With the 2021 NCAA New England Division III season slowly winding down, it is time to unveil our end-of-season team that features a slew of student-athletes from all five conferences. Some of these student-athletes appeared on our preseason team — in case you missed it, feel free to jump back in time to see who made our D3 preseason squad! — but in the meantime, congratulations to everyone on another exciting season, and best of luck to the seniors and graduate students that competed for the final time this fall!
One week after seeing their nine-game winning streak from 2019 snapped in Williamstown, the Middlebury College football team bounced back with a 24-0 victory over Bates College in their home-opener.
Quarterback Will Jernigan completed 11 of 24 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown while adding two score on the ground to go with 56 rushing yards.
Middlebury’s Peter Scibilia led all rushers with 81 yards on 18 carries while Kwesi Adu-Diawuo and Gordon Pollock combined for 14 total tackles, including one sack and one interception.
Brendan Costa led Bates with 150 yards of total offense, including 35 yards on 14 carries.
In Somerville, Joel Nicholas rushed for the game-winning touchdown in overtime as Williams College edged Tufts University, 32-29.
Nicholas rushed for two scores and a team-high 94 yards on 22 carries while Bobby Maimaron tallied two scores, including one on the ground, which provided Williams with an early 7-6 advantage after one quarter.
Tufts led the Ephs, 12-7, at the break, while Williams outscored the hosts, 19-14, in the second half.
Ivan Shuran, who finished the game with eight points, sent the game to overtime by booting a 43-yard field goal with 43 seconds remaining. Tufts attempted to ice the first-year kicker with a timeout before he converted his second field goal.
The Jumbos scored first in overtime with a 40-yard field goal by Patrick Walsh before the Ephs countered with Nicholas, who found an open hole to his left.
Tufts’ Tyler Johnson led all rushers with 100 yards on 21 carries while rushing for one touchdown. Philip Lutz led the Jumbos receiving core with three grabs for 104 yards and one touchdown.
Moises Celaya tallied four points, including three points on a go-ahead and eventual game-winning field goal with 8:45 remaining in the fourth quarter as Colby College edged Amherst College, 10-7, for its first win of the 2021 season.
In Framingham, Nicolas Goffredo completed 9 of 23 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns to go with 38 yards on seven carries while Joshua Onujiogu stuffed the stat sheet with nine total tackles, including five tackles for a loss of 26 yards and one interception for a 47-yard return as the Rams won their second-straight game, defeating Westfield State, 41-6.
In Franklin, MIT leaned on its ground game to defeat Dean College by a score of 27-0.
Brady Klein, Ashton Robinson, and Jay Theriault each recorded one rushing touchdown in the Engineers’ second win while Dean’s Errol Breaux led all receivers with six receptions for 109 yards.
In Newport, Rhode Island, Joey Mauriello rushed for a game-high 309 yards and two touchdowns while Jack Maguire completed 26 of 32 passes for 298 yards and five touchdowns as Salve Regina erased a 35-16 deficit at the break to defeat Rowan, 50-35.
Husson University won its third-straight contest by defeating Springfield College, 26-21, in Bangor, Maine. Quarterback Nic Visser threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns in the win while Tucker Buzzell tallied 13 total tackles.
Springfield trailed, 26-7, at the break, but closed the gap with two second half touchdowns from Aiden Lewin and Isaiah Cashwell.
Elsewhere in New England, Endicott topped Norwich, 30-21, UMass Dartmouth beat Worcester State, 52-7, and Wesleyan rolled past Hamilton, 30-14.
We’re posting a bit earlier than usual — maybe we will start producing (and sharing) our 10 Games to Watch every Thursday throughout the New England NCAA Division III football season?
Either way, we’re excited for another busy weekend — this Saturday, ten new teams will join the fun as the 2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season kicks off in various parts of our region.
Last week, we finished 8-2 to bump our overall record to 18-2 thus far — not bad, eh? Let’s see if we can continue this momentum, both tomorrow (Friday, September 17) and Saturday, September, 18.
Enjoy the games, everyone, and make sure to circle back throughout the weekend for roundups and insight!
FEATURED GAME: Middlebury College (0-0) at Williams College (0-0): This might be the game of the weekend and we’ll be keeping you updated from our Noontime Sports studios — well, more our Noontime Sports desk, to be exact — but this game features the two teams that are expected to contend for the NESCAC crown. Look for a late scoring drive by the Panthers to secure a hard-fought three-point victory. PREDICTION: Middlebury 17, Williams 14
Dean College (1-1) at Husson University (1-1) (Friday, September 17, 2021 at 6 p.m.): The Eagles enter the weekend as a team to watch, but the same could be said for the Bulldogs, who provided some challenges last weekend when visiting UMass Dartmouth. Look for a big game from quarterback David Curry and wide receiver Errol Breaux. PREDICTION: Dean 27, Husson 17
Westfield State (0-2) at Western Connecticut (1-1) (Friday, September 17 at 7 p.m.): Both teams enter conference play looking to bounce back after a week two setback. Look for a big game on Friday from quarterback Joshua Bagwell, who recorded 331 yards of total offense last week against Albright College. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 35, Westfield State 13
Endicott College (2-0) at Catholic University (1-1) (Saturday, September 18 at 12 p.m.): The Gulls have recorded back-to-back second half comebacks to score a pair of wins — will that trend continue in Washington, D.C.? The Cardinals are looking to bounce back after a 62-10 setback to Randolph-Macon. PREDICTION: Endicott 28, Catholic 20
UMass Dartmouth (2-0) at Framingham State (0-2) (Saturday, September 18 at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs have scored two hard fought wins over Dean and Husson, and can take a BIG step forward in the conference race with a win over the Rams. For Framingham State to secure a much-needed win, they must find a way to slow down UMass Dartmouth quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos, who recorded six touchdowns (five passing, one on the ground) last Saturday against Dean. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 35, Framingham State 14
University of New England (1-1) at Alfred State (0-2) (Saturday, September 18 at 12 p.m.): The Nor’easters moved up our Top 20 Poll on Monday after rallying to beat Bridgewater State last Saturday. Look for the Blue and White’s early season momentum to continue on Saturday against the Pioneers. PREDICTION: UNE 24, Alfred State 14
Amherst College (0-0) at Bates College (0-0) (Saturday, September 18 at 1 p.m.): Bates quarterback Brendan Costa is back for his final season with the Bobcats, who capped their 2019 season with back-to-back wins over Bowdoin College and Hamilton College. Bates enters the 2021 season with high hopes and optimism, along with a great deal of depth that should help them in their season-opener against the Mammoths. PREDICTION: Bates 21, Amherst 17
Tufts University (0-0) at Trinity College (0-0) (Saturday, September 18 at 1:30 p.m.): Tufts wide receiver OJ Armstrong will be one of a few Jumbos to watch in this contest — this meeting between Tufts and Trinity is certainly an important one as both squads are expected to be in the mix for the conference crown. Keep your eyes on Trinity linebacker Brian Casagrande, who was named to our New England D-III Football Preseason Team. PREDICTION: Tufts 23, Trinity 21
Salve Regina (2-0) at Montclair State (0-2) (Saturday, September 18 at 2 p.m.): The Red Hawks are looking for their initial win of the 2021 season — they almost beat RPI in their season-opener, but saw their two-touchdown lead disappear during the final session. They limited Delaware Valley to just 26 points last week, but will certainly have their hands full at stopping Joey Mauriello and the Seahawks offense, which found a way to score a hard fought win last Saturday against MIT. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 25, Montclair State 22
RPI (2-0) at WPI (1-1) (Saturday, September 18 at 2:30 p.m.): The RPI Engineers have been a fun team to watch this fall, winning a pair of dramatic victories against Montclair State and Stevenson University. Will their momentum continue against the Engineers of Worcester, who are looking to bounce back after losing to Endicott? The winner of this game will walk away with the Transit Trophy. PREDICTION: RPI 21, WPI 17
Happy Monday, everyone — I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend, but also enjoyed seeing football games played, both in-person or on television over the past few days.
Starting today and every week throughout the remainder of the New England D-III college football season, I’ll be producing a weekly post called “Noontime’s Teams to Watch,” which will highlight some programs fans should watch (and yes, keep their eyes on) heading into the upcoming week.
So, without further ado, let’s highlight some teams to watch this week.
MIT: The Engineers scored an opening day win against Curry College — the offense really kicked into gear in the second half as they outscored the Colonels by a score of 27-0. Quarterback Chris Mauck was one of a few players to watch as the Wellington, Florida native completed 17 of 29 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
Halfback Jay Theriault, who played high school football at Masconomet, led the Engineers with 58 yards on ten carries and one touchdown while linebacker Paul Calvetti paced the MIT defense with 13 total tackles.
The Engineers, who moved up three spots in our week two poll, certainly proved they’re going to be a team to watch this fall, but we should get a better gauge on this MIT squad, especially the defensive unit this weekend when they visit Salve Regina University. MIT limited the Curry rushing attack to just 96 yards, but will certainly be challenged this week against a Seahawks squad that is led by halfback Joey Mauriello.
WPI: Despite a slow start to their first game since November of 2019, the Engineers of Worcester found their groove in the second half against Worcester State by outscoring the visitors, 35-7. Coach Chris Robertson‘s squad leaned heavily on its ground game as Hunter Carey and Brandon Winn combined for 240 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Nica Hesel highlighted the WPI defensive effort with four total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 20 yards, one sack for a loss of 17 yards, and one forced fumble. Of course, Hesel wasn’t the only one providing challenges for the Lancer’s offense as Derrick Doncaster and Evan Wertz combined for 15 total tackles, one fumble recovery, and one tackle for a loss of 17 yards.
WPI faces a challenging test on Friday evening against second-ranked Endicott College — the Gulls rallied to beat St. Lawrence University on Saturday after trailing the Saints, 14-6, at the break.
Dean College: Wide receiver Errol Breaux was a player to watch last Saturday as the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native tallied six touchdowns (five receiving, one rushing) against Fitchburg State. The senior wideout concluded the game with 251 yards of total offense — he averaged 30.9 yards per reception.
Quarterback David Curry concluded Saturday’s outing with the Falcons by completing 18 of 30 passes for 327 yards and five touchdowns — I’ll certainly be watching him and Breaux on Saturday when they visit the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs.
In addition to the dynamic duo on offense, keep your eyes on Dre Kidd this Saturday — the Manassas, Virginia native was the only member of the Bulldogs defense to record double-digits in total tackles: 13.
Castleton University: Noah Crossman was the player to watch in the Spartans’ initial contest of 2021 against Plymouth State as the North Chittenden, Vermont native booted a pair of field goals in the opening half before Devin Wollner capped a four-play, 62 yard drive with a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter to secure the victory.
Chris Rice led the Castleton defense with nine total tackles, including three solo stops, three-and-a-half tackles for loss of 16 yards and two-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 13 yards. Rice was a player to watch in 2019 and will certainly be someone all New England D-III fans will want to watch as the season progresses.
The Spartans will travel to Fitchburg State on Saturday — Castleton lost to the Falcons by a score of 12-10 in 2019 but defeated the Gold and Green in 2018.
University of New England: Despite an opening day loss to Coast Guard Academy, the Nor’easters defense was the story as Keegan Stanton-Meas led all defenders with 12 total stops, including seven solo tackles and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of four yards.
UNE, which secured the final spot on today’s poll, is certainly trending in the right direction — the Nor’easters under coach Mike Lichten have shown improvements since their first varsity contest in 2018, and could surprise some squads this fall with a defense that combined for eight tackles for a loss of 20 yards, two quarterback hurries, and one interception returned for 38 yards last Saturday against the Bears.
Stay tuned for more college football (and soon, high school football) coverage later this week, but for now, it is time to unveil our second poll of the 2021 season!
Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 1 | September 6, 2021)
Western New England (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): They say defense wins championships and last Saturday, the Golden Bears defensive unit shined in a crosstown rivalry against Springfield College.
Endicott College (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): Second half adjustments were key for Paul McGonagle‘s squad last Saturday in a 27-14 victory over St. Lawrence University.
UMass Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos‘s second touchdown pass with 1:48 remaining in the final session proved to be the difference in a hard fought victory for the Corsairs.
Williams College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Ephs were idle this past weekend and will be off again this upcoming weekend, but an opening day clash with Middlebury College is quickly approaching.
Middlebury College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): It’s almost game week for the defending New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champions — after an upcoming bye week, the Blue and White will begin final preparation for their opening day foe: Williams.
Wesleyan University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): Game week for the Cardinals will be here soon — an opening clash with Colby College will certainly be a game worth watching next Saturday, September 18.
Trinity College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 8): Despite being idle, both last weekend and this upcoming weekend, the Bantams switched places with Western Connecticut.
Western Connecticut (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 7): The Colonials squeaked out a three-point win last Saturday over William Paterson University — can they keep their early season momentum going this week against Albright College?
MIT (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 12): The Engineers moved-up three spots after outscoring Curry College, 27-0, in the second half. We’ll certainly learn more about MIT this week when they travel to Salve Regina University.
WPI (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 13): Despite a slow start, the Engineers of Worcester looked pretty good against Worcester State in the second half — a big challenge awaits coach Chris Robertson‘s squad on Friday against Endicott College.
Nichols College (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 11): The Bison opened their season with a victory over Westfield State — they will look to continue this early-season momentum on Saturday against Anna Maria College.
Salve Regina University (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 16): Salve Regina opened its season with a 38-0 win over Norwich University, thanks to an impressive rushing attack led by halfback Joey Mauriello.
Husson University (0-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 15): Despite losing to the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth last Saturday, these Eagles certainly proved they’re going to provide some serious challenges for future opponents.
Tufts University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 14): The Jumbos were idle last week and will be this week, but an opening day clash with the Bantams of Trinity will be here soon.
Springfield College (0-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): It wasn’t an ideal start for the Pride, which dropped their season-opener to Western New England — Jack Duignan and DJ Brown highlighted a defensive effort that limited the Golden Bears to just 24 points.
Coast Guard Academy (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 20): The Bears pitched a shutout in their season-opener, topping the University of New England by a score of 16-0. Sure, it wasn’t a flawless game, but we should learn more about the Bears over the next weeks when they face-off against Curry, Nichols, and Anna Maria.
Bridgewater State (0-1, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Ithaca College defense did not make things easy on the Bears, who slid down our poll seven spots following an opening day loss to the Bombers. Let’s see if they can bounce back on Saturday against UNE.
Dean College (1-0, 0-0 ECFC | LW: No. 18): Quarterback David Curry tossed five touchdowns to Errol Breaux in an exciting opening day win against Fitchburg State. A big test awaits the Bulldogs this Saturday against UMass Dartmouth.
Colby College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): Like their NESCAC foes, the Mules were idle this past weekend and will be so this weekend, but we’re anxious to watch their season-opener against Wesleyan on Saturday, September 18.
University of New England (0-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: Not Ranked): Keegan Stanton-Meas led a Nor’easters defense that combined for eight tackles for a loss of 20 yards, two quarterback hurries, one interception, and one pass-breakup against the Bears of Coast Guard.
ON THE RISE: Amherst College, Anna Maria College, Castleton University, Framingham State, and Worcester State