Tag: Hector Johnson

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

Will Kirby and the Trinity College football team will begin their 2022 campaign at Tufts University on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand-new week of New England NCAA Division III football begins this evening with Western Connecticut visiting Westfield State.

Tomorrow, we have a slew of games to watch – and yes, follow, too! – which means it’s time to share our weekly picks, along with our predictions.

Last week, we picked five of ten contests correctly to bump our season record to 12-8. Hopefully, we can pick a few more games correctly this week – fingers crossed!

Enjoy the games, everyone, and make sure to circle back for our week three roundup on Saturday, as well as any leftover thoughts on the Noontime Sports Podcast.

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Three

Bridgewater State at Plymouth State (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, which have struggled in its first two contests. Plymouth State has been a pleasant surprise, winning back-to-back games to secure the top spot in the MASCAC standings. Look for the Panthers to lean on its ground game to score an important conference win. PREDICTION: Plymouth State over Bridgewater State

Montclair State at Salve Regina University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Somehow, some way, the Seahawks have found ways to win games this fall. But on Saturday, the early-season momentum will end against a Red Hawks squad that is eager to bounce back from a week two setback to Delaware Valley. PREDICTION: Montclair State over Salve Regina

TCNJ at Endicott College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Can the Gulls pitch its third-straight shutout? It’s certainly possible. Endicott’s defense has been a unit to watch through two contests, thanks to some big plays made by Hector Johnson, Tyler Davis, and Jackson DeAngelo. PREDICTION: Endicott over TCNJ   

Curry College at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Both teams are winless, so someone is going to provide their first-year head coach with a victory. PREDICTION: Dean over Curry

Union College at Springfield College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Springfield faces a challenging week three test against a Union squad that is averaging 59 points through two contests. If Springfield is going to be successful, they must find a way to slow down a high-powered Dutchmen offense that is led by quarterback Donovan Pacatte. PREDICTION: Union over Springfield   

Williams College at Colby College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): The Ephs’ title defense begins in Maine on Saturday, but the biggest question surrounding coach Mark Raymond’s squad is who will be playing quarterback against the Mules. We’re not sure (as of Friday morning), but it is likely you’ll see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo under center. PREDICTION: Williams over Colby

Bates College at Wesleyan University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): Coach Matt Coyne returns to Middletown, Connecticut leading a Bobcats squad that produced three wins last season. The Cardinals return some key members from its six-win season – we expect Wesleyan to be in the mix for the NESCAC crown this fall. PREDICTION: Wesleyan over Bates

Trinity College at Tufts University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): The Bantams finished second in the NESCAC last season, but the hope for this season is for Trinity to win its first conference crown since 2018. And they certainly have the players to accomplish this goal. Expect a high-scoring affair on Saturday with the Jumbos. PREDICTION: Trinity over Tufts

Framingham State at UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): Seeing UMass Dartmouth drop its final non-league matchup to Anna Maria College last Saturday was shocking – can we say a head-scratcher? If the Corsairs are going to bounce back, they will need to beat a Rams squad that has scored four-straight wins over the Blue and Gold since 2017. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Framingham State

Middlebury College at Amherst College (Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 2 p.m.): Coach Bob Ritter begins his final season with Middlebury with a week three visit to Amherst, a squad that we believe might surprise some NESCAC fans this fall. Nick DiPrinzio says “accountability” will be the word he and his Amherst teammates will use this fall to hopefully produce a winning season. PREDICTION: Amherst over Middlebury

Noontime’s Five D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Three

Willie Lombard and the Plymouth State Panthers will attempt to continue their early-season momentum on Saturday against Bridgewater State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kim Bownes/Plymouth State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

It may be Tuesday, but it’s never too early to look ahead to this weekend’s slate of small college football games.

Like we did last week – and yes, last season, too – it is time to highlight this week’s five New England NCAA Division III football teams to watch on Friday and Saturday.

Anna Maria College: Quarterback Alex Cohen highlighted his team’s season-opener by recording eight touchdowns.

No, the “eight touchdowns” was not a typo.

The AMCATs’ win over UMass Dartmouth certainly proves this squad can defend its Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title from last fall.

While it’s only one game, Cohen has been a player to watch on Anna Maria, dating back to his initial season with the Maroon and White in 2018 when he recorded 13 touchdowns, including five scores on the ground. The veteran signal-caller has thrown for 5,562 yards and 43 touchdowns in 30 contests with Anna Maria – expect his impressive debut from last week to continue this weekend against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Endicott College: The Gulls’ defense has been the story through two contests.

Entering this week’s non-conference matchup with The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Endicott’s defense has limited its first two opponents – St. Lawrence University and WPI – to zero points. Additionally, the unit is yielding 61.0 rushing yards per game.

Hector Johnson was named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week after establishing a career-high for tackles (six), sacks (four), and tackles for a loss (four) last Friday against WPI. Johnson is currently third on the team in total tackles (11.0) and has complemented linebacker Matthew Licciardi (15 total tackles) and defensive back Tyler Davis (13.0 total tackles).

Framingham State: Last season, it took the Rams three weeks to score their first win.

This season, the Rams needed just two weeks to secure a victory as they earned their first non-conference win in four years this past weekend.

Beating St. John Fisher, a team that produced 62 points in its season-opener against Buffalo State, should provide coach Tom Kelley’s squad with some much-needed momentum heading into Saturday’s conference clash with UMass Dartmouth. Framingham State has won its last four meetings with UMass Dartmouth while averaging 40.5 points.

The Corsairs’ last win over the Rams came in 2016 in overtime.

For the Rams to score its initial conference win, they will need to lean on their defense, specifically Cully Curran, Michael Brooks, and Chase Buono, to slow down a high-powered UMass Dartmouth offense that is led by quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos and halfback Marvens Jean.

Plymouth State: It’s been a good start for coach Paul Castonia’s Panthers.

Plymouth State has won back-to-back games over Castleton University (20-7) and Husson University (17-0), thanks to both its rushing attack and defense.

Manny Sanchez and Willie Lombard have been two players to watch on offense this fall with the duo combining for 325 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Lombard has been Braden Lynn’s go-to receiver with five catches for a team-high 66 receiving yards.

Lombard, along with Sanchez and Lynn, will be players to watch against a Bridgewater State squad that appears eager to snap its two-game losing streak. The Bears beat the Panthers last season, thanks to halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a game-high 150 yards and one touchdown.

Couch will be on the field Saturday and will certainly be a player the Panthers’ defense will need to stop if the Green and White would like to extend its current winning streak.

Trinity College: The wait for a brand-new season of Trinity College football has concluded.

The Bantams return to the gridiron this Saturday with hopes of continuing its previous success from a year ago when the Blue and Gold concluded their campaign with eight wins and one loss.

The Bantams return some key members of last year’s squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, wide receiver DeVante Reid, and linebacker Brian Casagrande. Of course, other first and second-team all-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) players return with hopes of winning its first conference crown since 2018.

Trinity will visit Tufts University on Saturday – last year, the Bantams beat the Jumbos in their season-opener, thanks to Spencer Fetter and Will Kirby, who combined for six touchdowns.