Tag: Dan Mulrooney

Observations & Thoughts From Five Weeks of New England D2 & D3 Football

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak set the program record for touchdown receptions last weekend against Salve Regina. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan

We’re slowly reaching the halfway mark of the 2021 college football season – crazy, right?

But the good news is there is still plenty of football left to be played.

While yesterday – Sunday, October 3, 2021 – technically marked the beginning of the sixth week of the season, here are some observations from what I have witnessed over the past few weeks.

Let’s begin in the Northeast 10 Conference (NE10) where Bentley University has won five straight contests to stretch its current winning streak to 10 games, dating back to October 2019.  

The Falcons, who currently occupy the top spot in the conference, have won three consecutive league matchups this fall, including a 34-21 contest this past weekend against Saint Anselm. Quarterback Stephen Sturm account for four touchdowns – three passing, one rushing – and 379 yards of total offense against the Hawks while Cole McCubrey registered a team-high 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops (Rene Nunez also recorded nine solo tackles).

Bentley enters the sixth week of the season as the 18th best team in Division II, according to the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll. The Falcons are one of nine teams on this week’s list that have won five consecutive contests this fall.

West Florida and Northwest Missouri State, which secured the first and second positions in this week’s AFCA D-II Poll, boast identical 4-0 records.

As noted above, there is still a lot of football left to be played, but Bentley has certainly found ways to score hard-fought wins, both this past weekend and at the end of September against American International College.

This week, the Falcons host a Pace University squad that provided challenges for New Haven, which broke open a 14-14 tie with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Last week’s Pace-New Haven contest marked the first time the Chargers competed on the road this school year.

Coach Chris Pincince seemed proud of his team’s effort against the Setters, saying that “a win is a win, we look forward. We took another step toward another goal (of winning the Northeast 10 title) that we have.”

New Haven hosts Saint Anselm this week – the Chargers defense will be tasked with slowing down an impressive Hawks passing attack that is led by quarterback Drew Willoughby, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 1,410 yards in four contests.

As of now, it appears as if both Bentley and New Haven are the frontrunners for the conference crown as neither squad has dropped a league contest thus far, but don’t overlook Southern Connecticut (3-2, 2-1), Assumption College (2-3, 2-1), and Stonehill College (3-1, 1-1). All three, along with possible American International College could conclude the season in the top spot.

Sure, we picked against Western New England this past weekend in the previous 10 Games to Watch – I thought Salve Regina University would continue its early-season momentum against the Golden Bears – but the Blue and Gold proved me wrong as they defeated the Seahawks, 41-3, in their initial Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) contest.

Steven Fedorchak highlighted his team’s big win over the Seahawks by setting a new program record for touchdown receptions with 23. He concluded the contest with a game-high 87 yards on six catches.

With the win, the Golden Bears returned to the top spot in our weekly poll and seem destined to occupy that position for the remainder of the season baring a future setback to say Endicott College this week or another conference foe later this fall.

We’ll share our weekly picks later this week, but from what I have seen from Western New England thus far, as well as this past weekend, they certainly are the favorite to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Alex Cohen recorded six touchdowns last weekend in his team’s first-ever win against Keystone College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College)

Here are a few more teams to keep an eye on over the next few weeks:

Anna Maria College: The AMCATs have been a great story this fall.

Anna Maria has won three of four meetings, including its first-ever with Keystone College, which saw quarterback Alex Cohen account for six touchdowns – five passing and one rushing.

Last Saturday’s win provided coach Dan Mulrooney with his seventh victory as the AMCATs head coach – the seven wins are the most recorded by a head coach in program history, dating back to their initial season in 2009.

Anna Maria has never won the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) but could be in line for the title, pending how the next few weeks play out.

Framingham State: After losing back-to-back non-conference games earlier this season, the Rams have bounced back, winning three straight, including their first conference clash of the season with UMass Dartmouth.

Coach Tom Kelley’s squad enters the sixth week of the season tied with Bridgewater State for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) – the two teams will compete next month in Framingham.

The Rams pitched their first shutout of the season last weekend against Plymouth State (33-0) and will attempt to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday when they visit Fitchburg State for a 3 p.m. kick-off.

Norwich University: The Cadets scored a big win last weekend against Coast Guard Academy to secure a three-way tie atop the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings.

After starting their 2021 campaign with back-to-back losses, Norwich has rebounded quite well – hey, they did not make things easy on Endicott, which rallied to beat the Cadets on their home field.

Keep an eye on the Cadets moving forward – maybe their win against Coast Guard Academy is just the start of an exciting second-half run.

Trinity College: I watched the Bantams game last weekend against Middlebury College and came away impressed.

Trinity blanked the defending champions by a score of 28-0, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Spencer Fetter, who has thrown eight touchdowns this fall while completing 62 of 91 passes for 952 yards.

Fetter was impressive, but the same could be said for others, including halfback William Kirby and linebacker Brian Casagrande, who both scored one touchdown last weekend.

Trinity is one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have yet to drop a game this season – they will attempt to continue their winning ways on Saturday when they visit Hamilton College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.

University of New England: The Nor’easters are one win away from matching their program record for wins in a single season after capturing their last three matchups, including a pair of non-league wins over Alfred State and Bridgewater State.

Last Saturday, UNE scored its first win in program history against Nichols College, thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Jack Mahoney, Jaymeson Maheux, and Connor Sirois.   

UNE travels to Salve Regina this weekend for its second conference tilt of the 2021 season.

Cohen Leads Anna Maria Past Keystone For Third-Straight Win

Alex Cohen recorded six touchdowns on Saturday in his team’s first-ever win against Keystone College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Quarterback Alex Cohen completed 21 of 24 passes for 285 yards and five touchdowns while adding 46 yards on nine carries and one score as Anna Maria College opened Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) play with a 55-35 victory over Keystone College on Saturday afternoon in La Plume, Pennsylvania.

With the win, the AMCATs improve to 3-1 overall while Keystone falls to 0-5.

Anna Maria has won three straight since its first contest this fall when they lost to Nichols College to establish a new single-season victory mark dating back to the team’s initial campaign in 2009.

Saturday’s win provides Dan Mulrooney with his seventh victory as the team’s head coach — he is now the program’s all-time winningest coach, erasing the six-win mark established by Vince Sinagra, who oversaw the AMCATs from 2012 to 2016.

Marc Klaiman, who was the team’s first coach in program history, won just two games during his three seasons (2009-2011) with the AMCATs.

Cohen tallied three touchdowns in the first half, including his only rushing score with 8:03 remaining in the opening session, before tossing three more touchdowns during the second half.

David Robinson led the Anna Maria receiving core with four catches for 78 yards and three touchdowns while Kristian Sapp rushed for a game-high 150 yards on 18 carries and one score.

Sam Jakana and Alvin Martin led the Anna Maria defense by combining for 19 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 11 yards and one sack for a loss of 10 yards.

Saturday’s six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) are the most recorded in a single game by Alex Cohen, who played high school football for Plymouth South.

Anna Maria will be idle next weekend before returning to the field on Saturday, October 16 against Alfred State at 12 p.m.

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Sept. 27, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Four weeks of New England NCAA Division III football are in the books — that was fast!

But before we truly turn the page to the fifth week, which technically began yesterday, we need to share our Week Five Poll, which featured a lot of movement.

As usual, make sure to circle back both later today and throughout the week for more New England football coverage (and more topics, too), but in the meantime … let’s share this week’s poll!

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll | Week Five (Monday, September 27, 2021)

  1. Salve Regina University (4-0, 0-0 CCC) | LW: No. 2): The Seahawks enter conference play with a great deal of momentum after erasing a 19-point deficit at the break last Saturday to defeat Rowan University in their final non-league tilt.

  2. Williams College (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): After rolling past the defending champions last week in their home-opener, the Ephs found a way to outlast Tufts in overtime for their second-straight win.

  3. Western New England (2-2, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Golden Bears struggled to slow down a Salisbury University squad that is averaging five touchdowns per game. Western New England hosts Salve Regina on Saturday in a very important conference clash.

  4. Trinity College (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Bantams have outscored their first two opponents by a score of 80-42, but face an important foe — and yes, test, too — on Saturday: Middlebury College.  

  5. Middlebury College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): Speaking of the Panthers, they check-in fifth overall again after scoring a much-needed bounce-back victory on Saturday, thanks to quarterback Will Jernigan, who finished the game with three touchdowns (one through the air, two on the ground).

  6. Wesleyan University (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): Through two games, the Cardinals have limited their opponents to 19 points. Wesleyan’s defense recorded two interceptions and two sacks against Hamilton College while Logan Tomlinson caught a team-high two touchdowns.

  7. Endicott College (3-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 5): The Gulls bounced back this past weekend following a surprising setback to Catholic University with a 30-21 victory over Norwich University, thanks to a pair of touchdowns from quarterback Mike Ingraffia. Endicott plays at home on Saturday against a 2-1 Curry College squad.  

  8. MIT (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 8): The Engineers run game and defense shined against Dean College last Saturday.

  9. Husson University (3-1, 0-0 CCC| LW: No. 14): These Eagles are finding ways to win games, so do not overlook them one week from Saturday when they return from their bye week to play Curry in their initial conference tilt of the 2021 season.

  10. Framingham State (2-2, 2-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 17): The Rams are moving up following another big conference win last Saturday against Westfield State. This week, they visit Plymouth State.

  11. Bridgewater State (2-2, 2-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 16): The Bears move up six spots following a come-from-behind win over Western Connecticut. Bridgewater State heads to Fitchburg State on Saturday.  

  12. UMass Dartmouth (3-1, 1-1 MASCAC | LW: No. 11): The Corsairs bounced back from a disappointing setback to Framingham State with a commanding win over Worcester State this past weekend. UMass Dartmouth concluded the game with 546 yards of total offense.

  13. Western Connecticut (2-2, 1-1 MASCAC | LW: No. 9): The Colonials suffered a disappointing setback to Bridgewater State last Friday but will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host UMass Dartmouth in what is a very important game for both teams.

  14. Coast Guard Academy (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): The Bears dropped three spots following a stunning defeat last Saturday to Anna Maria College. Can they bounce back this week against Norwich?

  15. University of New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 15): The Nor’easters were idle this past weekend but will look to continue their momentum from earlier this month on Saturday against Nichols College.

  16. Colby College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC | LW: No. NR): The Mules return to the poll following a hard-fought win over Amherst College last Saturday, which snapped a 22-game losing streak to the Mammoths.

  17. Curry College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: NR): The Colonels join the poll for the first time this season – they were idle this past weekend, but their defense has caused some serious problems for their first three opponents. They will certainly be a unit to watch on Saturday against Endicott.

  18. Springfield College (1-3, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 12): The Pride may only have one win, but their effort from non-league tilts with Husson and Union College should translate into some conference wins. Springfield is one of two NEMWAC squads to have registered 100 points or more through four weeks.

  19. Tufts University (0-2, 0-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 18): The Jumbos have provided some real challenges for its initial foes of the 2021 season – look for that first win to come on Saturday against Amherst College.

  20. Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC | LW: NR): The AMCATs could easily be 3-0, but despite falling to Nichols College in week two, Anna Maria has scored some solid non-conference wins, which should provide Dan Mulrooney’s squad with some momentum heading into this week’s matchup with Keystone College.

On the rise: Amherst College, Nichols College, and WPI

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams To Watch Heading Into Week Three

Trinity College’s Seamus Lambert has the Bantams in position for another NESCAC crown. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Another week of New England NCAA Division III football is quickly approaching, which means it is time to highlight five teams to watch this week (and yes, this weekend, too).

In case you missed it, make sure to check out this week’s Noontime Sports Top 20 New England D-III Poll, which found Western New England in the top spot followed by Endicott College (second) and UMass Dartmouth (third).

Middlebury College: The Panthers’ title defense officially begins this Saturday, September 18 when they visit Williams College in what might be the game of the weekend. 

A slew of players from the 2019 squad is back, including quarterback Will Jernigan, halfback LeeCharles McNeil, wide receiver Greg Livingston, and linebacker Jack Pistorius.

Of course, there are others, as well, along with 26 first-years that should help coach Bob Ritter’s squad contend for the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown. 

Two years ago, the Panthers scored an opening day win over the Ephs — the game was played in Vermont — but a win on Saturday would certainly be the ideal start for Middlebury’s title defense.  

Trinity College: Two years after producing just five wins, many, including myself, believe these Bantams will bounce back and be in the mix for the NESCAC crown this fall. 

Yet, for Trinity to begin its quest for its initial title since 2018, they must find a way to top — or outlast — Tufts University, which also enters the 2021 season with hopes of contending for a league title, too.

The Jumbos topped the Bantams in 2019 while Trinity beat Tufts, 38-24, on their home turf in 2018. 

Keep your eyes on quarterback Seamus Lambert, who was the 2018 Co-NESCAC Rookie of the Year, and linebacker Brian Casagrande, who led the Bantams in tackles during the 2019 season. 

Coast Guard Academy: After starting its season with a 16-0 victory over the University of New England, the Bears took a step back last Saturday, falling to Curry College by a score of 21-18.

Saturday’s clash against Nichols College will mark the Bears’ first home game in 672 days — crazy, right? — so scoring a win in New London would certainly help the team regain its week one momentum. 

The Bears defense has been a unit to watch thus far, limiting opponents to just 10.5 points per game, along with 297 yards of total offense.

Coast Guard’s defense will be tasked with slowing down an offense that is led by quarterback Logan Sawyer, who tossed three touchdowns last Saturday in the Bison’s come-from-behind win over Anna Maria College

A player to watch on Saturday is linebacker Connor Healy, who leads the Coast Guard defense with 20 total tackles, including 16 solo stops. He has also recorded one sack (for a loss of two yards), and one pass breakup this season. 

Anna Maria College: Credit is due to Dan Mulrooney’s AMCATs, who almost knocked Nichols College last Saturday in their 2021 season-opener. 

For most of last Saturday’s non-conference clash, Anna Maria was in control. However, they struggled to stop a Bison’s offense during the second half, which rallied to beat the AMCATs for a hard-fought win.  

While the setback might still sting (or be on the team’s mind?), Anna Maria proved they are a team to watch this fall, including this weekend in another non-conference clash with Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

From a quick look at last Saturday’s box score, Anna Maria finished the game with 353 total yards of offense, which was 23 yards more than Nichols. Additionally, quarterback Alex Cohen threw for a game-high 270 yards while Swavaughn Small paced the defense with nine total tackles, including eight solo stops and two tackles for a loss of seven yards. 

Husson University: The Eagles will host Dean College on Friday evening — both teams enter the non-conference clash with identical 1-1 records.

Husson enters the third week of the season as an interesting team to watch — sure, they could be 2-0, but the Eagles’ one-point advantage disappeared down the stretch against UMass Dartmouth in their season-opener. 

Last week, they needed a late touchdown drive to beat Plymouth State in a hard-fought — and yes, somewhat of a throwback — 10-7 win. 

A win over the Bulldogs is certainly possible, but the Eagles defense will need to slow down a passing attack led by quarterback David Curry, who has thrown 607 yards and eight touchdowns.

Husson’s Tucker Buzzell and Kaleb Caron will be players to watch on defense. 

Noontime Football: 10 Games to Watch (Week Two)

Keegan Stanton-Meas led the University of New England defense with 12 total tackles last week and will be a player to watch on Saturday when the Nor’easters visit Bridgewater State. (PHOTO COURTESY: David Bates Photo/UNE Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to the second week of the New England (and northeast) college football season — that first week went by fast, but with games quickly approaching, both tonight and tomorrow, it can only mean one thing: it is time to dish out some picks!

Last week, we were a perfect 10-for-10 — wow! — so let’s see if we can do that again for the second straight week.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and make sure to stop by later (and throughout the weekend) for more New England football content from both the colleges and high schools.


FEATURED GAME: Dean College (1-0) at UMass Dartmouth (1-0) (Saturday, Sept. 11 at 12 p.m.): This is a big test for the Bulldogs — yes, they checked in for the second straight week in the 18th position on our Top 20 poll, but they could certainly move up with a big road win. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 21, Dean College 14 

FEATURED GAME: University of New England (0-1) at Bridgewater State (0-1) (Saturday, September 11 at 1 p.m.): Both teams are looking to bounce back from week one setbacks. The Nor’easters defense limited Coast Guard Academy to just 16 points last week and could provide some challenges for Joe Verria’s offense. But in the end, the Bears should prevail on their home turf. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 28, UNE 16 

FEATURED GAME: MIT (1-0) at Salve Regina (1-0) (Saturday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.): Both teams lit up their respective scoreboard last week, but for the Engineers to be successful, they must find a way to slow down Salve Regina halfback Joey Mauriello, who rushed for a game-high 261 yards on 34 carries and two touchdowns last Friday against Norwich University. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 35, MIT 30 


WPI (1-0) at Endicott College (1-0) (Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.): Both the Gulls and Engineers utilized second-half adjustments to score opening day wins last weekend. This evening, the Gulls defense, which provided some challenges last week to St. Lawrence University during the final two frames of last Saturday’s outing, will once again be the reason why Endicott prevails and scores its first win in program history against WPI. PREDICTION: Endicott 24, WPI 21

Western New England (1-0) at Westfield State (0-1) (Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.): Erich Keutmann and Bailey Devine-Scott highlighted a defensive effort against Springfield College, which will once again be on display this evening against the Owls. PREDICTION: WNE 35, Westfield State 13

Maritime (N.Y.) (0-0) at Mass. Maritime Academy (0-0) (Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.): Coach Jeremy Cameron joined us this week to discuss the Buccaneers season-opener against a Privateers squad that lost to the Buccaneers in 2019 by a score of 31-14. The Buccaneers have some new faces on both sides of the ball, along with a slew of signal-callers that will help the home team secure an opening win under the lights. PREDICTION: MMA 28, Maritime (N.Y.) 20

Union College (1-0) at Worcester State (0-1) (Saturday, September 11 at 12 p.m.): The Lancers surprised us last week — they certainly did not make things easy for the Engineers of WPI — but this will be quite a challenge for the Blue and Gold against a very talented Dutchmen squad. PREDICTION: Union 40, Worcester State 20

Nichols College (1-0) at Anna Maria College (0-0) (Saturday, September 11 at 12:30 p.m.): Coach Dan Mulrooney‘s squad faces a tough test in their first contest of the season against a Bison squad that tallied four sacks for a loss of 50 yards last week against Westfield State. Halfback Joshua Pierre-Charles will be a player to watch in this matchup. PREDICTION: Nichols 28, Anna Maria 14

Husson University (0-1) at Plymouth State (0-1) (Saturday, September 11 at 1 p.m.): The Eagles did not make things easy on the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth last week, which leads us to think this is a game they will win. PREDICTION: Husson 20, Plymouth State 13

Albright College (0-1) at Western Connecticut (1-0) (Saturday, September 11 at 5 p.m.): Despite being outscored in the second half, the Colonials were still able to beat William Paterson by a score of 24-21. This week, they should be able to get by an Albright squad that struggled against Salisbury University. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 30, Albright 14