Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Championship Preview

Castleton State and Mount Ida College will compete on Saturday for the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Crown! (Photo Credit: Brian Willwerth

By Matt Noonan 

We’re less than 24 hours away until Championship Saturday commences, and excluding AIC-New Haven and Framingham State-Salve Regina, another key matchup to watch tomorrow will be the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Championship between Castleton State and Mount Ida College.

The winner of this particular match will win the conference and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Div. III Championship.

Here is a preview of this particular contest.

Records: Both teams are 7-2 overall. Castleton is 6-0 in the conference, while Mount Ida is 5-1.

Last Meeting: The last time these two squads met was during the final week of the 2011 season. The Mustangs defeated the Spartans in Newton, 54-34.

Biggest Win: The Spartans biggest win occurred in week one when they defeated non-conference foe Plymouth State, 35-7. Senior quarterback Shane Brozowski tossed four touchdowns and recorded 400 yards through the air.

The Mustangs biggest win came against conference foe Maritime (N.Y). Senior kicker Bobby Hemmann kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired to secure a 24-21 victory.

Biggest Setback: Castleton’s biggest loss came a week after their first win in Beverley, Massachusetts against Endicott College. The Gulls soared past the Spartans, 66-14. Castleton held a lead midway through the first quarter, but Endicott managed to erase the deficit and go onto earn their second win.

As for Mount Ida, their worst loss came in week three against Springfield College. The Mustangs held a 14-point advantage in the third quarter, but the Pride rallied to defeat the visitors, 49-42. Senior quarterback Scott Drosendahl tossed five touchdowns in the loss, while sophomore Chris McNally rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries.

Castleton’s New Quarterback: Last week, Brozowski suffered a season ending injury in his team’s win against Husson. So, without their starting gunslinger, the Spartans will rely on freshman George Busharis. The former Mansfield High School quarterback has appeared in six games this season and completed 11-of-22 passes for 152 yards. He’s recorded one touchdown and one interception, too.

The Mustang Way: Throughout the season, head coach Michael Landers has preached his team’s new motto: 1-0. It’s a theory that forces players to be discipline, but also focus on the task at hand. And ever since Landers first muttered the words of “going 1-0,” Mount Ida has been a different team.

Overview: Both these teams are evenly matched, but without Brozowski in the lineup, it could be a long day for Castleton State’s offense. However, the Spartans passing attack ranks second in the nation so don’t expect Busharis to struggle too much, especially if he’s able to connect with junior Brandon Boyle.

Drosendahl will be the main focal point for Mount Ida. The Mustangs senior quarterback ranks sixth nationally in passing efficiency and is second in the conference in touchdown passes (26).

Castleton’s defense is the top squad in the conference when it comes to defending the pass, so Drosendahl will have to be at his best against an impressive Spartans secondary.

Prediction: Mount Ida College 31, Castleton State 28

Mass. College Football: Week 8 Honor Roll

Joe Clancy’s seven touchdowns against Saint Anselm helped Merrimack College earn an 81-35 victory! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The eighth week of the college football season concluded on Saturday. And before we move onto week nine, let’s unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Honor Roll.

Colton Chapple (Harvard): Despite sustaining his team’s first setback of the season against Princeton, the senior quarterback, who was mentioned in this week’s Ivy League Honor Roll, tossed five touchdowns and completed 31-of-45 passes for 448 yards.

Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard): Against the Tigers, the senior tight end led all receivers with 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns. The three touchdowns were the most Juszczyk has recorded in a game this season.

Roman SanDoval (Holy Cross): The senior linebacker recorded nine tackles (eight solo), as well as one tackle for a loss, one breakup and one sack in the Crusaders 30-13 loss to Lafayette.

Joe Clancy (Merrimack College): The senior quarterback from Newburyport, Massachusetts broke the Northeast-10 Conference record for passing yards (553), which was a mark he set earlier this season. Clancy also matched a conference record with seven touchdown passes in his team’s 81-35 victory against Saint Anselm. He was also named this week’s NE-10 Offensive Player of the Week.

Markell Rice (American International College): Against Bentley University, the senior returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and totaled 103 yards in returns. On defense, he recorded two interceptions, three tackles and one pass breakup. Rice was named this week’s NE-10 Defensive/Special Teams Player of the Week.

Andrew Sklar (Bentley University): The senior defensive end established a new career-best with eight tackles and three tackles for a loss in the Falcons 27-23 loss to American International College. He also recorded a sack and a forced fumble, too.

Devon Barrett (Assumption College): The sophomore led the Hounds with nine tackles (four solo). One of his tackles was for a loss, and he also recovered a fumble in the end zone for his first career touchdown.

Isaiah Voegeli (Merrimack College): The senior wide receiver from Hyannis, Massachusetts finished Saturday’s contest against Saint Anselm with 10 catches for 269 yards and four touchdowns. The four touchdowns matched a school record, while his receiving yards broke his own NE-10 record.

Ryan Hunt (Stonehill College): Against No. 3 New Haven on CBS Sports Network, the senior linebacker tallied a career-high 10 tackles (seven solo) and one tackle for a loss of four yards.

Jake Laux (MIT): In his team’s most exciting victory of the season against Salve Regina, the junior linebacker, who was named this week’s New England Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week, led the Engineers with 12 tackles (six solo). He also recorded an interception with 30 seconds remaining, which secured the upset victory.

Myles Becker (Western New England College): Against Plymouth State on Saturday, the sophomore recorded a team-high 10 tackle in the Golden Bears fifth win of the season.

Gregg Jackson (Westfield State): Jackson led the Owls with a game-high 16 tackles (10 solo), an interception and blocked PAT.

Drew Frenette (Endicott College): The sophomore quarterback, who tossed four touchdowns against UMass Dartmouth, finished his team’s eighth contest with a school-record 450 yards passing. He completed 30-of-40 passes, too.

Brad Goldsberry (MIT): The sophomore running back recorded 141 all-purpose yards in his team’s dramatic win against Salve Regina. Prior to their go-ahead touchdown, Goldsberry set up the game-winning score with a 61-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.

AJ Scerra (Worcester State): The junior wide receiver from Marlboro, Massachusetts hauled in a school single-game record 17 receptions for 184 yards, one touchdown and one conversion.

Melikke Van Alstyne (Framingham State): The junior halfback sect a school-record with 294 yards rushing on 36 carries with one touchdown.

Michael Aldo (Amherst College): The NESCAC Defensive Co-Player of the Week finished his team’s fifth contest with eight tackles, one forced fumble and an interception. Aldo’s interception with five minutes remaining sealed the Lord Jeffs’ fourth win against Wesleyan.

Bobby Hemmann (Mount Ida College):  For the second time this season, the senior kicker from Newington, Connecticut helped his Mustangs earn a win in the closing seconds against Maritime (N.Y.) on Saturday with a 38-yard field goal, which clinched a 24-21 victory for Mount Ida. The Mustangs have won four of their last five contests, and remain perfect in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.

Shaine Grogan (WPI): Against Merchant Marine, the senior linebacker from Dalton, Massachusetts led the Engineers with 14 tackles (seven solo) and two tackles for a loss.

Mass. College Football: Mount Ida 24, Maritime (N.Y.) 21

By Brian Willwerth 

NEWTON, MA – Mount Ida kicker Bobby Hemmann knew he had it the moment the ball left his foot.

His 38-yard field goal as time expired gave the Mustangs a dramatic, 24-21 victory over Maritime College on Saturday afternoon, and set off a big-time celebration on the home team’s sideline.

“I felt like the first game that we did against UMass,” said Hemmann. “I was in the zone once again. The crowd’s going wild, [so] just wanted to get another one for my brothers.”

The drama began to unfold in the final minutes. With the game tied at 21, the Privateers had the momentum, were marching down the field, chewing up the clock, and in position for a game-winning score. But the Mustangs’ first big play came when Frank Greene intercepted Maritime quarterback Tyler Trodden in the back corner of the end zone with 49 seconds on the clock. It was the last of three picks on the day by the Mount Ida defense.

“They were killing us on the hitches the whole second half,” said quarterback Scott Drosendahl. “I told the DB’s to make a play. Frank looked at me and said ‘I got this’, and they went hitch-and-go. They were setting it up the whole second half, and Frank just got back on it and made a good play.”

But there was still work to be done. Drosendahl still had to lead his team down the field to get into field goal range.

“It was kind of like Norwich, “said Drosendahl, referring to his team’s last-second victory on Sept. 29.

On this day, he was up to the challenge once again. He moved the chains with a 12-yard completion to Dejhuan Williams. Then on 3rd and 9, Drosendahl threw an incomplete pass, but the Mustangs’ drive remained intact thanks to a personal foul and late hit penalty. Two plays later, he found Matt Valentini over the middle for 24 yards, which put his team in position for Hemmann’s heroics.

For the first 15 minutes, it didn’t look like there would be any need for such heroics. Mount Ida built a 21-0 lead on touchdown receptions by Williams and Jordan Hyman, and a 14-yard run by Kareem Cope. Drosendahl was 15-of-25 for 167 yards. Trodden had 188 yards passing for Maritime.

But from that point on, Maritime started to seize control, and worked its way back into the game. Gary Bigham scored three times on the ground for the Privateers, the final one coming early in the fourth quarter. The ensuing two-point conversion completed a comeback from a 21-point deficit.

But in the end, Mount Ida made the key plays down the stretch to pull out the win.

This whole season has been a roller coaster, ups and downs,” said Hemmann. “I think we’ve been doing a great job coming back from having our backs against the wall.”

Mount Ida improves to 6-1 on the season. The six wins tie a school record. The Mustangs will play their final home game against Becker next Saturday. The Privateers fall to 3-4, and will host Husson next weekend.

Video courtesy of Greg Antonelli, who is the sports information director at Mount Ida College. 

Mass. College Football: Friday Night Recap

By Brian Willwerth 

Here is a roundup from the various Friday college football games.

BECKER COLLEGE 13, FITCHBURG STATE 3 – In Leicester, the host Hawks only had 126 yards of total offense. But they scored all of their points off of Falcon turnovers. Fitchburg state had six fumbles, losing three of them, while also throwing an interception. Becker RB Kyle Gregg scored the game’s first touchdown. The other came on a 14-yard pass from Robert Baker to Corinthian Bostic.

BLOOMSBURG 44, STONEHILL 28 – In Easton, the Skyhawks committed seven turnovers on a night when offense was the name of the game. Stonehill QB Logan Meyer set a school record with 370 yards passing. He threw three TD passes – two of them to Gordon McLeod – but was also picked off five times. The two teams combined for more than 960 yards of total offense.

WORCESTER STATE 56, ANNA MARIA 10 – In Worcester, the Lancers rolled to victory in their season opener. Corey Spencer threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, Kemani Jones rushed for over 100 yards and found the end zone three times himself. Worcester State had nearly 700 yards of total offense. The AMCATS were led by Robert Small, who rushed for 94 yards and his team’s only touchdown.

MOUNT IDA 24, UMASS-DARTMOUTH 21 – In Newton, the Mustangs got a late 47-yard field goal from Bobby Hemmann to win their opener. Jordan Hyman had five receptions for 170 yards, including one of the three TD passes thrown by quarterback Scott DrosendahlPatrick Orlando threw three touchdown passes for the Corsairs. Brendan McNeish caught 15 passes for 152 yards and a score in a losing effort.

Bentley 42, Pace 0 – In Waltham, senior Brian Kiley and sophomore Jeff Hill combined for four touchdowns and 217 yards, as the Falcons soared past the Setters in their home opener.