they concluded the contest with 56 total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 17 yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, and six pass break-ups. They also registered three quarterback hurries.
Michael Pina highlighted the win by scoring three touchdowns, including one through the air to Joshua Pierre-Charles, who also registered two rushing scores. Joe Cox recorded 12 stops in the win – Nichols would go onto finish its season with six wins, which is the most they had recorded since 2016.
With the ninth week of the 2019 New England Division III football season in the books, it is now to unveil our Zelos Athletics Team of the Week.
Similar to our ‘Players of the Week’ Zelos Athletics is also powering our teams of the week, which can be seen (here on our site) every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.
Offensive Players of the Week
Michael Bethune, Jr. (Dean College): Bethune, Jr. rushed for a team-high 213 yards on 21 carries – that is 10.1 yards per rush – while catching three passes for 11 yards against Alfred State.
Errol Breaux (Dean College): Against Alfred State, Breaux caught eight passes for 125 yards and five touchdowns.
Jacob Carroll (Tufts University): Carroll completed 14 of 19 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday to lead the Jumbos to a 35-10 win over Colby College.
Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman completed 18 of 32 passes for two touchdowns against Endicott College while adding 31 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.
Brendan Costa (Bates College): Costa totaled 275 yards of total offense with 212 passing yards (9 of 17 completions) and 63 rushing yards on eight carries. The third-year signal-caller also tossed three touchdowns as the Bobcats topped the Polar Bears to provide coach Malik Hall with his first win with the program.
Stefano D’Emilia (Bridgewater State): D’Emilia tallied 266 yards of total offense against Plymouth State, including 35 yards on six carries and one touchdown. The senior signal-caller concluded the game 19 of 29 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown.
Luis Gonzalez (UMass Dartmouth): Against Western Connecticut, Gonzalez rushed for 140 yards on 29 carries (4.8 yards) and two touchdowns as the Corsairs captured their sixth contest of the 2019 season.
Tyler Halls (Husson University): Against Nichols College, Halls caught a game-high 11 catches for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
Tanner Kingsley (Anna Maria College): Kingsley completed 26 of 38 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns against Castleton University this past Saturday.
Steven Lawton (Fitchburg State): Lawton rushed for a game-high 141 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns as the Falcons soared past the Lancers for their initial conference win last Friday.
Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): Against Wesleyan University, the third-year signal-caller completed 8 of 28 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for a game-high 125 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.
Alex Maldjian (Middlebury College): Against Hamilton College, Maldjian rushed for a game-high 145 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns.
Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University): Against the University of New England, Mauriello rushed for 193 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns.
Jacob McCarthy (Castleton University): Against Anna Maria, McCarthy completed 21 of 30 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
Tyler McGovern (Salve Regina University): McGovern completed 10 of 20 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns against the University of New England.
Frank Roche (Tufts University): Roche caught a game-high eight catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns as the Jumbos topped Colby College in Maine.
Jamyre Soberanis (Western New England): Soberanis rushed for a game-high 140 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
Terrell Watts (Dean College): Watts completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards and seven touchdowns while adding six yards on five carries in his team’s exciting win over Alfred State.
Defensive Players of the Week
Hunter Atwood (Curry College): Against Becker College, Atwood recorded nine total tackles, including seven solo stops. Additionally, he recorded one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 12 yards, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.
Sam Cantrell (MIT): Cantrell paced the Engineers’ defense against WPI last Saturday with 11 total tackles (Be Delhees also finished with 11 total stops, too). Four the 11 stops were solo tackles, while two were tackles for a loss of eight yards. Cantrell also recorded one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Anthony Casparriello (Worcester State): Against Fitchburg State last Friday evening, Casparriello tallied 12 total tackles, including three solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of six yards. Additionally, he posted one quarterback hurry, too.
Noah Clack (Bowdoin College): Clack stuffed the stat sheet last Saturday against Bates College with seven total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one sack for a loss of six yards. He also recorded one forced fumble.
Chris Gemayel (Bridgewater State): Gemayel tallied seven total tackles, including three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards and one sack for a loss of three yards, which helped the Bears celebrate Senior Day with a victory against Plymouth State.
Pete Huggins (Middlebury College): Huggins tallied seven total tackles, including three solo stops and one tackle for a loss of seven yards, while recording one pass break-up and one fumble recovery as the Panthers beat Hamilton College, 14-7.
Erich Keutmann (Western New England): Keutmann recorded 23 total tackles, including nine solo stops and one tackle for a loss, along with one pass
Robert Levine (Trinity College): Levine was one of two Bantams that posted 10.0 total tackles against Amherst College. He concluded the game with eight solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of five yards and one quarterback hurry.
Colin McCabe (Mass. Maritime Academy): McCabe recorded 11 total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of six yards. McCabe also forced two fumbles, while recovering one fumble during a 16-6 setback to Framingham State.
David Redmond (Husson University): Redmond stuffed the stat sheet against Nichols with six total tackles, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 12 yards and one forced fumble. Four of the six stops were solo tackles.
Chris Rice (Castleton University): Against Anna Maria last Saturday, Rice stuffed the stat sheet with five total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one sack for a loss of 12 yards. Additionally, Rice recorded one quarterback hurry and one interception.
Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter total 13 total tackles, including 12 solo stops against Western Connecticut. Three of the 13 tackles for were stops for a loss of 11 yards.
Jack Sullivan (Framingham State): Sullivan paced the Rams defense against Massachusetts Maritime Academy with nine total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 14 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards. Seven of the 11 tackles were solo stops.
Special Teamers of the Week
Henry Atkeson (Amherst College): Against Trinity College, Atkeson converted one extra point, while tallying 139 yards on three punts – all three kicks landed inside the Bantams’ 20-yard line. Atkeson also recorded two kickoffs of 111 yards.
Gabriel DeSouza (Curry College): DeSouza recorded four punts against Becker College with three kicks landing inside the Hawks’ 20-yard line.
Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano connected on five kicks against the University of New England, including a 30-yard field goal.
Angelo DiSanto (Salve Regina Univ.): Against the University of New England, DiSanto converted two of three field goals (longest was a 30-yard kick) and five of seven extra points. He recorded one punt for 44-yards, which landed inside the UNE 20-yard line. He also recorded nine kickoffs for 491 yards with one touchback.
Quintus Reid (Dean College): Reid punted the ball four times against Alfred State for 125 yards. One of the punts resulted in a touchback, while another punt landed inside the Pioneers’ 20-yard line. In addition to his punting duties, Reid also caught four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Mark Wright (MIT): Wright tallied eight points off two extra points and a pair of field goals. He drilled a season-long 43-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, which was followed by a game-tying 41-yard kick that sent the game to overtime.
Second-half adjustments seemed to be the difference Saturday afternoon for Framingham State, which overcame a 13-point deficit at the break to defeat UMass Dartmouth, 39-33, at Bowditch Field.
Quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns in the win, while halfback Devaun Ford sealed the victory by capping a six-play, 50-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run with 5:37 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Corsairs attempted to answer on its next three series but saw their drives conclude with a punt, turnover on downs and fumble.
UMass Dartmouth quarterback Stephen Gacioch concluded Saturday’s contest with 343 passing yards and two touchdowns while adding two more scores on the ground. Gacoich led all rushers with 97 yards on 20 carries, while Wojenski rushed for a team-high 53 yards.
Wojenski connected with Jacob Maher for three touchdowns, including a pair of scores in the second half. Maher led all receivers with 215 yards on five catches (43.0 yards per reception).
With the win, the Rams improve to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play.
The Corsairs, who entered the contest on a four-game winning streak, suffered their first setback of the 2019 season after scoring a pair of important conference wins the past two weeks against Fitchburg State and Plymouth State.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 4-0, while the Mammoths slipped to 3-1.
Jernigan concluded the contest 17 of 36 for 306 yards, while halfback Alex Maldjian rushed for a game-high 125 yards on 30 carries and two scores.
Middlebury led by two scores (21-6) at the break, but the Mammoths clawed back in the second half with three touchdowns, including a pair in the third quarter before Jernigan sent the game to overtime with a 54-yard strike to Greg Livingston with 6:21 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Conor Kennelly booted a 31-yard field goal in the second overtime to provide Amherst with a three-point (31-28) lead before Jernigan connected with Maxwell Rye on a nine-yard scoring play to secure the win.
Endicott College 30, Salve Regina 24: Joe Kalosky and Dylan Bonfilio combined for three touchdown passes, including the eventual go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter as the Gulls improved to 4-1 and 2-0 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) play.
Salve Regina’s Joey Mauriello rushed for a game-high 163 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns, including his team’s final score, which brought the Seahawks within six points with 2:47 remaining.
Kalosky concluded the game 31 of 39 for 286 yards and two touchdowns, while Bonfilio finished one of one with a six-yard touchdown pass to Riley Shanley early in the fourth quarter.
Endicott’s Nick DiCairano tallied 12 points off six kicks, including a 47-yard field goal.
Springfield College 21, Norwich University 17: Chad Shade and Tim Callahan each recorded second-half touchdowns, which helped the Pride defeat the Cadets and claim their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory of the season.
Shade concluded Saturday’s tilt with 169 yards on 31 carries, while Callahan added 140 yards on 27 carries.
Norwich’s Matt Dunn completed 11 of 25 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns, including one score to Manni Romero, who led all receivers with 128 yards on three catches.
WPI 51, Maine Maritime Academy 20: Sean McAllen and Connor Field combined for 285 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while Nick Ostrowski led the WPI defense with10 total tackles, including eight solo stops as the Engineers defeated the Mariners of Maine Maritime in Worcester this afternoon.
Maine Maritime quarterback Nikolas Moquin completed 22 of 32 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns while adding 15 yards on four carries.
New England D-III Football Scoreboard | Saturday, Oct. 5th, 2019
Husson University 28, Becker College 12
Curry College 34, University of New England 31
Western New England 30, Nichols College 19
Endicott College 30, Salve Regina 24
Merchant Marine 35, MIT 29 (OT)
Springfield College 21, Norwich University 17
WPI 51, Maine Maritime Academy 20
Coast Guard Academy 20, Catholic University 14 (OT)