D3 Football Spring Games Will Begin In February

By Matt Noonan

Get ready for some NCAA D-III football games this spring.

Bluffton University’s football team will compete a few times this spring. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bluffton University Athletics)

As confirmed yesterday by our friends James Baker and Frank Rossi of In The (D3FB) Huddle, there will be some teams competing this spring – in fact, two games are currently slated to occur next month on Saturday, February 27, according to D3Football.com‘s scoreboard.

Bluffton University, which competed last October against Adrian College, is scheduled to compete in its first spring contest against Rose-Hulman while Mount Saint Joseph University will visit Manchester University. Both contests are scheduled to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. eastern.

Similar to Bluffton, Manchester also competed last fall – the Spartans dropped both contests to Trine University and Adrian College.

More games are expected to occur once the calendar flips from February to March, including the “Bronze Ball Game” between Manchester and Anderson University, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m. eastern. The Spartans captured the previous meeting in 2019 by a score of 70-54, thanks to eight rushing touchdowns by Donovan Henderson, Jr.

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.

Four D-III Football Games Have Been Played This Fall

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth NCAA D-III football game of the 2020 season is in the books as Bluffton University captured its only contest of the fall semester yesterday by defeating Adrian College, 28-21.

Bluffton University won its only game of the fall semester on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bluffton University Athletics)

Bluffton, which won’t return to Salzman Stadium until next February, was led by Darian Greeley, who rushed for a game-high 285 yards on 41 carries and three touchdowns while Brady Hauenstein paced the Beavers defense with seven total tackles. He also registered one forced fumble.

Yesterday’s contest marked the end to a few games that have been played this month – one more D-III game remains on the calendar for next month with Coast Guard Academy visiting Merchant Marine for the Secretaries’ Cup.

Coast Guard Academy is the only New England school competing this fall – as of now, nothing has been confirmed or reported about the potential for other teams in the region, including here in Massachusetts, to play a few games next spring.

As of this morning, Bluffton and Trine University remain the only D-III squads without a single setback – the Thunder have scored wins this month over Adrian and Manchester University.

For more NCAA D-III football coverage and news, make sure to check out the latest In The D3FB Huddle show with Frank Rossi and James Baker!