Tag: Fitchburg State

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Oct. 18, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

The eighth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III football season officially began Sunday, October 17, 2021, so that means it is time to unveil our latest Top 20 Poll!

1. Endicott College (6-1, 3-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): Mike Ingraffia and the Gulls remain in the top spot following an important conference win against Husson University.

2. Trinity College (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC| LW: No. 2): The Bantams cruised past Bates College this past weekend.

3. Williams College (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): The Ephs have outscored their opponents, 178-52, through five contests.

4. Western New England (4-3, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 4): The Golden Bears returned to the win column with a bounce-back win against Curry College.

5. Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 5): A big third quarter last Saturday helped the Seahawks push ahead for good against Nichols College.

6. Framingham State (5-2, 5-0 | LW: No. 6): Make it five-straight wins for the Rams, who head into their bye week with a lot of momentum.

7. Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 | LW: No. 7): The Bears return from their bye week with a home date against Westfield State.

8. Wesleyan University (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 9): Wesleyan moves up after scoring its fifth consecutive victory – this week, they host Middlebury College, which beat the Cardinals two years ago in Vermont by a score of 45-21.

9. UMass Dartmouth (5-2, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 11): The Corsairs erased a 16-6 deficit at the break to score their fifth win of the season on Saturday against Westfield State.

10. Husson University (4-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 8): The Eagles dropped two spots following a one-score setback (24-17) setback to Endicott. Let’s see if the Green and Gold can bounce back this week against the University of New England.

11. Springfield College (3-3, 2-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 14): Springfield has outscored its last two opponents by a score of 116-7. Crazy, right?

12. Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC| LW: No. 15): Make it four straight wins for Alex Cohen and the AMCATs.

13. Plymouth State (2-4, 2-2 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): Make it back-to-back wins for the Panthers, who beat Fitchburg State after securing a hard-fought victory one week earlier against Western Connecticut. Sure, this is the first appearance for the Green and White on our list, but they have not made it easy on a few teams ahead of them this fall, including Bridgewater State and Husson University.  

14. Western Connecticut (3-4, 2-3 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Colonials drop four spots following a difficult setback to Framingham State.

15. University of New England (3-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 13): The Nor’easters were idle this past weekend but face a big challenge this weekend against Husson University.

16. Curry College (2-4, 0-3 CCC | LW: No. 12): The Colonels’ defense did not make things easy on Western New England this past weekend as the unit recorded two tackles for a loss of 22 yards, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

17. MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC | LW: No. 18): Despite falling to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the Engineers produced 34 points while registering 409 yards. Additionally, the defense recorded two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

18. Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Polar Bears cracked the win column this past weekend by defeating Amherst College for the first time since 2005 – maybe they should have two wins? They provided plenty of challenges for the Cardinals of Wesleyan.

19. Colby College (2-3, 2-3 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Mules returned to the poll following a big win over Middlebury College for the first time since 2010.

20. Amherst College (3-2, 3-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 17): The Mammoths secured the final spot, despite losing to Bowdoin College last weekend.

Noontime’s D3 Football Saturday Roundup: Endicott Rolls Past WNE, 45-21

Kobe Gaudette (84) caught two touchdown passes in Endicott College’s victory Saturday over Western New England. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Quarterback Mike Ingraffia completed 20 of 25 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns while halfback John Kenney rushed for three scores as Endicott College defeated Western New England, 45-21, to secure the top spot in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league.

Saturday’s win marks the second time in three years that the Gulls have beaten the Golden Bears on their home field.

Endicott capitalized on its first five series, scoring a touchdown on four straight drives before ending their fifth with a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Smith.  

Western New England trimmed the deficit twice in the second quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Karstetter to Steven Fedorchak and a one-yard rushing score by EJ Dudley to pull within 17 points (31-14) at the break.

Ingraffia tossed his final touchdown in the third quarter to Kobe Gaudette – the two connected for a 58-yard strike down the nearside before Kenney registered his final score with 8:08 remaining in the fourth quarter by capping a four-play, 36-yard drive with a 14-yard rushing score.

Tim Russell led the Endicott defense with 10 total tackles to go with one pass breakup while Tyler Davis tallied eight stops, including three solo tackles.

The Gulls, who have won five of six contests this fall, will visit Husson University next Saturday, October 16.

Husson scored its first league victory of the season this afternoon by defeating Curry College, 21-14, thanks to three touchdown passes by Nic Visser, who concluded the game with 271 passing yards.

Adam Couch rushed for a game-high 190 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns while James Cahoon completed 9 of 16 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns as Bridgewater State rolled past Worcester State, 49-13, to improve to 4-2 overall and 4-0 against Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) teams.

Framingham State also won its fourth-straight conference game as the Rams blanked Fitchburg State, 35-0. Devaun Ford recorded 142 yards of total offense, including 92 receiving yards, and three touchdowns (two on the ground, one through the air).

Gavin Moody rushed for the go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) touchdown with 3:17 remaining as Plymouth State outlasted Western Connecticut, 16-13, in Danbury, Connecticut.

Moody concluded the game with 21 yards on two carries while Manny Sanchez led all rushers with 136 yards on 26 carries.

Quin Girard led the Panthers’ defense with nine total tackles, including four solo stops.

Tim Callahan and Patrick Ladas each rushed for two touchdowns as Springfield College rolled past Coast Guard Academy, 60-0, in their first home game of the 2021 season.

Springfield is one of three teams with a perfect mark in conference play, joining the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA) and Catholic University.

Trinity College, Williams College, and Wesleyan University all moved to 4-0 in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play while Bates College scored their first win against Tufts University since 2013 as the Bobcats roared past the Jumbos by a score of 33-10.

We’ll have more on the sixth week of the New England D-III (and yes, some thoughts on D-II) later this weekend!

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Six

Joshua Onujiogu and the Framingham State defense shined last week against Plymouth State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Frank Poulin Photography)

By Matt Noonan

The second half of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III football season begins this weekend – man, that first half went by quick, eh?

Luckily, there is still plenty of football left to be played, and as usual, it is time to highlight our five teams to watch this weekend.

Amherst College (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC): Through three weeks of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season, the Mammoths have been a pleasant surprise, winning two of three contests, including a 24-21 victory last weekend against Tufts University.

Quarterback Brad Breckenridge concluded last week’s game with 223 yards of total offense, including 103 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Saturday’s performance against the Jumbos was Breckenridge’s most impressive outing this fall after struggling one week earlier against the Colby College defense.  

As a team, Amherst’s best effort occurred two weeks ago in an opening day win against Bates College when the Purple and White recorded 432 yards of total offense. Can they duplicate that performance this week against Middlebury College?

In addition to watching Brad Breckenridge, make sure to keep your eyes on defensive back Matt Durborow, who concluded last week’s game against Tufts with 12 total tackles, including five solo stops (Ryan Monteleone also recorded 12 total tackles, too).

Framingham State (3-2, 3-0 MASCAC): Tom Kelley’s squad has seemed to click into gear heading into the stretch run.

After starting its season with back-to-back losses, the Rams have won three consecutive conference tilts, including a 33-0 win over Plymouth State last Saturday.

Devaun Ford rushed for a pair of scores while Elijah Nichols hauled in a game-high 12 receptions for 116 yards. Cully Curran paced the defense with five solo tackles while the unit combined for four sacks and eight tackles for a loss of 44 yards. Framingham’s defense also recorded four pass breakups and one quarterback hurry.

This week, the Rams visit Fitchburg State, which is seeking its first win under Scott Sperone. A win for Framingham State certainly would provide them with additional momentum heading into next week’s conference clash with Western Connecticut.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (3-1, 2-0 MASCAC): The Buccaneers enter the sixth week of the season riding a two-game winning streak that will be tested on Saturday against a UMass Dartmouth squad that suffered its second setback of the 2021 season last weekend to Western Connecticut.

A win over the Corsairs would keep the Buccaneers in the race for the top spot for the conference crown.

Cole Keefe, Hunter Lassere, and Mack Brown led the Massachusetts Maritime defense last week against Westfield State – the unit tallied five sacks and 12 tackles for a loss of 56 yards to go with one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. Expect the Buccaneers defense to provide the UMass Dartmouth offense with some challenges.

Norwich University (2-3, 1-0 NEWMAC): The Cadets looked pretty good last weekend against Coast Guard Academy – Norwich beat the Bears, 24-21, for its initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory.

Norwich concluded the game with 492 yards of total offense and converted two fourth-down attempts.

Trevor Chase led all receivers with eight grabs for 155 yards and two touchdowns while Jeremy Henault stuffed the stat sheet with five solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of four yards, two interceptions, and one pass breakup.

Last week’s win resulted in Norwich securing a spot on our weekly Top 20 poll.

This weekend, Norwich will need to play its best football against the top team in the conference: the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Western Connecticut (3-2, 2-1 MASCAC): With a 34-19-win last week over UMass Dartmouth, the Colonials have found themselves back in the conference crown mix.

Mack Driver highlighted his team’s third win of the season by rushing for 119 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns while Ambrose Richards registered eight total tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 12 yards.

Coach Joe Loth praised his team for their effort against the Corsairs, saying his squad “executed three great game plans” on offense, defense, and special teams.

All three units will be tasked with executing great game plans again this week against Plymouth State.

Observations & Thoughts From Five Weeks of New England D2 & D3 Football

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak set the program record for touchdown receptions last weekend against Salve Regina. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan

We’re slowly reaching the halfway mark of the 2021 college football season – crazy, right?

But the good news is there is still plenty of football left to be played.

While yesterday – Sunday, October 3, 2021 – technically marked the beginning of the sixth week of the season, here are some observations from what I have witnessed over the past few weeks.

Let’s begin in the Northeast 10 Conference (NE10) where Bentley University has won five straight contests to stretch its current winning streak to 10 games, dating back to October 2019.  

The Falcons, who currently occupy the top spot in the conference, have won three consecutive league matchups this fall, including a 34-21 contest this past weekend against Saint Anselm. Quarterback Stephen Sturm account for four touchdowns – three passing, one rushing – and 379 yards of total offense against the Hawks while Cole McCubrey registered a team-high 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops (Rene Nunez also recorded nine solo tackles).

Bentley enters the sixth week of the season as the 18th best team in Division II, according to the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll. The Falcons are one of nine teams on this week’s list that have won five consecutive contests this fall.

West Florida and Northwest Missouri State, which secured the first and second positions in this week’s AFCA D-II Poll, boast identical 4-0 records.

As noted above, there is still a lot of football left to be played, but Bentley has certainly found ways to score hard-fought wins, both this past weekend and at the end of September against American International College.

This week, the Falcons host a Pace University squad that provided challenges for New Haven, which broke open a 14-14 tie with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Last week’s Pace-New Haven contest marked the first time the Chargers competed on the road this school year.

Coach Chris Pincince seemed proud of his team’s effort against the Setters, saying that “a win is a win, we look forward. We took another step toward another goal (of winning the Northeast 10 title) that we have.”

New Haven hosts Saint Anselm this week – the Chargers defense will be tasked with slowing down an impressive Hawks passing attack that is led by quarterback Drew Willoughby, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 1,410 yards in four contests.

As of now, it appears as if both Bentley and New Haven are the frontrunners for the conference crown as neither squad has dropped a league contest thus far, but don’t overlook Southern Connecticut (3-2, 2-1), Assumption College (2-3, 2-1), and Stonehill College (3-1, 1-1). All three, along with possible American International College could conclude the season in the top spot.

Sure, we picked against Western New England this past weekend in the previous 10 Games to Watch – I thought Salve Regina University would continue its early-season momentum against the Golden Bears – but the Blue and Gold proved me wrong as they defeated the Seahawks, 41-3, in their initial Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) contest.

Steven Fedorchak highlighted his team’s big win over the Seahawks by setting a new program record for touchdown receptions with 23. He concluded the contest with a game-high 87 yards on six catches.

With the win, the Golden Bears returned to the top spot in our weekly poll and seem destined to occupy that position for the remainder of the season baring a future setback to say Endicott College this week or another conference foe later this fall.

We’ll share our weekly picks later this week, but from what I have seen from Western New England thus far, as well as this past weekend, they certainly are the favorite to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Alex Cohen recorded six touchdowns last weekend in his team’s first-ever win against Keystone College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College)

Here are a few more teams to keep an eye on over the next few weeks:

Anna Maria College: The AMCATs have been a great story this fall.

Anna Maria has won three of four meetings, including its first-ever with Keystone College, which saw quarterback Alex Cohen account for six touchdowns – five passing and one rushing.

Last Saturday’s win provided coach Dan Mulrooney with his seventh victory as the AMCATs head coach – the seven wins are the most recorded by a head coach in program history, dating back to their initial season in 2009.

Anna Maria has never won the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) but could be in line for the title, pending how the next few weeks play out.

Framingham State: After losing back-to-back non-conference games earlier this season, the Rams have bounced back, winning three straight, including their first conference clash of the season with UMass Dartmouth.

Coach Tom Kelley’s squad enters the sixth week of the season tied with Bridgewater State for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) – the two teams will compete next month in Framingham.

The Rams pitched their first shutout of the season last weekend against Plymouth State (33-0) and will attempt to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday when they visit Fitchburg State for a 3 p.m. kick-off.

Norwich University: The Cadets scored a big win last weekend against Coast Guard Academy to secure a three-way tie atop the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings.

After starting their 2021 campaign with back-to-back losses, Norwich has rebounded quite well – hey, they did not make things easy on Endicott, which rallied to beat the Cadets on their home field.

Keep an eye on the Cadets moving forward – maybe their win against Coast Guard Academy is just the start of an exciting second-half run.

Trinity College: I watched the Bantams game last weekend against Middlebury College and came away impressed.

Trinity blanked the defending champions by a score of 28-0, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Spencer Fetter, who has thrown eight touchdowns this fall while completing 62 of 91 passes for 952 yards.

Fetter was impressive, but the same could be said for others, including halfback William Kirby and linebacker Brian Casagrande, who both scored one touchdown last weekend.

Trinity is one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have yet to drop a game this season – they will attempt to continue their winning ways on Saturday when they visit Hamilton College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.

University of New England: The Nor’easters are one win away from matching their program record for wins in a single season after capturing their last three matchups, including a pair of non-league wins over Alfred State and Bridgewater State.

Last Saturday, UNE scored its first win in program history against Nichols College, thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Jack Mahoney, Jaymeson Maheux, and Connor Sirois.   

UNE travels to Salve Regina this weekend for its second conference tilt of the 2021 season.

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Five

Devin Marrocco and the Colby College football team will attempt to earn their second win on Saturday against Hamilton College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Eileen Sawyer/Colby College)

By NoontimeSports.com

The fifth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is quickly approaching, which means it is time to highlight five teams to watch this weekend.

Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC): The AMCATs have been a great story this fall, winning two of three contests, including an exciting 29-24 victory last weekend against Coast Guard Academy.

This week, Anna Maria will visit Keystone College in its first-ever meeting with the Giants — Keystone has yet to win a game this fall, but Saturday’s clash with the AMCATs will be their first as a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).

Quarterback Alex Cohen will be a player to watch in this game as the senior signal-caller has thrown for 852 yards through three contests, as well as connected with wide receiver for three of his four touchdowns.

On defense, keep your eyes on Sam Jakana, who finished last week’s game against the Bears with 10 total tackles — all solo stops! — including four tackles for a loss of 17 yards.

Colby College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC): The Mules snapped a 22-game losing streak to Amherst College last weekend by outlasting the Mammoths, 10-7.  

Colby’s defense highlighted the win while halfback Devin Marrocco provided the Blue and White with an early lead mid-way through the opening quarter by capping a 13-play, 71-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Moises Celaya booted a season-long 38-yard field goal midway through the final session to provide the visitors with a few more points that helped them depart Amherst with a much-needed win after losing their season-opener to Wesleyan University one week earlier by a score of 21-5.  

This week, the Mules face-off against a 1-1 Hamilton College squad that won its season-opener against Bowdoin College but lost its second matchup to Wesleyan.

Last week’s win against Amherst should provide the Mules with some much-needed momentum against a Hamilton squad that beat them in 2019 by a score of 45-24.

In 2018, the Mules topped the Continentals at home by a score of 23-21, thanks to a pair of fourth quarter field goals by Walter Thilly.

Curry College (2-1, 0-0 CCC): After starting their season with a 41-7 setback to MIT, the Colonels have bounced back, defeating Coast Guard Academy (21-18) and Hartwick College (14-7) to enter conference play with some momentum.

Curry was idle this past weekend, but its defense was a unit to watch two weeks ago against Hartwick — Curry’s defense finished the game with two sacks, six tackles for a loss, one interception, and seven pass break-ups. Gregory Silvia and James Nyamwaya each recorded 10 total tackles.

Quarterback Justin Mullaney threw for a season-high 301 yards in the win – he also completed 24 of 37 passes and tossed one touchdown.

Mullaney’s go-to targets through three games are Maxx Bell (18 receptions for 141 yards) and Gabe DeSouza (15 catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns) – both receivers will be players to watch on Saturday against Endicott College.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC): The Buccaneers returned to the win column last week after falling to Anna Maria College one week earlier by a score of 23-13.

Massachusetts Maritime’s defense was the story of last week’s conference win against Fitchburg State as the unit tallied 72 total tackles, including 11 tackles for a loss of 47 yards, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and one interception returned for 30 yards.

Hugh Wells was one of many members of the Buccaneers defense to watch last week – the West Hartford, Connecticut native registered three total tackles, including one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 18 yards and one forced fumble.

Jonah Mitchell and Colbe Andrews powered the offense by combining for 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

This week, the Buccaneers visit Westfield State for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. A win over the Owls will keep Massachusetts Maritime in the mix for the top spot in the conference with Bridgewater State and Framingham State, along with UMass Dartmouth and Western Connecticut.

Salve Regina (4-0, 0-0 CCC): The Seahawks have been a great story this fall.

The team’s most recent win against Rowan University was very exciting – Salve Regina trailed, 35-16, at the break, but stormed back during the final two sessions to cap its non-conference slate with a 50-35 victory.

Halfback Joey Mauriello has been the players to watch on the Seahawks – the Colts Neck, New Jersey native was named this week’s New England Football Writers (NEFW) Gold Helmet recipient for Division II/III after rushing for a school-record 279 yards and three fourth quarter touchdowns. Mauriello concluded the contest with 332 all-purpose yards.

Mauriellio and the Seahawks face a challenging test this weekend against Western New England, a squad that has dropped two-straight to Salisbury University and Utica College.

Salve Regina has not beaten Western New England since 2013 – the victory occurred in Newport, Rhode Island. Their last victory against the Golden Bears on the road came in 2012 when Salve Regina topped Western New England, 43-0.