Blakenship Leads USMMA Past Coast Guard, 24-14.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) beat Coast Guard Academy in the 49th meeting of the Secretaries Cup. (PHOTO COURTESY: USMMA Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Ian Blakenship rushed for a game-high 151 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown while Ceaser Gonzalez added 103 yards on the ground and one score as the United States Merchant Marine Academy topped Coast Guard Academy, 24-14, to claim the Secretaries’ Cup for the second-straight season.

Saturday’s matchup between the Mariners and Bears capped a three-sport, three-game fall series between the two academies, which saw the Coast Guard Academy men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams secure wins against USMMA last month.

Coast Guard struggled to contain the Merchant Marine rushing attack, which tallied 343 yards on 71 rushing attempts and three touchdowns. Blakenship, Gonzalez, and Matt Restifo each rushed for one score while Jack Ruark tallied six points on three extra points and a 25-yard field goal.

Merchant Marine led Coast Guard, 10-7, at the break and 17-7 after three quarters before Restifo sealed the win with a four-yard touchdown run with 4:48 remaining.

Coast Guard’s Jared Colletti scored twice for the Bears while finishing the contest with 112 yards of total offense, including 88 receiving yards. Eugene Bizer led the Bears defense by recording a game-high 20 total tackles, including 14 solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 10 yards.

John Barbera, who was making his first start at quarterback for the Bears, completed 18 of 34 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown.

With the win, Merchant Marine has now won 34 contests against Coast Guard Academy while the Bears have captured 15 meetings.

Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Prediction

Jake Behne (left) and Hudson Dunaway (right) pose with the Secretaries’ Cup in November 2018. (PHOTO COURTESY: Coast Guard Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

The final NCAA D-III football game of 2020 will take place tomorrow between Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) with the winner claiming the Secretaries’ Cup.

Last season, the Mariners topped the Bears, 56-41, thanks to quarterback Krystian Abbott, who finished the game with 298 yards of total offense.

Coast Guard captured the 2018 meeting by a score of 26-12 to secure the Secretaries’ Cup for the first time since 2014.

Tomorrow’s matchup – the 49th meeting between these two academies – will be streamed on ESPN3 with kickoff scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Below is our pregame preview, as well as our prediction – let us know if you agree or disagree by sending a tweet to @NoontimeSports. Enjoy the game, everyone!


Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Preview: It’s been nearly a year since the Bears and Mariners tangled on the gridiron, but it seems as if both teams are eager and ready to play some football.

Coast Guard enters the contest with a great deal of experience on both sides of the ball. Quarterback John Barbera, who has appeared in five contests, including three last season, will start his first game for the Bears – expect the Glen Mills, Pennsylvania native to target Justin Moffatt, who led the NEWMAC last season with 66 receptions while posting a career-best in receiving yards (872) to go with five touchdowns.

Linebacker Eugene Bizer will be tasked with leading a Coast Guard defense that will need to slow down a Mariners squad that averaged 41.1 points per game last fall. Merchant Marine’s offense is very run-heavy and it is expected that the Mariners will lean heavily on halfback Matt Restifo, who finished last season with career-bests in rushing yards (389), yards per game (43.2), and touchdowns.

Eric Davidson and Colton Ray will be two players to watch on the Mariners defense tomorrow – this particular unit limited opposing foes to 112.7 rushing yards per game last season.

Noontime’s Prediction: This has the potential for a back-and-forth affair, but I think this contest will come down to whichever defense can slow down the opposing attack. I don’t anticipate a high-scoring affair like we witnessed last season, but instead both teams scoring at least three, maybe four touchdowns. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 30, USMMA 26

Daily Noontime (Friday, Nov. 13, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Friday, everyone – we made it!

It’s been a busy week of blogging to producing some new content for our social channels – we’ll recap it later today in during our Friday Rewind post – but in the meantime let’s dish out a late morning edition of the Daily Noontime.

So tomorrow will be a special day for our New England NCAA D-III football fans with Coast Guard Academy competing against the United State Merchant Marine Academy with kickoff scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Fans can stream the game between the Bears and Mariners on ESPN3 – here is a preview of tomorrow’s Secretaries’ Cup.

Sticking with college football, some big-time matchups for this weekend have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So does this mean college football is in trouble? I think so!

According to Sports Illustrated, there seems to be growing concern about not just the remainder of the college football season, but also the college football playoffs. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby knows the college football world is heading into some serious uncharted territory, but as of now, no games and bowls have been canceled, including the traditional New Year’s Day contests, so please remain calm, everyone.

Switching gears to college basketball – what is college basketball again? – it appears as if 40 teams will compete in ‘Bubbleville‘ at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut later this month. 45 games will be played over an 11-day period with the final contests scheduled for Saturday, December 5.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has started its college basketball season, but things have not gone smoothly due to the coronavirus. It’s likely every NCAA men’s and women’s basketball team will be impacted at some point this winter by the virus. And that could mean games – not just a few, but many – will get postponed or canceled.

Alright, that will do it for now, but stop by later and as always, make sure to smile, everyone!

The Final D3 Football Game of 2020 Is Next Saturday

Ryan Jones previously quarterbacked Coast Guard Academy last season against Merchant Marine. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

One more NCAA D-III football game remains on the calendar for next Saturday, November 14. And it will feature Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

We learned this particular matchup would occur back in September when both institutions announced they would have three programs – football, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball – compete for the Superintendents’ Trophy, which is something both academies contend for on a yearly basis, as noted in the September release on the Coast Guard Academy’s athletic website.

The Coast Guard Academy men’s soccer team and women’s volleyball team each captured their respective meeting with Merchant Marine last month.

Last year, Merchant Marine’s football team topped Coast Guard Academy, 56-41, to secure the Secretaries’ Cup while the Bears beat the Mariners one year earlier by a score of 26-12. The 2018 victory marked the first time the Bears had beaten the Mariners on the road since 1996. It was also the first road win in the series for former head coach Bill George, who retired last fall.

Kickoff for next Saturday’s game is at 12:05 p.m. Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 while following along with live stats.

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone. And welcome to Election Day 2020 – have you voted?

It doesn’t matter who you support – Joe Biden or Donald Trumpwe just want all our fans and friends to rock the vote. Your voice matters so make sure it is heard TODAY!

For information on where and when to vote today, visit Vote.org.

Alright, let’s get to some news and links. And we’ll begin in the college sports world where a few local New England NCAA D-III conferences announced yesterday that they will “suspend” or “cancel” winter sports.

  • The New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) announced they have suspended winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball and swimming and diving.
  • The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) has “cancelled conference athletic competitions,” which means no basketball, swimming and diving, and track.

While it seems inevitable that more cancelations and postponements will be announced over the next few days and weeks, some local schools, including Clark University and Coast Guard Academy, will explore options for its winter teams. It is possible we could see some local games played, but nothing is official (as of this morning!) so stay tuned.

Let’s switch gears to football – professional football, to be exact – where we could see 16 teams compete in the National Football League’s (NFL) postseason if future games are canceled due to the pandemic.

16 teams may sound crazy, but with frequent reports about players (or members of each team) testing positively for the coronavirus, it certainly could make for an interesting yet exciting postseason.

And here is some more football news and links from the world wide web:

Finally, make sure to tune into a brand new Noontime Sports Podcast today – we welcomed Joe Malkin (Massachusetts Maritime Academy) and Shawn Medeiros (Endicott College) to discuss how sports information directors are creating content when games are not being played.

You can listen to our show on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Anchor (along with some other channels and platforms, too!).