Catching Up With Coach Jay Civetti (Tufts University)

Armstrong Trinity 19

OJ Armstrong and the Tufts University football team will attempt to capture their fourth win of the season on Saturday, Oct. 26th against Hamilton College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jonas Powell)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth 

With three games remaining in their 2019 campaign, the Tufts University football team sits at 3-3, in the middle of the pack in the New England Small Colleg Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

On Thursday, we caught up with head coach Jay Civetti to talk about the state of the Jumbos.

“When you graduate all five of your offensive linemen (from last season) … I think we knew coming into (the current season that) it would be a challenge,” said Civetti, who also mentioned losing last season’s co-offensive player of the year in quarterback Ryan McDonald.

“It’s a challenge to get that prepared and ready to play,” he added.

But other players have stepped up, especially up front. Also, wide receiver OJ Armstrong is starting to pick it up, coming off a game where he racked up a season-best 142 yards and three touchdowns in their win over Bowdoin College.

“(He) had a breakout game last week, and we’ve been waiting for that to happen,” said Civetti when discussing Armstrong’s impressive play against the Polar Bears.

On defense, the front seven is pretty much the same from a year ago, but Civetti says some guys in the secondary have stepped up, including Johnathan O’Neal and Brandyn Jones. Civetti says he’s been impressed with what he’s seen thus far from the defense in the past couple of weeks.

One player who is not a newcomer but is the team’s leading tackler is senior linebacker Greg Holt, who has posted 62.0 total tackles in six contests this season. Holt is currently second in the conference in total tackles and tackles per game (10.3).

“He’s been an all-league player every year,” said Civetti of his senior linebacker.

“There’s really not any team that can ever really quantify how special a leader he is on the field, and just a remarkable person off the field, too.”

Tufts has two of its last three games at home, starting with a matchup against another 3-3 team tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 26th) against Hamilton College. The Jumbos have beaten the Continentals in their last two meetings, including in 2017 when Tufts needed overtime to score an opening day win against the New York squad in Somerville.

Tufts Looks To Continue Its Momentum Against Amherst On Saturday

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Ryan McDonald and the Tufts University football team will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday against Amherst College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tufts University Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth 

With three games left in the season, the Tufts University football team sits at 5-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one game behind undefeated Amherst College.

As the Jumbos prepare for Saturday’s big game against the Mammoths, we caught up with Tufts football coach Jay Civetti to discuss the Powder Blue and White’s current success this fall on the gridiron, which recently included a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College last Saturday in Somerville.

With their seven-point victory last week over Williams, Tufts has now posted four straight winning seasons for the first time since 1988-1991.

“Anytime you beat Williams, that’s a big deal, and I’m certainly proud of the effort last week,” said Civetti.  “There’s a lot of great accomplishments that came from that win.

“We’ve got a lot of ahead of us, and this weekend we have as good of a challenge as we’ve had all year.”

One of the players who’s stepped up defensively against the Ephs was junior linebacker Greg Holt. The senior linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles in the victory over the Ephs, which earned him the Gold Helmet award and NESCAC defensive player of the week honors.

“Greg’s just a tremendous competitor,” said Civetti. “He’s a very smart player. He’s got a great knack for the ball, and he just plays the game incredibly hard.”

“I think all the hard work he puts in during the week shows on Saturday.”

On offense, quarterback Ryan McDonald is having a solid senior season, throwing ten touchdown passes, while adding an additional six scores on the ground.

“The one thing about Ryan’s game is he’s a runner first before he’s a thrower,” said Civetti. “(He’s) managing the game in different ways, but at the same time, when he has to make moves…he’s doing everything he can to do that.”

McDonald and Holt will certainly be counted on this Saturday when the Jumbos visit the Mammoths of Amherst with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

D3 Football: Week Eight Highlights

WEEK EIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It wasn’t easy, but somehow MIT made a few more plays than Coast Guard Academy, especially on offense as the Engineers defeated the Bears, 13-0, in Cambridge to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the NEWMAC.

The win was highlighted by a pair of MIT touchdowns, including an early fourth quarter two-yard plunge by Cole Baker, which capped a 13 play, 90 yard drive.

Coast Guard attempted to answer on its next two series, but mustered just 10 total yards on nine plays. MIT’s defense also sacked quarterback Ethan Goldcamp on the Bears’ final two offensive plays of the contest.

Sam Gozelski highlighted the defensive effort for the Engineers with six total tackles, including a pair of sacks for a loss of 18 yards. John Robertson and Ashton Robinson powered MIT’s rushing attack by combining for 148 yards on 33 carries, while quarterback Udgam Goyal connected on 13 of 25 passes for 108 yards and one touchdown (his lone touchdown pass was to Eddy Garcia-Montes in the second quarter).

MIT will look to continue its current momentum next Saturday when they visit WPI.

Speaking of WPI, the Engineers saw their 24-0 lead erased by Merchant Marine comeback, which was capped by a late two-yard touchdown run by Krystian Abbott, as the Mariners picked-up an important conference win to keep their title hopes alive.

Abbott concluded the USMMA-WPI contest with a game-high 127 yards on 33 carries and one touchdown.

In Somerville, Tufts University scored a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College, thanks to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dom Borelli to Jack Dolan. Borelli rushed for one touchdown, along with 31 yards on nine carries, while Ryan McDonald completed 17 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Greg Holt paced the Jumbos’ defense with 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one fumble recovery.

Amherst College picked-up its sixth-straight win by scoring early and often against Wesleyan University. The Mammoths, who are now 6-0 overall, defeated the Cardinals, 33-3, thanks to two rushing touchdowns from Biafra Okoronkwo, who concluded the contest with 119 yards on 18 carries.

Despite falling to their Little Three rival, Wesleyan’s Brandon Morris finished his team’s sixth contest of the season with 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, one sack for a loss of 11 yards, one pass break-up and one forced fumble.

Springfield College picked-up an important road win our nation’s capital by defeating Catholic University, 23-11. Hunter Belzo tossed one touchdown, while rushing for another, while Skyler Bateman rushed for one touchdown late in the opening frame.

Endicott College and Western New England each scored conference wins, defeating Becker College and University of New England, respectively, while Husson University soared past Anna Maria, 54-14.

Framingham State kept its hopes of a MASCAC crown alive with a 27-2 win on the road at Westfield State.

Finally, Terrell Watts accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air, as Dean College rolled past Gallaudet University, 53-21. Watts concluded his team’s contest with 372 yards of total offense, including 306 passing yards.


Our New England D3 Football week eight highlights were compiled by Matt Nooonan (@MattNoonan11) and Brian Willwerth (@BriWillwerth)

 

Noontime Sports D3 Football Team Of The Year

noontime-team-of-the-year

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It’s hard to believe, but another NCAA Division III Football season is slowly coming to a close, so that means it is time to honor the numerous student-athletes we covered and wrote about over the past three-and-a-half months.

So, for the first-time in Noontime Sports history, we are proud to unveil our New England D3 Football Team of the Year!

Quarterbacks

Cory Brandon (Husson)

Quinn Fleeting (Western Conn. St.)

Jared Lebowitz (Middlebury)

Anthony Service (Western New England)

Derek Victory (Coast Guard Academy)

 

Halfbacks/Fullbacks

Chance Brady (Tufts)

Devon Carrillo (Wesleyan)

Nick Connell (Western New England)

Corey Creeger (Maine Maritime Academy)

Malik Garrett (Bridgewater State)

Sean McAllen (WPI)

Alex McLaughlin (Bridgewater State)

Sam Pascale (Salve Regina)

Eddie Sheridan (UMass Dartmouth)

John Smith (Husson)

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Darius Adams (Coast Guard Academy)

Conrado Banky (Middlebury)

Devin Boehm (Amherst)

Jake Cawlina (Curry)

Mark Dietrich (Western New England)

Brandon Eccher (WPI)

Matt Greenman (Mount Ida)

Shane Haggerty (Mass. Maritime Academy)

Tony Martignoli (Nichols)

Soren Pelz-Walsh (Castleton)

 

Offensive Line (team’s full o-line)

Maine Maritime Academy

Middlebury

Springfield

Salve Regina

UMass Dartmouth

 

Defensive Line

Craig Anderson (Endicott)

Kevin Kusch (MIT)

Cam McGhee (Plymouth State)

Brandon O’Neill (Salve Regina)

Emmanuel Omere (Bridgewater State)

John Salute (Salve Regina)

Luke Washburn (Husson)

 

Linebackers

Darren Callan (Castleton)

Joe Gowetski (Bowdoin)

Greg Holt (Tufts)

John Jackson (Middlebury)

Liam Kenneally (Trinity)

Marshall McCarthy (Mass. Maritime Academy)

Matt McEvilly (Nichols)

Brian Murtagh (WPI)

William Rivera (Endicott)

Mark Upton (Bates)

 

Secondary

Trenton J. Bouchard (Maine Maritime Academy)

Rob Disanto (MIT)

Spencer Donahue (Trinity)

Obi Etuka (Western New England)

Prince Gbaley (Plymouth State)

Tim Preston (Tufts)

Ryan Robertson (Coast Guard Academy)

Jakob Trautwein (Castleton)

Jovon White (Fitchburg State)

Blair Zentek (Plymouth State)

 

Kickers/Punters

John Baron (Colby)

Blaine Bursey (WPI)

Tucker Cheyne (MIT)

Francis Cole (Anna Maria)

Willie Holmquist (Tufts)

Eric Sachse (Trinity)