Tag: Football

Noontime’s High School Notebook: Revisiting Walpole’s Win Over Wellesley

Walpole quarterback Corey Kilroy led the Timberwolves on back-to-back scoring drives in the fourth quarter. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan)

By Matt Noonan

For two weeks, the Walpole High School football team seemed unstoppable.

The Timberwolves cruised past Framingham, 56-0, in their season-opener before clinching their first win over Natick in eight years one week later.

On Saturday, Walpole’s early-season momentum was tested, but the Timberwolves prevailed, despite yielding not one, but three touchdowns for the first time this season.  

Walpole erased Wellesley’s nine-point lead after three quarters by scoring a pair of touchdowns in the final session to secure a hard-fought 27-23 victory.

“(It’s) the first time this year (our team has) been down, fighting adversity,” explained Walpole coach Chris Sullivan.

“(Our team) showed me no signs of getting down. They were just hungry … just super proud of these guys. They never gave up.”

Indeed, the Timberwolves did not give up.

They received a major boost from quarterback Corey Kilroy, who led the Blue and Orange on back-to-back scoring drives during the final frame that saw Jamal Abdal-Khallaq and Logan Keyes reach the end zone.

Additionally, Walpole’s defense made some key plays, beginning with a third down stop by Sean O’Brien that set up Keyes’ go-ahead score. Andrew Falzone secured the win by intercepting Wellesley quarterback Vincent Ferrara on the ensuing possession.

Falzone’s interception ignited a celebration on the Walpole sidelines, along with a sigh of relief by many players and coaches that watched the offense execute back-to-back kneel downs.

“At halftime, we flipped a switch (and) everyone started to pick up the energy,” said Kilroy, who tossed three touchdowns in the win. “We knew what we needed to do, so we started executing … we came back, play after play, drive after drive.”

Added Keyes, “Everyone did their job and executed.”

Saturday’s performance, especially down the stretch, was impressive. It was a team effort, which will be needed again this week when Walpole visits Milton on Friday evening.

Like Walpole, Milton has won its first three contests, beating Framingham, Scituate, and Holliston.

Milton’s opening day win against Scituate erased memories of last year’s season-opener, which saw the Sailors beat the Wildcats, 34-20. Scituate would go on to win the Division 4 state championship by edging Duxbury, 14-13.

Sullivan knows Milton presents many challenges but knows Walpole will be prepared.

“They are a dynamic team,” Sullivan said of Walpole’s week four opponent. “It’s going to be tough … but I think the kids are up for the challenge.”

Friday’s kickoff between Milton and Walpole is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Brooks Field Turf.

Staying within the Bay State Conference (BSC), Needham secured its first win of the season last Friday over Newton North.

Halfback Tate Hoffmeister rushed for 191 yards on 27 carries for two touchdowns, along with a pair of two-point conversions. Coach Doug Kopcso tweeted about the performance against the Tigers yesterday – he said, “Hoffmeister had himself a career night versus Newton North in Needham’s 22-6 victory.”  

Needham, which dropped its first two contests of the 2022 season to King Phillip and Natick, which attempt to capture its second contest of the season on Friday when they welcome Weymouth to Memorial Park at 7 p.m.

Weymouth, which began its season with back-to-back wins over Malden Catholic and Newton North, lost to Hingham yesterday by a score of 20-15.

The Wildcats’ five-point setback to the Harbormen was highlighted by a stifling defensive performance, including Jayce Mellish, who concluded the contest with a sack and fumble recovery.

Hingham will host Whitman-Hanson on Saturday – the Panthers enter the week four meeting with a record of 2-1.

Malden heads into the final week of September with a great deal of momentum after picking up its first Greater Boston League (GBL) win against Chelsea.

The Golden Tornadoes have won two of three contests thus far while averaging five touchdowns per game.

This week, Malden will attempt to cap the opening month of the season with a win against Somerville, a squad they edged last September by a score of 14-12.

Last season’s win over the Highlanders was the first for coach Witche Exilhomme, who is in his second season with the Golden Tornadoes.  

Finally, two teams fans of high school football should keep their eyes on, both this week and next month: Burlington and Quincy.

Burlington has won two of three contests this fall under first-year coach George Balian, who will lead his alma mater into their first Middlesex League contest this Friday against Watertown.

The Red Devils outlasted Cambridge on Friday before beating Westborough in their season-opener by a score of 19-0.

Watertown beat Burlington last season, 14-7.

Quincy edged Westwood last night, 48-46, thanks to a go-ahead and a game-winning touchdown pass from Andrew Novak.

Novak connected with Jacey Ham down the far sidelines for the game-winning score to provide Quincy with its third-straight win of the season.

Ham concluded the non-league clash with three catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns while Novak completed 6 of 11 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 100 yards on 12 carries.

Quincy beat Westwood last fall by two touchdowns.

The Presidents will be idle this weekend. They will welcome Hanover to Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday, October 7 for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week Four

Dante Aviles-Santos has recorded 12 touchdown passes through three contests. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jared Marshall/UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Friday has officially arrived, which means one thing: we need to dish out our picks for New England NCAA Division III football games.

Last week, we didn’t do too bad as we selected seven games correctly to bump our season total to 19-11.

This week, let’s see if we can at least pick seven games correctly – maybe eight or nine?

In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and enjoy the games, along with the amazing fall weather (can I get a hot coffee please?)

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Four

Norwich University at Endicott College (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m.): Last week, the Gulls defense yielded its first touchdown of the season – so much for a third-straight shutout. Expect the Endicott defense to provide a few problems for a Cadets squad that has lost two-straight meetings with the Gulls, dating back to a late November contest in 2012. PREDICTION: Endicott over Norwich

Salisbury University at Western New England (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m.): The Golden Bears will cap their non-league schedule against a challenging foe that is looking to keep pace with Rowan University and Montclair State in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). PREDICTION: Salisbury over Western New England

Coast Guard Academy at Anna Maria College (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m.): The AMCATs are seeking some additional momentum heading into conference play next week. On Saturday, look for another big game from quarterback Alex Cohen. PREDICTION: Anna Maria over Coast Guard Academy

Husson University at Springfield College (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m.): Springfield’s four-game homestand concludes with an important non-league clash with an Eagles squad that recently snapped its two-game losing streak. If Springfield is going to be victorious, they will need a big game from quarterback David Wells. PREDICTION: Springfield over Husson

Wesleyan University at Middlebury College (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.): Both teams won their respective season-opener last week, but can this year’s Panthers squad slow down a high-powered Cardinals offense that produced 41 points last week? PREDICTION: Wesleyan over Middlebury

Tufts University at Bates College (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m.): The Jumbos’ comeback against Trinity College fell short last week – it was impressive, though. Expect another big game from wide receiver Phil Lutz. PREDICTION: Tufts over Bates

Framingham State at Westfield State (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Rams, which dropped their initial conference clash with UMass Dartmouth last week. PREDICTION: Framingham State over Westfield State

UMass Dartmouth at Worcester State (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m.): Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos has been the player to watch on the Corsairs this fall – he has recorded 12 touchdown passes through three games and will certainly continue his early-season success against the Lancers’ secondary. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Worcester State  

Nichols College at Hartwick College (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m.): The Bison are off to a 3-0 start – last week, they needed everyone on their roster to score a hard-fought win over Coast Guard Academy. This week, Nichols’ early-season momentum should continue against the Hawks in New York. PREDICTION: Nichols over Hartwick  

Bridgewater State at Western Connecticut (Sept. 24 at 5 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears as they have yet to crack the win column this season. Halfback Adam Couch has been the player to watch thus far on Bridgewater State. Last week against Plymouth State, he rushed for a game-high 111 yards and one touchdown. He also caught four passes for 64 yards. Western Connecticut’s John Giller is the player to watch on the Wolves after throwing for a season-high 305 yards in week three. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State over Western Conn.

Noontime’s Eastern Massachusetts High School Football Teams of the Week (Sept. 19, 2022)

An impressive rushing attack by the Weymouth High School football team helped the Wildcats score a 35-20 victory last Saturday over Newton North. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

Two weeks of Massachusetts high school football are in the books.

Beginning today – and yes, every Monday throughout the remainder of the 2022 season – we will be highlighting 10 Eastern Massachusetts high schools for our weekly Teams of the Week post (you can also see the team we highlight on our Instagram channel).

The goal of this weekly post is to provide various schools, communities, and programs with some additional publicity following their recent outing.

Noontime’s High School Football Teams of the Week (Sept. 19, 2022)

Billerica: The Indians are off to a 2-0 start, thanks to back-to-back wins over Lowell (38-0) and Westford Academy (32-14). Quarterback JT Green will be the player to watch this week when the Green and White welcome Wilmington (0-2) to campus on Friday.

Brighton: Coach Randolph Abraham’s squad has produced 104 points through two contests, thanks to quarterback Sahmir Morales, who will be a player to watch this week when the Bengals welcome O’Bryant High School (0-1) to Daly Field.

Hanover: After dropping their season-opener to Duxbury, Hanover bounced back last Friday with a 42-6 victory over Plymouth North. Numerous Hawks reached the end zone, including wide receivers Joe Curran and Dave Quinlan, who combined for 11 catches for 179 yards and four touchdowns. Quinlan also fished with two tackles for a loss and one interception. This week, Hanover will visit Stoughton (1-1).

Holliston: One week after scoring a big opening day win against Foxborough, the Panthers scored another impressive victory by beating Medway, 48-0. Quarterback TJ Kiley highlighted the Red and White’s second win with five touchdowns, including two on the ground. This week, Holliston will visit Milton (2-0), which beat the Panthers last season by a score of 37-13.

North Attleboro: The Rocketeers needed an extra session to edge Mansfield last week to bump their current record to 2-0. North Attleboro is idle this week before welcoming Franklin (2-0) to town next Friday, September 30.

TechBoston: The Bears picked up their second win last Friday over Georgetown. Quarterback Leo Bowman and Ahmir Carrington combined for 239 rushing yards against the Royals – Bowman also registered two touchdowns. Coach Raul Brown’s squad will attempt to score its thirds-straight win this week against East Boston High School (0-2).

Walpole: Halfback Andrew Falzone rushed for three touchdowns last week as Walpole blanked Natick, 26-0. This week, the Timberwolves head to Wellesley (1-1) for a Saturday afternoon clash against a Raiders squad that beat Walpole one year ago by a score of 24-10.

Westwood: Quarterback Brendan Donegan registered 284 yards of total offense last week to go with five touchdown passes as the Wolverines rolled past Bellingham, 40-7. Westwood heads to Quincy (2-0) on Friday with hopes of continuing its early-season success.  

Whitman-Hanson: Make it back-to-back wins for the Panthers, which scored a hard-fought 7-0 win over Foxborough last Friday. Coach Zack Botelho’s squad will be on the road again this week, visiting Rockland (1-1) on Friday.

Weymouth: A total team effort, along with an impressive rushing attack led by Anthony Smith, Cameron Aieta, and Cam Fernandez helped the Wildcats score a 35-20 victory on Saturday against Newton North. Weymouth will visit Hingham on Saturday in a battle of 2-0 squads.

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 10 Poll (Sept. 5, 2022)

Anthony Caggianelli and the Endicott College football team scored an opening day win over St. Lawrence University on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

With the first week of the New England NCAA Division III football season in the books, it is time to unveil a brand-new poll.

Previously, we shared our way too early Top 20 Poll in June — as we noted, both here on the blog and on social media, the poll would change.

And indeed, it has changed — do you notice the difference?

This year, we’re going back in time to produce a weekly 10-team poll, which is something we did previously before expanding our list to 20 teams in 2019 (we also did a Top 20 poll last fall).

So, without further ado, allow us to share this week’s poll, which finds Endicott College in the top spot followed by UMass Dartmouth (second) and Springfield College (third).

Noontime’s Top 10 Poll: Monday, September 5, 2022 (Week Two)

1. Endicott College (1-0, 0-0 CCC): An impressive ground game highlighted the Gulls’ season-opening win over the Saints of St. Lawrence. Let’s see if it can continue against a WPI defense that yielded 139 rushing yards last Friday to Worcester State.

2. UMass Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC): Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos recorded five touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win, including one score on the ground. His impressive play should continue this week against Anna Maria.

3. Springfield College (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC): Six members of the Pride reached the end zone on the ground against Western New England last Friday. Look for Springfield’s impressive rushing attack to continue this week against Rowan University.

4. Trinity College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC): The Bantams will be idle for one more week — they will begin their 2022 campaign at Tufts University on Saturday, September 17.

5. Wesleyan University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC): The Cardinals will be idle for one more week — Wesleyan begins its 2022 campaign at home on Saturday, September 17 against Bates College.

6.  Salve Regina University (1-0, 0-0 CCC): One touchdown was all the Seahawks needed to beat Norwich University, but one has to think that this offense will produce a few more points on Saturday against MIT.

7.  MIT (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC): Coach Brian Bubna‘s squad took care of business last Friday with a season-opening win against Curry College. On Saturday, they face a challenging foe in Salve Regina, which has scored three-straight wins against the Engineers, dating back to 2015.

8.  University of New England (1-0, 0-0 CCC): The Nor’easters scored their first win over Coast Guard Academy this past weekend, snapping a three-game skid in the series with the Bears that began in 2018.

9.  Anna Maria College (0-0, 0-0 ECFC): The wait is finally over. We’ll finally see the AMCATs for the first time this weekend when they welcome the Corsairs to Paxton.

10. WPI (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC): The Engineers began their season with a win over Worcester State, but face a challenging test on Friday against the Gulls of Endicott.

ON THE RISE: Husson University (0-1, 0-0 CCC), Western New England (0-1, 0-0 CCC), and Williams College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC)

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.