Tag: Alfred State 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

Noontime’s Northeast College Football Games to Watch (Week Seven)

Rory Sullivan and the FDU-Florham football team will host Delaware Valley on Saturday in an important conference matchup. (PHOTO COURTESY: Sherry Saccoliti)

By Matt Noonan

Sure, we’re a New England sports blog – yes, we’re based right outside of Boston (technically across the river, to be exact in Somerville), but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our eyes on some college football games outside our region, right?

So, today, we’re going to highlight a few matchups to watch this weekend outside of New England, including one taking place in Madison, New Jersey.

Delaware Valley (5-0, 3-0 MAC) at FDU-Florham (4-1, 3-0 MAC) Saturday, October 16 at 12 p.m.:  The Devils have been on a roll since losing their season-opener to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA).

Last week, FDU-Florham won its fourth consecutive contest by outlasting Lebanon Valley in double-overtime. Connor Perez, who finished with two touchdown receptions, caught the game-winning score in the second overtime session and quarterback Anthony Caserta concluded the conference clash with four touchdown passes.

The Devils’ momentum will certainly be tested against an Aggies squad that has not lost a game this fall – DelVal has produced 114 points in three-straight conference games and scored their fifth consecutive win last weekend with a 48-15 win over King’s College.

DelVal enters Saturday’s contest having won 32 consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) matchups, dating back to their 2016 campaign. Their 5-0 start is their best since 2017 when they finished 12-1 overall and 9-0 in conference play.

FDU-Florham’s offense will be challenged with scoring points this week as DelVal’s defense is one of six units in NCAA Division III that is limiting opponents to less than 10 points per game. DelVal’s defense has yielded an average of 9.40 points per game.  

Gallaudet University (4-0, 2-0 ECFC) at SUNY-Maritime (1-4, 1-1 ECFC) Saturday, October 16 at 2 p.m.: The Bison enter their third conference matchup with a great deal of momentum.

Last week, Timel Benton and the Bison rushed past Keystone College, 34-14, thanks to five rushing touchdowns. Benton rushed for a team-high 167 yards on 19 carries and two scores while D’Mitri Lofton, Mikka Harvey, and Preston Garrett all rushed for one touchdown.

As a team, Gallaudet leads all Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) teams with 17 rushing touchdowns – Alfred State ranks second with 10 – while the Privateers rank fourth in touchdown passes (Anna Maria College and Dean College are tied for first with 10 touchdowns through the air).   

SUNY-Maritime captured its conference opener with a come-from-behind win against Castleton University before falling one week later to Alfred State.

Saturday’s game is an important one for both teams, but especially the Privateers as two conference losses would make it tough for them to win the league title. But anything is possible, of course.

SUNY-Maritime topped Gallaudet in their last meeting in 2019 by a score of 24-13, while the Bison’s last win against the Privateers came in 2012. The win – the Bison’s seventh of the 2012 season – matched their total from 2007, which was when the squad returned to the “NCAA Division III ranks.”  

Anna Maria College (3-1, 1-0 ECFC) at Alfred State (2-3, 1-0 ECFC) Saturday, October 16 at 12 p.m.:  The AMCATs have been a great story thus far. But can they continue their early-season momentum one week after they were idle? I think so.

Quarterback Alex Cohen leads the conference in passing yards per game (288.0) and passer rating (151.5) and guided the AMCATs to a thrilling 21-20 victory two years ago against the Pioneers.

Cohen will certainly be a player to watch in this matchup, but the same could be said for Alfred State’s Aaron Jenkins, who registered 317 yards of total offense last week, including a game-high 222 yards on 22 carries and one rushing touchdown against SUNY-Maritime. Jenkins also completed 8 of 18 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns – he located both Ben Ba and Shy’rel Broadwater in the end zone.  

Look for Alfred State to rely on its rushing attack on Saturday, which has held them to back-to-back victories.

Anna Maria has won two of three meetings – Saturday’s contest will mark the fourth meeting between the two schools.  

More Games to Watch:

  • Wilkes University at Widener University (10/16 at 1 p.m.): A pair of five-win teams will tangle in Chester, Pennsylvania.
  • Utica College (4-1, 1-0 E8) at Brockport (3-2, 1-1 E8) (10/16 at 6 p.m.): The Golden Eagles look to bounce back against the Pioneers, who needed to rally past Hartwick to score their first conference win.
  • RPI (6-0, 2-0 LL) at Hobart College (4-1, 0-1 LL) (10/16 at 1 p.m.): The Statesmen look to bounce back against an Engineers team that continues to find ways to win games.

Revisiting A Historic Day For Dean College Football

Terrell Watts tossed a program-record seven touchdowns against Alfred State, 50-46 on November 2, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

By Matt Noonan

It was exactly one year ago when Terrell Watts and the Dean College football team pulled out a historic win against Alfred State College.

The Bulldogs outlasted the Pioneers, 50-46, thanks to Watts, who concluded the contest with a career and season-best seven touchdown passes with five of those scores landing in the hands of Errol Breaux. The seven touchdown passes were not just a career and single-season best for Watts, but also a school-record.

Watts and the Bulldogs ended the contest with 535 yards of total offense, including 307 passing yards. The second-year quarterback from New Haven, Connecticut completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards while classmate Michael Bethune Jr. rushed for a season-best 213 yards on 21 carries.

Two days after his team’s fourth consecutive victory, Watts was tabbed the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. It was the sixth time Watts had received a weekly honor after earning his initial nod from the conference as a first-year quarterback on Monday, September 3, 2018.

One week after the epic and exciting victory against Alfred State, Dean secured its first-ever conference crown before appearing in the New England Bowl against Endicott College on Saturday, November 23, 2019.

Watts concluded his second season with the Bulldogs by earning a slew of postseason honors, including the ECFC Player of the Year award. He secured an all-football selection honoree from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) while throwing for a career-best 418 yards in his team’s final contest of the regular season against Castleton University.