Tag: Amherst College

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week Five

Hector Johnson and the Endicott College defense have been a unit to watch in New England NCAA Division III football this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

Another busy weekend of New England NCAA Division III football has arrived – let’s celebrate.

Last week, we picked seven games correctly to bump our overall record to 26-14 through four weeks.

Let’s dish out our 10 Games to Watch (and yes, predictions, too) for another busy weekend of football. As usual, make sure to circle back throughout the weekend for additional blog posts on Massachusetts (and New England) college and high school football.

Enjoy the games, everyone!

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Five

Western Connecticut at UMass Dartmouth (Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.): The Corsairs can solidify themselves as the “team to beat” in the MASCAC with a win over the Wolves on Friday evening. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Western Conn.

Plymouth State at Framingham State (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m.): The Panthers return to the gridiron following an early bye week with hopes of continuing their early-season momentum against a Rams squad that evened their record at 2-2 last week with a three-point win over Westfield State. PREDICTION: Framingham State over Plymouth State

Husson University at Endicott College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m.): It would be hard to pick against a Gulls squad that is off to its best start since 2011, thanks to its defense. Look for the Endicott defense to shine once again for a fifth-straight week. PREDICTION: Endicott over Husson

Nichols College at Western New England (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): Nichols’ impressive start came to a screeching halt last week with an eight-point setback to Hartwick College. Can they rebound this week against a Golden Bears squad that captured just one of its four non-league tilts? We’ll have to see – Nichols has not beaten Western New England since 2006 when they topped the Golden Bears in Dudley. PREDICTION: Nichols over Western New England

Curry College at University of New England (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): Curry has received a major boost from first-year halfback Montie Quinn, who rushed for a game-high 171 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday in the Colonels’ second win of the season. Quinn faces a UNE defense that struggled to slow down Brandon Washington and Gallaudet University earlier this month. PREDICTION: Curry over UNE

Catholic University at MIT (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): The Engineers are one of two teams in the NEWMAC with a 2-1 overall record. On Saturday, look for MIT to win its third contest of the season – its first conference game, to be exact, against a Cardinals squad that has lost three-straight contests. PREDICTION: MIT over Catholic

Middlebury College at Bowdoin College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): The Panthers have been a pleasant surprise this season, winning back-to-back games over Amherst College and Wesleyan University. Look for the Navy Blue and White’s early-season momentum to continue against the Polar Bears. PREDICTION: Middlebury over Bowdoin

Alfred State at Anna Maria College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m.): Conference play begins for the AMCATs after finishing their non-conference slate with two wins and one loss. Their lone setback occurred last Saturday against Coast Guard Academy, which produced 66 points against an Anna Maria squad that had yielded 62 points in its first two contests. PREDICTION: Anna Maria over Alfred State    

Fitchburg State at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.): The Bears snapped their three-game losing streak last week with a much-needed win over Western Connecticut. Look for another big game this week from halfback Adam Couch. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State over Fitchburg State  

Bates College at Colby College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.): After dropping its first contest of the 2022 season last Saturday to Trinity College, look for the Mules to bounce back against the Bobcats under the lights on Saturday. PREDICTION: Colby over Bates  

New England D3 Football Roundup: Estevez Leads Wesleyan To An Opening Day Win

Wesleyan University quarterback David Estevez tossed three touchdowns on Saturday against Bates College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Steve McLaughlin)

By NoontimeSports.com

David Estevez completed 15 of 20 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns while the Wesleyan University defense recorded three sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception as the Cardinals soared past Bates College, 41-10, on Saturday afternoon.

The win – the team’s first of the season – was also highlighted by Nick Helbig, who stuffed the stat sheet with seven total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two forced fumbles.

Wesleyan was one of five New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) squads to conclude the opening week of their nine-week season with a victory, along with Bowdoin College, Colby College, Middlebury College, and Trinity College.

Trinity fended off a late rally by Tufts University, which erased a 23-point setback at the break to fall short of a week three victory.

Michael Berluti tossed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull the Jumbos within three points with 1:37 remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Tufts committed back-to-back unsportsmanlike conducts, which moved the Bantams to the Jumbos’ 20-yard line. Quarterback Spencer Fetter took three straight kneel-downs to seal the win.

Fetter concluded the game 19 of 33 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Sean Clapp led the Bantams’ receiving core with four catches for 105 yards while DeVante Reid caught seven passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Tufts’ Phil Lutz led all receivers with nine grabs for 192 yards and one touchdown.

Colby began its 2022 season by beating Williams College, 24-14.

Quarterback Matt Hersch tossed two touchdowns in the win and added an additional score on the ground while Julian Young paced the Mules’ defense with 14 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss and one pass breakup.  

Kieran Sheridan and John McCool combined for 16 total tackles, one sack, and three tackles for a loss to lead Middlebury past Amherst College, 17-6, while Andrew Boel recorded four touchdowns for Bowdoin College as the Polar Bears rolled past Hamilton College, 41-13.

Endicott College scored its third straight win as the Gulls soared past The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 28-7.

Clayton Marengi tossed two touchdowns in the win while Jackson DeAngelo stuffed the stat sheet on defense with eight total tackles, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 14 yards to go with a pair of pass breakups and quarterback hurries.

Endicott has won seven of its last eight home contests, dating back to their season-opener one year ago against St. Lawrence University.

Nichols College improved to 3-0, thanks to a three-touchdown (two passing, one rushing) performance by quarterback Xavier Powell. The Bison outlasted Coast Guard Academy, 37-33, and will attempt to conclude the opening month of play with its fourth-straight win when they visit Hartwick College next Saturday.

Braden Lynn tossed two touchdowns and Manny Sanchez rushed for two scores as Plymouth State topped Bridgewater State, 41-34.

Bridgewater State concluded the conference clash with 504 yards of total offense, thanks to quarterback James Cahoon, who completed 28 of 37 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Halfback Adam Couch rushed for a game-high 111 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.

UMass Dartmouth bounced back from its week two setback to Anna Maria College with a 46-21 victory over Framingham State.

Dante Aviles-Santos completed 18 of 36 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns.

The Corsairs defense intercepted Framingham State’s Nicolas Goffredo three times while scooping three fumbles.

Finally, Curry College provided coach Todd Parsons with his initial win on the sidelines as the Colonels topped Dean College, 33-25.

New England D-III Football Week Three Scoreboard

  • Husson 23, Alfred State 17
  • Nichols 37, Coast Guard Academy 37
  • Curry 33, Dean 25
  • Gallaudet 34, University of New England 31
  • Endicott 28, TCNJ 7
  • Utica 23, Western New England 21
  • Anna Maria 23, Massachusetts Maritime 14
  • Norwich 26, Castleton 21
  • Plymouth State 41, Bridgewater State 34
  • Worcester State 56, Fitchburg State 10
  • UMass Dartmouth 46, Framingham State 21
  • Bowdoin 41, Hamilton 13
  • Colby 24, Williams 14
  • Wesleyan 41, Bates 10
  • Trinity 26, Tufts 23
  • Middlebury 17, Amherst 6
  • Union 21, Springfield 6
  • RPI 37, WPI 0

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week Three

Will Kirby and the Trinity College football team will begin their 2022 campaign at Tufts University on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand-new week of New England NCAA Division III football begins this evening with Western Connecticut visiting Westfield State.

Tomorrow, we have a slew of games to watch – and yes, follow, too! – which means it’s time to share our weekly picks, along with our predictions.

Last week, we picked five of ten contests correctly to bump our season record to 12-8. Hopefully, we can pick a few more games correctly this week – fingers crossed!

Enjoy the games, everyone, and make sure to circle back for our week three roundup on Saturday, as well as any leftover thoughts on the Noontime Sports Podcast.

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Three

Bridgewater State at Plymouth State (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, which have struggled in its first two contests. Plymouth State has been a pleasant surprise, winning back-to-back games to secure the top spot in the MASCAC standings. Look for the Panthers to lean on its ground game to score an important conference win. PREDICTION: Plymouth State over Bridgewater State

Montclair State at Salve Regina University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Somehow, some way, the Seahawks have found ways to win games this fall. But on Saturday, the early-season momentum will end against a Red Hawks squad that is eager to bounce back from a week two setback to Delaware Valley. PREDICTION: Montclair State over Salve Regina

TCNJ at Endicott College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Can the Gulls pitch its third-straight shutout? It’s certainly possible. Endicott’s defense has been a unit to watch through two contests, thanks to some big plays made by Hector Johnson, Tyler Davis, and Jackson DeAngelo. PREDICTION: Endicott over TCNJ   

Curry College at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Both teams are winless, so someone is going to provide their first-year head coach with a victory. PREDICTION: Dean over Curry

Union College at Springfield College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Springfield faces a challenging week three test against a Union squad that is averaging 59 points through two contests. If Springfield is going to be successful, they must find a way to slow down a high-powered Dutchmen offense that is led by quarterback Donovan Pacatte. PREDICTION: Union over Springfield   

Williams College at Colby College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): The Ephs’ title defense begins in Maine on Saturday, but the biggest question surrounding coach Mark Raymond’s squad is who will be playing quarterback against the Mules. We’re not sure (as of Friday morning), but it is likely you’ll see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo under center. PREDICTION: Williams over Colby

Bates College at Wesleyan University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): Coach Matt Coyne returns to Middletown, Connecticut leading a Bobcats squad that produced three wins last season. The Cardinals return some key members from its six-win season – we expect Wesleyan to be in the mix for the NESCAC crown this fall. PREDICTION: Wesleyan over Bates

Trinity College at Tufts University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): The Bantams finished second in the NESCAC last season, but the hope for this season is for Trinity to win its first conference crown since 2018. And they certainly have the players to accomplish this goal. Expect a high-scoring affair on Saturday with the Jumbos. PREDICTION: Trinity over Tufts

Framingham State at UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): Seeing UMass Dartmouth drop its final non-league matchup to Anna Maria College last Saturday was shocking – can we say a head-scratcher? If the Corsairs are going to bounce back, they will need to beat a Rams squad that has scored four-straight wins over the Blue and Gold since 2017. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Framingham State

Middlebury College at Amherst College (Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 2 p.m.): Coach Bob Ritter begins his final season with Middlebury with a week three visit to Amherst, a squad that we believe might surprise some NESCAC fans this fall. Nick DiPrinzio says “accountability” will be the word he and his Amherst teammates will use this fall to hopefully produce a winning season. PREDICTION: Amherst over Middlebury

Noontime’s NESCAC Football Preview: Can Williams Defend Its 2021 Crown?

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team begin their 2022 season on Saturday at Colby College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour)

By Matt Noonan

A brand-new season of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football returns this Saturday.

As expected, there are some enticing matchups this weekend, including Trinity College at Tufts University, Amherst College entertaining Middlebury College, and Bates College visiting Wesleyan University.

But perhaps the game most fans will be watching – or perhaps following – is Williams College at Colby College.

The Ephs completed their first-ever 9-0 campaign last fall – Williams defeated Trinity, Wesleyan, and Amherst during the final three weeks to clinch its first outright crown since 2010 (the Ephs concluded its 2010 campaign with an 8-0 record, along with some hardware).

Quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Frank Stola have graduated so if Williams is going to defend its crown, the Ephs will need to lean on both its returners and newcomers this fall.

Halfback Joel Nicholas returns after leading the NESCAC in scoring last season – the Buffalo, New York native tallied 17 touchdowns in nine contests. In addition to Nicholas, Williams will lean on John Freeman (offensive line), Ian Devine (defensive line), and Rocco Giandomenico (defensive back).  

The biggest question for the Ephs is who will play quarterback?

That remains an unknown, but don’t be surprised if you see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo line up under center on Saturday.

“We’ll make our decision on who will start later this week,” coach Mark Raymond said in the Williams College football preview on Ephsports.com. “Both are smart, talented, athletic, and they are good leaders who have taken control of the offense.”

Looking to challenge Williams for the top spot in the standings are Trinity and Wesleyan, which finished second and third, respectively, last season.

The Bantams return some key pieces from its 8-1 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Additionally, Noah Glantz (defensive line), Brian Casagrande (linebacker), and Aidan Kennedy (defensive back) return to anchor a defense that yielded 13.77 points per game last season.

Trinity concluded its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst (49-7) and Wesleyan (14-7) but saw its six-game winning streak snapped last October against Williams (42-3).  

Wesleyan began its 2021 campaign with six-straight wins before losing its final three contests to Amherst, Williams, and Trinity.

But despite ending its previous season with three-straight losses, there is a sense of optimism surrounding coach Dan DiCenzo’s squad, which will be led this fall by Nick Helbig, who was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year last November.

Helbig was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2019 with Middlebury College’s Alex Maldjian and finished his junior season with 50 total tackles. He ranked second in the conference in tackles for a loss (11) and tied with Ian Devine in sacks (5.5).

As a unit, the Cardinals surrendered 168 points while the offense produced 197 points, thanks to David Estevez, a dual-threat quarterback that placed fourth in the conference in rushing yards (746). His longest burst was an 88-yard rush against Tufts last October.

Wesleyan shared the conference crown with Amherst and Middlebury in 2013 while finishing as the runner-up to the Panthers in 2019.

Trinity won three-straight titles from 2016 to 2018 and is seeking its 18th crown in program history.

Noontime’s Team to Watch in 2022: Colby College. Coach Jack Cosgrove’s squad has gradually improved over the last few seasons – last fall, the Mules produced its first four-win season since finishing 4-4 in 2013.

Brett Holmes, who represented the Blue and White on the NESCAC First-Team Defense last November, has graduated, which means Colby will need to lean on a few returners, including defensive back Nick Donatio, who led the unit in total tackles (69.0). Donatio also recorded a team-high 47 solo stops to go with six pass breakups.

Linebacker EJ Brister is back after recording 35 total tackles in nine contests, including seven tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

Quarterback Matt Hersch returns after throwing for 1,742 yards – expect him to target wide receiver Jack Sawyer, who led the Colby receiving core with 462 yards on 28 receptions.

Colby may have dropped three of its first four contests last season, but the Mules did score some impressive wins last fall over Amherst (10-7) and Middlebury (28-14). Additionally, they topped Bates and Bowdoin College to claim their third consecutive CBB crown (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin trophy).

Noontime’s Surprise Team in 2022: Middlebury College. The 2022 season will mark the final time coach Bob Ritter will pace the sidelines, so I expect this current group of Panthers to play some inspired football this fall.

Middlebury’s perfect season from 2019 seemed like a distant memory last fall as the Navy Blue and White won just three of nine contests.

For the Panthers to cap Ritter’s time on the sidelines with some hardware, they will need to score wins over Trinity, Wesleyan, and Williams, along with Amherst, Colby, and Tufts. Additionally, they will want to beat Bates, Bowdoin, and Hamilton College.

Linebacker Jack Pistorius has graduated, which means the Middlebury defense will need to lean on Tomas Kenary (defensive line), who was named Co-Rookie of the Year last fall with Andre Eden of Bowdoin, and wide receiver Donovan Wood, who earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Offense.

Cole Crider returns as the team’s punter – he represented Middlebury on the All-NESCAC First team Special Teams.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College. As much as I would like to pick Williams to repeat, Trinity seems like the safe pick, as well as the early favorite by many that observe or cover the NESCAC. Sure, you could make the case for Wesleyan, but in the end, coach Jeff Devanney’s squad will score a few late-season wins over Bates, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan to secure the team’s first NESCAC crown in four years.

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