Football Notebook: What Are The Best New England D3 Football Rivalries?

NS Football Notebook Logo

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

What are some of the best New England D3 Football rivalries?

That is a tough one, eh?

You know the list includes a fair number of contests, including Amherst-Williams to Framingham State-Bridgewater State to Endicott-WNE.

But are there others? Of course!

Here are some of my favorite New England D3 Football rivalries (below!) – let me know what you think of my list by sending either a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or an email to MattNoonan@NoontimeSports.com.


Amherst vs. Williams: This has to be atop the list, right? This is one of the games to circle, no matter each team’s record. Last season, we saw the Ephs score an exciting win in overtime, thanks to an 11-yard burst by quarterback Bobby Maimaron. Amherst forced the extra session midway through the fourth quarter by scoring a pair of touchdowns in a span of 25 seconds. Both teams enjoyed successful 2017 campaigns, which means this year’s game in Amherst will be one to follow.

Framingham State vs. Endicott: This game has always been my welcome back to college football contest. Sure, they’re two different teams that are headed in different directions at the moment, but you know this is a game both players circle when schedules are released. Framingham State has dominated the series most recently, but this year could be different with Paul McGonagle pacing the Endicott sidelines.

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State: This is has always been a go-to game in the MASCAC. A lot of the players on both rosters played either with or against each other in high school. So there is some bragging rights on the line. Bridgewater State needed some late heroics in 2016 to beat Framingham State – the win provided the Bears with the conference crown, along with an automatic invite into the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Jaquan Harris clinched the victory for the Rams with a late fourth quarter interception. Framingham State escaped Bridgewater with a six-point (19-13) win.

MIT-WPI: This has become a classic NEWMAC matchup – crazy to think it is a young rivalry, but it keeps getting better every season. Last fall, WPI managed to recover a crucial onside kick with with 20 seconds remaining to secure a 24-21 win over MIT. In 2016, Blaine Bursey kicked a 19-yard game-winning field goal in overtime to send WPI past the Engineers of MIT, 37-34. Bursey was also the difference in 2015 when the two teams met in Worcester as he booted a 26-yard field goal midway through the fourth to provide WPI with a 31-28 win.

Springfield-Western New England: Who will win this year’s Pynchon SAW? Springfield captured it last season, downing Western New England, 35-21. Perhaps this year’s game will be different – it is scheduled for Friday evening of Labor Day Weekend. Both programs are expected to be in the hunt for their respective conference crowns, so this is a great way to begin a new campaign with a solid win against a talented opponent.

Trinity vs. Wesleyan: It’s the battle of Connecticut! These two teams will once again be in the mix for a NESCAC crown this fall, so you know how important this game is, especially since it is the final contest for both squads. Trinity scored a convincing 28-3 victory last fall, so you have to wonder how the Cardinals of Wesleyan will respond this November.


Other Rivalries to Watch in New England D3 Football 

  • Salve Regina-Western New England: This game has often decided the conference championship.
  • Husson-Western New England: The Eagles of Husson proved they are a team to keep an eye on in New England last year with an impressive win over Springfield. These two teams met last year with WNE winning the game by a touchdown (21-14)
  • Becker-Nichols: If you’re looking for another ‘battle of Worcester’ then look no further than Becker-Nichols.
  • Bates-Bowdoin, Bates-Colby & Bowdoin-Colby (CBB Trophy): Bates captured last season’s CBB (Colby, Bates & Bowdoin) trophy with victories over Bowdoin and Colby. Can they do it against this fall?
  • Castleton-Norwich: It’s the battle for the Sap Bucket! Castleton won it last season, so can Norwich win it this year?
  • Coast Guard-Merchant Marine: This game was on ESPN last year and will continue to be a game to circle with both teams playing in the NEWMAC.
  • Fitchburg State-Worcester State: Looking for another Worcester rivalry? Then look no further than Falcons-Lancers.

Stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

D3 Football: Amherst Welcomes Malik Grove To Coaching Staff

Mammoths-logo-flex-callout-reversed-1000x600By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It was announced yesterday on Twitter that Malik Grove will be joining the Amherst College football coaching staff as their running backs coach.

Grove arrives in Amherst, Massachusetts after concluding a successful collegiate career at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.

As noted in the team’s post on Twitter, Grove was a three-year starting quarterback for the Falcons, finishing his career with 7, 647 passing yards and 2,198 rushing yards. He tossed 103 touchdowns and currently holds the NCAA Division II record for best career interception ratio (1.29%), only 13 interceptions in 1,0008 attempts.

Grove will oversee a rushing unit that averaged 178.6 yards per game last season and led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with 20 touchdowns on the ground. Jack Hickey concluded last season by leading the Amherst rushing attack with 640 yards on 106 carries and nine touchdowns. Additionally, quarterback Ollie Eberth found success on the ground, finishing the season with 244 yards on 70 carries and five touchdowns.

Amherst will kick-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 15th when they visit Bates College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.

D3 Football: Malik Hall Tabbed Bates College Football Coach

180619_Coach_Hall_1159
Malik Hall was named the new head football coach at Bates College on Monday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Monday was an exciting day for Malik Hall, who was tabbed the 20th head coach of the Bates College football program.

Hall arrives in Lewiston, Maine after spending the past three seasons with the Penn Quakers football team, serving as the defensive line coach. He helped Penn secure back-to-back Ivy League championships in 2015 and 2016. Penn finished its 2017 campaign 6-4 by winning its final four contests, including a pair of wins over Harvard and Princeton.

In addition to his time with the Quakers, Hall has also served as an assistant at Central Connecticut StateFordhamHofstra, UMass Amherst and Wagner.

Hall graduated from UMass in 2003 and was a two-year letterman and starter for the Minutemen, helping them capture the Atlantic 10 Championship his senior season. He would return to Amherst eight years later to assist former head coach Kevin Morris as the team’s defensive line coach.

“We are delighted to welcome Malik Hall to the Bobcat family,” Bates Athletic Director Jason Fein said in a statement. “Once we interviewed him, it was crystal clear that Coach Hall has both the experience and vision to take Bates football to the next level. We’re excited to see what happens on the field.”

“It’s my great honor to accept the head coaching position at Bates,” said Hall via yesterday’s press release. “I am very much looking forward to building upon Bates’ traditions of academic excellence and relentlessness on the field. The Hall family can’t wait to join the Bates family.”

Hall takes over a program that was guided by Mark Harriman for the past 20 seasons. Harriman, who recently stepped down in April, guided the Bobcats to seven Colby-Bates-Bowdoin titles, including his final one last fall when Bates topped the Polar Bears, 24-17.

Bates opens its season on September 15th when they host Amherst College at 1 p.m.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB Today! 

D3 Lacrosse: Final Noontime Top 10 Women’s Lax Poll (Wednesday, May 30th)

NS LAX TOP 10 POLL

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Mother Nature extended the NCAA Division 3 Women’s Lacrosse season an extra day and fans were treated to an exciting final contest between Gettysburg College and Middlebury College on Monday morning at Kerr Stadium in Salem, Virginia.

Middlebury stormed back to close the gap from a five-goal deficit to two, but Gettysburg managed to halt the rally with its defense to secure its second-straight national crown. Prior to facing Gettysburg in the national championship, Middlebury defeated TCNJ in the semifinals last Saturday.

The Panthers enjoyed an exciting postseason run, which began with a late-second half surge to beat Bowdoin College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) finals before knocking-off Babson CollegeIllinois Wesleyan and York College (Pa.). Middlebury will graduate some key players from this year’s squad, but will certainly be back in the mix next season.

Amherst College provided some serious challenges to this year’s national champion – in fact, it almost appeared as if the Mammoths were going to beat Gettysburg and advance to the national semifinals. Unfortunately, that did not happen, but this young squad will certainly be a team to keep an eye on next spring.

Rounding out the top five positions is Trinity College, Bowdoin and Wesleyan University – all three teams appeared in this year’s national tournament. Bowdoin and Wesleyan were not easy outs in the playoffs, so expect both teams to be back in the mix next year for both a NESCAC and national crown.

As always, stay connected with @Noontime_Lax on Twitter for lacrosse news, notes, scores and more!

Women’s D3 New England Top 10 Poll | Weds. May 30th, 2018 

1. Middlebury College

20-3, 9-1 NESCAC

2. Amherst College 

17-3, 9-1 NESCAC

3. Trinity College 

13-7, 6-4 NESCAC

4. Bowdoin College 

14-6, 6-4 NESCAC

5. Wesleyan University

12-7, 6-4 NESCAC

6. Tufts University 

13-5, 8-2 NESCAC

7. Babson College  

13-8, 7-1 NEWMAC

8.  Springfield College 

15-7, 7-1 NEWMAC

9.  Endicott College 

14-4, 8-0 CCC

10. Westfield State 

18-3, 7-0 MASCAC

ON THE RISE: Castleton (11-7, 7-0 NAC), Johnson & Wales (17-3, 10-0 GNAC), Plymouth State (14-0, 6-0 LEC)

D3 Lacrosse: Final Noontime Top 10 Men’s Lax Poll (Wednesday, May 30th)

NS LAX TOP 10 POLL

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The 2018 NCAA Division 3 Men’s Lacrosse season officially concluded this past weekend with Wesleyan University winning its first-ever national title with an 8-6 win over Salisbury University at Gillette Stadium.

With the two-goal win, the Cardinals secured the top spot in our final Noontime Sports New England D3 Men’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll. Wesleyan began the season as a top team in our poll, but was forced to share the top position with New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foes Amherst College and Tufts University. The Jumbos secured the second position in our final poll, while the Mammoths slid into the third spot.

Springfield College, which captured this year’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown, checked-in fourth overall, while Williams College rounded out the top five, checking-in fifth overall.

Conn. College and Coast Guard Academy – two teams we watched more closely this season – secured the sixth and sevenths positions, respectively. We expect both teams to be back in the mix next spring, despite some key graduation departures.

As always, you can stay connected with @Noontime_Lax on Twitter for lacrosse news, notes, scores and more!

Men’s D3 New England Top 10 Poll | Weds. May 30th, 2018 

1. Wesleyan University 

19-3, 10-1 NESCAC

2. Tufts University 

18-2, 9-1 NESCAC

3. Amherst College 

15-4, 9-1 NESCAC

4. Springfield College 

13-6, 6-1 NEWMAC 
5. Williams College 

9-8, 6-4 NESCAC

6. Conn. College 

10-6, 5-5 NESCAC

7. Coast Guard Academy 

14-4, 6-1 NEWMAC

8. Middlebury College 

9-7, 5-5 NESCAC

9. Bowdoin College 

8-7, 4-6 NESCAC

10.   Western New England 

13-7, 8-0 CCC

ON THE RISE: Babson College (9-7, 6-1 NEWMAC), Bates College (8-8, 4-6 NESCAC), Johnson & Wales (9-12, 5-4 GNAC), Keene State (12-5, 7-0 LEC) and New England College (16-5, 7-0 NAC)