Welcome to the ninth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season — are you ready for another for a big week of football?
This week, along with the next two, will help us determine what teams will compete in either the national postseason or the New England Bowl(s).
So, without further ado, let’s get excited for another week of football with our latest Top 20 poll.
1. Salve Regina University (7-1, 3-1 CCC | LW: No. 5): The Seahawks return to the top of our poll following a come-from-behind victory against Endicott College.
2. Trinity College (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 2): A big matchup awaits the Bantams this week against the Ephs of Williams College.
3. Endicott College (6-2, 3-1 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Gulls drop two spots after seeing their 14-6 lead disappear in the fourth quarter last Saturday to Salve Regina.
4. Western New England (5-3, 3-1 CCC | LW: No. 4): Make it back-to-back wins for the Golden Bears who are still in the mix for their conference crown.
5. Williams College (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): Another week, another victory for the Ephs.
6. Framingham State (5-2, 5-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 6): Are you ready for the Kelley Cup this Saturday?
7. Bridgewater State (5-2, 5-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 7): The Bears rolled past Westfield State this past weekend but face a UMass Dartmouth squad that has won three straight since falling to Western Connecticut earlier this month.
8. Wesleyan University (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 8): The Cardinals shut out Middlebury College at home and will look to continue their midseason momentum against Amherst College this weekend.
9. UMass Dartmouth (6-2, 4-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 9): Don’t be surprised if these Corsairs hand the Bears of Bridgewater State their initial conference setback of the season on Saturday.
10. Husson University (5-2, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 10): The Eagles bounced back from a week seven setback to Endicott with a big win against the University of New England.
11. Springfield College (4-3, 3-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): Make it three-straight wins for the Pride, who now face their toughest test of the season: the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA).
12. Anna Maria College (5-1, 3-0 ECFC | LW: No. 12): Did you know the AMCATs are in first place in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)?
13. Plymouth State (3-4, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): Make it three-straight wins for the Panthers, who will look to even their record with a win on Saturday against Westfield State.
14. MIT (3-3, 1-2 NEWMAC | LW: No. 17): A dramatic second-half comeback helped the Engineers outlast Norwich University.
15. Amherst College (4-2, 4-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 20): The Mammoths posted their first shutout of the season last Saturday against Hamilton College. Will this win translate to a big victory this weekend against Wesleyan?
16. Massachusetts Maritime Academy (4-3, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Buccaneers returned to the poll following an impressive 22-20 win over Western Connecticut.
17. University of New England (3-4, 1-2 CCC | LW: No. 15): A big challenge awaits the Nor’easter this weekend at Endicott.
18. Western Connecticut (3-5, 2-4 MASCAC | LW: No. 14): The Colonials will attempt to snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday at Worcester State.
19. Colby College (2-4, 2-4 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): The Mules will look to bounce back from their week eight setback to Trinity with a CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) victory against Bates College.
20. Bates College (1-5, 1-5 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): These Bobcats have provided some challenges to Wesleyan and Williams this fall, so don’t be surprised if they finish their 2021 slate with two – maybe three? – more victories.
The eighth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season is quickly approaching, which means it is time to highlight five teams to watch this weekend.
Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC): The AMCATs have been quite a story this fall, winning four straight contests, including a pair of Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) victories to keep them in the hunt with Gallaudet University for the league title.
This week, the AMCATs return home after three straight road games to host Dean College, which captured the ECFC crown in 2019.
Dean returned to the win column last week with a 39-36 victory over Keystone College – the Bulldogs defense held off a late rally by the Giants, who finished the final frame with three touchdowns.
At 1-2, Dean is not entirely out of the conference mix but would need to win this game to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Quarterback Alex Cohen was instrumental in his team’s last win over Alfred State – expect the veteran signal-caller to continue his success this week against the Bulldogs.
Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC): Last Saturday was a special day for the Polar Bears as Bowdoin snapped a 14-game losing streak to Amherst College with a 21-14 victory.
The seven-point win over the Mammoths should provide the Polar Bears with some momentum heading into this week’s clash with Tufts University.
Quarterback Andrew Boel has been a player to watch these last two weeks – against Amherst, he completed 22 of 28 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns.
Boel connected with eight different receivers, including Colton Fahey who caught a pair of touchdowns while finishing with a game-high 112 yards on five grabs.
As a team, Bowdoin registered 421 yards of total offense compared to Amherst, which finished with 340. Additionally, they converted seven of 12 third-down attempts.
Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC): The Bears return from their bye with hopes of extending their current winning streak to five games.
In their last outing against Worcester State, the Bears leaned on halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a game-high 190 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. Brendan Albert led the defensive with a game-high 13 total tackles, including five solo stops, one pass break-up, and one fumble recovery.
Look for their momentum prior to their bye week to continue Saturday against Westfield State.
MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC): After starting their season by winning two of three contests, the Engineers have dropped their last two outings, including a 56-34 setback last Saturday against the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA), which saw wide receiver Ben Dwyer record a career-best 224 receiving yards on nine grabs to go with one touchdown.
Dwyer, along with the Engineers will look to avenge their last two conference losses when they host Norwich University on Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.
The Cadets will arrive in Cambridge with one conference win, but a victory against Norwich means MIT could gain some much-needed momentum heading into their final three contests against Coast Guard Academy, Springfield College, and WPI.
Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC): The Seahawks have rebounded quite well since dropping their initial conference clash with Western New England by scoring back-to-back wins against Nichols College (35-20) and the University of New England (48-6).
This week, their season is somewhat on the line as they must beat Endicott College to remain in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown.
Endicott beat Salve Regina in their last meeting in 2019 – the game was held in Newport, Rhode Island – while the Seahawks beat the Gulls on their home turf one year later.
Look for Salve Regina to lean on its ground game like they did last week against Nichols, which saw halfback Joey Mauriello rush for a game-high 203 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns (all three scores occurred in the third quarter last week against the Bison).
New Haven is also a team to watch — like Bentley, they have yet to drop a conference game this fall, but will be challenged over the next few weeks, including this Saturday when they visit Stonehill.
Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)
The Leader: Endicott College (6-1, 3-0)
In the Hunt: Husson University (4-2, 1-1), Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1), University of New England (3-2, 1-1), and Western New England (4-3, 2-1)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Endicott at Salve Regina (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
Husson at UNE (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Nichols College at Western New England (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Synopsis: Endicott enters the fourth week of conference play with a great deal of momentum heading into an important matchup with Salve Regina. A win against the Seahawks would provide the Green and White with the inside track to the conference crown.
Endicott beat Salve Regina in 2019 by six points (30-24) but lost to the Seahawks one year earlier after beating Western New England.
A win for the Seahawks would make the next few weeks rather interesting, despite suffering a 41-3 setback to Western New England earlier this month.
Western New England rebounded from its 45-21 setback to Endicott with a 23-10 win over Curry College — they will be the favorite heading into this week’s matchup with the Bison.
The winner of Husson-UNE will remain in the mix with one conference setback.
Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)
The Leaders: Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0) and Gallaudet University (5-0, 3-0)
In the Hunt: Alfred State (2-4, 1-1) and Castleton University (3-3, 1-1)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Alfred State at Gallaudet (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Dean College at Anna Maria (Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m.)
Synopsis: If things remain the way they are currently in two weeks, then Anna Maria-Gallaudet in Paxton, Massachusetts will be the game that most likely decides the conference champion.
Both Anna Maria and Gallaudet appear to be the “teams to beat” heading into the eighth week of the season, but the Pioneers of Alfred State can change that with a win on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Like Alfred State, Castleton is still in the mix, too, but they must win their remaining contests so they can keep pace with Anna Maria and Gallaudet.
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)
The Leaders: Framingham State (5-2, 5-0) and Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0)
Matchup to watch this week:
Westfield State at Bridgewater State (Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.)
Synopsis: The Bears and Rams have yet to drop a single conference contest while a few teams have suffered two or three setbacks.
So, these are the two teams to watch over the next few weeks – the Rams are idle this weekend but will conclude the month by visiting Massachusetts Maritime Academy while Bridgewater State will play back-to-back games at home against Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth.
After hosting the Corsairs, the Bears will visit Framingham State with the outcome most likely deciding who will represent the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Framingham State has scored two important wins against UMass Dartmouth and Western Connecticut while Bridgewater State has only beaten one of those teams.
While Bridgewater State and Framingham State will certainly be the two teams to watch over the next few weeks, keep your eyes on UMass Dartmouth down the stretch as they could possibly conclude the season in second place, as well as secure a bid to the New England Bowl.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)
The Leaders: Trinity College (5-0, 5-0), Wesleyan University (5-0, 5-0), and Williams College (5-0, 5-0)
In the Hunt: Amherst College (3-2, 3-2)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Williams College at Bates College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Trinity College at Colby College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Middlebury College at Wesleyan University (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Synopsis: The final four weeks of the NESCAC are going to be interesting – maybe we should not overlook Amherst College, which has won three of five matchups this fall?
The Mammoths, along with the Bantams, Cardinals, and Ephs will all compete against each other during the final three weeks, which makes us think that maybe the Purple and White could play spoiler to these three undefeated teams. Perhaps they finish second or third?
Trinity has been fun to watch (and follow), but rather impressive from what we have watched on film. The same could be said for coach Mark Raymond’s Ephs.
As for Wesleyan – sorry, the “Cardiac Cardinals” – they have found ways to win games, especially these last three weeks against Bates, Bowdoin College, and Tufts University.
The Bantams are “the team” we believe will finish with either eight or nine wins, along with the conference crown, but anything is possible – get ready for an exciting ending to the 2021 NESCAC football season!
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
The Leaders: Catholic University (5-2, 3-0), Springfield College (3-3, 2-0), and United States Merchant Marine Academy (6-0, 3-0)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Springfield at WPI (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
Catholic at Merchant Marine (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
Synopsis: Before every NEWMAC team began competing against each other, the Mariners of Merchant Marine appeared to be well on their way to securing the league title. But things have changed.
Heading into this weekend, the Mariners are one of three teams that have yet to lose a conference matchup – this week, Merchant Marine hosts Catholic in a very important contest that we’ll be watching from afar.
Catholic has been a great story this season – the Cardinals have won five of seven matchups thus far, including a non-league tilt with Endicott College last month. Their two setbacks came against Randolph-Macon College and Christopher Newport University, but it seems as if both losses provide the Cardinals with a better understanding of what they must do to be successful once conference play commenced.
After starting its season with a 1-3 record, the Pride of Springfield have rebounded by winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy (60-0) and Norwich University (56-7), thanks to an impressive ground attack that is led by Isaiah Cashwell-Doe, Patrick Ladas, and Tim Callahan.
Look for the ground game to carry Springfield to their fourth win on Saturday when the Pride heads to Worcester to compete against WPI.
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.
Mike Ingraffia completed 18 of 27 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns – his second touchdown to Shane Aylward proved to be the difference as Endicott College topped Husson University, 24-17, to improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) play.
With the win, the Gulls remain in the top spot in the league for the second-straight week while Husson concludes a four-game winning streak, which began last month with a 10-7 victory over Plymouth State.
Endicott led Husson, 14-10, at the break, thanks to a five-yard touchdown run by Tyler Bridge and a 27-yard strike from Mike Ingraffia to Geoffrey Ingrando before extending its lead midway through the third quarter with a 33-yard field goal by Ryan Smith.
Husson would tie the game on the ensuing possession with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Nic Visser to Tyler Halls, but Endicott would respond late in the session with Ingraffia capping a 14-play, 87-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Aylward.
Endicott will visit Salve Regina University next week – the Seahawks picked-up its sixth win of the season by downing Nichols College by a score of 35-20.
Joey Mauriello rushed for 203 yards and 30 carries and three touchdowns against the Bison while quarterback Jack Maguire completed 17 of 29 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Logan Sawyer led the Bison with 294 passing yards and one touchdown pass to Cameron Bowden.
Salve Regina led Nichols, 14-6, at the break before pushing ahead for good by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter.
Western New England bounced back from last week’s setback to Endicott by beating Curry College, 23-10. Wide receiver Steven Fedorchak concluded the contest with seven grabs for 103 yards and one touchdown.
The Golden Bears will be at home next weekend – they will welcome Nichols to Springfield, Massachusetts for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
One week after scoring an impressive 60-0 victory over Coast Guard Academy, the Springfield College Pride scored another big win as they defeated Norwich University, 56-7, in Vermont.
Isaiah Cashwell-Doe rushed for a game-high 144 yards on five carries and two touchdowns while Patrick Ladas added 59 yards on five carries and one rushing score.
Springfield concluded the game with 576 yards of total offense while its defense registered five tackles for a loss of 25 yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions.
The Pride remain one of three teams with perfect records against New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foes – Merchant Marine improved to 3-0 in league play with a 56-34 win over MIT while Catholic University topped Coast Guard Academy, 30-7.
Aaron-Moses Williams completed 30 of 45 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns – his final touchdown pass to Ke’Vaughn Davis (13 catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns) proved to be the difference as the Worcester State Lancers rallied to beat Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 28-24.
Worcester State will visit Plymouth State next weekend – the Panthers scored their second straight win by defeating Fitchburg State this afternoon by a score of 36-0. Tyler Kayo and Manny Sanchez combined for three rushing touchdowns against the Falcons.
One week after almost beating Wesleyan University, Bowdoin College snapped a 14-game losing streak to Amherst College by defeating the Mammoths in Maine by a score of 21-14.
Quarterback Andrew Boel tossed three touchdowns in the win while Andre Eden rushed for 105 yards on 31 carries.
Amherst is now 1-2 against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams from Maine.
Trinity College and Williams College remained perfect through five weeks of NESCAC play as the Bantams rolled past Bates College, 45-7, while the Ephs topped Hamilton College, 35-7.