Tag: Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

Noontime’s Five D3 Football Teams to Watch In Week Five

Spencer McMillion has been the player to watch on Coast Guard Academy for four weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brad Clift)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s that time of the week where we highlight five teams – yes, five, to be exact – to watch this weekend in New England NCAA Division III football.

Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC): After beginning their season with a convincing win over UMass Dartmouth, along with a hard-fought victory against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the AMCATs suffered a 66-28 setback last weekend to Coast Guard Academy.

One year earlier, Anna Maria beat Coast Guard, 29-24, thanks to a late touchdown drive that saw quarterback Alex Cohen find Deandre Wallace for a 27-yard score.   

This week, Anna Maria will look to bounce back against an Alfred State squad that was projected to be in the mix for the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown this fall. The two teams have combined for four wins and three losses through four weeks.

In a way, Saturday’s conference tilt is an important game for Anna Maria. But a loss to the Pioneers would not derail their hopes of winning the league for a second-straight season.

Anna Maria has beaten Alfred State in its last two meetings – in 2019, quarterback Tanner Kingsley led the team on back-to-back scoring drives during the final two minutes to clinch a thrilling come-from-behind win in Alfred, New York.  

Bridgewater State (1-3, 1-1 MASCAC): Don’t sleep on the Bears of Bridgewater State.

After beginning their current campaign with three-straight losses, coach Joe Verria’s squad leaned on its rushing attack to score a much-needed win last Saturday over Western Connecticut. Halfback Adam Couch scored three touchdowns in the win, including two on the ground. He led all rushers with 150 yards on 21 carries.

Bridgewater State’s win over Western Connecticut should provide the Red and White with a boost heading into Saturday’s meeting with Fitchburg State.

The Falcons currently boast a 1-3 record, but a 0-2 mark against Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) foes.

Despite falling to Plymouth State earlier this month, the Bears remain in the mix for a league crown.

Coast Guard Academy (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC): The Bears concluded their non-league schedule with an impressive win over Anna Maria.

Halfback Spencer McMillion registered 340 yards of total offense in Coast Guard’s recent win, including a game-high 285 rushing yards on 43 carries and five touchdowns.

McMillion currently leads all NCAA Division III rushers with 653 rushing yards – he is also tied for first place in touchdowns with 11.

Coast Guard will begin conference play this weekend when they visit Norwich University on Saturday.

Endicott College (4-0, 0-0 CCC): The Gulls are off to their best start since 2011.

Endicott clinched its fourth-straight win last Saturday by beating Norwich University, 26-13.

The game was highlighted by Endicott’s rushing attack, which saw Yavier Cosme-Diaz lead all rushers with 107 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Clayton Marengi rushed for two scores and 46 yards on eight carries while Tyler Bridge added 68 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.

While the rushing attack has been one of Endicott’s strengths through four weeks, the same could be said about its defensive unit, which has held its first four opponents to just 20 points.

This week, Endicott will play its first Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) game when the Gulls welcome Husson University to campus on Saturday.  

Tufts University (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC): Keep your eyes on the Jumbos this week.

Tufts earned its first win of the 2022 season last Saturday when they beat Bates College, 35-7.

Quarterback Michael Berluti completed 18 of 21 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns – he also added 35 rushing yards on six carries and one score.

Phil Lutz, who is one of a few wide receivers to watch on the Jumbos this fall, caught seven passes for 79 yards and one touchdown. Cade Moore led all receivers with 81 yards on six receptions.  

Tufts’ defense recorded two sacks and one interception.

The Jumbos visit Williams College this week – we believe it’s a game the Powder Blue and Brown should win, especially after what we have witnessed these last two weeks.

Noontime’s Five D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Four

Matt Hersch and the Colby College football team will attempt to win its second-straight contest on Saturday against Trinity College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Colby Athletics and Peter Li)

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is quickly approaching, which means its time to highlight five squads to watch this week, including the Mules of Colby College, which scored its first opening day win in six years last weekend.

Colby College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC): For the first time since 2016, the Mules scored an opening day win.

Colby topped Williams College last Saturday by a score of 24-14, which erased memories of last year’s meeting between the two squads that saw the Ephs beat the Mules, 42-0.  

Quarterback Matt Hersch highlighted his team’s win by completing 14 of 23 passes for two touchdowns while adding 46 yards on six carries and one score. Halfback Keon Smart led all rushers with 129 yards on 21 carries.

Colby’s defense intercepted quarterback Jack Dickinson twice while recording three sacks for a loss of 10 yards.

The Mules outgained the Ephs, 357-264, and will attempt to win their second-straight contest on Saturday against a Trinity College squad that was able to squeak past Tufts University last weekend.

Trinity has won its last five meetings with the Mules.

Dean College (0-3, 0-0 ECFC): Coach Andrae Murphy’s Bulldogs have produced the most points amongst all Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) squads through three weeks.

Yet, despite producing 108 points in three contests, the Bulldogs have surrendered 137 points, including 77 points earlier this month in a crazy setback to Nichols College.

Dean is inching closer to its first win – perhaps it occurs this weekend when the Bulldogs visit MIT?  

Wide receiver Quintus Reid has been a player to watch this fall – he currently ranks third in the ECFC in receiving yards (266) and is tied for second in touchdown receptions (four) with Anna Maria College’s Justin McMillian.

Reid’s teammate, Mozes Mooney, leads all ECFC receivers with five touchdown receptions.

In addition to Reid and Mooney, fans of New England small college football should keep their eyes on quarterback Nathan Cisco, who previously competed for the University of Idaho. Cisco has tossed eight touchdowns this season.

Framingham State (1-2, 0-1 MASCAC): This is an important week for the Rams.

Coming off its first loss to UMass Dartmouth since 2016, the Rams will look to bounce back against Westfield State on Saturday.

A win against the Owls would even their overall record, but also provide the Black and Gold with some much-needed momentum heading into an important matchup in week five with Plymouth State. The Panthers are idle this weekend, but currently sit atop the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) standings with a 3-0 record.

Halfback Devaun Ford will be one of many players to watch on Saturday – the Mashpee, Massachusetts native has rushed for a team-high 264 yards and two touchdowns this season. He led all rushers with 143 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown last week against UMass Dartmouth.

In addition to Ford, the Rams will need some key members of its defense to have a big game. Keep your eyes on Dylan DeWolfe, Gerell Boyce, and Cully Curran.

Nichols College (3-0, 0-0 CCC): In the words of coach Dale Olmsted, last Saturday’s win against Coast Guard Academy was a “team effort.”

The Bison scored their third-straight win, thanks to quarterback Xavier Powell, who concluded the non-league matchup with 318 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.  

Derrick Revolus recorded three interceptions to go with 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops. Joshua Sayer led the Nichols defense with 13 total tackles – he also recorded one pass breakup.

The squad’s effort from last week will certainly be needed this week as Nichols concludes its non-conference slate with a visit to Hartwick College on Saturday. Hartwick was idle last weekend after dropping its initial contest of the 2022 season earlier this month to King’s College.

Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC): Quarterback John Giller has the Wolves heading in the right direction.

The sophomore signal-caller has tossed seven touchdowns in three contests while completing 47 of 93 passes for 716 yards.

Last week against Westfield State, Giller recorded a season-high 305 passing yards to go with three touchdowns. Eli Koukoulis caught two touchdowns – he is currently third on the team in receiving yards (117) but tied with Julian Ferguson for touchdown receptions (two).    

WestConn’s defense has received a boost from Jaeden Alexander, Nosa Uzamere, and Stephen Johnson – expect this trio, along with other members of the defensive unit to provide some challenges for Bridgewater State’s offense on Saturday.

Noontime’s Five D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Three

Willie Lombard and the Plymouth State Panthers will attempt to continue their early-season momentum on Saturday against Bridgewater State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kim Bownes/Plymouth State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

It may be Tuesday, but it’s never too early to look ahead to this weekend’s slate of small college football games.

Like we did last week – and yes, last season, too – it is time to highlight this week’s five New England NCAA Division III football teams to watch on Friday and Saturday.

Anna Maria College: Quarterback Alex Cohen highlighted his team’s season-opener by recording eight touchdowns.

No, the “eight touchdowns” was not a typo.

The AMCATs’ win over UMass Dartmouth certainly proves this squad can defend its Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title from last fall.

While it’s only one game, Cohen has been a player to watch on Anna Maria, dating back to his initial season with the Maroon and White in 2018 when he recorded 13 touchdowns, including five scores on the ground. The veteran signal-caller has thrown for 5,562 yards and 43 touchdowns in 30 contests with Anna Maria – expect his impressive debut from last week to continue this weekend against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Endicott College: The Gulls’ defense has been the story through two contests.

Entering this week’s non-conference matchup with The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Endicott’s defense has limited its first two opponents – St. Lawrence University and WPI – to zero points. Additionally, the unit is yielding 61.0 rushing yards per game.

Hector Johnson was named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week after establishing a career-high for tackles (six), sacks (four), and tackles for a loss (four) last Friday against WPI. Johnson is currently third on the team in total tackles (11.0) and has complemented linebacker Matthew Licciardi (15 total tackles) and defensive back Tyler Davis (13.0 total tackles).

Framingham State: Last season, it took the Rams three weeks to score their first win.

This season, the Rams needed just two weeks to secure a victory as they earned their first non-conference win in four years this past weekend.

Beating St. John Fisher, a team that produced 62 points in its season-opener against Buffalo State, should provide coach Tom Kelley’s squad with some much-needed momentum heading into Saturday’s conference clash with UMass Dartmouth. Framingham State has won its last four meetings with UMass Dartmouth while averaging 40.5 points.

The Corsairs’ last win over the Rams came in 2016 in overtime.

For the Rams to score its initial conference win, they will need to lean on their defense, specifically Cully Curran, Michael Brooks, and Chase Buono, to slow down a high-powered UMass Dartmouth offense that is led by quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos and halfback Marvens Jean.

Plymouth State: It’s been a good start for coach Paul Castonia’s Panthers.

Plymouth State has won back-to-back games over Castleton University (20-7) and Husson University (17-0), thanks to both its rushing attack and defense.

Manny Sanchez and Willie Lombard have been two players to watch on offense this fall with the duo combining for 325 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Lombard has been Braden Lynn’s go-to receiver with five catches for a team-high 66 receiving yards.

Lombard, along with Sanchez and Lynn, will be players to watch against a Bridgewater State squad that appears eager to snap its two-game losing streak. The Bears beat the Panthers last season, thanks to halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a game-high 150 yards and one touchdown.

Couch will be on the field Saturday and will certainly be a player the Panthers’ defense will need to stop if the Green and White would like to extend its current winning streak.

Trinity College: The wait for a brand-new season of Trinity College football has concluded.

The Bantams return to the gridiron this Saturday with hopes of continuing its previous success from a year ago when the Blue and Gold concluded their campaign with eight wins and one loss.

The Bantams return some key members of last year’s squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, wide receiver DeVante Reid, and linebacker Brian Casagrande. Of course, other first and second-team all-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) players return with hopes of winning its first conference crown since 2018.

Trinity will visit Tufts University on Saturday – last year, the Bantams beat the Jumbos in their season-opener, thanks to Spencer Fetter and Will Kirby, who combined for six touchdowns.

Five New England College Football Teams to Watch In Week Two

Lorenzo Valencia and the Assumption University defense will be a unit to watch this week against Merrimack College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Gil Talbot/Assumption Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The second week of the New England college football season technically began Sunday, but before we kick off another busy weekend of games, how about we highlight five teams fans should watch (or keep an eye on) this week?

Like we did last year, we will be highlighting five teams from the New England region that fans should keep an eye on every week. This year, we will include all three divisions, not just NCAA Division III teams, and schools.

So, without further ado, here are five teams I’ll be watching on Friday and Saturday.

Anna Maria College (0-0, 0-0 ECFC): When we last saw the AMCATs on the gridiron, their exciting season concluded in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Anna Maria enjoyed its best season in program history last fall, winning its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown while also setting a program record for wins in a single season: seven.

As expected, the AMCATs were picked to win the conference crown again this season, but face a challenging non-conference slate, which begins with a home date this Saturday with the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs. Neither team has met before on the gridiron, but this will certainly be a good measuring stick for Steve Croce, who begins his first season as the program’s head coach.

Croce was named the fourth head coach in program history, succeeding Dan Mulrooney, who stepped down earlier this year to accept the head coaching role with Lock Haven University.

Assumption University (1-0, 0-0 NE10): They say defense win championships.

Last Saturday, the Greyhounds’ defense shined in their season-opener, helping the Greyhounds score an impressive 3-0 win over Kutztown University, which entered last week’s tilt as the 13th best team in NCAA Division II.

Assumption’s defense concluded the game with three interceptions and five sacks.

Jael Feliz led the Greyhounds’ defense with 12 total tackles, including nine solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards. Lorenzo Valencia, who was named the Northeast-10 (NE10) Conference Defensive Player of the Week, chipped in eight total tackles, including four solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 22 yards.

Larsen Wilson led the team with two interceptions while Isaiah Huff recorded two solo stops, three pass breakups, and one interception.

Assumption’s defense will be a unit to watch on Friday evening when they visit Merrimack College.

Holy Cross (1-0, 0-0 Patriot League): The Crusaders scored their initial win of the 2022 season last Friday by defeating Merrimack, 31-17.  

This week, the Crusaders face an early-season test against the Buffalo Bulls, a Football Bowl Subdivision squad that dropped its season-opener on Saturday to Maryland.

Buffalo and Holy Cross have not met since 1970 – additionally, the Crusaders’ last win against the Bulls came in 1963.

Holy Cross currently leads the all-time series, 6-3-1, but is 2-3 against the Bulls in Buffalo.

A win over the Bulls would certainly provide the Purple and White with some additional momentum heading into its Homecoming contest next Saturday with Yale University.

Coach Bob Chesney’s squad scored a win over an FBS squad last season when they defeated Connecticut by a score of 38-28.

Quarterback Matthew Sluka will be a player to watch against the Bison after being named this week’s Golden Helmet Award by the New England Football Writers.

Saint Anselm College (1-0, 0-0 NE10): Quarterback Drew Willoughby was the player to watch last Thursday as the Austin, Texas native led the Hawks to an exciting opening day win over Millersville University.

The Hawks’ 18-point win provided the program with its first win in the opening week since 2014, along with its most recent victory against a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) since 2012.

Willoughby finished his team’s season-opener with 30 completions and 349 passing yards. He connected with three different receivers for touchdowns and became the seventh signal-caller in program history to reach 3,000 career passing yards.

For his effort, he was named the NE10 Offensive Players of the Week and earned the D-II/D-III Golden Helmet Award from the New England Football Writers.

Willoughby will again be a player to watch on Saturday when they host American International College (AIC).

Springfield College (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC): It was an impressive start for the Pride last Friday night against Western New England.

Six players rushed for a touchdown while the offense concluded the non-conference meeting with 506 yards of total offense.

The team’s impressive ground game led to the entire offensive line – Lou Cocozza, Cam Borges, Vinny Ruggiero, Jon Weber, and Chris Eichler – being named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week.

While it’s only one game, this Springfield team looked pretty good – their momentum will be tested against Rowan University on Saturday.

Like Springfield, Rowan enjoyed a successful debut by defeating Widener University, 42-20.

Rowan lost to Springfield last fall – the Profs defense struggled to contain the Pride’s rushing attack, which was led by Tim Callahan (151 rushing yards and three touchdowns) and Patrick Ladas (115 rushing yards and one touchdown).

Anna Maria Picked To Win The ECFC Crown

Alex Cohen will be one of many players to watch on Anna Maria College’s football team this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

After capturing its first Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown last fall, Anna Maria College was picked to win its second league title this season.

The AMCATs secured the top spot in today’s preseason poll – Anna Maria collected five of seven first-place votes while Alfred State and Dean College secured one vote, respectively.

Alfred State was picked to finish second this season after concluding the 2021 season in the same spot in the standings with a 6-4 overall record. The six wins were the most any Pioneers squad recorded in a single season – they also represented the ECFC in the New England Bowl against UMass Dartmouth.

Castleton University was picked to finish third followed by Dean fourth and Gallaudet University fifth. Maritime College and Keystone College secured the final two placements, checking in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Anna Maria returns some key members from last year’s squad that produced seven wins, including quarterback Alex Cohen, who will be tasked with leading the 12th-ranked passing offense in NCAA Division III that registered 3,198 yards and 24 touchdowns in 10 contests.  

Armstrong Antoine will be the player to watch on Anna Maria’s defense after tallying 74.0 total tackles, including 48 solo stops to go with one forced fumble and one interception.

Anna Maria will be idle during the opening week of the season but will begin its title defense on Saturday, September 10 when they welcome UMass Dartmouth the Paxton, Massachusetts.

Six ECFC squads will begin their respective campaign next week, beginning with Dean College visiting Fitchburg State on Friday, September 2.