NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The Brockport-Western New England Matchup

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Alec Coleman and the Western New England football team will host the College of Brockport on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s time to highlight our final New England D-III football team, which will be competing this weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. And that team is the Western New England Golden Bears, who won their third-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title this fall with late-season wins against Becker College and Endicott College. WNE also defeated Husson University in its season finale to conclude its conference slate without a single blemish.

The Golden Bears will face The College of Brockport in the opening round – the Golden Eagles captured their third-straight Empire 8 Conference (E8) title a few weeks ago with a 16-7 win over Alfred State.

Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.


Brockport (8-2) at Western New England (9-1) 

Gametime/Location: Brockport will travel to Western New England on Saturday, November 23rd with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. The game will be played in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Rankings: The Golden Eagles are currently receiving votes in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. Western New England enters its 11th contest of the season unranked or receiving votes.

Conference Affiliation: Brockport competes in the Empire 8 Conference – they finished 5-1 in league play this season. Western New England is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Golden Bears won every conference tilt this fall.

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Brockport advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season following an opening-round win against Framingham State. The Golden Eagles’ season concluded against RPI, which defeated Brockport, 21-13. The loss to the Engineers was the team’s first of the 2018 season.

Western New England advanced to the first round last season but saw their run toward a national championship conclude with a 42-24 setback to Frostburg State. The Golden Bears’ meeting with the Bobcats was the first NCAA Tournament appearance under the direction of coach Jason Lebeau.

Inside the Numbers with Brockport: The Golden Eagles are averaging 29.60 points per contest while limiting opponents to 13.20 points per game … Brockport has recorded 112 rushing first downs this season while yielding just 22 to opponents … The Brockport defense has limited opposing rushing attacks to just 695 yards, which is an average of 28.3 yards per game … Brockport has recorded 40 offensive touchdowns this season while opponents have scored just 18 … Brockport has held the ball for close to two-thirds of every contest this season. They usually have the ball for 34:18 per contest, while opponents are on offense for an average of 25:41.

Inside the Numbers with Western New England: The Golden Bears are 5-0 at home this season – they were also 5-0 in Springfield, Massachusetts last season, too. WNE’s last home setback came against Springfield College on September 2, 2017. Since falling to the Pride, the Golden Bears have won 15 games at home … WNE is averaging 488.2 yards of total offense this season … The Golden Bears are averaging 40.6 points per game while limiting opponents to just 27.1 points per contest … WNE is averaging 290.0 passing yards per game while rushing for 198.2 yards per contest … The Golden Bears’ opponents have averaged 384.3 yards per game, including 230.8 passing yards.

Players to Watch on Brockport: 

  • Jason Hellwig (QB): Hellwig will be under center Saturday after starting seven games this season. He enters the game with 735 passing yards and one touchdown pass.
  • Jala Coad (RB): Coad led all rushers with 822 rushing yards on 186 carries and 16 touchdowns. Coad is averaging 82.20 rushing yards per game.
  • Imhotep Cromer (WR): Cromer leads the receiving core with 30 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 60.33 receiving yards per game.
  • DaQuan Hubbard (WR): Hubbard is second on the team in receiving yards (469) and is one of four receivers to catch one touchdown.
  • Alex West (LB): West leads the team with 56 total tackles. He has recorded 33 solo stops, 17.0 tackles for a loss of 71 yards, and six quarterback hurries.
  • Lawrence Jenkins (LB): Jenkins is second on the team in tackles for a loss (10 for 64 yards). He has tallied 42 total tackles, including 23 solo stops, four quarterback hurries, and one interception.

Players to Watch on Western New England: 

  • Alec Coleman (QB): The senior signal-caller has completed 146 of 214 passes for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 305 yards and nine touchdowns.
  • Jamyre Soberanis (RB): Soberanis has rushed for a team-high 929 yards on 139 carries and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 92.9 yards per contest.
  • Steven Fedorchak (WR): The third-year receiver is first on the team in receptions (53), receptions per game (5.9), receiving yards (979) and receiving touchdowns (10).
  • Adam Raza (WR): Razza is second on the team in receptions (39), receiving yards (779) and touchdown receptions (five).
  • Kieran Lombard (K): Lombard has recorded 82 points off 52 extra points and 10 field goals. His longest field goal was a 44-yard kick.
  • Erich Keutmann (LB): Keutmann leads the team with 119.0 total tackles, including 60 solo stops, seven tackles for a loss of 27 yards, and three sacks for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded three pass break-ups.
  • Joshua Salem (LB): Salem is second on the team in total tackles (85.0). He has produced 54 solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards while registering two interceptions, one pass break-up, and one block.

D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week Ten)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

We’re just two days away from another busy weekend of New England D-III Football.

Similar to last week, every Thursday for the remainder of the season will be dedicated to highlighting all five New England conference races. We’ll tell you which team(s) is in position to win their respective conference, as well as the squads that still have a chance to win or share their respective league titles.

As usual, you can follow our New England D-III Football coverage, as well as other regional updates (and news) at @Noontime_FB on Twitter.


Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Projected Conference Winner: Western New England 

Analysis: With their fifth-straight conference win last Saturday against the Gulls of Endicott College, Western New England has positioned itself to win the conference this Saturday, November 9th with a win over Becker College. The Golden Bears can also claim the conference crown next Saturday with a win over Husson University if they lost to the Hawks this weekend, but this WNE squad seems to have some serious momentum that should help them lock-up the conference crown in Leicester, Massachusetts.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Projected Conference Winner: Dean College  

Analysis: The Bulldogs enter their final game of the 2019 season as a lock to win their first-ever ECFC title. With their win last week over Alfred State, Dean positioned themselves to share the title with SUNY-Maritime but can win it outright this weekend by beating Castleton University.


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Current Leader: Framingham State 

In The Hunt: Bridgewater State 

Analysis: Saturday’s game between the Rams and Bears will most likely decide who will represent the conference in the upcoming NCAA Tournament later this month. Both teams enter this weekend’s marquee match-up with impressive winning streaks as FSU has won six-straight, while BSU has captured its last five contests.

Framingham State’s defense has shined these past few weeks and is expected to continue its impressive play on Saturday against a talented Bears offense, which is led by senior quarterback Stefano D’Emilia.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Projected Winner: Middlebury College 

In The Hunt: Wesleyan University 

Analysis: The Panthers have been the team to beat (and watch) this season in the NESCAC. They matched the 1972 squad with their eighth-straight win last Saturday by defeating Hamilton College, 14-7. A win on Saturday over Tufts University would cap an exciting season for the Blue and White, but don’t expect the Jumbos to lay down to the top team in the conference.

Wesleyan can secure a share of the conference crown with a Middlebury loss and a win against rival Trinity College.


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

Current Leader: MIT

In The Hunt: Springfield College and WPI 

Analysis: With a hard-fought (and important) double-overtime win last Saturday against WPI, MIT is in the driver’s seat with two games remaining. The Engineers need to beat both Norwich University and Springfield to have a chance to win the conference crown for the second-straight season.

Springfield and WPI can also win the conference crown, too, but both teams must win their final two contests. Springfield hosts MIT next week in what could be a de-facto championship game.

D3 Football: Zelos Athletics Players of The Week (Monday, Nov. 4th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the ninth week of the New England Division III Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too


This season, Noontime Sports will select at least one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week.

The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season and shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Terrell Watts tossed a program-record seven touchdowns which helped the Bulldogs of Dean College outlast Alfred State, 50-46. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

Offensive Player of the Week: Terrell Watts (Dean College | Quarterback | New Haven, Conn.): The second-year signal-caller tossed a program-record seven touchdown passes last Saturday to lead the Bulldogs to an important (and thrilling) conference win over Alfred State.

Tabbed this week’s Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Week, Watts completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards with five of his seven touchdowns landing in the hands of Errol Breaux, who concluded the game with 125 yards on eight catches. The five touchdown receptions were a season-best for Breaux.

Watts’ seven touchdown passes places him third in touchdowns thrown in a single game this season. Evan Lewandowski of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse tossed nine touchdowns earlier this season against University of Wisconsin-Platteville, while Wyatt Smith of Linfield College threw for eight scores against University of Puget Sound last month.

In eight games this season, Watts has completed 152 of 247 passes for a career-high 2,012 yards and 25 touchdowns.


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Tony Slaughter established a new single-season record for tackles for a loss last Saturday against Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth | Defensive Back | Springfield, Mass.): Slaughter concluded last Saturday’s win against Western Connecticut with 13 total tackles, including 12 solo stops. Additionally, he recorded two sacks and three tackles for a loss of 11 yards to establish a new single-season record for tackles for losses.

As noted in Sunday’s release about Slaughter being named this week’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Defensive Player of the Week, Slaughter erased Marvey Mathurin‘s single-season record by bumping his total to 18 tackles for a loss of 70 yards. Mathurin posted 17.5 tackles for a loss of 65 yards in 2017, which was his final season with the Corsairs.

Through eight contests this season, Slaughter has registered 50.0 total tackles, including 36 solo stops, six sacks for a loss of 38 yards, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and two pass breakups. He has also tallied two blocks.

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Jack Sullivan (Framingham State | Linebacker | Dartmouth, Mass.): Sullivan paced the Rams defense last Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime Academy with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and four tackles for a loss of 14 yards. One of his tackles was a sack for a loss of nine yards.

The seven solo stops is a season-best for the senior, while the four tackles for a loss were also a season-best. Sullivan’s lone sack was the senior’s first of the season.

Sullivan has competed in six games this season, logging 21.0 total tackles, including 12 solo stops and four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards.


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Mark Wright drilled a season-long 43-yard field goal last Saturday, which helped MIT tie the game and eventually win it in double-overtime. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robert Krawitz)

Special Teamer of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT | Kicker | Fort Worth, Texas): Wright drilled a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 41-yard kick as time expired to send last Saturday’s game to overtime and help MIT defeat WPI, 28-22.

Wright posted a season-high eight points off two field goals, including a season-long 43-yarder, along with two extra points to bump his season total to 27 points. The third-year kicker has converted four of seven field goals while kicking 15 of 19 extra points.

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch (Nov. 2nd, 2019)

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Hello, November – how are you?

Are you ready for another BIG week of New England D-III Football? I know I am, which is why I am ready to dish out my picks for this week’s ’10 Games to Watch.’

Last Week: I predicted seven of ten games correctly for the second-straight week to bump my overall record to 55-25 this season. Let’s see if I can keep my winning trend going this week – fingers crossed! 

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

Also, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes – you will enjoy our hyperlocal sports chatter!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


New England D-III Football | Games to Watch (Week Nine)

Rankings based off this week’s Noontime Sports Top 20 Poll 

Husson University at No. 15 Nichols College (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 12 p.m.): The Bison entered the week with some serious momentum following an epic four-overtime win against the University of New England. I think their win last week carries them to yet another win against a Maine team. PREDICTION: Nichols 28, Husson 20 

Alfred State at Dean College (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs are two wins away from capturing their first Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown. I expect their recent wins against Gallaudet University and SUNY-Maritime to provide Dean with enough momentum to beat the Pioneers on their home field. PREDICTION: Dean 30, Alfred State 18 

No. 5 Framingham State at No. 19 Mass. Maritime Academy (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 12 p.m.): The Rams are clicking on all cylinders and should certainly be ready to take that so-called ‘next step’ toward winning yet another conference crown by capturing the Kelley Cup. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Mass. Maritime Academy 17 

No. 1 WPI at No. 10 MIT (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 12 p.m.): Ah, the battle of the Engineers – who you got? Cambridge or Worcester? While MIT needs this win to keep their conference title hopes alive, I am not sure if they will be able to make enough plays down the stretch, while containing WPI’s Sean McAllen and Connor Field. PREDICTION: WPI 35, MIT 21

No. 14 Norwich University at Catholic University (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 12 p.m.): The Cadets looked pretty impressive last week against Maine Maritime Academy so I expect Matt Dunn, Trevor Chase, and Manni Romero to continue that success one week later. PREDICTION: Norwich 35, Catholic 10 

Hamilton College at No. 4 Middlebury College (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 12:30 p.m.): The Panthers are two wins away from finishing their season with a 9-0 mark, but Saturday’s tilt with the Continentals won’t be an easy one. Hamilton enters Saturday’s contest with some momentum from recent wins against Amherst College and Tufts University, which should help the Blue and Gold keep this one close. PREDICTION: Middlebury 27, Hamilton 24 

No. 2 Endicott College at No. 3 Western New England (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 1 p.m.): Whoever wins this contest should have the inside track to the conference crown. Endicott beat the Golden Bears last season – they needed quarterback Joe Kalosky to help them secure an exciting win on their home turf. I am expecting Kalosky and the offense to once again be a factor, while the Gulls defense will find ways to contain WNE quarterback Alec ColemanPREDICTION: Endicott 42, WNE 30 

No. 9 Williams College at No. 16 Wesleyan University (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 1 p.m.): This is a must-win for both teams, who look to keep pace with Middlebury for the top spot in the conference. Williams scored its first win last Saturday against Trinity College since 2001 and should be able to use that momentum to carry them past the Cardinals in Connecticut. PREDICTION: Williams 28, Wesleyan 20 

No. 18 Plymouth State at No. 8 Bridgewater State (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 2:30 p.m.): With three games remaining, the Bears are still very much alive in their conference race, but need to beat a Panthers squad that somehow outlasted Massachusetts Maritime Academy last weekend by a score of 7-3. Look for BSU’s momentum from two weeks ago to help them score their fifth-straight win. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 30, Plymouth State 14 

No. 11 UMass Dartmouth at No. 7 Western Connecticut (Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 6 p.m.): The Corsairs can play spoiler in this one as Western Connecticut looks to bounce back from a 25-point setback to Framingham State one week ago. This is a must-win for the Colonials, who need to keep pace with both the Rams of Framingham and Bears of Bridgewater State. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 28, Western Connecticut 24 

D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week Nine)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

We’re just two days away from another busy (and important) weekend of New England D-III Football.

Similar to last week, every Thursday for the remainder of the season will be dedicated to highlighting all five New England conference races. We’ll tell you which team(s) is in position to win their respective conference, as well as the squads that still have a chance to win or share their respective league titles.

As usual, you can follow our New England D-III Football coverage, as well as other regional updates (and news) at @Noontime_FB on Twitter.


Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Current Leaders: Endicott College and Western New England 

In The Hunt: Nichols College 

Analysis: Endicott and Western New England are scheduled to meet this weekend – it is a big game. The winner will most likely have the inside track to the conference title.

Western New England does have wins over Nichols and University of New England, two teams the Gulls of Endicott have yet to face this season.

This matchup – Endicott versus Western New England – always seems to come down to the final drive or the play in the trenches. It will certainly be an exciting game to follow.

With a four-overtime win last Saturday against UNE, Nichols is still very much alive to win or share the conference crown, however, they need to win their final three contests, beginning this weekend against Husson University.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Current Leader: Dean College 

In The Hunt: Gallaudet University and SUNY-Maritime 

Analysis: With wins over Gallaudet and SUNY-Maritime, Dean is in prime position to capture its first-ever ECFC crown.

The Bulldogs play their final two games at home, including this Saturday when they host Alfred State. A win over Alfred State seems like a lock for the Bulldogs, however, the Pioneers have provided their conference foes with multiple challenges the past three weeks.


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Current Leader: Framingham State 

In The Hunt: Bridgewater State and Western Connecticut

Analysis: With a 39-14 win last Saturday over the Colonials of Western Connecticut, Framingham State has positioned itself to win the MASCAC title, but they must score victories against Bridgewater State (week 10) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (this Saturday). Western Connecticut has beaten both teams, so they currently own the tie-breaker.

Bridgewater State is still very much alive after rebounding from an 0-3 start with four-straight conference wins. The Bears need to win their final three contests to have a chance to claim their second conference title.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Current Leader: Middlebury College 

In The Hunt: Wesleyan University and Williams College 

Analysis: With two weeks remaining in the NESCAC season, Middlebury appears to be the front-runner, but faces a Hamilton College squad that could provide the Panthers with some challenges. The Continentals enter the game with a lot of momentum following recent wins against Amherst College and Tufts University.

Wesleyan and Williams meet this week with the winner moving into the second position in the standings. If Middlebury gets tripped up by Hamilton, then whoever wins this particular meeting would be tied with the Panthers heading into the final week of the NESCAC season (the NESCAC plays a nine-week schedule, so next week is the final week of the 2019 season).


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

Current Leader: WPI 

In The Hunt: MIT and Springfield College 

Analysis: The Engineers of Worcester – that would be WPI, to be exact – appear to be a lock to win this conference, especially after a commanding win last Saturday against Merchant Marine. They face MIT on Saturday in what is a must-win game for the Engineers of Cambridge. A win over MIT on Saturday should provide WPI with enough momentum to cap their season with back-to-back wins against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich University.

If MIT beats WPI, then they must end their season with wins against Norwich and Springfield to have a chance to secure the conference’s automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Springfield is idle this weekend, but is still very much alive, despite falling to WPI during the fourth week of the season.