Tag: D3 Football

The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll

By NoontimeSports.com

Sure, it is the 24th day of June, but football is on our minds. So, let’s keep with tradition from the past two years by unveiling our third annual Noontime Sports Way Too Early New England NCAA Division III Top 20 Poll.

Revisit our previous Way Too Early polls from 2019 and 2020.

This year’s Way Too Early Poll is based on last year’s poll (and somewhat our 2019 poll, too) — we know it will change as we get closer to the start of the 2021 season, so stay tuned for our first official poll at the end of August/early September.

Alright, without further ado, let’s get back to football with our 2021 Way Too Early New England D-III Top 20 Poll!


Noontime’s Way Too Early New England D-III Top 20 Poll (June 23, 2021)

  1. Williams College (2019 Record: 7-2, 7-2 NESCAC): The Ephs were our top team in this poll last year, so let’s see if they remain in this position in a few weeks.

  2. Western New England (2019 Record: 9-2, 7-0 CCC): It’s hard to pick against the Golden Bears, who continue to be the team to beat in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

  3. Wesleyan University (2019 Record: 8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): Last year, the Cardinals were fourth on our list. This year, they move up one spot — they should be ready to contend with Williams and others once the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football season kicks off in mid-September.

  4. Endicott College (2019 Record: 9-2, 6-1 CCC): The Gulls seem primed for an exciting 2021 campaign under coach Paul McGonagle, who has a former signal-caller on his staff: Joe Kalosky.

  5. UMass Dartmouth (2019 Record: 7-3, 5-3 MASCAC): Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back for one final season with the Corsairs after an impressive 2019 season.

  6. MIT (2019 Record: 7-3, 6-1 NEWMAC): The Engineers captured the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship in 2018 before sharing it with WPI one year later. They will once again be the team to watch in the NEWMAC.

  7. Framingham State (2019 Record: 8-3, 8-0 MASCAC): Aynsley Rosenbaum will finally guide the Rams for the first time this fall after being promoted to the team’s head coach on January 19, 2020.

  8. Trinity College (2019 Record: 5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): The Bantams will be in the mix for the top spot in the NESCAC this year. That’s a fact.

  9. Western Connecticut (2019 Record: 8-3, 6-2 MASCAC): The Colonials will once again be in the mix for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall, but will they be able to beat Framingham State and UMass Dartmouth to secure the top spot?

  10. Springfield College (2019 Record: 6-4, 5-2 NEWMAC): Look for the Pride to compete with the Engineers of MIT for the top spot in the conference this fall.

  11. Salve Regina University (2019 Record: 4-6, 3-4 CCC): Get ready for the Joey Mauriello show in Newport, Rhode Island.

  12. Tufts University (2019 Record: 4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): Look for the Jumbos to bounce back this fall after posting just four wins in 2019.

  13. Middlebury College (2019 Record: 9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): After posting the first-ever 9-0 record in NESCAC play, the Panthers will finally have a chance to defend their crown this fall.

  14. WPI (2019 Record: 10-1, 6-1 NEWMAC): The Engineers graduated a slew of talent from their 2019 squad, but have brought in some impressive recruits that should help them compete with MIT, Springfield, and Merchant Marine Academy.

  15. Bridgewater State University (2019 Record: 6-4, 6-2 MASCAC): The Bears won eight games in 2018, but just six one year later. They were competitive — they certainly provided challenges for their conference foes and should find a way to be in the mix for the top spot as their 2021 campaign progresses.

  16. Amherst College (2019 Record: 4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mammoths may have taken a step back in 2019, but you can bet they’ll be ready to challenge the top teams in the NESCAC in a few months.

  17. Nichols College (2019 Record: 6-4, 4-3 CCC): Every year, this team takes a positive step forward.

  18. Coast Guard Academy (2019 Record: 5-5, 2-5 NEWMAC): The Bears did compete once last year — they lost to Merchant Marine Academy last November, but we were able to get a glimpse of some student-athletes to watch this fall.

  19. Husson University (2019 Record: 4-6, 2-5 CCC): Something tells us that these Eagles won’t be on the bottom of our list for long.

  20. Colby College (2-7, 2-7 NESCAC): Keep your eyes on the Mules — Jack Cosgrove will have the Blue and White ready to compete with the top teams in the conference this fall.

Podcast: James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle)

By NoontimeSports.com

Our old friend (and yes, former co-host for NCAA D-III football coverage in 2018 and 2019) James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle joined our podcast — we recorded the show on Monday, but the show is available now (Tuesday, June 8, 2021).

Baker and host/producer Matt Noonan discussed a variety of topics, including spring football — a handful of Division I teams in the northeast — that is our neck of the woods! — did compete while many Division II and III teams either practiced or scrimmaged a nearby team. Both Baker and Noonan believe the 2021 D-III season should feature some new storylines as most of the student-athletes we covered have graduated or perhaps transferred to another compete at another level.

In addition to some way-too-early D-III football talk — yes, we will have more from Baker and Noonan soon! — the guys also discussed the opening weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), an upcoming Pac-12 football game being played mid-morning in early September, and the Boston Red Sox‘s recent sweep of the New York Yankees.

Listen to our show below or on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify!

Player Perspective: Gavin Gray (Berry College)

Gavin Gray (2) has led the Berry College football team to back-to-back wins, including a come-from-behind win over Birmingham Southern last month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Berry College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Gavin Gray has enjoyed a successful spring season thus far, leading the Berry College football team to a pair of wins last month, including a come-from-behind victory against Birmingham-Southern College.

Gray, who was named the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Newcomer of the Year in 2019, has tossed six touchdowns while recording 526 passing yards in two contests. His play on the field has positioned the Vikings for a chance to compete in the conference championship next weekend, but the focus for Gray and his teammates this week is an important matchup on Saturday, March 6 against Centre College.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Gray to discuss his team’s spring season, as well as what he and the Vikings must do to continue their recent success against Centre on Saturday.

Tell me about your team’s past two contests – from your perspective, what has worked on the offensive end?

From my perspective, each game had different aspects of our offense that worked. Against Birmingham-Southern, our run game wasn’t as strong so our passing game was our go-to. Against Rhodes College, our running game did well. I think it shows just how good our coaches are at finding what aspect of the offense (we) excel at during the game.

This may sound cliché, but how has the offense improved from your team’s initial spring game against Birmingham-Southern to last weekend’s 54-7 win over Rhodes?

I think the first game for everyone can be exciting and emotional. Our win against Birmingham-Southern gave everyone on the offense some valuable experience in not only a game (situation), but also a down-to-the-wire contest. Against Rhodes, it felt like everyone was more confident and knew what to expect.

Take me back to your team’s first spring game against Birmingham-Southern. What do you remember about that final drive, which saw you connect with Cameron Kawa for the game-winning touchdown?

We just told ourselves we needed to get first downs; don’t worry about the score because if we get first downs then the score will handle itself. The receivers on that last drive – and really all game – did a great job of coming back to me when scrambling, which helped us convert a big fourth down conversion. On the last play of the drive, Cam did a great job of getting open and giving me a ton of space to complete that pass for the touchdown.

We presume this was not the first time you led your team, both Berry and Calhoun (high school), on a game-winning drive, right?

I can’t remember having any game-winning drives but I do remember having game-sealing drives. Against Cedar Grove in the semifinals of the 2017 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) playoffs, the score was 14-6 and we needed to get a couple of first downs to run out the clock. I think those big moments like (that particular experience against the Saints) have helped me stay poised in moments like the final drive against Birmingham-Southern.

As you (and your team) turn the page to Centre College this weekend, what must you and the offense do to continue your recent success?

I think we have to continue to do what we do. Centre has a great team. They have a great defensive line with great linebackers and defensive backs. They are well-coached and stay disciplined. We know it is going to be a physical and tough game, but we just have to stay focused on the things we can control and make adjustments when they are needed.

Looking Ahead To A Busy Weekend of SAA Football

By Matt Noonan

The fifth week of the spring football season is upon us – crazy, right? – and there are a ton of matchups to follow this weekend, including some in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).

As of this evening, three teams boast perfect records in the SAA – Berry College, Hendrix College, and Trinity University (Texas) – while Birmingham Southern College sits alone in the second place with a 2-1 record.

All four teams remain in contention for the SAA crown. But the same could be said for Centre College, which enters the final week of the conference’s regular season with a 1-1 record.

Let’s take a look at this week’s matchups with two of the three outcomes determining what two team will compete next Saturday, March 13 in the SAA Championship.


Hendrix at Trinity (Saturday, March 6): Both teams enter this must-see ad must-follow contest with identical 2-0 records. And the winner will most likely compete against Berry or Centre or perhaps see each other again next weekend in the SAA title game.

The Tigers’ offense has been impressive thus far, averaging 36 points per game, thanks to quarterbacks Tucker Horn and Wyatt Messex, who have combined for seven touchdown passes.

Trinity has not competed since February 13 while Hendrix appeared on the gridiron at the beginning and end of February. Their two wins have come against the same squads Trinity has beaten: Austin College and Millsaps College. Austin provided both squads with challenges, including Hendrix, which found a way to outlast a Kangaroos squad that produced a season-high 31 points last Saturday.

Kip Vanhoose was the player to watch on Hendrix last weekend – the Kansas City, Missouri native rushed for a season-high 94 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns.

This has the making for an exciting matchup that should mimic the previous meeting from 2019, which saw the Tigers edge the Warriors, 20-17.

Berry College at Centre College (Saturday, March 6): It would be hard to pick against the Vikings of Berry, which enter the final week of its shortened season with a great deal of momentum.

The Blue and White scored two wins last month, including a come-from-behind victory against Birmingham Southern. Two weeks after their three-point victory, the Vikings rolled past Rhodes College, 54-7.

Quarterback Gavin Gray has tossed six touchdowns this season – last week, he connected with three different receivers for scores, including Cameron Kawa, who hauled in the game-winning touchdown last month against BSC.

Trentin Dupper will lead a Colonels offense that has recorded 65 points in two games, including 35 last week against BSC.

A win over Berry would help Centre’s chances with securing a spot in the SAA title game next weekend.

Berry College has won the last four meetings, including their most recent clash in 2019, which saw Gavin Gray complete 10 of 24 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 45-22 victory.

Millsaps College at Austin College (Saturday, March 6): Despite back-to-back losses to Hendrix and Trinity, Austin seems primed to finish its shortened season with a win over Millsaps.

The Kangaroos enter their final contest averaging 27.5 points per game – let’s call it roughly four touchdowns – and will once again rely on quarterback Tyler James, who concluded last week’s contest against Hendrix with 320 yards of total offense.

Regan Wilkins and Jarrett Pleasant concluded the game with 10 total tackles, respectively, while John Aldridge converted five kicks, including four extra points.

Millsaps has not played since February 13 when they fell to Trinity by a score of 37-7. Quarterback Amryn Jeffrey finished the game with one touchdown while Mickale Massey and Liam Vincifora each recorded 13 total tackles.

Austin beat Millsaps in their last outing in 2019 by a score of 20-7. Evan Powell highlight the Kangaroos win by rushing for a game-high 117 yards on 13 carries.

Noontime’s D3 Football Team of the Week: Monday, March 1, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Monday, everyone!

While it seems hard to fathom, four weeks of NCAA D-III spring football is in the books – yes, four weeks! – which means it is time to unveil our weekly Noontime Sports Team of the Week for Monday, March 1, 2021.

Did you miss our previous teams? If so, revisit our week one and week three teams!

As always, thanks for stopping by to read today’s Team of the Week, and make sure to come back later this week for more spring football posts.


Noontime Sports D-III Spring Football Team of the Week (March 1, 2021)

Anthony Avila (Mary Hardin-Baylor): Avila enjoyed a successful day of kicking the football last Saturday against Southwestern – he converted all seven extra points, along with a 42-yard field goal for 10 points before tallying eight kickoffs for 414 yards with two resulting in touchbacks.

Dakwa Davis (Texas Lutheran): Against Sul Ross State, Davis led all defenders with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops and four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards. He also registered a half sack for a loss of five yards.

Cameron DeArman (Birmingham-Southern): DeArman was a player to watch on the Birmingham-Southern defense last weekend against Centre by posting eight total tackles, including four solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 22 yards. He also recorded one sack for a loss of 16 yards to go with four quarterback hurries.

Trentin Dupper (Centre College): Duper tallied 286 yards of total offense and four touchdowns last weekend in his team’s second spring game against Birmingham-Southern. Duper completed 14 of 25 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 38 yards and one score.

Gavin Gray (Berry College): Gray led Berry to its second-straight spring victory over Rhodes by completing 15 of 21 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns while adding 10 yards on three carries.

Cameron Gieseman (Bridgewater College): In his team’s spring football season-opener against Shenandoah, Gieseman recorded nine points on three extra points and two field goals (longest was a 32-yard boot) along with four punts for 151 yards with two kicks landing inside the Horets’ 20-yard line. Giesman also recorded six kickoffs for 360 yards with three touchbacks.

Billy Higgins (Ferrum College): Against Emory & Henry last Friday, Higgins produced a game-high 11 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of six yards and on sack for a loss of four yards.

Akeem Jackson (Mary Hardin-Baylor): Against Southwestern, Jackson produced 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops, four tackles for a loss of one yard, and one sack for a loss of four yards. Additionally, He recorded one forced fumble in his team’s 52-7 victory.

Tyler James (Austin): James amassed 320 yards of total offense, including 56 yards on eight carries. He completed 23 of 34 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s second spring football game against Hendrix.

Julius Johnson (Louisiana College): Johnson led the Louisiana College defense against East Texas Baptist with nine total tackles, including five solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles of of nine yards and one sack for a loss of eight yards. He also recorded one interception (10 yards) in a six-point victory (23-17).

Kyle Jones (Hardin-Simmons): Against McMurry, Jones completed 15 of 24 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a game-high 71 yards on nine carries.

Grayson Overstreet (Emory & Henry): In his team’s spring season debut, Overstreet rushed for a game-high 196 yards on 32 carries and two touchdowns.

Donovan Pinnix (Emory & Henry): Against Ferrum, Pinnix turned in an impressive performance on defense with seven total tackles, including five solo stops and two sacks for a loss of 19 yards, along with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Gavin Stone (Randolph-Macon): Stone enjoyed an impressive spring football debut last Friday by tallying seven points off four extra points (all made) and a 35-yard field goal to go with four punts for 154 yards, including three boots that landed inside the Guilford 20-yard line. Stone also recorded six kickoffs for 266 yards with one kick resulting in a touchback.

Miles Thompson (Hendrix College): Thompson racked up 316 yards of total offense, including 244 through the air on 22 of 26 pass attempts. He tossed two touchdowns against Austin while adding 72 yards on 10 carries.

Kip Vanhoose (Hendrix College): Vanhoose rushed for a game-high 94 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns while catching three passes for 37 yards and one score.

Duncan Varela (Pugent Sound): Against Pacific Lutheran, Varela registerd 168 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He rushed for a game-high 131 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown and caught three passes for 37 yards and two scores.