Tag: D3 Football

Player Perspective: Mark Cheffers (Catholic University Football)

Mark Cheffers, who played high school football in Massachusetts, has been a player to watch on Catholic University this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Catholic University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Mark Cheffers has been a player to watch this fall on the Catholic University football team.

The Winchendon, Massachusetts native has recorded career-bests in receptions (21), receiving yards (262), and yards per game (65.5) through four contests while recording a season-high eight catches for 93 yards in the Cardinals’ season-opening win against McDaniel College last month. He caught his first touchdown last Saturday against Christopher Newport University after tallying three catches for 44 yards in his team’s exciting win one week earlier over Endicott College.    

Cheffers currently leads the team with 21 receptions heading into this Saturday’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash with MIT and will certainly be a player to keep an eye on, both against the Engineers and later this fall.

We recently caught up with Cheffers, who played high school football at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, to discuss his senior season, as well as what interested him in going to school outside of New England.

From your perspective, how has your senior season with the Cardinals gone thus far?

I am proud of the way we have taken the field this year – I love the energy in the locker room.

There is a lot to be excited about, but we have even more to improve upon. As we start our conference schedule this Saturday, I think we will begin to show who we really are (and that is exciting).

How has your game evolved from your initial season in 2018 to this fall? What sort of changes have you made to become the receiver/student-athlete you are today?

I was somewhat undersized coming into my first season with the Cardinals program, but I have grown and gotten stronger over the past few years. I may have slowed down – maybe not entirely since that initial season? – but I have used the past few years to study the game more so I can recognize certain coverages to understanding my routes better to create space between myself and the defender.

How will your team’s non-league matchups/performances last month help you (and the team) heading into conference play this weekend against MIT?

I think we have really tested ourselves this season.

We began with a scrimmage against Johns Hopkins University to playing some challenging foes, including Randolph-Macon College, which was previously ranked last week in the D3Football.com Top 25 poll. We also played Endicott College and Christopher Newport University, so all three matchups have certainly been a challenge, but in a great way.

Heading into our first NEWMAC game on Saturday, we have learned where we need to improve to be competitive, both against MIT and other teams we will face later this fall.

Being a Massachusetts native, what interested you in playing football outside the state/region?

I was not recruited to play football anywhere else, so I was interested in going to school outside of the New England region. Coach Mike Gutelius made it clear that he wanted me on this team during the recruiting process, so I saw it as an opportunity to play football for the Cardinals, as well as gain new experiences in Washington D.C.

Sticking with the Massachusetts theme, how often are you checking-in on St. John’s Shrewsbury football program?

All the time. I had a great time playing for the Pioneers’ program and winning a state championship in 2017 against North Attleborough. I saw they just moved to a very tough conference, so I wish them luck this evening against Malden Catholic.

Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you hope to do with it beyond graduation next spring?

There were quite a few majors that interested me, but in the end, I elected to pursue a degree that is allowing me to concentrate on sales and entrepreneurship – the professors have been incredible and super-helpful to me, so I am glad I elected to pursue this concentration.

Finally – and I know graduation is months away! – but do you see yourself staying involved with football after your final game with the Cardinals this fall?

I have a hard time admitting that this is my last season, but I am trying to enjoy every moment. I want to continue to be involved in this game in some capacity as it has helped shape me into who I am today. I would love to coach in the future.

Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch (Week Five)

Devaun Ford and the Framingham State Rams will attempt to earn their third-straight conference win on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin Photograph)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to get ready for another BUSY weekend of New England college football, including a slew of Division III games to watch.

Last weekend, we picked eight of ten games correctly, which is not bad, right?

We head into this weekend’s slate with 30-10 record when it comes to picks, so let’s see if we can continue our early season momentum (fingers crossed!).


FEATURED GAME: Salve Regina University (4-0, 0-0 CCC) at Western New England (2-2, 0-0 CCC) (Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.): After rallying back from a 35-16 deficit at the break last week against Rowan University, Salve Regina enters its first conference game with a great deal of momentum. Sure, the Seahawks have not beaten the Golden Bears on the road since 2012, but we think their early season momentum will carry them to an exciting win in Springfield. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 30, Western New England 28

FEATURED GAME: Middlebury College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) at Trinity College (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC) (Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.): The Bantams have looked pretty good through two weeks and should be able to make a few more plays down the stretch – or perhaps at the beginning of the game? – that will allow them to secure a third-straight conference victory. PREDICTION: Trinity 27, Middlebury 20

FEATURED GAME: UMass Dartmouth (3-1, 1-1 MASCAC) at Western Connecticut (2-2, 1-1 MASCAC) (Saturday, October 2 at 5 p.m.): This is a VERY important game for both squads as a loss could derail hopes of a conference crown. Western Connecticut almost beat Bridgewater State on the road last week while UMass Dartmouth bounced back with a 52-7 win over Worcester State. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 35, Western Conn. 31  


Curry College (2-1, 0-0 CCC) at Endicott College (3-1, 0-0 CCC) (Saturday, October 2 at 12 p.m.): Both teams enter their initial conference clash with some momentum from some impressive non-league wins, but something tells us that these Gulls of Endicott will find a way in the end to score their fourth victory of the 2021 season. PREDICTION: Endicott 27, Curry 24

Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC) at Keystone College (0-4, 0-0 ECFC) (Saturday, October 2 at 12 p.m.): The AMCATs enter their initial conference tilt with a great deal of momentum that should carry them past the Giants in their first-ever meeting. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 30, Keystone 14

Dean College (1-3, 0-0 ECFC) at Gallaudet University (1-0, 0-0 ECFC) (Saturday, October 2 at 12 p.m.): Dean is seeking its first win since beating Fitchburg State in the opening weekend of the 2021 season — can the Bulldogs score an important (and early) conference win against a Bison squad that scored a BIG win one week ago? We think so (or believe they can!). PREDICTION: Dean 32, Gallaudet 22

Hamilton College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) at Colby College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) (Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.): A 10-7 victory last week over Amherst College has us thinking the Colby defense will be the unit to watch in this one as they look to score their first win at home of the 2021 season. PREDICTION: Colby 17, Hamilton 14

Framingham State (2-2, 2-0 MASCAC) at Plymouth State (0-3, 0-1 MASCAC) (Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.): The Rams enter their fifth contest of the 2021 season with a great deal of momentum, which will certainly be challenged against a Panthers squad that almost came back to beat Bridgewater State. Don’t expect too many touchdowns in this one. PREDICTION: Framingham State 13, Plymouth State 10

MIT (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC) at Catholic University (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) (Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.): MIT’s ground game, along with its defense shined last week against Dean College – we expect that to continue again this week against the Cardinals. PREDICTION: MIT 24, Catholic 17

WPI (1-3, 0-0 NEWMAC) at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (3-0, 0-0 NEWMAC) (Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.): Coach Mike Toop’s Mariners have been quite impressive through three contests, averaging 53.67 points. Look for the early-season success to continue Saturday against the Engineers of Worcester. PREDICTION: USMMA 40, WPI 16

 

Cahoon, Bridgewater State Pick Up An Important MASCAC Win

James Cahoon and the Bridgewater State football team scored a big win over Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bridgewater State Athletics/Andrew Turco)

By Matt Noonan

James Cahoon‘s lone touchdown pass on Friday evening against Western Connecticut proved to be the difference in an important conference matchup for Bridgewater State.

The Bears, who rallied to beat the Western Connecticut by a score of 21-17, improve to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) — the victory should provide the Red and White with some momentum heading into next week’s meeting with Fitchburg State after starting its 2021 campaign with back-to-back losses to Ithaca College and the University of New England.

Cahoon finished Friday’s contest 19 of 32 for 214 yard and one touchdown while halfback Adam Couch rushed for a game-high 165 yards and two scores.

Steven Silvia and Kodi Saotome combined for 24 total tackles on defense while the entire unit finished the game with four tackles for a loss of four yards, two forced fumbles, two pass break-ups, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

Western Connecticut entered its second conference tilt averaging 31.3 points per game — last week, the Colonials produced a season-high 42 points against Westfield State.

Heading into the second month of play, the Bears will certainly be a team to watch — sure, they might be the favorites in a few upcoming matchups against the Falcons, Worcester State, and Westfield State, but you never know if one or all three of these teams could score an upset victory.

As of now — midday, to be exact — the Bears are the only MASCAC squad with two conferece wins, but they could end the day in a three-way tie for the top spot in the conference, pending outcomes from Worcester State-UMass Dartmouth and Framingham State-Westfield State.

Both Framingham State and Worcester State boast identical 1-0 conference records.

There is still a lot of football left to be played, but last night’s outcome should certainly provide Bridgewater State with a great deal of momentum heading into the second month of play, but don’t overlook Western Connecticut, which faces an important test next week at home against UMass Dartmouth.

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Wach In Week Four

Adam Couch rushed for a season-high 150 yards and one touchdown last week in Bridgewater State’s first win of the 2021 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bridgewater State Athletics/Andrew Turco)

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is set to begin tomorrow with Bridgewater State hosting Western Connecticut in a very important Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) meeting. 

Both teams enter the contest with identical 1-0 marks in conference play, but a win will certainly provide either the Bears or Colonials with a leg-up heading into the second month of conference play. 

But before the Bears and Colonials kick off the fourth week of the 2021 New England D-III football season, allow us to share our five teams to watch this weekend.

In case you missed it, make sure to check out this week’s Noontime Sports New England D-III Top 20 Poll, which featured both Bridgewater State and Western Connecticut.

Bridgewater State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC): The Bears have been competitive this fall, despite losing two of three contests, but Friday’s tilt with the Colonials of Western Connecticut is somewhat of a “must-win.”

Bridgewater scored its first victory of the 2021 season last Saturday by defeating Plymouth State by a score of 27-24. 

Halfback Adam Couch was a big part of his team’s win by rushing for a game-high 150 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown — he also caught two passes for five yards. 

Brendan Albert led the Bridgewater State defense with 11 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 10 yards, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery returned for 12 yards. 

Plymouth State won the time of possession — they also outscored the hosts 14-0 in the final session.  

Bridgewater will need to play one of its best games of the season on Friday — one of the biggest tasks for the Red and White’s defense is slowing down a Western Connecticut offense that is second in the MASCAC in yards per game (388.7). 

If you like offense, then you will be in for a treat as both squads rank in the top three in yards per game behind UMass Dartmouth (409.0) while Western Connecticut leads all MASCAC teams with 94 points through three games. Bridgewater has tallied 67 points through three contests.

Framingham State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC): Tom Kelley celebrated his birthday last Saturday with a Homecoming Day victory over UMass Dartmouth, which has provided the Rams with some much-needed momentum after dropping back-to-back non-conference games to Brockport and St. John Fisher.

Quarterback Nicolas Goffredo was tabbed the MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday after tallying 248 yards of total offense, including 166 through the air to go with two touchdown passes. 

Matthew Farley was named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week — the first-year kicker converted all six extra points to go with a 23-yard field goal. 

This week, the Rams welcome Westfield State to Framingham — it is a game we believe they will win to even their record at 2-2 heading into an important October stretch.

MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC): The Engineers were idle last week after seeing their comeback against Salve Regina fall short in week two. 

This week, coach Brian Bubna’s squad heads to Dean College in what should be an interesting matchup for both the Engineers and Bulldogs. 

Both MIT and Dean are seeking their second win of the 2021 season after scoring opening day victories earlier this month  

Through two contests, MIT has limited its opponents to just two touchdowns, but can this Engineers defense slow down a Dean offense that is averaging 28.3 points per game? Additionally, Dean’s passing attack could provide challenges for the MIT secondary — that is one matchup to watch — but keep an eye on the Engineers’ rushing attack, which is led by Jay Theriault (115 yards and one touchdown) and Brady Klein (82 yards and two touchdowns).

Springfield College (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC): Similar to Bridgewater State, the Pride of Springfield has also been quite competitive this fall, despite dropping two of three games to Union College and Western New England.

Against Union, the Pride tallied 435 yards of offense after registering a season-best 495 one week earlier against Rowan University while limiting the Dutchmen to a season-low in total points (30). 

Springfield College quarterback David Wells registered season-highs in completions (four), passing yards (145), and one passing touchdown to go with 56 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. Kicker Christian Hutra tallied five points on two extra points and a 30-yard field goal, which brought the visitors within a touchdown with 2:54 remaining.  

The Pride head to Husson University this Saturday for a chance to even their record before their initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash next month against Coast Guard Academy

Springfield last competed against Husson in 2017 when the two squads met in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Williams College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC): The Ephs were impressive in their initial game of the 2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season by scoring a big win over the league’s 2019 champions Middlebury College last Saturday. 

Quarterback Bobby Maimaron accounted for three touchdowns, including two on the ground while Joel Nicholas added 41 yards on 13 carries and three scores. 

On defense, Jarrett Wesner, Edward Manzella, and TJ Rothman combined for 22 total tackles to go with two interceptions. The defense did not make things easy on Middlebury quarterback Will Jernigan, who threw for a game-high 215 passing yards and two touchdowns, along with three interceptions. 

The opening day win momentum should continue this week as Williams travels to Tufts University for an enticing matchup between two teams that are expected to contend for the conference crown. 

Tufts dropped its season-opener to Trinity College, but a few Jumbos, including quarterback Matt Crowley, wide receiver Jackson Butler, and linebacker Spencer Alligood played well — all three, along with others will be players to watch on Saturday against Williams. 

The last time the Ephs topped the Jumbos in Somerville was October 20, 2012.

The Early Outlook: Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

Anna Maria Football
Dan Mulrooney and the Anna Maria College football team will be one of a few teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of college football is quickly approaching — are you ready for some football?

As we inch closer to the upcoming season, we’ll be producing some early-season outlooks for a slew of Northeast conferences. And today, we’ll begin our early-season outlook with some thoughts (and ideas) on what fans of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) should expect this fall.

ECFC Teams:

  • Alfred State
  • Anna Maria
  • Castleton
  • Dean
  • Gallaudet
  • Keystone
  • SUNY-Maritime

2019 Conference Refresh: With a 4-1 conference mark, the Dean Bulldogs secured their initial league crown, despite ending the regular season with a 38-20 setback to Castleton on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Weeks later, the Bulldogs competed in their final contest of season — they were one of four New England teams selected to compete in the New England Bowl against Endicott College.

SUNY-Maritime represented the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament but saw their championship hopes dashed in the opening round of the national postseason to Salisbury University.

Anna Maria enjoyed one of its best seasons under coach Dan Mulrooney by posting two wins after averaging one win during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, while Alfred State produced a three-win season, which is the most recorded by any team in the Pioneers’ program history.

Despite producing just two wins, Gallaudet recorded back-to-back wins in mid-October against Castleton and Alfred State — they scored a season-high 62 points against Alfred State.

Finally, Castleton ended its 2019 campaign on a high note by scoring back-to-back wins against Anna Maria and Dean. The Spartans recorded just two wins during the 2019 season but certainly made things difficult for both conference and non-conference foes.

ECFC Soundbite (Dan Mulrooney of Anna Maria College on the Noontime Sports Podcast):

A 2021 Storyline to Follow: Keystone College reintroduced its football program in January 2018 — the Giants played a limited schedule during the 2019-20 school year but will play their first game as a member of the ECFC on Saturday, September 4 when they visit Wilkes University for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Giants produced three wins during their first season in 2019 — they scored their initial win on September 23, 2019, against Morrisville State College, which was the program’s first victory since last competing in 1948.

Keystone will enter the upcoming season with 52 first-year players on their roster — sure, there are some unknowns about the Blue and Orange, but they will certainly be a team we’ll be watching this fall, especially when they begin conference play at home on Saturday, October 2 against Anna Maria.

Our Early-Season Favorite(s): It’s a toss-up — we could see Anna Maria or Castleton secure the conference crown, but also believe Dean and SUNY-Maritime will be able to contend for the league title. As Mulrooney told us during a recent podcast sit down, the AMCATs return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball that should help them return to the title game for the first time since November 9, 2013.