Four New England D3 football teams secured spots in the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially begins Saturday, November 17th with 16 opening round contests.
32 teams were selected to compete in this year’s tournament, including a trio of local teams (Framingham State, Husson University and Western New England) which captured their respective conference crown.
MIT, which also earned a spot in this year’s tournament, secured an at-large bid following an exciting 22-7 win yesterday over Springfield College to secure the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown (the NEWMAC title was the Engineers’ first in program history).
All four teams will hit the road this week with Framingham State visiting Brockport, Husson traveling to RPI, MIT heading to Johns Hopkins and Frostburg State entertaining Western New England. All four match-ups will commence at 12 p.m. eastern.
Both Husson and WNE advanced to the tournament last year, while Framingham State is making its first appearance in three seasons (the Rams last competed in the national postseason in 2015). MIT is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after making an impressive debut four years ago with an opening round win against Husson.
We’ll have more on all four match-ups later this week, but as always, stay connected with @Noontime_FB on Twitter for news, notes and more from the New England football world!
The Engineers, who were the lone New England squad to appear on the list, checked-in seventh overall, while Brockport secured the top spot for the second-straight week followed by Frostburg State and RPI at second and third, respectively.
Delaware Valley and Ithaca College rounded out the top five by checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.
MIT enters the final week with an overall record of 8-1 record and needs to beat Springfield College this Saturday (Nov. 10th) for a chance to compete in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which will kick-off next weekend.
Ashton Robinson powered the Engineers to their eighth win of the season last Saturday over Norwich by rushing for 87 yards on 12 carries and one score, while Sam Cantrell and Ben Wolz each tallied seven total tackles, respectively, Wolz also finished the game with two tackles for a loss of six yards and one sack for a five yard loss, while Tyler Ray registered six total tackles, along with a trio of pass break-ups.
Kickoff for Saturday’s must-see meeting between the Pride and Engineers is scheduled for 12 p.m. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Western Connecticut checked-in seventh overall on the 10 team list while Western New England secured the 10th position.
Brockport was the top team in the East Region followed by Frostburg State and RPI.
The Colonials enter the 10th week of the season with an impressive 8-0 record and will attempt to earn their ninth win against Framingham State, which enters the important conference tilt with a 6-2 mark.
Western Connecticut fell to Framingham State last year on the road, but enter Saturday’s marquee clash with some serious momentum, thanks to the play of senior halfback Kyle McKinnon, who leads the Blue and Orange with 507 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Additionally, senior quarterback David James has helped the offense by tossing 15 touchdowns, while adding an additional two scores on the ground.
Western New England has gained some serious momentum since its opening day, thanks to quarterback Alec Coleman, who has recorded 16 touchdowns in his team’s last three outings, including nine scores on the ground. Coleman’s ability to lead the Golden Bears down the field should continue on Saturday when the Blue and Gold visit Endicott College in a very important conference clash.
A win for the Golden Bears against the Gulls would most likely secure them the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. However, an Endicott win would make for a very interesting final week of the 2018 season.,
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Joe Germinerio tossed three touchdowns, while completing 30 of 38 passes for 292 yards, while Tyree Brown hauled in a game-high 118 yards on 11 catches – he also caught a touchdown, too.
Nathaniel Keith III led the Golden Eagles’ defense with 10 total stops, including seven solo tackles, while scooping a fumble. Julius Mizro concluded the contest with one sack for a loss of 21 yards, one forced fumble, one pass break-up, one interception (four yards) and six total tackles (one solo stop).
Brockport’s defense limited Wesley tailback E.J. Lee to just 82 yards on 23 carries – he did rush for a touchdown, though. Alex Kemp recorded three grabs for 94 yards and one touchdown reception, while quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs concluded the afternoon 16 of 35 for 233 yards and one touchdown.
Both teams entered the break tied at 21-21, but a three-score third quarter, jumpstarted by a Joseph Ortiz touchdown reception helped the Golden Eagles push ahead for good.
Brockport led 42-28 after three quarters before scoring their final touchdown midway through the final session with 9:01 remaining.
Wesley concludes its season 10-2 overall, while the Golden Eagles picked-up their 12th consecutive victory of the season.
Delaware Valley 37, Husson 15: One week after stunning the NCAA Division III Football world with their first-ever postseason victory, the Husson Eagles saw their run toward the ultimate prize conclude in Pennsylvania as the Aggies rolled to their 12th straight win, thanks to four touchdowns from Dashawn Darden (three through the air, one on the ground).
Darden accounted for three first half touchdowns, which helped the hosts secure a 19-0 advantage at the break, but Husson responded early in the third quarter with a nine-yard touchdown run by John Smith. Smith’s score capped an eight play, 71 yard drive, which brought the visitors with 12 points of the Aggies with 10:50 remaining in the third.
DelVal would counter on the ensuing possession with a two-yard plunge by LaQuille Nesbitt, which helped the Aggies push ahead for good.
Smith concluded the contest with a game-high 161 yards on 32 carries, while Devauntay Ellis led the Aggies’ rushing attack with 100 yards on 18 carries.
Husson concludes its season at 10-2 after claiming its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown earlier this month when they defeated Alfred State in Maine.
John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries (3.8 yards per carry) and two scores as Husson stunned Springfield, 23-21, in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.
Smith reached the end zone twice – once in the second quarter and once in the third – while quarterback Cory Brandon got the visitors on the board with a second quarter touchdown strike to Kyle Gaudet (36-yard reception).
Husson led Springfield, 14-6, at the break, and 20-14 after three quarters of play before Devin Pickett extended the visitors’ advantage to 23-14 with a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Springfield trimmed the deficit with a Hunter Belzo 52-yard touchdown run to pull within two-points (23-21), but that would be the closest the Pride would get to the Eagles.
Brandon completed the contest with 209 yards and one touchdown pass, connecting on 20 of 30 passes, while Kyree Calli led all receivers with 64 yards on seven reception.
Husson’s defense limited the top-ranked rushing offense to just 264 yards. Belzo paced the Pride’s rushing attack by tallying 113 yards on nine carries, while Jordan Wilcox rushed for 111 yards on 22 carries and two scores.
The win extends the Eagles’ campaign to next weekend where they’ll face Delaware Valley in the second round, while Springfield concludes a historic season at 10-1 overall.
Husson, which captured the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown this fall, will face Delaware Valley next weekend in the second round of the tournament. The Aggies secured a date with the Eagles by defeating Western New England, 35-0.
Saturday’s win marked the first time an ECFC team has won a postseason contest.
Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0: Sammy Mohr clinched an opening round win for the Aggies with a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the final session as DelVal earned its 11th consecutive win of the season. Aaron Nelson led DelVal and all receivers with 121 yards on two receptions and one score, while WNE’s Dante Aiken rushed for a game-high 98 yards on 21 carries. WNE concludes its season at 8-3 – the Golden Bears captured the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown a few weeks ago when they defeated Curry College, 42-28.
Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0: Joe Germinerio accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air, as the Golden Eagles soared past the ‘Mountain Men’ of Plymouth State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Germinerio completed 19 of 27 passes for 316 yards, while Tyree Brown rushed for a game-high 156 yards on eight carries and one score. The Panthers conclude their season with a 9-2 overall record – Plymouth State also captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown this year, too.
Framingham State 48, Curry 14: Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns, while completing 19 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Rams won their second New England Bowl at Bowditch Field in Framingham. Quron Wright led all rushers with 60 yards on 16 carries, while Curry’s Nick Villanueva hauled in a game-high 92 yards on four receptions. Framingham State’s Joshua Onujiogu led all defenders with a pair of sacks for 13 yards, while concluding the game with a pass break-up and four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops. The Rams conclude their season with a 10-1 overall ledger, while Curry finished 8-3.
WPI 17, SUNY Maritime 3: Sean McAllen and Lain Zembekeach rushed for one touchdown, while Spencer Herrington booted a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter, which helped WPI defeat SUNY Maritime, 17-3, in the New England Bowl on Saturday evening at Alumni Stadium in Worcester. SUNY Maritime’s Matthew Murphy trimmed the deficit mid-way through the fourth with a field goal, but that was the closest the Privateers would get to the Engineers. WPI concludes its season on a seven-game winning streak, while matching the 1992 team for nine wins, which is the most victories recorded by any Engineers squad in a single-season. SUNY Maritime ends its season with a 9-2 overall ledger, too.