Tag: D3 Football

Wingfield, Ithaca top Springfield in NCAA D3 Second Round

Ithaca College quarterback A.J. Wingfield tallied 256 yards of total offense on Saturday against Springfield College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rich Barnes)

By NoontimeSports.com

An exciting few weeks of Springfield College football have come to an end.

The Pride’s 2022 campaign concluded this afternoon with a 31-20 setback to No. 9/10 Ithaca College in the second round of the NCAA Division III postseason.

Ithaca has now won 18 games against the Pride at Butterfield Stadium, along with 30 of 39 contests, dating back to the initial meeting between the two schools in 1973.

Quarterback A.J. Wingfield tallied 256 yards of total offense, including a team-high 88 yards on 15 carries. Wingfield and Billy Tedeschi combined for two passing touchdowns with both scores landing in the hands of Jalen Leonard-Osbourne, who led all receivers with four receptions for 101 yards.

Leonard-Osbourne’s second touchdown with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter provided Ithaca with a 28-20 lead that expanded by three points with a 19-yard field goal by Nicholas Bahamonde with 4:22 left in the fourth.

Springfield’s Joseph Cannizzaro and Armando Torres combined for 209 rushing yards and one touchdown while Arsen Shtefan added 45 yards on 10 carries.

DJ Brown, who led the Pride’s defense with 14 total tackles, intercepted Wingfield on the game’s fourth play for a 45-yard pick-six.

Christian Hutra recorded eight points off two field goals and two extra points. Hutra’s initial field goal – a 23-yard boot with 8:55 remaining in the opening session – provided the Pride with a 10-7 lead after one quarter.

Springfield secured a date with Ithaca following its first postseason win in 16 years last week when the Pride topped Endicott College, 17-14. One week earlier, the Maroon and White clinched their third New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown in five years.

Ithaca, which has not dropped a game since losing to Cortland last November, will attempt to continue its winning ways next week against No. 1/1 North Central.

The Cardinals earned a quarterfinal date with the Bombers by beating No. 15/19 Carnegie Mellon, 28-7.

Rankings from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and D3Football.com

D3 Football Roundup: Springfield Tops Endicott In The NCAA D3 Tournament

Arsen Shtefan and the Springfield College football team won its first postseason contests since 2006 as the Pride topped Endicott College.
Arsen Shtefan powered the Springfield College football team to an exciting 17-14 postseason win on Saturday over Endicott College. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

For the second-straight week, Arsen Shtefan eclipsed the century mark, rushing for a season-high 156 yards and one touchdown as Springfield College raced past Endicott College, 17-14, in the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Division III Tournament.

With the win, Springfield clinched its first playoff win since beating Curry College in 2006 to secure a second-round date with Ithaca College next Saturday, November 26.

Ithaca advanced to the second round with a 63-20 win over UMass Dartmouth.

Shtefan’s lone touchdown came midway through the opening session before Springfield tacked on two more scores in the second half to provide the Pride with their ninth win of the season.

Blane Hart rushed for a seven-yard touchdown in the third quarter before Christian Hutra capped his team’s offensive output with a 33-yard field goal with 7:25 remaining in the final stanza.

Endicott’s Clayton Marengi completed 14 of 25 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns with his final score landing in the arms of Jaeden Baxter. Shane Aylward, who caught Marengi’s first touchdown early in the third quarter, led all receivers with three catches for 68 yards.

Saturday marked the first time Endicott and Springfield have squared off on the gridiron – additionally, the three-point win over the Gulls provided coach Mike Cerasuolo with his initial postseason with his alma mater.

Endicott entered the game riding a 10-game winning streak – the Gulls clinched their second-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown two weeks earlier with a win over Salve Regina University before concluding their regular season with a come-from-behind win against Western New England.

Ithaca 63, UMass Dartmouth 20: Max Perry completed five of six passes for 95 yards and one touchdown to go with 83 rushing yards and two scores as the Bombers cruised past the Corsairs in the opening round of the postseason.

Dante Aviles-Santos, who has been the player to watch on the Corsairs this fall, tossed two touchdowns while JP Mason tallied a team-high 15 total tackles.

Saturday’s game marked the second time UMass Dartmouth has competed in the NCAA Tournament.

Plymouth State 21, Husson University 20: Manny Sanchez rushed for a game-high 131 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown as the Panthers rallied to beat the Eagles and win their first-ever New England Bowl.

Husson’s Nic Visser completed 24 of 32 passes for 227 yards to go with a team-high 56 rushing yards and one touchdown. Elijah Garnett rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.

Bridgewater State 34, Catholic University 24: Quarterback James Cahoon completed 24 of 33 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns while Isaiah Wright added 120 rushing yards on 23 carries as the Bears topped the Cardinals to clinch their second New England Bowl.

Catholic’s Nico Casares completed 25 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week 11

Joseph Cannizzaro and the Springfield College football team are one win away from capturing its third NEWMAC title in program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to the final week of the regular season – that was fast, eh?

Like we have done every Friday throughout the New England NCAA Division III football season, it is time to predict not one, but 10 contests.

Last week, we predicted nine games correctly – wow, that may have been our best week of the season! And hopefully this week, we can pick at least nine, maybe all 10 games correctly.

Here is our record after 10 weeks of predictions: 66-34.

As usual, have a great weekend, everyone, and make sure to circle back tomorrow and Sunday for some additional small college football content.

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week 11

Worcester State at Framingham State (Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.): The Rams can even their conference and overall record with a win over the Lancers. PREDICTION: Framingham State over Worcester State

Husson University at Salve Regina University (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): A win over the Seahawks would most likely provide the Eagles with a spot in the upcoming New England Bowl next weekend. PREDICTION: Husson over Salve Regina

UMass Dartmouth at Plymouth State (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs return from a late bye week well-rested and ready to sail past the Panthers in New Hampshire. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Plymouth State   

Springfield College at Catholic University (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): Springfield has won its last four meetings with the Cardinals, dating back to their first NEWMAC clash in 2017. PREDICTION: Springfield over Catholic

Coast Guard Academy at Merchant Marine Academy (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): The Secretaries Cup has been won by the Mariners the last three years – can that trend continue Saturday in Kings Point, New York? PREDICTION: Merchant Marine over Coast Guard Academy

Wesleyan University at Trinity College (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): The Bantams need one more win to clinch its first-ever 9-0 season. PREDICTION: Trinity over Wesleyan

Amherst College at Williams College (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): This is a toss-up – both teams can win this matchup. But in the end, coach E.J. Mills’ squad will end its season with a win over their rival. PREDICTION: Amherst over Williams

Massachusetts Maritime Academy at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.): The Bears can end their season on a high note by beating the Buccaneers in the 43rd Annual Cranberry Bowl. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State over MMA  

Endicott College at Western New England (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.): The Gulls are one win away from clinching a perfect regular season, as well as gaining some much-needed momentum for the upcoming national postseason. PREDICTION: Endicott over Western New England  

Castleton University at Anna Maria College (Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.): A win for the Spartans would most likely send the Green and White to the New England Bowl next weekend. PREDICTION: Castleton over Anna Maria

Catching Up with Coach Chuck Goldstein (Gallaudet University Football)

Brandon Washington and the Gallaudet University football team captured the 2022 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown last Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Gallaudet University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

It sounds like a simple message that any football coach would preach to his squad: please protect the football, but also, let’s not commit too many penalties.

Through the first five contests of the 2022 season, the Gallaudet University football team averaged at least one fumble per game to go with 96.6 penalty yards. The Buff and Blue racked up more than 100 penalty yards in a pair of early-season meetings, including an early October contest with Castleton University which saw Gallaudet edge the Spartans, 20-17.

The win over the Spartans was an important one, but perhaps a turning point for a squad that needed to reduce the number of fumbles and penalty yards they were tallying on a weekly basis.

Said coach Chuck Goldstein: “The thing that prevented us all year was ourselves.”

Goldstein’s squad made corrections, addressing the little things they needed to do to be more successful. The result: fewer fumbles – in fact, just one fumble during its final four contests – along with fewer penalty yards.

Gallaudet won three of its final four contests, including its regular season finale last weekend against Alfred State to clinch its second Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in nine years.

“Earlier (in the season), we would put the ball on the ground, and we had too many penalties,” said Goldstein. “But if you look at the last couple of games, we held onto the ball and we had very (few) penalties. And that is the key to success for us.”

Now, Gallaudet must translate its success to its next outing, a postseason contest next Saturday, November 19.

The Bison will be idle this weekend, allowing 70 student-athletes an opportunity to get some additional rest before embarking on what some hope could be a magical run toward a national title next month. But before Gallaudet executes its next play next Saturday, November 19, Goldstein says the focus, for now, is to celebrate the team’s hard work, both this fall and last spring, that resulted in a league championship.

Noontime Sports recently caught up with Coach Goldstein to discuss his team’s exciting season, while learning more about a few student-athletes that have stepped up for the Bison this fall.

On winning the ECFC crown, despite being picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll: Last year, we began our season (with five-straight wins), and then (we lost) three-straight contests. We had a young team (last fall), so I knew coming into this season that we were going to be competitive.

I told our guys when they left in the spring that we had a good football team, which is what I said when they returned (to campus) in August.

Our goal was to compete every day. The motto for our season was to do your job. We had some moments where we fell under the bend, but don’t break philosophy with some comeback wins, but the kids never quit. The players did everything we asked them to do, and good things happen when you do the little things right.

On Gallaudet’s exciting win over Dean College last month: I remember like it was yesterday. The x-factor was playing on grass – it had rained (in Massachusetts prior to our mid-October meeting with the Bulldogs), so we were slipping all over the place, which was one thing we were not prepared for, but we were able to hang on (at the end), thanks to our defense, which kept us in the game.

Special teams have been a strength for us this year with a great kicker and punter in Jonathon Waterman, but what happened was our offense came through at the end – they kept their cool throughout (the entire contest).

On falling to SUNY-Maritime one week after rallying to beat Dean: We really thought going into that game we were the better team and didn’t overlook them, but just didn’t play well. We finally put it together when our backs were against the wall (by producing) 22 points in the fourth quarter and unfortunately missed that two-point conversion at the end (of the game).

At the end of the day, it is what it is – had we won the game, we would have clinched the conference championship (one week later) against Anna Maria College. But (losing to SUNY-Maritime) was a wake-up call – it set the tone heading into the Anna Maria (game) knowing that we were still in (the conference title race), but no one is going to give it to us.

Brandon Washington has rushed for a team-high 950 yards and eight touchdowns in nine contests this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Gallaudet University Athletics)

On beating Alfred State to clinch the program’s second ECFC crown: We played a great game against Alfred. We were able to run the ball, the defense was great, and it was just a complete team win. I had a gut feeling that we were going to come out ready to go and play well, and they did.

On the impact Brandon Washington has made on offense: We started teaching Brandon (how to play quarterback) last spring because he’s a wide receiver. He’s a skill position guy, he’s an athlete, and we were talking (amongst the coaches) about letting him play safety, as well.

When Brandon was in the game (this fall), we were moving the ball more, so in the last two games, as well as the Maritime game in the second half, Brandon was our quarterback and we decided to play to his strengths. We let him run the ball a little bit and he is talented and special.

Our offensive line is a great group of guys and they just really pulled together and paved the way for (Brandon, as well as) Dre’Vaughn Mackall and Mikka Harvey, who have had some big games in the last couple of games, as well.

On the impact Jacob Hartman has made on the defense: We have had some good linebackers come through here, including first-team all-conference players for three or four years in a row, but Jacob Hartman is the best defensive player to (compete for this program). We have had some players in the past that were NFL prospects, but when you put the film on to watch him, you will know (where Jacob is on the field) right away.

An interesting fact: we taught Jacob how to play quarterback this spring – he was a high school quarterback in West Virginia, and he broke so many records at his school, so if we did get into a bind, he may be a guy that we would play quarterback for us.

What To Know About The Final Week of New England D3 Football

Aiden Lewin and the Springfield College football team are one win away from capturing their third NEWMAC title. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The final week of the New England NCAA Division III football regular season has arrived.

As expected, the final week will feature some important matchups that will determine conference winners, along with which teams will advance to either the national postseason or a regional bowl game.

Let’s check in on all five New England conferences to see where things stand after a busy few weeks of small college football.

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Endicott College clinched its second-straight CCC crown last Saturday with a 42-10 win over Salve Regina University to secure a spot in the upcoming national postseason.

The Gulls will travel to Western New England on Saturday with hopes of completing its regular season slate without a setback.

Endicott beat Western New England last season but lost to the Golden Bears in Springfield in 2019 (WNE won the conference that season, as well as competed in the postseason).

Husson University can possibly secure a spot in the upcoming New England Bowl, pending they beat Salve Regina. The Eagles have won four conference games for the third consecutive season, as well as scored their first-ever victory against Western New England last month.

A loss to Salve Regina could open the door for another CCC squad to appear in a bowl game.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): For the first time since 2013, Gallaudet University has won the ECFC.

The Bison clinched the conference crown this past weekend by topping Alfred State, 36-22. Brandon Washington, who is a slot receiver and quarterback for the Bison, rushed for a career-high 228 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns in the win.

Gallaudet is idle this weekend but will return to the field next weekend in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

Castleton University can secure a spot in the New England Bowl with a win over Anna Maria College on Saturday. But a loss to the AMCATs could open the door for Anna Maria, Alfred State, or another ECFC team to represent the league in an upcoming bowl game.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Saturday is a big day for two MASCAC teams: Plymouth State and UMass Dartmouth.

The Panthers set up a de-facto conference title game with the Corsairs this weekend by defeating Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 21-7, last Saturday.

A Plymouth State victory would provide the Green and White an opportunity to compete in the postseason for the first time since 2017.

A Corsairs victory over the Panthers would allow UMass Dartmouth an opportunity to contend for a national title.

No matter the outcome, it’s likely both teams will be competing next weekend with one squad representing the MASCAC in the New England Bowl.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Trinity College is one win away from capturing its first conference crown since 2018.

Additionally, the Bantams are looking to become the third-straight NESCAC team to finish its respective campaign with a 9-0 record.

Middlebury College and Williams College finished 9-0 in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

For Trinity to clinch its first perfect season since concluding its 2016 slate with an 8-0 record, they will need to beat Wesleyan University, which claimed its first Little Three title in three years this past weekend.

Trinity has beaten Wesleyan in four of its last five meetings.

A loss to the Cardinals could pave the way for the Bantams to share the conference crown with Middlebury, pending they beat Tufts University. However, a Trinity win over Wesleyan and a Middlebury victory against Tufts would result in the Bantams winning the crown outright, thanks to its six-point win over the Panthers last month.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): Catholic University will entertain Springfield College this weekend in a win-or-go-home contest.

Both teams enter the season finale with identical 5-0 conference records.

Catholic has won all five NEWMAC tilts by a combined score of 206-60.

Springfield beat its first five conference foes by a combined score of 162-92.

Like the MASCAC, the winner of this matchup will represent the NEWMAC in the national playoffs. The team that finishes with a 5-1 conference mark will most likely appear in next weekend’s New England Bowl.

Springfield has won all four meetings with Catholic, dating back to the initial season of NEWMAC football in 2017.