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NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The MIT-Muhlenberg Matchup

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Sean Kent and the MIT Football team are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

In just three days, a trio of New England D-III football teams will begin their pursuit of the ultimate prize: a national championship. And one of those teams is the MIT Engineers, who will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania to face Muhlenberg College.

MIT is making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament, as well as it’s third since 2014. The Engineers are 1-2 in their last three national postseason contests and will attempt to even their mark against an impressive Mules squad, which yet to drop a single contest this season.

Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.


MIT (7-2) at Muhlenberg (10-0)

Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Scotty Wood Stadium.

Rankings: Muhlenberg is currently fourth in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. MIT is not ranked nor receiving votes.

Conference Affiliate: Muhlenberg competes in the Centennial Conference (CC) – they finished 9-0 against league opponents. MIT competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and won six of seven league tilts this fall.

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Both teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season. MIT, which captured its first-ever NEWMAC crown last fall, saw its run toward a national championship conclude in the opening round against Johns Hopkins. Muhlenberg advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Delaware Valley (20-13) and Randolph-Macon (35-6) before falling to Mount Union, 38-10.

Inside the Numbers with MIT: The Engineers rank 124th in scoring offense, averaging 26.4 points per game. They have scored 30 touchdowns this fall while kicking eight field goals … MIT’s defense and Concordia Wisconsin are tied for 77th in scoring defense, yielding 21.00 points per contest … MIT is averaging 333.6 yards of total offense (153.9 rushing and 179.7 passing yards) … The defense has yielded an average of 174.4 passing yards per game while limiting opposing rushing attacks to just 117.0 yards per game.

Inside the Numbers with Muhlenberg: The Mules are currently the 17th highest-scoring offense in D-III, averaging 41.9 points per game. They have scored 56 touchdowns in 10 contests while recording nine field goals. Muhlenberg has converted 52 PATs and recorded one safety for 419.00 points … The Mules boast the ninth-best scoring defense, yielding an average of 11.70 points per game … Muhlenberg is averaging 439.1 yards of total offense (281.60 passing yards per game and 157.5 rushing yards) … The Mules have limited opposing rushing attacks to 70.6 yards per game while the defense is limiting offenses to just 200.30 yards of passing per game.

MIT Players to Watch: 

  • Chris Mauck (QB) – Enters Saturday’s contest with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a starter … Mauck has completed 121 of 241 passes for 1,609 yards
  • Ashton Robinson (RB) – Has rushed for a career-high 366 yards on 95 carries in eight contests this season, along with three touchdowns.
  • Keithen Shepard (WR) – Leads the Engineers with 10 receiving touchdowns … the third-year receiver has caught a team-high 35 passes for 542 yards.
  • Mark Wright (Kicker) – Wright has connected on 8 of 11 field goals with his longest kick being a 43-yarder … he is 22 of 26 on extra points … he has produced 46 points in nine games.
  • Sean Kent (Defensive Back) – The senior defensive back leads the Engineers with 58.0 total tackles … He has recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss of 10 yards while registering two interceptions and five pass break-ups.

Muhlenberg Players to Watch:

  • Frankie Feaster (DE) – Named the CC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season … Feaster helped the Mules defense set a conference record of yielding just 91 points in nine conference contests.
  • Michael Hnatkowsky (QB) – Named the CC Offensive Player of the Year … He has tossed a school-record 34 touchdowns with only three interceptions … He ranks third in D-III in passing efficiency, completion percentage (sixth), and passing touchdowns (seven).
  • James Diggs (RB) – Diggs is averaging 70.0 rushing yards per game, which is fourth in the CC … He has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season.
  • Ryan Curtis (TE) – Named a first-team All-CC honoree … has caught 10 touchdowns and set the conference mark for career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
  • John Washington (DB) – Washington has recorded 28 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions as a first-time starter with the Mules.
  • Todd Spirt (Kicker) – Spirit leads the conference with 78 points … he is the CC all-time leader in extra points made with 185 (he set a program record with 56 extra points made last season.

D3 Football: Endicott, WNE Secure Spots On East Regional Rankings

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

For the second-straight week, two New England D-III football teams appeared on the most recent NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were posted (and announced) earlier today.

Western New England, which checked-in fifth one week ago, secured the sixth position in this week’s rankings, while Endicott College checked in tenth overall.

WPI, which secured the ninth position last week, did not appear on the ten-team list.

Salisbury University remained the top team in the East region for a second-straight week, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked in second and third, respectively. Union College, which boasts an impressive 9-0 record, slid into the fourth position while the College of Brockport checked-in fifth.

SUNY CortlandHobart, and Stevenson University secured the seventh, eighth, and ninth positions.

Endicott and Western New England conclude their respective regular-season campaigns this Saturday, November 16th with the Golden Bears hosting Husson University and the Gulls visiting Nichols College.

WNE, which defeated Endicott earlier this season, secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament – we will learn who their first-round opponent will be on Sunday, November 17th.

The Gulls of Endicott will most likely represent the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) in the New England Bowl. Endicott competed in its initial New England Bowl last fall but lost to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

D3 Football: WNE, WPI Appear On East Regional Rankings

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A pair of New England D-III Football teams appeared on today’s NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were unveiled for the first time this season.

Western New England, which leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), checked-in fifth on the ten-team list, while WPI, which is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), secured the ninth position.

Salisbury University was the top team – the Sea Gulls boast a 7-0 record heading into the tenth week of the 2019 season, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked-in second and third, respectively. Union College, which currently sits atop the Liberty League (LL) with an 8-0 record and 5-0 conference mark, secured the fourth position.

Ithaca College, the College at Brockport, and SUNY Cortland checked-in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, while WPI and Wilkes University rounded out the poll.

Western New England, which has won all five conference games this fall, including a 42-31 win last weekend against Endicott College, can clinch its conference crown this Saturday, November 9th with a win over Becker College.

WPI, which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped last Saturday against MIT, will look to rebound on Saturday when they host Coast Guard Academy.

D3 Football: Price Steps Down At Husson

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Husson University football coach Gabby Price announced he will be stepping down this morning. (PHOTO COURTESY: Michael C. York/Bangor Daily News)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Gabby Price will not be coaching the Husson University football team this fall.

The tenured coach, who has guided the Eagles for 12 seasons, including the past six campaigns, announced his retirement this morning after guiding the Green and Gold to an 8-3 record this past season, as well as the program’s fifth Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) conference title.

“I am honored to have had the job and have appreciated every minute that I have had working with so many outstanding people,” Price said in this morning’s release, which was seen on the Husson athletics website.

“I love coaching because of the players playing and those who have played. I am and have been proud of our players in so many ways. They have won some games and also been great to each other.  Everyone has a story and many of our players have had an incredible journey in so many different directions. The greatest teachers in my life have been our players and for that I love them and will always be indebted to them.”

Price departs the Bangor, Maine campus as the winningest coach in program history. He has compiled a 72-45 mark in 12 seasons (2002-08 and 2013-18), while leading the Eagles to four NCAA Tournaments (2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018) and two ECAC Bowl Games in 2008 and 2015.

In 2017, Price guided the Eagles to a school record 10 wins, along with its first-ever NCAA Tournament win over heavily-favored Springfield College. The win extended the Eagles’ season to end of November 2017 where they faced No. 5/7 Delaware Valley.

2017 was also the final year Price coached halfback John Smith, who ended his time in Maine with 7,205 rushing yards (fourth most rushing yards by a Division III tailback), 81 rushing touchdowns (31 scores in 2017) and 370 receiving yards on 34 receptions.

As noted in today’s release, Price has coached 78 student-athletes that have earned all-conference honors, along with 11 players that collected major end of the year awards.

Price was tabbed the ECFC Coach of the Year three times at Husson, including this past season, while being named New England DII/DIII Coach of the Year in 2017. He has coached 15 All-Americans and 61 student-athletes that earned ECFC All-Academic awards.

Said Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi, “It has been an honor and our privilege to work with Coach Price during these past six football seasons. His commitment to Husson University and to the students in our football program has been outstanding. His priority has consistently been the health and welfare of each of our student-athletes. They are fortunate to have had the opportunity to have been coached by him.”

D3 Football: MIT Checks-In Seventh In Latest NCAA East Region Rankings

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Tyler Ray and the MIT Engineers checked-in seventh overall on the latest NCAA East Regional Rankings. (PHOTO COURTESY

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11 

After scoring an important bounce-back win last week over Norwich University, the MIT Engineers secured a spot on the latest NCAA Division III East Regional Rankings, which were posted earlier today.

The Engineers, who were the lone New England squad to appear on the list, checked-in seventh overall, while Brockport secured the top spot for the second-straight week followed by Frostburg State and RPI at second and third, respectively.

Delaware Valley and Ithaca College rounded out the top five by checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.

MIT enters the final week with an overall record of 8-1 record and needs to beat Springfield College this Saturday (Nov. 10th) for a chance to compete in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which will kick-off next weekend.

Ashton Robinson powered the Engineers to their eighth win of the season last Saturday over Norwich by rushing for 87 yards on 12 carries and one score, while Sam Cantrell and Ben Wolz each tallied seven total tackles, respectively, Wolz also finished the game with two tackles for a loss of six yards and one sack for a five yard loss, while Tyler Ray registered six total tackles, along with a trio of pass break-ups.

Kickoff for Saturday’s must-see meeting between the Pride and Engineers is scheduled for 12 p.m. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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