Football Notebook: What Are The Best New England D3 Football Rivalries?

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By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

What are some of the best New England D3 Football rivalries?

That is a tough one, eh?

You know the list includes a fair number of contests, including Amherst-Williams to Framingham State-Bridgewater State to Endicott-WNE.

But are there others? Of course!

Here are some of my favorite New England D3 Football rivalries (below!) – let me know what you think of my list by sending either a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or an email to MattNoonan@NoontimeSports.com.


Amherst vs. Williams: This has to be atop the list, right? This is one of the games to circle, no matter each team’s record. Last season, we saw the Ephs score an exciting win in overtime, thanks to an 11-yard burst by quarterback Bobby Maimaron. Amherst forced the extra session midway through the fourth quarter by scoring a pair of touchdowns in a span of 25 seconds. Both teams enjoyed successful 2017 campaigns, which means this year’s game in Amherst will be one to follow.

Framingham State vs. Endicott: This game has always been my welcome back to college football contest. Sure, they’re two different teams that are headed in different directions at the moment, but you know this is a game both players circle when schedules are released. Framingham State has dominated the series most recently, but this year could be different with Paul McGonagle pacing the Endicott sidelines.

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State: This is has always been a go-to game in the MASCAC. A lot of the players on both rosters played either with or against each other in high school. So there is some bragging rights on the line. Bridgewater State needed some late heroics in 2016 to beat Framingham State – the win provided the Bears with the conference crown, along with an automatic invite into the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Jaquan Harris clinched the victory for the Rams with a late fourth quarter interception. Framingham State escaped Bridgewater with a six-point (19-13) win.

MIT-WPI: This has become a classic NEWMAC matchup – crazy to think it is a young rivalry, but it keeps getting better every season. Last fall, WPI managed to recover a crucial onside kick with with 20 seconds remaining to secure a 24-21 win over MIT. In 2016, Blaine Bursey kicked a 19-yard game-winning field goal in overtime to send WPI past the Engineers of MIT, 37-34. Bursey was also the difference in 2015 when the two teams met in Worcester as he booted a 26-yard field goal midway through the fourth to provide WPI with a 31-28 win.

Springfield-Western New England: Who will win this year’s Pynchon SAW? Springfield captured it last season, downing Western New England, 35-21. Perhaps this year’s game will be different – it is scheduled for Friday evening of Labor Day Weekend. Both programs are expected to be in the hunt for their respective conference crowns, so this is a great way to begin a new campaign with a solid win against a talented opponent.

Trinity vs. Wesleyan: It’s the battle of Connecticut! These two teams will once again be in the mix for a NESCAC crown this fall, so you know how important this game is, especially since it is the final contest for both squads. Trinity scored a convincing 28-3 victory last fall, so you have to wonder how the Cardinals of Wesleyan will respond this November.


Other Rivalries to Watch in New England D3 Football 

  • Salve Regina-Western New England: This game has often decided the conference championship.
  • Husson-Western New England: The Eagles of Husson proved they are a team to keep an eye on in New England last year with an impressive win over Springfield. These two teams met last year with WNE winning the game by a touchdown (21-14)
  • Becker-Nichols: If you’re looking for another ‘battle of Worcester’ then look no further than Becker-Nichols.
  • Bates-Bowdoin, Bates-Colby & Bowdoin-Colby (CBB Trophy): Bates captured last season’s CBB (Colby, Bates & Bowdoin) trophy with victories over Bowdoin and Colby. Can they do it against this fall?
  • Castleton-Norwich: It’s the battle for the Sap Bucket! Castleton won it last season, so can Norwich win it this year?
  • Coast Guard-Merchant Marine: This game was on ESPN last year and will continue to be a game to circle with both teams playing in the NEWMAC.
  • Fitchburg State-Worcester State: Looking for another Worcester rivalry? Then look no further than Falcons-Lancers.

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

New England Football: Players To Watch In 2018 Coming Soon!

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By Noontime Sports | @NoontimeSports 

It maybe early July, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about football, right?

As we inch closer toward a brand new season of New England college football, Noontime Sports will begin to generate a list of players and teams to watch for the upcoming season, as well as our first of many Top 10 polls, too (our first poll will be a preseason poll, which will be posted later next month).

So, consider this an early plug for our 2018 preseason football coverage – yes, we are eager for football to return, but are enjoying some down time before camps and games officially commence.

If you do crave some football then make sure to check out our Football Friday Podcast – we do have a few new podcast interviews, including a recent conversation with the new Bates College coach Malik Hall and Western New England‘s Jason Lebeau.

Additionally, you can click FOLLOW to our new football Twitter handle, as well: @Noontime_FB. Trust us, you will want to follow this handle as we inch closer to football season – we will be producing some fun content that you won’t want to miss.

Our preseason football coverage will officially begin in a few weeks, but in the meantime, enjoy these long, summer days – the weather is pretty nice today in Boston!

D3 Football: Sammy Morris Named Assistant Coach at Dean College

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Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris was named an assistant coach at Dean College. (PHOTO CREDIT: NBC Sports)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris will be returning to the area this fall as an assistant coach for the Dean College football team, per this morning’s release.

Morris joins a Bulldogs squad that competed at the Division III level for the first time in school history last fall.

Dean, which is a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), concluded its 2017 campaign 4-6 overall.

“We are extremely excited to announce the hiring of Sammy Morris to coach the running backs and special teams at Dean College,” Dean coach Steve Tirrell said in Tuesday’s press release. “His knowledge and experience will make an immediate impact on our coaching staff and student athletes.”

A 2000 draftee (fifth round) by the Buffalo Bills, Morris played four seasons in upstate New York before signing with the Miami Dolphins prior to the start of the 2004 season. Morris tallied 523 yards on 132 carries and six touchdowns in his first year with the Dolphins in 13 games.

Three years after joining the Dolphins, Morris inked his name on a new contract with the Patriots, assisting them to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2007 season before leading the squad in rushing in 2008 with 727 yards on 156 carries. He also led New England’s ground attack with seven rushing touchdowns, too.

Morris would conclude his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, competing in just three games.

Prior to enjoying a successful career in the NFL, Morris played two seasons of college football at Texas Tech before graduating from the Harvard Business School’s NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in 2009.

Dean kicks-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 1 when they visit Curry College at 1 p.m. One week later, the Bulldogs will host Western Connecticut State for a 12 p.m. kick-off.

Want more Noontime Sports Football coverage? Then make sure to follow @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Football Friday Notebook: 10 Weeks Away From A Brand New D3 Football Season

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Welcome to Football Friday Notebook, fans and friends!

As see on Twitter earlier today, our good friends from In The (D3FB) Huddle tweeted that we are 10 weeks away from some major week one games.

What games are we most excited for? Hmm … well everyone, duh! We actually dished out some games to watch the first week earlier this month. And yes, we included one of our favorite Labor Day Weekend games between Springfield College and Western New England, along with Endicott College and Framingham State.

Yesterday, the National Football Foundation tweeted Maine Maritime Academy‘s Cody O’Brien was the NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day. As noted in the tweet, O’Brien is a marine engineering technology major. Way to go, Cody!

Good news from Pro Football Talk regarding Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. As noted in this morning’s blog post, the former Bills signal-caller is doing well following his latest surgery, per an Instagram post. Jim’s wife Jill Kelly wrote that he is doing well under the circumstances.

Kelly announced five years ago that he had been diagnosed with cancer in his jaw, but has undergone numerous surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We wish the best for both Jim and Jill, as well as their families – stay strong, Jim!


New England D3 Football Posts from earlier this week: 

Malik Grove to join the Amherst College football coaching staff as their running backs coach. 

Malik Hall tabbed the next coach at Bates College


We’re still a few weeks away from the start of New England Patriots Training Camp, but Patriots Wire has a few blockbuster trades the team could do to shake-up the roster for the upcoming season. One of the potential trades includes sending Rob Gronkowski to another team like the Houston Texans or San Francisco 49ers for two first-round picks.

As noted in the New Canaan AdvertisersZach Allen of Boston College was named to to Athlon’s Preseason All-America teams on Tuesday. Allen, who is from Connecticut, decided to forgo this year’s NFL Draft to stay with the Eagles for his senior season.

In addition to Allen, AJ DillonLukas DenisChris Lindstrom and Michael Walker were also named to the Athlon’s Preseason All-America teams. Dillon was selected to the second team – he will certainly be a running back to watch this fall.

Speaking of the Eagles’ football team, they recently announced their theme days for the 2018 season, which includes Senior Day, Youth & High School Football Day when they host Syracuse University on Saturday, November 24th.

Finally, Sports Illustrated highlighted five true freshmen that could make an impact this fall, including Georgia‘s James Cook.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage by following us at @Noontime_FB

D3 Football: Amherst Welcomes Malik Grove To Coaching Staff

Mammoths-logo-flex-callout-reversed-1000x600By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It was announced yesterday on Twitter that Malik Grove will be joining the Amherst College football coaching staff as their running backs coach.

Grove arrives in Amherst, Massachusetts after concluding a successful collegiate career at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.

As noted in the team’s post on Twitter, Grove was a three-year starting quarterback for the Falcons, finishing his career with 7, 647 passing yards and 2,198 rushing yards. He tossed 103 touchdowns and currently holds the NCAA Division II record for best career interception ratio (1.29%), only 13 interceptions in 1,0008 attempts.

Grove will oversee a rushing unit that averaged 178.6 yards per game last season and led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with 20 touchdowns on the ground. Jack Hickey concluded last season by leading the Amherst rushing attack with 640 yards on 106 carries and nine touchdowns. Additionally, quarterback Ollie Eberth found success on the ground, finishing the season with 244 yards on 70 carries and five touchdowns.

Amherst will kick-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 15th when they visit Bates College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.