Noonan: What Quarterbacks Could Have An Impact This Saturday?

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Western New England’s Alec Coleman is just one of many D3 quarterbacks that can lead offenses with both his arm and legs. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

Last week, a majority of New England’s D3 quarterbacks were forced to tuck and run – you can thank Mother Nature for last week’s ground and pound attack.

Sure, the weather may have been a factor for some offensive game plans, but watching quarterbacks lead teams down the field this fall with both their arms and legs seems to be the new norm for a position that used to be all about throwing touchdowns or fades.

And with a very important week approaching for some teams, one should expect to see their favorite school’s quarterbacks once again utilize both their arms and legs in must-win contests.

One of those quarterbacks that can pass and run is Alec Coleman of Western New England, who has scored 16 touchdowns in his last three contests, including nine scores on the ground.

Last week against Nichols College, Coleman helped the Bears erase a one-score deficit by finishing the game with five touchdowns, including four on the ground (Coleman’s four rushing scores matched a season-high, which he set one week earlier during his team’s 70-13 win over the University of New England).

Coleman began catching our attention for his passing and rushing abilities last month when he guided his team to impressive wins against Anna Maria College and Salve Regina.

Through eight games this season, Coleman has accounted for 28 touchdowns, including a team-high 13 scores on the ground. He currently leads the Golden Bears’ rushing attack with 652 yards and should certainly enjoy more success this weekend against Endicott College.

Watching the Endicott defense attempt to slow down Coleman will be one of many storylines to follow when the two teams converge on Saturday in Beverly – a win for Coleman’s squad would most likely secure the Blue and Gold their second-straight conference crown.

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Springfield College’s Hunter Belzo has been a player to watch under center the past few weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan)

In Springfield this weekend, one should keep an eye on Hunter Belzo, the running back turned quarterback that has led Springfield College to some exciting wins this fall, including a 17-14 win last month at WPI (that was hands down one of my favorite football games I saw this season).

Belzo, who made his first career start under center against the Engineers last month, will look to keep the Pride in contention for a conference crown when Springfield hosts Maine Maritime Academy.

Similar to his performance two weeks ago against Catholic University, Belzo should have no problems finding the end zone against the Mariners with both his feet and arm.

Amherst College quarterback Ollie Eberth has quietly enjoyed a successful third season with the Mammoths, tossing eight touchdowns, while adding a career-best six scores on the ground.

Eberth recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns in his team’s first two wins of the season, while adding one score on the ground against Colby College and Middlebury College.

Last week against Tufts University, Eberth relied more on his teammates in the rushing game, but did conclude his team’s 19-13 win with 150 passing yards.

This week, Eberth will most likely depend on arm against a Trinity College defense that has surrendered an average of 204.9 yards per game through the air, while holding rushing attacks to roughly 65 yards per contest. But maybe Eberth could locate the end zone with his feet when Amherst’s offense makes it into the red zone on Saturday.

Trinity’s defense managed to slow down Tufts signal-caller Ryan McDonald, a player coach Jay Civetti considers “a runner first,” a few weeks ago, so it will be interesting to see if they can contain Eberth, as well.

McDonald is always a player to watch on the Jumbos – so far this season, he has scored 17 touchdowns, including seven on the ground. Last week against Amherst, McDonald rushed for a 25-yard touchdown late in the second, which brought the visitors within four points (10-6) of the Mammoths at the break.

A few other quarterbacks to keep an eye on this week:

  • Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): The Decatur, Georgia native has been a quarterback to watch this fall – currently, he has recorded career-bests in touchdown passes (six) and rushes (four). Despite being grounded for much of last week against Trinity, Jernigan has been able to lead a Panthers offense with both his arm and legs. Against Williams College, he rushed for a season-high 94 yards on 27 carries and one score, while tossing two touchdowns. One week later against Bates College, he relied on his arm more than his leg to lead the Blue and White to an exciting 35-34 victory. Look for Jernigan to return his form from earlier this season when the Panthers visit Hamilton College on Saturday.
  • Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): Maimaron still has time to establish some new career-highs, both this week and next week, but our Noontime Sports Rookie of the Year has quietly produced a successful second season with the Ephs, which has seen the Duxbury, Massachusetts native toss eight touchdowns, while adding an additional eight scores on the ground. The eight rushing touchdowns shattered his mark of seven from one year ago. 
  • Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan University): The Shelton, Connecticut native is always a quarterback to watch every week. So far this season, he has accounted for 15 touchdowns, including three on the ground. He needs 29 yards to match last year’s rushing total (474), which he should be able to muster against Williams on Saturday.

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

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Nine (Oct. 26th & 27th)

10 Games Week Nine

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The ninth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Ninth, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Eight): We went 9-1, so lets see if we can keep our current momentum going this week!

Season Predictions Records: 56-24 (we struggled with picks in week seven, so let’s see how we do this weekend!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


UMass Dartmouth at Framingham State (Friday, Oct. 26th at 7 p.m.): Similar to last week, this is a must-win for the Rams, who needed to push their contest with the Corsairs a day earlier due to Mother Nature. Expect the Black and Gold to continue its momentum from last week when they defeated Westfield State, 27-2. PREDICTION: Framingham State 25, UMass Dartmouth 14

Worcester State at Mass. Maritime Academy (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 12 p.m.): Both teams will attempt to return to the win column for the first time in a few weeks, and we think it will be the Buccaneers, which should rely on their ground game for a one-score victory. PREDICTION: Mass. Maritime 21, Worcester State 14 

Husson University at Castleton University (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 12 p.m.): Since falling to Western New England last month, these Eagles have been on a roll, thanks to some impressive efforts on both sides of the ball. Their momentum should continue this week in Vermont. PREDICTION: Husson 30, Castleton 16 

Western New England at Nichols College (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 12 p.m.): Quarterback Alec Coleman has scored 11 touchdowns in the past two games and should certainly locate the end zone in this game, both through the air and on the ground. PREDICTION: WNE 28, Nichols 13 

Catholic University at Norwich University (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 12 p.m.): Christopher Ward and the Cadets defense highlighted their second win of the season last week against Maine Maritime. Look for the Cadets defense to have another big day when they host the Cardinals for a noontime kickoff. PREDICTION: Norwich 16, Catholic 7 

Tufts University at Amherst College (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 1 p.m.): A big win last week over Wesleyan University has provided the Mammoths of Amherst with some serious momentum heading into its seventh game of the season. This is a must-win for both Amherst and Tufts, as both teams look to keep their title hopes alive. PREDICTION: Amherst 21, Tufts 20 

MIT at WPI (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 1 p.m.): Bubna-Magic will be tested this week when the Engineers of Cambridge visit the Engineers of Worcester. MIT’s defense stole the show a week ago in their 13-0 win over Coast Guard Academy and will need to find a way to slow down a talented WPI offense. PREDICTION: MIT 20, WPI 14 

Colby College at Bates College (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 1 p.m.): The 120th meeting of Bates and Colby will have CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) title implications on the line. Colby enters the contest with some much-needed momentum following their exciting win last week over Hamilton College, while Bates played its best game last Saturday against Middlebury. PREDICTION: Colby 20, Bates 17 

Middlebury College at Trinity College (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 1 p.m.): With rain in the forecast tomorrow, expect a heavy dose of the running game from both sides. And one of the rushers to watch tomorrow will be Trinity College quarterback Seamus Lambert, who led the ground game last week in a 48-6 win over Bowdoin College. PREDICTION: Trinity 28, Middlebury 20 

Western Conn. at Fitchburg State (Saturday, Oct. 27th at 2 p.m.): The Colonials will attempt to win their eighth-straight contest on Saturday when they visit a Falcons squad, which will need to figure out a way to slow down Kyle McKinnon. McKinnon clinched an exciting four-overtime win last week against Bridgewater State and should once again be the focal point of this match-up. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 28, Fitchburg State 13

D3 Football: Week Eight Highlights

WEEK EIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It wasn’t easy, but somehow MIT made a few more plays than Coast Guard Academy, especially on offense as the Engineers defeated the Bears, 13-0, in Cambridge to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the NEWMAC.

The win was highlighted by a pair of MIT touchdowns, including an early fourth quarter two-yard plunge by Cole Baker, which capped a 13 play, 90 yard drive.

Coast Guard attempted to answer on its next two series, but mustered just 10 total yards on nine plays. MIT’s defense also sacked quarterback Ethan Goldcamp on the Bears’ final two offensive plays of the contest.

Sam Gozelski highlighted the defensive effort for the Engineers with six total tackles, including a pair of sacks for a loss of 18 yards. John Robertson and Ashton Robinson powered MIT’s rushing attack by combining for 148 yards on 33 carries, while quarterback Udgam Goyal connected on 13 of 25 passes for 108 yards and one touchdown (his lone touchdown pass was to Eddy Garcia-Montes in the second quarter).

MIT will look to continue its current momentum next Saturday when they visit WPI.

Speaking of WPI, the Engineers saw their 24-0 lead erased by Merchant Marine comeback, which was capped by a late two-yard touchdown run by Krystian Abbott, as the Mariners picked-up an important conference win to keep their title hopes alive.

Abbott concluded the USMMA-WPI contest with a game-high 127 yards on 33 carries and one touchdown.

In Somerville, Tufts University scored a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College, thanks to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dom Borelli to Jack Dolan. Borelli rushed for one touchdown, along with 31 yards on nine carries, while Ryan McDonald completed 17 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Greg Holt paced the Jumbos’ defense with 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one fumble recovery.

Amherst College picked-up its sixth-straight win by scoring early and often against Wesleyan University. The Mammoths, who are now 6-0 overall, defeated the Cardinals, 33-3, thanks to two rushing touchdowns from Biafra Okoronkwo, who concluded the contest with 119 yards on 18 carries.

Despite falling to their Little Three rival, Wesleyan’s Brandon Morris finished his team’s sixth contest of the season with 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, one sack for a loss of 11 yards, one pass break-up and one forced fumble.

Springfield College picked-up an important road win our nation’s capital by defeating Catholic University, 23-11. Hunter Belzo tossed one touchdown, while rushing for another, while Skyler Bateman rushed for one touchdown late in the opening frame.

Endicott College and Western New England each scored conference wins, defeating Becker College and University of New England, respectively, while Husson University soared past Anna Maria, 54-14.

Framingham State kept its hopes of a MASCAC crown alive with a 27-2 win on the road at Westfield State.

Finally, Terrell Watts accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air, as Dean College rolled past Gallaudet University, 53-21. Watts concluded his team’s contest with 372 yards of total offense, including 306 passing yards.


Our New England D3 Football week eight highlights were compiled by Matt Nooonan (@MattNoonan11) and Brian Willwerth (@BriWillwerth)

 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Eight (Oct. 20th)

10 Games Week Eight

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The eighth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Eight, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Seven): We went 6-4  so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 47-23 (we struggled with picks in week seven, so let’s see how we do this weekend!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


All Games taking place on Saturday, Oct. 20th 

Coast Guard Academy at MIT (12 p.m.): This is a must-win for both team, who are currently in the hunt for the top spot in the NEWMAC. MIT is coming off the bye and should be well-rested for the second half of their schedule. Expect the Engineers’ offense to be challenged by the Bears’ defense, but eventually find a way to pull out a hard-fought win in the end. PREDICTION: MIT 20, Coast Guard 17 

Gallaudet University at Dean College (12 p.m.): Sure, the Eagles of Husson appear to be the top team in the ECFC, but don’t overlook the Bison of Gallaudet, which could begin a late run toward the top of the conference with a must-needed win on the road. PREDICTION: Gallaudet 27, Dean 16 

Bates College at Middlebury College (1 p.m.): The Panthers stunned the Ephs last week, so can they continue their late season magic against the Bobcats of Bates? PREDICTION: Middlebury 27, Bates 25 

Mass. Maritime Academy at Plymouth State (1 p.m.): Plymouth State scored an impressive come-from-behind win over Framingham State last week – expect that momentum to continue this week against the Buccaneers. PREDICTION: Plymouth State 21, Mass. Maritime 14 

Springfield College at Catholic University (1 p.m.): A disappointing loss to Merchant Marine can quickly be erased with a win on the road this week. Similar to Coast Guard, MIT, Merchant Marine and WPI, Springfield is still in the mix for a NEWMAC title, but needs to win their remaining contests, including Saturday’s tilt against Catholic. PREDICTION: Springfield 24, Catholic 14 

Amherst College at Wesleyan University (1 p.m.): The Mammoths appear to be the front-runner in the NESCAC, but this will be a HUGE test for the Purple and White. Wesleyan is still somewhat in the mix to possibly share the NESCAC crown, but needs this win just as much as Amherst does. PREDICTION: Amherst 20, Wesleyan 17  

WPI at Merchant Marine (1 p.m.): Merchant Marine picked-up some serious momentum last week with an impressive road win against Springfield. That momentum should continue this week against WPI. PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 21, WPI 17 

Williams College at Tufts University (1:30 p.m.): Both squads will look to bounce back from week seven setbacks – we expect this game to come down to the final drive. PREDICTION: Tufts 28, Williams 21 

Framingham State at Westfield State (2 p.m.): After falling to Plymouth State last week, the Rams must find a way to bounce back, so they can keep their conference title hopes alive. This won’t be an easy test for the Black and Gold, but if FSU is going to return to the win column, they must find a way to slow down the Westfield State rushing attack. PREDICTION: Framingham State 21, Westfield State 20 

Bridgewater State at Western Conn. (6 p.m.): After posting 40 points or more for the past three weeks, the Colonials mustered just 23 points in a 10 point win over Massachusetts Maritime last Saturday. Expect the Colonials offense to bounce back this week at home. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 30, Bridgewater State 21 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Six (Oct. 5-6)

10 Games To Watch Week 6

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The sixth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Six, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Five): We went 8-2 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 33-17 (BIG bounce back week last week, so let’s see if we can keep it rolling this week!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


Friday Night Lights | Oct. 5th, 2018 

Dean College at Husson Univ. (7 p.m.): The Eagles scored an important win last week against SUNY Maritime, but must find a way to stop an up and coming Bulldogs team that appears to be a contender in the ECFC. PREDICTION: Husson 35, Dean 32 

Plymouth State at Bridgewater State (7 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, who have rebounded since falling to Framingham State in its initial MASCAC clash of the season. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 24, Plymouth State 16 


Saturday Games | Oct. 6th, 2018 

Coast Guard Academy at Springfield College (12 p.m.): The last time the Bears beat the Pride was in 1999. The win was coach Bill George‘s initial victory with Coast Guard Academy. Perhaps he scores his second win against Springfield this week on the road? PREDICTION: Coast Guard 24, Springfield 20 

Fitchburg State at Framingham State (12 p.m.): Framingham State remains the front-runner in the MASCAC, but this is a game they must-win, especially if they want to keep pace with Western Connecticut. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Fitchburg State 20 

Catholic Univ. at WPI (12 p.m.): The Engineers returned to the win column last week with a conference victory over Maine Maritime and should find a way past these Cardinals this week in Worcester. PREDICTION: WPI 28, Catholic 17 

MIT at Maine Maritime (12 p.m.): Its homecoming for coach Brian Bubna, who began his coaching career with the Mariners. MIT scored an impressive win last week and should keep its momentum going this week in Maine. PREDICTION: MIT 28, Maine Maritime 10

Williams College at Bates College (1 p.m.): A friend of our site thinks this could be a trap game for the Ephs, but we think the Purple and Gold will continue their early season momentum. PREDICTION: Williams 28, Bates 14

Trinity College at Hamilton College (1 p.m.): The Continentals scored their first win of the season last week against Wesleyan, thanks Christian Snell‘s blocked punt late in the fourth quarter. Snell pounced on the loose ball in the end zone to record the go-ahead touchdown. Perhaps Snell blocks another punt this week and reaches the end zone against Trinity? PREDICTION: Hamilton 26, Trinity 20 

Amherst College at Middlebury College (1:30 p.m.): The Panthers have rebounded from their week one setback to Wesleyan with back-to-back wins over Bowdoin and Colby, but this is a must-win for the Blue and White against a talented Amherst squad, which has won three-straight. PREDICTION: Amherst 28, Middlebury 21 

Tufts University at Bowdoin College (1:30 p.m.): Ryan McDonald should once again find a way to get the job done, both through the air and on the ground. PREDICTION: Tufts 35, Bowdoin 17