Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage rolls on with a closer look at the Husson University Eagles, who begin a new era in program history this fall as a member of Commonwealth Coast Football.
The Eagles, who previously competed in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), will begin their 2019 season on the second Saturday of September – that would be September 14th, to be exact – when they visit UMass Dartmouth for a 12 p.m. kick-off.
The Eagles’ 2018 Season: Husson commenced its season by winning two of four contests before stringing together six consecutive wins to secure the ECFC title, as well as a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Eagles’ national championship hopes were dashed one week after beating Plymouth State in their season finale with a 38-14 setback to RPI in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Yet, despite the loss, the Eagles again proved they can compete with the best, both in New England and outside the region.
2018 was the final season for coach Gabby Price, who announced months after his team’s final contest that he would be stepping down. Nat Clark was named the program’s new coach roughly two weeks after Price’s announcement.
The 2019 Outlook: As noted above, the Eagles will begin a new chapter in program history this fall as a member of the Commonwealth Coast Football league – Husson will compete against some talented New England squads, including Endicott College, Salve Regina University and Western New England.
Husson will certainly be a team to watch again this year, however, they do have some holes to fill, beginning at quarterback.
Cory Brandon, who was the team’s signal-caller the past few years, has graduated – he was one of 14 student-athletes to graduate this past spring – so perhaps we could see David Morrison under center or Frank Veino. Both student-athletes appeared in games last year, however, Morrison competed in all 10 contests, so it’s likely we will see him against the Corsairs in week two.
In addition to identifying a new starting quarterback, the Eagles will need to find replacements for wide receivers Kyle Gaudet and Ty Bassett, as well as linebacker Elvin Suazo.
Keyshaun Robinson could become the go-to target for Morrison or Veino – the senior tight end finished second on the team with 38 receptions for 526 yards and seven touchdowns. Additionally, Tyler Halls, who transferred from Western New England, could be a wide receiver to watch this fall, as well. Halls enjoyed a successful first season with the Eagles last year, catching 28 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition to some new wide-outs and tight ends stepping up, look for the Eagles to rely on its ground game. Husson returns Miece Loureiro and Solomon Hassen, who combined for 1,783 yards and four touchdowns.
Husson returns a slew of offensive linemen, including Collin Spence, Aidan Asher, and Jacob Cameron, which should help the Eagles continue its success from last year, both on the ground and through the air.
Ace Curry should be the player to watch on defense – the Lewiston, Maine native finished second on the team last season in total tackles. Kaleb Caron, who stuffed the stat sheet with 51.0 total tackles, including seven tackles for a loss for 36 yards and 2.5 sacks, will also be a player to watch, too.
Husson’s Schedule: After traveling to UMass Dartmouth in week two, the Eagles will host WPI in their season-opener on September 21st before finishing the month of September with a trip to Morrisville State.
Husson will dive into conference play in the first week of October with a trip to Becker College followed by three consecutive home games, including an important matchup with Endicott on October 26.
Husson will end the regular season with a trio of marquee matchups, beginning with a visit to Nichols College followed by a home date with Salve Regina. The Eagles will visit Western New England on Saturday, November 16th with hopes of competing one week later in either the NCAA Tournament or New England Bowl.
Following a busy weekend of NCAA Division III Tournament games, along with a pair of New England Bowls, too, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week.
Offensive Player of the Week: Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski was tabbed the New England Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) after tossing five touchdowns – all in the first half – which helped the Rams of Framingham State capture their second-straight bowl crown. Wojenski concluded the game 19 of 28 for 246 yards.
Defensive Player of the Week: Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Against Curry, Fleming registered nine total tackles, including four solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 15 yards, one sack for a loss of 14 yards and one forced fumble.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Devin Pickett (Husson): Pickett connected on all three boots, including a 22-yard field goal mid-way through the fourth quarter, which helped the Eagles score their first-ever NCAA Tournament win over Springfield. Pickett concluded the contest with five points.
Offense of the Week
Dante Aiken (WNE): Aiken led all rushers with a game-high 98 yards on 21 carries (4.7 yards per carry) in his team’s NCAA Division III Tournament setback to Delaware Valley.
Hunter Belzo (Springfield): Belzo led the Pride with 113 yards rushing on nine carries (12.6 yards per carry), while registering one touchdown.
Shaquille Joseph (Framingham State): Joseph led all Framingham State receivers with seven grabs for 72 yards, while catching the game’s initial touchdown pass.
John Smith (Husson): Against Springfield, Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two scores as the Eagles stunned the Pride in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Spencer Tyler (Curry): Tyler concluded his team’s New England Bowl contest against Framingham State with a game-high nine receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown. He also threw a touchdown to quarterback Alex Corvese in the second half.
Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox concluded his team’s game against Husson by tallying 111 yards on 22 carries (5.0 yards per carry), while rushing for a pair of touchdowns.
Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright concluded last Saturday’s New England Bowl with 109 yards of total offense, including 60 yards on 16 carries and four receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense of the Week
Luca Cerasani (WPI): Cerasani concluded his team’s New England Bowl against SUNY Maritime with seven total tackles, including six solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two sacks for a loss of 14 yards. He also recorded one pass break-up, too.
Nick Giorgio (Springfield): Giorgio concluded his team’s contest with Husson by tallying seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 10 yards, one sack for a loss of nine yards and one forced fumble.
Tim Huffam (WNE): Against Delaware Valley in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Huffam paced the Golden Bears’ defense with 10 total tackles, including five solo stops, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and a sack for a loss of seven yards.
Sam Malafronte (WPI): Malafronte concluded his team’s New England Bowl with a team-high nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and one tackle for a loss of two yards.
Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu recorded four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, a pair of tackles for a loss of 13 yards and one pass break-up in his team’s New England Bowl victory.
Matt Shea (Plymouth State): Against Brockport in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Shea recorded a game-high 12 total tackles, including eight solo stops.
Elvin Suazo, Jr. (Husson): Suazo Jr. recorded a team-high 11 total tackles, including four solo stops, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win against Springfield.
Dominic Traversa (Springfield): Against Husson, Traversa paced the Pride’s defense with a game-high 13 total stops, including five solo tackles, one fumble recovery and one tackles for a loss of two yards.
Cody Wlasuk (Framingham State): Wlasuk concluded his team’s 11th game of the season by recording seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 14 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards, one pass break-up and one interception returned for nine yards.
Christian Zotti (Springfield): Zotti concluded his team’s contest against Husson with 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble, one interception returned for 24 yards and one pass break-up.
Special Teams of the Week
Ryan Clifford (Framingham State): Clifford connected on six of seven extra point attempts in his team’s 48-14 New England Bowl victory last Saturday.
Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington concluded his team’s New England Bowl by connecting on all three kicks, including a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, which provided the host Engineers with the lead for good.
John Smith and the Husson Eagles defeated Springfield in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. (PHOTO CREDIT: Monty Rand Photography/Husson University Athletics)
By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries (3.8 yards per carry) and two scores as Husson stunned Springfield, 23-21, in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.
Smith reached the end zone twice – once in the second quarter and once in the third – while quarterback Cory Brandon got the visitors on the board with a second quarter touchdown strike to Kyle Gaudet (36-yard reception).
Husson led Springfield, 14-6, at the break, and 20-14 after three quarters of play before Devin Pickett extended the visitors’ advantage to 23-14 with a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Springfield trimmed the deficit with a Hunter Belzo 52-yard touchdown run to pull within two-points (23-21), but that would be the closest the Pride would get to the Eagles.
Brandon completed the contest with 209 yards and one touchdown pass, connecting on 20 of 30 passes, while Kyree Calli led all receivers with 64 yards on seven reception.
Husson’s defense limited the top-ranked rushing offense to just 264 yards. Belzo paced the Pride’s rushing attack by tallying 113 yards on nine carries, while Jordan Wilcox rushed for 111 yards on 22 carries and two scores.
The win extends the Eagles’ campaign to next weekend where they’ll face Delaware Valley in the second round, while Springfield concludes a historic season at 10-1 overall.
Husson, which captured the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown this fall, will face Delaware Valley next weekend in the second round of the tournament. The Aggies secured a date with the Eagles by defeating Western New England, 35-0.
Saturday’s win marked the first time an ECFC team has won a postseason contest.
Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0: Sammy Mohr clinched an opening round win for the Aggies with a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the final session as DelVal earned its 11th consecutive win of the season. Aaron Nelson led DelVal and all receivers with 121 yards on two receptions and one score, while WNE’s Dante Aiken rushed for a game-high 98 yards on 21 carries. WNE concludes its season at 8-3 – the Golden Bears captured the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown a few weeks ago when they defeated Curry College, 42-28.
Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0: Joe Germinerio accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air, as the Golden Eagles soared past the ‘Mountain Men’ of Plymouth State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Germinerio completed 19 of 27 passes for 316 yards, while Tyree Brown rushed for a game-high 156 yards on eight carries and one score. The Panthers conclude their season with a 9-2 overall record – Plymouth State also captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown this year, too.
Framingham State 48, Curry 14: Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns, while completing 19 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Rams won their second New England Bowl at Bowditch Field in Framingham. Quron Wright led all rushers with 60 yards on 16 carries, while Curry’s Nick Villanueva hauled in a game-high 92 yards on four receptions. Framingham State’s Joshua Onujiogu led all defenders with a pair of sacks for 13 yards, while concluding the game with a pass break-up and four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops. The Rams conclude their season with a 10-1 overall ledger, while Curry finished 8-3.
WPI 17, SUNY Maritime 3: Sean McAllen and Lain Zembekeach rushed for one touchdown, while Spencer Herrington booted a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter, which helped WPI defeat SUNY Maritime, 17-3, in the New England Bowl on Saturday evening at Alumni Stadium in Worcester. SUNY Maritime’s Matthew Murphy trimmed the deficit mid-way through the fourth with a field goal, but that was the closest the Privateers would get to the Engineers. WPI concludes its season on a seven-game winning streak, while matching the 1992 team for nine wins, which is the most victories recorded by any Engineers squad in a single-season. SUNY Maritime ends its season with a 9-2 overall ledger, too.
It’s Monday – and we apologize for taking a week off! – but it’s time to return to our weekly Noontime Sports Team of the Week post, which includes our players of the week, along with our our offense, defense and special teams of the week, too.
Offensive Player of the Week: Nick Vailas (Bowdoin): Against Wesleyan, Vailas hauled in eight catches for a career-high 167 yards,which increased his career reception total to 102 catches. He became the second student-athlete to surpass the 100 career catch mark since Pat Noone hauled in 176 receptions. Vailas also caught one touchdown, an 85-yard reception late in the fourth that brought the Polar Bears within 11 points (21-10) of the Cardinals.
Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Bianco (Becker): Bianco tied the NCAA Division III record for interceptions in a game (five), while recording 11 total tackles, including a quartet of solo stops, along with one pass break-up in his team’s 14-13 win over Nichols College. One of his five interceptions was returned for a touchdown, which evened the game at 7-7 in the third quarter.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Devin Pickett (Husson): Pickett connected on all 10 extra point attempts in his team’s 70-13 win over Anna Maria. The sophomore kicker has now connected on 40 of 42 extra points this season.
Offensive Team of the Week
Connor Bourque (Norwich): Bourque rushed for 103 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown, while averaging 4.7 yards per carry against Catholic.
Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Against Western Connecticut, Brown-Simpson rushed for 166 yards on 24 carries and one score, while averaging 6.9 yards per carry.
Noah Brum (Worcester State): Brum completed 28 of 36 passes for 364 yards and five touchdowns as the Lancers topped the Buccaneers of Massachusetts Maritime Academy at Coughlin Field.
Nick Cascione (Union): Cascione completed 14 of 24 passes for a season-high 272 yards, while tossing three touchdowns, which helped Union defeat Hobart, 28-23.
Max Chipouras (Trinity): Chipouras rushed for a game-high 182 yards on 33 carries, while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. His longest run of the day was a 51-yard burst.
Brendan Costa (Bates): Costa amassed 291 yards of total offense, including 155 yards on the ground as the Bobcats secured their first win of the season against Colby. Costa rushed for one score, while completing 11 of 20 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown.
Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese helped his team secure a 17-7 win over Endicott with both his arm and legs. He rushed for 97 yards on 14 carries (6.9 yards per carry) and two scores, while connecting on 16 of 22 passes for 120 yards.
Mark Dietrich (WNE): Dietrich led all receivers with 86 yards and two scores, while concluding last Saturday’s clash with five receptions. Dietrich averaged 17.2 yards per reception against Salve Regina.
Ollie Eberth (Amherst): Eberth amassed 301 yards of total offense, including 65 yards on 11 carries and two scores as Amherst picked-up an important win over Tufts.
Quinn Fleeting (Western Conn.): Fleeting completed 15 of 23 passes for 242 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 36 yards on six carries and one score against Fitchburg State.
Maleke Fuentes (Alfred): Fuentes led all rushers with 146 yards on 18 carries and one score, while averaging 8.1 yards per carry.
Jake Gelb (Salve Regina): Gelb amassed 132 yards of total offense, including 106 yards on the ground on 26 carries and one score. Gelb averaged 4.1 yards per carry.
Joe Germinerio (Brockport): Germinerio accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air as the Golden Eagles soared by Buffalo State last Saturday. Germinerio completed 18 of 26 passes for 226 yards, while rushing for 43 yards (5.4 yards per carry) on eight carries.
DaQuan Hubbard (Brockport): Hubbard led all receivers in the Golden Eagles’ 33-0 win over Buffalo State with four reception of 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen led all rushers with 185 yards on 27 carries, while rushing for one touchdown in his team’s 24-21 win over MIT. McAllen also hauled in a catch for 27 yards, too.
Ryan McDonald (Tufts): Against the Mammoths, McDonald amassed 254 yards of total offense, including 75 yards on 17 carries for an average of 4.4 yards per carry. McDonald connected on 14 of 31 passes for 179 yards, while tossing two touchdowns – both scores landed in the hands of Jack Dolan.
Justin Nelson (Williams): Nelson led all receivers with 125 receiving yards, while recording six receptions and one touchdown in his team’s 24-6 win against Hamilton. Nelson’s longest reception of the day was a 76-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter that provided the Ephs with a 24-0 lead at the break.
James O’Regan (Amherst): O’Regan led all receivers with 132 yards on six receptions, while recording one touchdown in his team’s five-point win over Tufts.
Richie Phillips (Mass. Maritime): Phillips recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing performance of the season and sixth of his career by tallying 135 yards on 29 carries.
Sonny Puzzo (Trinity): Puzzo amassed 188 yards of total offense, including 76 on the ground on 12 carries and two scores as the Bantams defeated the Panthers to improve to 7-0 in NESCAC play.
Andrew Sanders (Tufts): Sanders rushed for 88 yards and two scores on seven carries against Amherst, while averaging 12.6 yards per carry.
Anthony Service (WNE): Service amassed 247 yards of total offense, including 224 yards through the air as the Golden Bears defeated Salve Regina last Saturday. Service completed 19 of 28 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 23 yards on the ground.
Michael Slaughter, Jr. (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter Jr. led all rushers with 123 yards on 30 carries and on score, while averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
Curtis Smith (SUNY Maritime): Smith led all receivers with 141 yards on six catches and three scores. He averaged 23.5 yards per reception, too.
John Smith (Husson): Smith rushed for 247 yards on 14 carries and four touchdowns against Anna Maria last weekend, while averaging 17.6 yards per carry.
Trai Weaver (Anna Maria): For the third time this season, Weaver recored a pair of touchdown receptions, while leading all receivers last week with seven grabs for 62 yards. Through eight games this season, Weaver has tallied a career-best 10 touchdown receptions.
Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski helped Framingham State pick-up an important conference win over UMass Dartmouth by completing 14 of 24 passes for 162 yards, while tossing four touchdowns.
Thomas Wright (SUNY Maritime): Wright accounted for five touchdowns, including four through the air as the Privateers secured a big win over the Spartans of Castleton. Wright concluded the game 19 of 33 for 332 yards and four scores, while rushing for 16 yards on five carries and one score.
Defensive Team of the Week
Ricco Aaron (Dean): Aaron registered nine total tackles, including six solo stops, one fumble recovery and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of four yards.
Joe Esposito (Plymouth State): Esposito tallied 10 total tackles, including two solo stops, along with two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and one sack for six yards in the Panthers’ 17-0 win over Westfield State.
Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Fleming registered a team-high 11 solo stops, while concluding last Saturday’s game against UMass Dartmouth with 13 total tackles and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of five yards.
Jean Gabriel (Husson): Against the AMCATs, Gabriel recorded seven solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of eight yards, along with a pair of forced fumbles and one pass break-up.
Zhaire House (Western New England): House stuffed the stat sheet last Saturday against Salve Regina, tallying seven solo stops, one pass break-up, one interception (two yards) and one fumble recovery.
Corey Jean-Jacques (Trinity): Against Middlebury, Jean-Jacques tallied four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 14 yards and one sack for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded one pass break-up, too.
John Lauretti (Alfred State): Lauretti recorded eight total tackles, including five solo stops, three sacks for a loss of 11 yards and four tackles for a loss of 14 yards as Alfred State captured its first game of the season by defeating Mount Ida, 18-8.
Marvey Mathurin (UMass Dartmouth): Mathurin paced the Corsairs defense with eight total tackles, including five solo stops, one tackle for a loss of three yards and a pass break-up.
Nicholas Milgate (Alfred): Milgate registered nine total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, two interceptions (60 yards) and one tackle for a loss of four yards.
Brandon O’Neill (Salve Regina): O’Neill recorded seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 24 yards and one forced fumble against Western New England.
Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu led the Rams defense with 14 total tackles, including 10 solo stops, three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of nine yards and one quarterback hurry.
Nick Ostrowski (WPI): Ostrowski ended last Saturday’s clash with MIT by registering 11 total tackles, including four solo stops, one forced fumble and one interception returned for a touchdown (55 yards).
Kendal Parker (SUNY Maritime): Parker registered 10 total tackles, including five solo stops, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of two yards, one fumble recovery and one interception in his team’s big win over Castleton.
Sebastien Philemon (Colby): Philemon led all defenders last week with 19 total tackles and eight solo stops against Bates.
Dago Picon-Roura (Trinity): Picon-Roura paced the Bantams’ defense against Middlebury with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops, two pass break-ups and one interception returned for 19 yards.
Andrew Sommer (Amherst): Against Tufts, Sommer registered a team-high 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 18 yards and one pass break-up.
Patrick Vidal (Catholic): Vidal concluded last Saturday’s contest with 12 total tackles, including six solo stops, along with three tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack for a loss of seven yards.
Alex West (Brockport): West tallied nine total stops, including three-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 16 yards, along with one interception (14 yards) and one fumble recovery in the Golden Eagles’ 33-0 win over Buffalo State.
Special Teams of the Week
Grant DeWald (Bates): DeWald connected on all five kicks, including all three extra point attempts in his team’s 27-24 win over Colby.
Brett Fox (Endicott): Against Curry, Fox punted the ball five times for 240 yards. Two of his boots landed inside the Curry 20-yard line.
Markiesh Harmon (Worcester State): Harmon registered four punts for a total of 149 yards – three of those boots landed inside the Massachusetts Maritime 20-yard line.
Patrick Lehane (Worcester State): On eight kickoffs, Lehane registered 447 yards, an average of 55.9 yards per kick, with two kicks resulting in touch backs.
Matthew Murphy (SUNY Maritime): Murphy connected on all seven kicks, including a field goal from 25-yards out, which helped SUNY Maritime defeat Castleton.
Eric Sachse (Trinity): Saches connected on all five kicks, including a trio of extra points and two field goals – his longest boot was a 33-yard field goal in the fourth, which capped his team’s scoring for the game.
Andrew Verre (Salve Regina): Verre connected on all four kicks (two extra points, two field goals), including a 42-yard field goal. Verre concluded the game with eight points.