It was exactly one year ago when Terrell Watts and the Dean College football team pulled out a historic win against Alfred State College.
The Bulldogs outlasted the Pioneers, 50-46, thanks to Watts, who concluded the contest with a career and season-best seven touchdown passes with five of those scores landing in the hands of Errol Breaux. The seven touchdown passes were not just a career and single-season best for Watts, but also a school-record.
Watts and the Bulldogs ended the contest with 535 yards of total offense, including 307 passing yards. The second-year quarterback from New Haven, Connecticut completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards while classmate Michael Bethune Jr. rushed for a season-best 213 yards on 21 carries.
One week after the epic and exciting victory against Alfred State, Dean secured its first-ever conference crown before appearing in the New England Bowl against Endicott College on Saturday, November 23, 2019.
Watts concluded his second season with the Bulldogs by earning a slew of postseason honors, including the ECFC Player of the Year award. He secured an all-football selection honoree from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) while throwing for a career-best 418 yards in his team’s final contest of the regular season against Castleton University.
I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming NCAA Tournament games tomorrow, along with two New England Bowls.
As usual, Friday’s mean one thing: games to watch and predictions. So, allow me to dish out my picks for the three NCAA Tournament games with New England teams, along with both New England Bowls.
Have a wonderful weekend, stay warm – it is going to be COLD tomorrow – and I’ll do my very best, as usual, to keep you all updated on social media!
NCAA Tournament Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Brockport at Western New England (12 p.m.): This is a very evenly matched contest – it is even a game the Golden Bears could (and should) win. I’ll give the edge to WNE since they are playing at home, but they will need a big day from their offense, as well as a stellar performance by their run defense. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Brockport 28
Framingham State at Wesley College (12 p.m.): The Rams have never won an NCAA Tournament game, so perhaps this is the contest Framingham State wins. FSU’s offense and defense have been rather impressive the past few weeks, especially against some talented conference foes, which should translate to a one-point (or two-point) victory on Saturday. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Wesley 27
MIT at Muhlenberg College (12 p.m.): This is a tough draw for the Engineers, who are set to face the fourth-best team in the country, per the latest D3 Football Top 25. MIT has been impressive in their last three outings – they needed to win all three to advance to the postseason – but something tells me the Mules will make a few more plays from the get-go to secure an opening-round win. PREDICTION: Muhlenberg 30, MIT 10
New England Bowl Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Dean College at Endicott College (12 p.m.): This one is for the seniors. Look for a monstrous game from the seniors on both sides of the ball to send the Gulls into the offseason with some momentum for the 2020 season. PREDICTION: Endicott 35, Dean 16
Western Connecticut at WPI (1 p.m.): After losing to the Engineers of Cambridge earlier this month, WPI has looked unstoppable, winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich University by a combined score of 124-35. Look for the Engineers to continue their recent momentum against the Colonials in Worcester. PREDICTION: WPI 38, Western Conn. 14
Former New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris will be returning to the area this fall as an assistant coach for the Dean College football team, per this morning’s release.
Morris joins a Bulldogs squad that competed at the Division III level for the first time in school history last fall.
Dean, which is a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), concluded its 2017 campaign 4-6 overall.
“We are extremely excited to announce the hiring of Sammy Morris to coach the running backs and special teams at Dean College,” Dean coach Steve Tirrell said in Tuesday’s press release. “His knowledge and experience will make an immediate impact on our coaching staff and student athletes.”
A 2000 draftee (fifth round) by the Buffalo Bills, Morris played four seasons in upstate New York before signing with the Miami Dolphins prior to the start of the 2004 season. Morris tallied 523 yards on 132 carries and six touchdowns in his first year with the Dolphins in 13 games.
Three years after joining the Dolphins, Morris inked his name on a new contract with the Patriots, assisting them to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2007 season before leading the squad in rushing in 2008 with 727 yards on 156 carries. He also led New England’s ground attack with seven rushing touchdowns, too.
Morris would conclude his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, competing in just three games.
Prior to enjoying a successful career in the NFL, Morris played two seasons of college football at Texas Tech before graduating from the Harvard Business School’s NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in 2009.
Dean kicks-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 1 when they visit Curry College at 1 p.m. One week later, the Bulldogs will host Western Connecticut State for a 12 p.m. kick-off.
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Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Western New England. The Golden Bears seem to be the team to beat in the CCC this spring and should take care of business on Saturday against the Gulls. Maybe they get tripped up down the stretch by Roger Williams or Salve Regina, but the Golden Bears are my pick to win the regular season crown and host the 2018 CCC Tournament.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC): This is an interesting conference to watch – there really isn’t a favorite. Lasell College captured the GNAC crown last season, but appears to have rebounded from a difficult start. The Lasers boast a 2-0 ledger in league play and can really push ahead for good with a win this weekend over Mount Ida College. The Mustangs are certainly in contention for the regular season crown, as well as Johnson & Wales, Norwich University and Rivier University.
Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Despite a slow start, I still like Lasell College, especially if they can find a way past Mount Ida this weekend.
Little East Conference (LEC): Keene State will remain the favorite in the LEC, but it will be interesting to watch a few teams over the next few weeks, including UMass Dartmouth, which is riding a three-game winning streak. The Corsairs will meet the Owls this weekend in New Hampshire.
Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Let’s go with … Keene State! The Owls will secure the top seed. Sure, they may get tripped up once (or twice?) down the stretch, but they will be the team to beat in the LEC postseason.
New England Collegiate Conference (NECC): Dean College appears to be the team to beat in the NECC. They currently boast a 5-3 overall ledger and will begin conference play this Saturday, April 7 when they host Mitchell College at 1 p.m.
All three NECC teams will qualify for the tournament later this month, but as of now, it appears the Bulldogs have the upper hand against Mitchell and Becker College.
Regular Season Champion (Prediction): The Dean Bulldogs should most likely be the team that hosts the championship game on Saturday, April 28.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): As expected, the NESCAC has been a fun conference to follow this season – a majority of their team’s have continued to appear in our weekly Top 10 poll.
My guess, as of now, is Amherst College will find a way to secure the top seed, but I wouldn’t rule out Tufts University or Wesleyan University. All three teams will meet over the next few weeks, which will help determine the regular season champion.
Keep an eye on Bowdoin College, Connecticut College and Williams College over the next few weeks, as well.
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Coast Guard Academy has been the team to watch – can they continue their March momentum this month against MIT and Springfield College? Their mid-week match against the Pride in two weeks will most likely determine the top seed in the NEWMAC.
Springfield has enjoyed another successful regular season campaign, as well. They boast a solid 6-3 ledger, which includes some non-conference wins over SUNY Cortland, Nazareth and Union College.
Regular Season Champion (Prediction): I think Coast Guard Academy will find a way to get past Springfield to secure the top seed in the NEWMAC.
North Atlantic Conference (NAC): Once again, New England College appears to be the favorite – I am not sure if Castleton University will catch the Pilgrims, but we shall see.
NEC has rebounded from an 0-4 start with seven-straight wins, including some non-league victories over University of New England, Mount Ida and Norwich University.
Regular Season Champion (Prediction): The New England College Pilgrims will finish its conference slate undefeated and secure the top spot in the NAC playoffs.
Another busy day of D3 Football is in the books and below is your afternoon round-up, enjoy!
Middlebury 35, Amherst 31: Jared Lebowitz tossed three touchdowns, including a 31-yard strike to Conrado Banky early in the fourth to lift the Panthers passed the Mammoths for the second-straight season. Amherst, which trailed 28-10 at the break, closed the gap with a trio of second half touchdowns, including an 81-yard strike from Ollie Eberth to James O’Regan with 7:51 remaining in the game.
Husson 35, SUNY Maritime 17: John Smith rushed for 217 yards and one score, while Cory Brandon completed 15 of 24 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles soared by the Privateers in a pivotal conference clash. Brandon Drumgole (SUNY Maritime) led all receivers with 101 yards on six receptions, while Kendal Parker concluded the contest with 18 total tackles, including a pair of stops for a loss of eight yards. Husson’s Luke Washburn tallied 11 total tackles, including 10 solo stops, four quarterback hurries and two tackles for a loss of 19 yards.
SUNY Cortland 38, Buffalo 12: Steven Ferreira completed 10 of 23 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while the Red Dragons defense combined for five tackles for a loss of 30 yards, three interceptions, three pass break-ups and one sack as SUNY Cortland topped the Bengals at Coyer Field.
WPI 31, Catholic 14: Blake Rice tossed three touchdowns, Sean McAllen rushed for 148 yards on 30 carries, while Blayne Merchant recorded 12 total tackles as the Engineers rolled by the Cardinals in Washington, D.C.
Dean 28, Alfred State 14: Trent Waters tallied 13 total stops, including nine solo tackles, a pair of sacks and one forced fumble in the Bulldogs’ first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win.
Williams 47, Bates 14: Bobby Maimaron completed 17 of 24 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries and one score as the Ephs secured its third win of the season over the Bobcats in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Castleton 35, Mount Ida 31: Moe Harris rushed for a pair of scores and 126 yards on 25 carries, while Mitchell Caron completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans secured an important conference win over the Mustangs. Mount Ida quarterback Michael Pina completed the contest 18 of 32 passes for 210 yards, while tossing three touchdowns.
Westfield State 35, Mass. Maritime Acad. 28: Zach Howard‘s 44-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Owls hung onto defeat the Buccaneers in Westfield. Westfield State’s Travon Holder tallied 156 yards on 25 carries and two scores, while Mass. Maritime received 192 yards on 29 carries and two scores from tailback Richie Phillips.
Curry 30, UMass Dartmouth 27: Alex Corvese tossed two scores, while rushing for a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winner with six seconds remaining as the Colonels rallied to defeat the Corsairs in Milton. Corvese completed 29 of 44 passes for 377 yards, while rushing for 18 yards on 13 carries.
Framingham State 32, Fitchburg State 16 (Friday) Hobart 30, RPI 0 Ithaca 46, Rochester 6
MIT 51, Maine Maritime 6
Wesleyan 41, Colby 7
Gallaudet 73, Anna Maria 23
Trinity 41, Hamilton 13
Springfield 38, Coast Guard 7
Merchant Marine 52, Norwich 17
Tufts 31, Bowdoin 3
Hartwick 52, Morrisville State 34
Plymouth State 17, Bridgewater State 7
Alfred 21, St. John Fisher 14
Western Conn. 49, Worcester State 23