I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming NCAA Tournament games tomorrow, along with two New England Bowls.
As usual, Friday’s mean one thing: games to watch and predictions. So, allow me to dish out my picks for the three NCAA Tournament games with New England teams, along with both New England Bowls.
Have a wonderful weekend, stay warm – it is going to be COLD tomorrow – and I’ll do my very best, as usual, to keep you all updated on social media!
NCAA Tournament Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Brockport at Western New England (12 p.m.): This is a very evenly matched contest – it is even a game the Golden Bears could (and should) win. I’ll give the edge to WNE since they are playing at home, but they will need a big day from their offense, as well as a stellar performance by their run defense. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Brockport 28
Framingham State at Wesley College (12 p.m.): The Rams have never won an NCAA Tournament game, so perhaps this is the contest Framingham State wins. FSU’s offense and defense have been rather impressive the past few weeks, especially against some talented conference foes, which should translate to a one-point (or two-point) victory on Saturday. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Wesley 27
MIT at Muhlenberg College (12 p.m.): This is a tough draw for the Engineers, who are set to face the fourth-best team in the country, per the latest D3 Football Top 25. MIT has been impressive in their last three outings – they needed to win all three to advance to the postseason – but something tells me the Mules will make a few more plays from the get-go to secure an opening-round win. PREDICTION: Muhlenberg 30, MIT 10
New England Bowl Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Dean College at Endicott College (12 p.m.): This one is for the seniors. Look for a monstrous game from the seniors on both sides of the ball to send the Gulls into the offseason with some momentum for the 2020 season. PREDICTION: Endicott 35, Dean 16
Western Connecticut at WPI (1 p.m.): After losing to the Engineers of Cambridge earlier this month, WPI has looked unstoppable, winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich University by a combined score of 124-35. Look for the Engineers to continue their recent momentum against the Colonials in Worcester. PREDICTION: WPI 38, Western Conn. 14
Alec Coleman and the Western New England football team will host the College of Brockport on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)
By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
It’s time to highlight our final New England D-III football team, which will be competing this weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. And that team is the Western New England Golden Bears, who won their third-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title this fall with late-season wins against Becker College and Endicott College. WNE also defeated Husson University in its season finale to conclude its conference slate without a single blemish.
The Golden Bears will face The College of Brockport in the opening round – the Golden Eagles captured their third-straight Empire 8 Conference (E8) title a few weeks ago with a 16-7 win over Alfred State.
Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.
Brockport (8-2) at Western New England (9-1)
Gametime/Location: Brockport will travel to Western New England on Saturday, November 23rd with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. The game will be played in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Rankings: The Golden Eagles are currently receiving votes in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. Western New England enters its 11th contest of the season unranked or receiving votes.
Conference Affiliation: Brockport competes in the Empire 8 Conference – they finished 5-1 in league play this season. Western New England is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Golden Bears won every conference tilt this fall.
Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Brockport advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season following an opening-round win against Framingham State. The Golden Eagles’ season concluded against RPI, which defeated Brockport, 21-13. The loss to the Engineers was the team’s first of the 2018 season.
Western New England advanced to the first round last season but saw their run toward a national championship conclude with a 42-24 setback to Frostburg State. The Golden Bears’ meeting with the Bobcats was the first NCAA Tournament appearance under the direction of coach Jason Lebeau.
Inside the Numbers with Brockport: The Golden Eagles are averaging 29.60 points per contest while limiting opponents to 13.20 points per game … Brockport has recorded 112 rushing first downs this season while yielding just 22 to opponents … The Brockport defense has limited opposing rushing attacks to just 695 yards, which is an average of 28.3 yards per game … Brockport has recorded 40 offensive touchdowns this season while opponents have scored just 18 … Brockport has held the ball for close to two-thirds of every contest this season. They usually have the ball for 34:18 per contest, while opponents are on offense for an average of 25:41.
Inside the Numbers with Western New England: The Golden Bears are 5-0 at home this season – they were also 5-0 in Springfield, Massachusetts last season, too. WNE’s last home setback came against Springfield College on September 2, 2017. Since falling to the Pride, the Golden Bears have won 15 games at home … WNE is averaging 488.2 yards of total offense this season … The Golden Bears are averaging 40.6 points per game while limiting opponents to just 27.1 points per contest … WNE is averaging 290.0 passing yards per game while rushing for 198.2 yards per contest … The Golden Bears’ opponents have averaged 384.3 yards per game, including 230.8 passing yards.
Players to Watch on Brockport:
Jason Hellwig (QB): Hellwig will be under center Saturday after starting seven games this season. He enters the game with 735 passing yards and one touchdown pass.
Jala Coad (RB): Coad led all rushers with 822 rushing yards on 186 carries and 16 touchdowns. Coad is averaging 82.20 rushing yards per game.
Imhotep Cromer (WR): Cromer leads the receiving core with 30 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 60.33 receiving yards per game.
DaQuan Hubbard (WR): Hubbard is second on the team in receiving yards (469) and is one of four receivers to catch one touchdown.
Alex West (LB): West leads the team with 56 total tackles. He has recorded 33 solo stops, 17.0 tackles for a loss of 71 yards, and six quarterback hurries.
Lawrence Jenkins (LB): Jenkins is second on the team in tackles for a loss (10 for 64 yards). He has tallied 42 total tackles, including 23 solo stops, four quarterback hurries, and one interception.
Players to Watch on Western New England:
Alec Coleman (QB): The senior signal-caller has completed 146 of 214 passes for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 305 yards and nine touchdowns.
Jamyre Soberanis (RB): Soberanis has rushed for a team-high 929 yards on 139 carries and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 92.9 yards per contest.
Steven Fedorchak (WR): The third-year receiver is first on the team in receptions (53), receptions per game (5.9), receiving yards (979) and receiving touchdowns (10).
Adam Raza (WR): Razza is second on the team in receptions (39), receiving yards (779) and touchdown receptions (five).
Kieran Lombard (K): Lombard has recorded 82 points off 52 extra points and 10 field goals. His longest field goal was a 44-yard kick.
Erich Keutmann (LB): Keutmann leads the team with 119.0 total tackles, including 60 solo stops, seven tackles for a loss of 27 yards, and three sacks for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded three pass break-ups.
Joshua Salem (LB): Salem is second on the team in total tackles (85.0). He has produced 54 solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards while registering two interceptions, one pass break-up, and one block.
Framingham State’s Joshua Smiley and the Rams are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)
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.
Stay connected with our New England football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter!
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.,
Stay connected with our New England D3 Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter!