Noontime Sports: Football Stars of the Week (Monday, Oct. 8th, 2018)

NS Stars Of The Week LOGO

By | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB 

With another week of New England D3 Football in the books, it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports Football Stars of the Week from week six!

Our ‘Stars of the Week’ post will appear every Monday on our site throughout the remainder of the college football season. The weekly post will highlight some key contributors from the New England region from the past week on offense, defense and special teams.

Congratulations to this week’s recipients and best of luck to all student-athletes, coaches and teams competing this upcoming weekend.

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Travon Holder enjoyed a successful day on the ground, rushing a season-high 203 yards and three touchdowns against Mass. Maritime Academy. (PHOTO COURTESY: Westfield State Athletics)

Offensive Stars of the Week

Hunter Belzo (Springfield College): Against Coast Guard Academy, Belzo scored three touchdowns, including two on the ground. Belzo rushed for 207 yards on 31 carries, while tossing two passes (five attempts) for 39 yards and one touchdown.

Errol Breaux (Dean College): Breaux turned in an impressive performance against Husson University last Friday evening by leading all receivers with 229 yards on six catches (38. 2 yards per reception), while hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions.

Noah Brum (Worcester State): Brum concluded his team’s conference clash against Western Connecticut by completing 28 of 47 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

Alex Cohen (Anna Maria College): Cohen helped Anna Maria erase a 17-0 deficit by completing 26-of-38 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 32 yards on 12 carries and one score as the AMCATs topped Castleton University on the road.

Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 23-of-52 passes for a career-high 407 yards, while tossing a pair of touchdowns during his team’s contest against Merchant Marine.

Ryan Gaboury (University of New England): Gaboury hauled in a game-high 10 grabs for 192 yards and three touchdowns with his longest reception being a 41-yard touchdown in the first half.

Moe Harris (Castleton University): Harris reached the end zone three times, including two times on the ground as he finished last Saturday’s contest against Anna Maria with 204 yards on 31 carries. His lone catch was a 44-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, which evened the score at 24-24.

Matt Hersch (Colby College): Hersch had his hand in all three scores for the Mules as he finished the contest 23-of-40 for 277 yards, while tossing a trio of touchdown passes against Wesleyan University.

Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Juvelier recorded five touchdowns last week against University of New England, including four through the air. He finished 35-of-49 for 369 yards, while rushing for 51 yards on 10 carries and one score.

Travon Holder (Westfield State): Holder rushed for a season-best 203 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Owls past Massachusetts Maritime Academy on the road.

Brian Peters (University of New England): Peters helped the Nor’easters win their first-ever game in program history by completing 25-of-33 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday against Curry College.

Manni Romero (Norwich University): Romero hauled in a season-best 10 catches for 272 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday during the Cadets’ conference setback to Merchant Marine.

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Andrew Yamin and the Amherst College defense registered six sacks last week in a shutout win over Middlebury College. (PHOTO COURTESY:

Defensive Stars of the Week

Taj Gooden (Wesleyan University): Gooden turned in an impressive showing against Colby College, registering nine total stops, including five solo tackles, four tackles for a loss of 13 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.

Blayne Merchant (WPI): Against Catholic University, Merchant tallied a team-high seven solo stops and eight total tackles – he matched Nick Ostrowski with the same number of total tackles. Additionally, he recorded two tackles for a loss of 14 yards, one sack for a loss of 11 yards and one quarterback hurry.

Chris Rice (Castleton University): Rice stuffed the stat sheet with eight total stops, including five solo tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss of 18 yards and one sack for a loss of 10 yards against Anna Maria.

Keegan Stanton-Meas (University of New England):  Stanton-Meas helped the Nor’easters claim their first-ever win in program history against Curry College by finishing the game with 12 total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one sack. He also registered a pair of pass break-ups, too.

Andrew Yamin (Amherst College): Yamin registered a season-high 3.5 sacks for a loss 22 yards, while leading the Amherst College defense with 11 total tackles (four solo stops) as the Mammoths shutout Middlebury College last Saturday.

Special Team Stars of the Week

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano registered nine points on seven kicks, including six extra points in the Gulls’ fourth win of the season last Saturday.

Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington connected on all four kicks, including a 26-yard field gaol for six points, while recording six punts with three of them landing inside the Catholic University’s 20-yard yard line. One of his boots resulted in a touchback.

Robert Inniss, Jr. (University of New England): Inniss Jr.’s game-winning field goal (38 yards) with five seconds remaining helped the Nor’easters claim their first-ever win in program history against Curry College last Saturday. Inniss Jr. concluded the game with eight points (one field goals and five extra points).

Jeremy Martin (Plymouth State): Martin connected on a trio of kicks last Friday evening against Bridgewater State, including two field goals with his longest boot coming from 44-yards out. He also recorded four punts for 150 yards with one kick landing inside the Bears’ 20-yard line. Additionally, he booted four kickoffs for 258 yards with three resulting in touchbacks.

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

D3 Football Round-Up: Middlebury Tops Amherst, Husson Bests SUNY Maritime

Saturday RoundUp

By (@NoontimeSports) 

Another busy day of D3 Football is in the books and below is your afternoon round-up, enjoy!

Middlebury 35, Amherst 31: Jared Lebowitz tossed three touchdowns, including a 31-yard strike to Conrado Banky early in the fourth to lift the Panthers passed the Mammoths for the second-straight season. Amherst, which trailed 28-10 at the break, closed the gap with a trio of second half touchdowns, including an 81-yard strike from Ollie Eberth to James O’Regan with 7:51 remaining in the game.

Husson 35, SUNY Maritime 17: John Smith rushed for 217 yards and one score, while Cory Brandon completed 15 of 24 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles soared by the Privateers in a pivotal conference clash. Brandon Drumgole (SUNY Maritime) led all receivers with 101 yards on six receptions, while Kendal Parker concluded the contest with 18 total tackles, including a pair of stops for a loss of eight yards. Husson’s Luke Washburn tallied 11 total tackles, including 10 solo stops, four quarterback hurries and two tackles for a loss of 19 yards.

SUNY Cortland 38, Buffalo 12: Steven Ferreira completed 10 of 23 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while the Red Dragons defense combined for five tackles for a loss of 30 yards, three interceptions, three pass break-ups and one sack as SUNY Cortland topped the Bengals at Coyer Field.

WPI 31, Catholic 14: Blake Rice tossed three touchdowns, Sean McAllen rushed for 148 yards on 30 carries, while Blayne Merchant recorded 12 total tackles as the Engineers rolled by the Cardinals in Washington, D.C.

Dean 28, Alfred State 14: Trent Waters tallied 13 total stops, including nine solo tackles, a pair of sacks and one forced fumble in the Bulldogs’ first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win.

Williams 47, Bates 14: Bobby Maimaron completed 17 of 24 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries and one score as the Ephs secured its third win of the season over the Bobcats in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Castleton 35, Mount Ida 31: Moe Harris rushed for a pair of scores and 126 yards on 25 carries, while Mitchell Caron completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans secured an important conference win over the Mustangs. Mount Ida quarterback Michael Pina completed the contest 18 of 32 passes for 210 yards, while tossing three touchdowns.

Westfield State 35, Mass. Maritime Acad. 28: Zach Howard‘s 44-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Owls hung onto defeat the Buccaneers in Westfield. Westfield State’s Travon Holder tallied 156 yards on 25 carries and two scores, while Mass. Maritime received 192 yards on 29 carries and two scores from tailback Richie Phillips.

Curry 30, UMass Dartmouth 27: Alex Corvese tossed two scores, while rushing for a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winner with six seconds remaining as the Colonels rallied to defeat the Corsairs in Milton. Corvese completed 29 of 44 passes for 377 yards, while rushing for 18 yards on 13 carries.


Framingham State 32, Fitchburg State 16 (Friday)
Hobart 30, RPI 0
Ithaca 46, Rochester 6
MIT 51, Maine Maritime 6
Wesleyan 41, Colby 7
Gallaudet 73, Anna Maria 23
Trinity 41, Hamilton 13
Springfield 38, Coast Guard 7
Merchant Marine 52, Norwich 17
Tufts 31, Bowdoin 3
Hartwick 52, Morrisville State 34
Plymouth State 17, Bridgewater State 7
Alfred 21, St. John Fisher 14
Western Conn. 49, Worcester State 23

Teams To Watch In 2017: WPI Engineers

WPI tailback (and sophomore) Sean McAllen will be one of many players to watch this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By James Baker (@ITHuddLLe)

Our New England D3 Football preseason team previews continue with a look at the 2017 WPI Engineers, who certainly will be a team to watch in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this fall. 

Name: Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineers (WPI)

Ranking: The Engineers were one of eight teams we highlighted in our ‘Teams on the Rise’ post from Monday, July 31st on Twitter. 

2016 Recap: The Engineers notched their second consecutive winning season, but WPI lost a number of close games – e.g. 28-23 to Springfield, 45-44 to Merchant Marine, 35-31 to Hobart and 28-21 to Saint Lawrence – and that kept them from having a championship caliber season. The Engineers did prevail over MIT in a 37-34 nail-biter in their season-opener before taking care of cross-town rival Worcester State and then Norwich with relative ease in week two and three. A promising 4-1 start took a turn after the Merchant Marine loss and WPI would go 2-3 down the stretch. Backup quarterback Blake Rice would lead the team to an exciting 37-34 comeback against Rochester toward the end of the season, but he was unable to solve an All-American and All-Region stacked Saint Lawrence defense in Week 11, which earned a hard-fought seven-point victory. 

Key Losses: Dan Eckler (Quarterback), Brandon Eccher (Wide Receiver), Alex Dumond (Wide Receiver), Brian Murtagh (Linebacker), Ryan Buss (Defensiveback), Blaine Bursey (Specialist), Vinny Tavernelli (Specialist)

Players to Watch: Blake Rice (Quarterback), Sean McAllen (Running Back), Sam Malafronte (Linebacker), Erik Fyrer (Receiver / Specialist), Dereck Pacheco (D-Line), Nabeel Tokatli (D-Line), Nick Ostrowski (Linebacker), Blayne Merchant (Linebacker), Brendan Harty (O-Line) and Marcus Pritchard (Fullback)

2017 Schedule: The Engineers will open against a new foe, but a familiar face in that of Anna Maria College’s new head coach (and former WPI defensive coordinator) Dan Mulrooney. The annual Transit Trophy game against RPI follows directly thereafter, so we’ll have a good idea how these Engineers will fare early on this year. Cross-town rival Worcester State drops off the schedule and is replaced by Becker, a “Friday Night Lights” finale to the initial three-game home stand to start the season. WPI then opens NEWMAC play on the road at Springfield before welcoming Maine Maritime to Alumni Stadium. The Engineers will then travel down to Washington, D.C. to face-off against Catholic, then host former Liberty League rival Merchant Marine. Road trips to MIT and Norwich “sandwich” a home game in Week 10 against the Coast Guard.

Season Outlook: WPI will need a better defensive performance from last season if they wish to improve upon a 6-4 campaign. While it will be next to impossible to re-create the production of Murtagh, the good news for the Engineers is that 10 starters return. Pacheco and Totakli provide size and strength up the middle, while Malafronte, who played weak side linebacker in 2016, will be moved to the strong side. Malafronte finished second on the team with 65 tackles. Senior linebacker Blaine Merchant will move inside to an outside linebacker role to assist Malafronte, as well as sophomore linebacker Nick Ostrowski, who is expected to contribute more after recording 14 tackles during his initial season with the Engineers. While the WPI offense will need to retool somewhat, Rice did get good experience late last season. Should Rice struggle, Eric Cosmopulos (a.k.a “Cosmo”) knows the playbook. Wide receiver is a big need for the unit, so you may see Hamilton College transfer Erik Fyrer get some looks given his size and length. Senior Mitjon Celaj caught 10 passes and a touchdown last season – he could be one of Rice’s go-to targets this fall. McAllen is back after winning the Liberty League (LL) Rookie of the Year award – he led the Engineers with 701 rushing yards and five touchdowns as a first-year back. The Engineers line will be anchored by senior co-captain and center Brendan Harty. Also returning on the line is senior Paul DeMarco, who should add depth and experience. The Engineers fullback role will be determined during the remaining days of camp, but an early favorite to win the job is junior Marcus Pritchard. He has the size and ability to make way for McAllen. WPI will need someone to step up on special teams due to graduation losses of Blaine Bursey and Vinny Tavernelli in the placekicking and punting game, as well as Dumond in the return unit. WPI has the student-athletes in place to contend for the NEWMAC crown if they can tighten up on defense and turn close games they lost in 2016 into wins this fall.