D3 Football Fan Vote: Anna Maria Tabbed Team of The Week

Anna Maria TEAM OF WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

After earning an exciting 31-24 victory over Castleton University last Saturday, the Anna Maria College football team picked up an additional win on Monday when they were selected as this week’s Noontime Sports New England D3 Football Team of the Week.

The New England D3 Football Team of the Week is decided by a Twitter poll, which was (and will continue to be) seen on Sunday and Monday through @NoontimeSports.

Anna Maria was one of four teams nominated for this week’s honor, along with Amherst College, University of New England and Westfield State. The AMCATs edged the Nor’easters by four points as they collected 38 percent of the vote, while UNE earned 34 percent. Amherst earned (24 percent), while Westfield State (four percent) finished last. 361 people voted in this week’s poll.

Following a disappointing setback one week earlier to Gallaudet University, the AMCATs rebounded by erasing a 17-0 deficit in the opening frame, thanks to four touchdowns from first-year quarterback Alex Cohen. Cohen tossed three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 1:24 remaining in the final session.

Castleton attempted to answer on the ensuing possession, but saw their drive conclude at the Anna Maria 38-yard line. Cohen and the offense would return to the field to take a knee before celebrating their initial victory of the season.

Cohen concluded the game with a career and season-best 26 completions, 314 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. Additionally, he also rushed for a career-best 32 yards on 12 carries, while recording his first rushing touchdown, as well.

In addition to Cohen, Anna Maria received contributions from sophomore defensive back Swavaugh Smalls (eight total tackles, including six solo stops and two tackles for a loss of five yards) and classmate Marcelino Da Veiga, a wide receiver, that finished the game with a team-high six grabs for 79 yards and one touchdown.

Anna Maria is off this week, but returns to action next Saturday, October 20th when they visit Husson University for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off.


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D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Five (Sept 29th)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The fifth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Five, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Four): We went 5-5 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 25-15 (we went 5-5 last week, so let’s see if we can bounce back!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


Merchant Marine at MIT (11 a.m.): MIT needed a second half rally to top Catholic in their NEWMAC opener last week, but they will need a complete 60-minute effort to top coach Mike Toop’s Mariners this week. PREDICTION: MIT 28, USMMA 27

Western New England at Salve Regina (12 p.m.): After a disappointing week one setback to Springfield, these Golden Bears have found their groove, winning three-straight, including a hard-fought 31-28 victory against Husson. The team’s early season momentum should continue this week on the road against the Seahawks. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Salve Regina 26

Springfield College at Norwich University (1 p.m.): It was a gritty effort last week against WPI, but this brotherhood seems to be in good spirits after claiming an important conference win. They should find a way once again to get past a Cadets squad. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Norwich 10

Univ. of New England at Nichols College (1 p.m.): The Bison have won two of three contests at home this season and should improve that mark with an important conference victory on Saturday against UNE. PREDICTION: Nichols 28, UNE 10

Gallaudet University at Anna Maria College (1 p.m.): Look for this game to come down to perhaps the final drive with the AMCATs scoring with no time left on the clock. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 17, Gallaudet 14

Coast Guard Academy at Catholic University (1 p.m.): Ryan Jones and the Bears squeaked out an important win last Saturday against Norwich. Can they keep this momentum going in our nation’s capital? PREDICTION: Coast Guard 31, Catholic 21

Endicott College at Curry College (1 p.m.): The Gulls have some serious momentum on their side following their week four win over Hobart. PREDICTION: Endicott 31, Curry 17

Husson University at SUNY Maritime (1 p.m.): SUNY Maritime appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, but can they take that next step this week against the league’s defending champion? Prediction: SUNY Maritime 24, Husson 14

Trinity College at Williams College (1:30 p.m.): Which defense will make the big stop? That is the biggest question heading into this important NESCAC clash. PREDICTION: Williams 35, Trinity 28

UMass Dartmouth at Western Conn. (5 p.m.): The Colonials seem like a team on a mission this fall, but the same could be said for the Corsairs, who have won three of four contests thus far, including an important conference clash last week against Plymouth State. The Corsairs must find a way to slow down the Colonials offense, which is averaging five touchdowns per game this season. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 27, UMass Dartmouth 17

New England D3 Football 2018 Predictions

Preseason Predictions

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the first New England D3 football game scheduled for Thursday, August 30th – University of New England will travel to New London, Connecticut to play its first-ever varsity contest against Coast Guard Academy – it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports 2018 Season Projections, which includes our five picks to win each conference, along with teams to watch and dark horses.


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

Projected Conference Winner 

Western New England: A new era has officially begun at WNE with Jason Lebeau taking over for Keith Emery. The Golden Bears are certainly the favorite in this conference, but do have some questions heading into a new season. However, we expect WNE to celebrate another CCC title, but they could encounter some challenges along the way. Look for junior tailback Peter Hoff to lead the offense, while senior linebacker Mike Chirco will oversee the defense.

Team to Watch

Curry College: Sure, the Colonels may have graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad, but there seems to be some early season excitement surrounding the Purple and White. Once again, coach Skip Bandini will ask everyone to step-up, especially when the game is on the line.

Dark Horse   

Endicott College: Similar to WNE, Endicott will be under new leadership this fall with first-year coach Paul McGonagle returning to the Beverly campus to lead a squad that certainly has potential to make 2018 an exciting fall. They have solid pieces on both sides of the ball and will certainly provide challenges to both their conference and non-conference foes.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) 

Projected Conference Winner 

Husson University: The John Smith era may have ended last November, but don’t overlook these Eagles, who will once again be a team to watch in New England. Senior quarterback Cory Brandon returns and should be in for a solid final season with the Green and Gold – look for him to target classmate and wide out Kyle Gaudet and junior Quintarian Brown. On defense, senior linebacker Elvin Suazo will lead a unit that limited opposing offenses to an average of two touchdowns per game last season. Classmate and defensive lineman Tarik Smith is back, as well, and will certainly be a player to watch up front.

Team to Watch 

SUNY Maritime: The Privateers certainly have what it takes to challenge the Eagles for the top spot – they also have what it takes to make another postseason appearance after finishing its 2017 campaign 9-2 overall, as well. Senior quarterback Thomas Wright has some of his favorite targets back from last season, so look for him to connect with classmates Brandonn Drumgole and Curtis Smith. Wright should have enough time to go through the motions with two key members of last year’s line back this fall: seniors Nick Acevedo and Dean Lynch. Junior linebacker Liam Bailey will lead the Privateers defense – he will receive some help from classmate and defensive end Payton Campbell. SUNY Maritime will be under new leadership this season as Vincent DiGaetano returns to Throggs Neck, New York – he was with the program from 2005-2015.

Dark Horse 

Gallaudet University:  The Bison could surprise some folks this fall – they were picked to finish fifth in the ECFC Coaches Preseason Poll, but could perhaps finish maybe a spot or two higher by the conclusion of the 2018 season. Look for senior Dylan Mento (wide receiver) and junior Timel Benton (quarterback) to power the offense, while senior Louie Akuffo (linebacker) lead the defense after recording a career-best 55 solo stops last fall.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Projected Conference Winner 

Framingham State: It’s hard to pick against these Rams, who graduated some key pieces of last year’s squad. However, the same determination from a year ago remains with this team – they are coming off back-to-back New England Bowl championships and hope to return to the NCAA Tournament in mid-November. Senior halfback Quron Wright should lead the offense once again – look for sophomore wide-out Shaq Joseph to become a familiar target for junior quarterback Adam Wojenski. Junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu returns – he will be tasked with leading a unit that does have some question marks heading into a new campaign, but should definitely improve as the season progresses.

Team to Watch 

Plymouth State: Picked to finish second in this summer’s MASCAC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Panthers welcome back a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, which should once again keep them in the mix for a conference crown. Offensively, the team returns most of its returners (and contributors) from last season, including senior quarterback Zack Edwards and junior wide-out Jacob Szulc. Senior halfback Mitch Banuskevich is also back, as well – he led the team’s rushing attack last fall with 668 yards on 166 carries. Defensively, the Panthers graduated some key players, but do return junior defensive back Matt Shea.

Dark Horse 

Worcester State: Keep an eye on the offensive combo of senior quarterback Noah Brum and junior tight end Jacob Maher. These two will be tasked with leading the Lancers offense, along with senior halfbacks Dexter Andrews and Hunter Paupaw. Sophomore linebacker Mike Quinn enjoyed a successful first season with the Lancers – he led all defenders with 100 total tackles, and will certainly be the player to watch on defense.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Projected Winner 

Trinity College: The Bantams return 14 starters from last season, including senior  running back Max Chipouras, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Chipouras should be the focal point of the Bantams’ offense as quarterback Sonny Puzzo graduated – they will also have to make up for the loss of two-time All-American Chris Simmons on the line, as well. Senior defensive end Corey Jean Jacques should anchor one of the best defenses in both the NESCAC and New England.

Team to Watch 

Amherst College: Don’t overlook this Mammoths squad, which on paper looks like a team that could contend for some NESCAC hardware this season. Junior quarterback OIlie Eberth is back and will have a few familiar targets to throw to, including classmate James O’Regan and senior Bo Berluti. On defense, look no further than senior Andrew Yamin, who will  once again provide nightmares for opposing offenses.

Dark Horse 

Williams College: Coach Mark Raymond led the Ephs to an impressive 6-3 mark last fall, which included a season finale win over rival Amherst College. The win over the Mammoths could be the momentum Williams needs to contend for a NESCAC crown this season. Sophomore quarterback Bobby Maimaron was extremely impressive in his first season – he will once again be a player to watch on offense this fall.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) 

Projected Winner 

Springfield College: Sure, some pieces from last year’s unit graduated, but that won’t slow down the Pride’s momentum, which should certainly continue this season. Junior tailback Hunter Belzo will be tasked with carrying the load – the same could be said for classmate and quarterback Chad Shade. And the good news is both Belzo and Shade will be able to run behind junior center Nick Bainter, who will be tasked with anchoring Springfield’s o-line. Senior Nick Giorgio will be the player to watch on defense for the Pride – he should receive some help from classmates Josh Corporan (linebacker), Marlowe Scott (defensive back) and Johnny Bianchi (strong safety).

Team to Watch 

WPI: This Engineers squad seems extremely determined to challenge Springfield College for the top spot in the NEWMAC. A good chunk of last year’s team returns, including junior halfbacks Sean McAllen and Connor Field, seniors Luca Cerasani (d-line) and Sam Malafronte (linebacker), along with junior Nick Ostrowski (linebacker). WPI also returns place kicker and punter Spencer Herrington – he will be ready for the big kick when his number is called.

Dark Horse 

Merchant Marine: Sure, the Mariners will look a tad bit different this fall than last year – and the year before, too – but this young squad could provide some challenges on both sides of the ball when they enter NEWMAC play in a few weeks. Senior fullbacks Wiley Martin and Joseph Bellomo will be tasked with leading an offense that will be without quarterback Bryce Moorse, who graduated in the spring. Senior defensive back Brooks Cannell will be a player to watch on defense this fall, as well.

Want more New England football? Then make sure to toss us a follow on Twitter: @Noontime_FB 

Husson Eagles Picked To Capture ECFC

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The Husson Eagles were picked to finish first in the 2017 Preseason Coaches Poll, which the ECFC announced earlier this week. (PHOTO CREDIT: Husson University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier this week – Tuesday, to be exact – the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) unveiled its preseason coaches poll with Husson University claiming the top spot.

The Eagles, who won the league last season, earned six first-place votes, while securing 62 total points. SUNY Maritime and Mount Ida College checked-in second and third, respectively, while Castleton University (fourth) and Dean College (fifth) rounded out the top five. The Privateers of SUNY Maritime earned one first-place vote, as well as the Bulldogs of Dean.

Gallaudet University, which welcomes back 16 starters, was picked to finish sixth, while Alfred State and Anna Maria College checked-in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Husson, which advanced to last season’s NCAA Division III Tournament, welcomes back 13 starters from last season, including halfback John Smith, who led the conference in multiple categories, including rushing touchdowns (17). Smith will certainly be tasked with carrying the Eagles this season due to gradation losses to Deon Wiggins and Kadeem Edge. Quarterback Cory Brandon returns this fall, along with key members of the defense, including defensive lineman Luke Washburn.

The Eagles will begin its title defense on Saturday, September 2 when they entertain Union College before visiting Dean College on Saturday, September 9. Last season, the Eagles defeated the Bulldogs, 43-23, thanks to four rushing touchdowns by Smith. Smith would conclude the contest with 280 yards on 39 carries. He also hauled in two catches for 25 yards.

Mass. College Football: Husson Picked To Capture Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

Husson University's football team was picked first in the preseason coaches poll. (Photo Credit: Husson University Athletics)
Husson University’s football team was picked first in the preseason coaches poll. (Photo Credit: Husson University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Husson University Eagles – the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) champions last season – were picked to defend their crown this fall, as noted in the conference’s season preview.

Husson was the unanimous preseason pick to win the league – the Eagles garnered eight first-place votes for 64 points. Norwich University was selected to finish second, while Castleton State College was tabbed third. Mount Ida College and SUNY Maritime College rounded out the top five, earning fourth and fifth place projections, respectively.

Gallaudet University was selected to finish sixth, Becker College seventh and Anna Maria College eighth.

Last season, the Eagles won every conference game before defeating Mount Ida, 41-21, to clam the program’s initial ECFC Championship and NCAA berth.

Husson returns nine starters from last season’s team on defense, including junior Ellis Throckmorton, who led the Eagles with 90 total tackles, including 56 solo stops. Senior Bryant Wade returns for his final season and will attempt to duplicate his production of 45 total tackles, 30 solo stops, a trio of fumble recoveries, a pair of forced fumbles and one sack.

On offense, senior quarterback Joe Seccareccia returns following an impressive junior campaign, which saw him complete 122-of-245 attempts for 1,490 yards – the most passing yards by any quarterback in the ECFC last fall. He was first in the league in completions and second in touchdown passes (14).

Husson also returns the conference’s leading rusher, sophomore John Smith, who registered 1,408 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns. Smith also caught two passes for 13 yards.

The Eagles begin its title defense on Saturday, September 5 when they host Alfred University for a 12:00 p.m. kick-off. On Saturday, October 3, Husson will begin league play when they host Castleton.