Tag: High School Football

Revisiting Our Top Stories from 2021

The Williams College football team’s 2021 season was one of many stories we highlighted and covered this year. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

With 2022 quickly approaching, I thought we could do one more look back — maybe a reflection? — of some of our most read and viewed stories from 2021.

The biggest story in my opinion was the return to the field for so many colleges and high schools in the New England region — yes, I know some teams or programs competed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic — but there was a euphoric sense from so many seeing their local teams back on the field or in the gymnasium.

Let’s share some other stories we enjoyed producing over the last 12 months.

  • At the conclusion of the 2021 small college football season — New England NCAA Division III, to be exact — we created (and shared) our first-ever All-Noontime Sports Team. Our fans enjoyed it — well, we enjoyed producing it! — and look forward to doing more of these in the future. (We also created a preseason team, too!)

  • In late June, I, along with many in this region, was eager for the college football season to begin. So, I decided to produce our Way Too Early Top 20 D3 Poll, which had Williams College in the top spot.

    Perhaps I knew this year’s squad would finish 9-0?

  • Speaking of Williams — yes, I know the Ephs were mentioned above! — but they finished their 2021 campaign by completing a perfect season with an end-of-season win over Amherst College. Their 24-19 victory clinched their first-ever 9-0 record in program history.

  • A new piece of content we created was ‘Inside the Matchup,’ which highlighted a few NCAA Division III playoff games. And one of our most-read playoff previews, according to our stats, was Endicott College hosting RPI in the opening round of the national tournament.

  • Sometimes, a sound bite — yes, a quote or a few words — can be used to create a post.

    In early June, I produced a short piece about Chris Hogan telling NBC‘s Paul Burmeister that he thought Paul Rabil could compete in the National Football League (NFL).

    Rabil, a long-time and well-respected lacrosse player, retired at the conclusion of the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), but apparently did ponder the idea of playing football when he was 23.
  • Speaking of Chris Hogan, did you know the former New England Patriots wide receiver competed for the Cannons Lacrosse Club earlier this year?

    Indeed, he did — the Cannons, who used to play outside of Boston, were one of the newest members of the PLL.

  • Let’s go back to football where not one, but two Northeast football teams — the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and UMass Dartmouthcaptured their respective New England Bowls.

  • We know football has been a major theme of this post, so why not share our first high school football story from early September, which saw Malden Catholic roll past Weymouth in its season-opener. And you can watch our interviews and highlights from our initial high school football coverage below:
  • Another great story from 2021: Anna Maria College captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown.

    The AMCATs crusied to an impressive 31-7 victory over SUNY Maritime to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

    Anna Maria will certainly be a team to watch in 2022 — can they win their conference again? We’ll have to wait and see!

  • We conclude this post with one more historical memory from New England: the Holy Cross football team won its first-ever postseason game by rallying to beat Sacred Heart University, 13-10.

    The three-point win over the Pioneers was certainly an exciting one — sadly, it did not translate into additional postseason wins, but it certainly provided the team with some momentum heading into the offseason. And like Anna Maria, Holy Cross will also be a team to watch in 2022.

Thanks for a great year, everyone — we wish all our fans, friends, and readers a very Happy New Year!

Noontime’s Stories of the Year: The Return to the Field

The Endicott College football team enjoyed a successful 2021 campaign by winning its first conference crown since 2013. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan

There are still a few weeks left, but 2021 is slowly ending.

Before we usher in a new year, it is time to look back on some of our favorite stories, podcasts, and videos from the last 12 months, beginning with perhaps our favorite storyline: the return to the field.

After a year away due to the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous colleges and high schools eagerly returned to the field this fall for football games, soccer matches, field hockey contests, and cross country meets. And there was a jubilant feel for each outing.

Sure, we saw some college and high school games played earlier this year – ever heard of spring football in Massachusetts? – but those games did not have the same feeling that I and others experienced this fall. The return to the field was discussed multiple times on our podcasts this summer – in case you want to revisit our preseason coverage, you can visit both our podcast and YouTube pages to relive those conversations and thoughts with coaches and media members.  

I blogged a few times about the return to the field, as well as how this past football season will be one I and others will remember for quite some time. Like many, I missed seeing the student-athletes compete at all levels last fall – to be honest, it just seemed strange. But 2020 is in the rearview mirror, and I believe the excitement for the return to the field will continue throughout the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.

It will be hard to replicate this season next year, but the excitement for games will continue – I guarantee it. There were a lot of great stories that emerged from this past fall’s return to the field and we will do our best to highlight those between now and the end of the month, but for now, thus concludes our initial “stories of the year” post – be on the lookout for more over the next few weeks.  

Noontime Football Postgame: Revere 34, Medford 6

By Matt Noonan

MEDFORD, Mass. – Revere entered Friday’s Greater Boston League (GBL) clash with a simple goal: earn its first conference win.

And that goal was attained, thanks to both an impressive ground game and a solid defensive effort that carried Revere to a 34-6 victory over Medford at Hormel Stadium.

Davi Barreto and Mark Marchese each registered two rushing touchdowns while quarterback Anwar Marbouh capped his team’s scoring with a three-yard keeper late in the final session.

Sure, the Revere (2-1, 1-0 GBL) offense was impressive to watch in all four sessions, but the same could be said for the Patriots’ defense, which provided plenty of challenges for a Medford (1-2, 0-1 GBL) squad that produced 28 points last week in a non-league victory over Cambridge.

Revere’s front four forced Medford quarterback Dominick Terranova out of the pocket on multiple occasions while the secondary was able to contain wide receiver Alvin Legros, who finished the game with a 35-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter to pull the hosts within three scores (27-6).

“Just watching the defense go off … it’s just great,” said Barreto, who located the end zone twice in the first half.  

Added Revere coach Lou Cicatelli, “We’ve got a really, really good front four, and we like to bring a lot of pressure and mix up some stunts.”

In addition to recording a few sacks in the second half, the defense also forced a fumble at the end of the game — Augusto Goncalves stripped the ball away from Terranova, which was quickly scooped by Abbas Atoui.

The Patriots’ defense, as well as its offense, too, will be a unit to watch next week when they travel to Lynn English while Medford will look to bounce back against Lynn Classical.

Thoughts & Observations From The First Two Weeks of Mass. High School Football

Arlington Catholic quarterback Isaiah Osgood threw one touchdown last Saturday in his team’s first Catholic Central Large (CCL) meeting of the 2021 season. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Two weeks of Massachusetts high school football are in the books. And a third is set to begin this evening with a few games to watch, including Natick (2-0) at Milford (2-0) — the game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff. 

Before we officially begin the third week, allow me to share some thoughts and observations from the first two weeks.

  • This week, we’ll be making the trek to Medford (1-1) — the Mustangs will host their initial Greater Boston League (GBL) tilt of the 2021 season by welcoming Revere (1-1) to Hormel Stadium for a 6 p.m. 

    Both teams scored week two victories with Revere beating Chelsea while Medford outlasted Cambridge. Medford’s win over Cambridge was their first on their home turf in three seasons. 

    As of this morning, Medford and Revere are two of four teams in the GBL that boast a 1-1 record, however, the Patriots and Everett both own identical 1-0 marks in conference play. 

    Lynn English, Malden, and Somerville are seeking their first wins of the 2021 season — could that happen this week? 

  • Last Saturday, I had the chance to watch two Catholic Central Large (CCL) teams compete at Hormel Stadium with Bishop Fenwick scoring an impressive 48-7 win over Arlington Catholic

    The game was highlighted by an impressive ground attack that was led by Troy Irizarry, who scored three touchdowns. The Crusaders’ defense was also fun to watch — they certainly did not make things easy on a Cougars offense that registered just one score after recording 30 points one week earlier against Lowell Catholic

    Arlington Catholic quarterback Isaiah Osgood has tossed three touchdowns this season — his third occurred last Saturday against Bishop Fenwick on a long toss down the far sidelines to Andrew Sullo
  • While it was only one game, I certainly believe the Crusaders are going to be a team to watch this fall, despite graduating some key pieces from its Fall II squad earlier this spring. Bishop Fenwick graduated 18 seniors last spring, but one might not know that by the way, this team has played in the first two weeks. 

    Bishop Fenwick quarterback Steven Woods will continue to be a signal-caller to watch — the same could be said for Costa Beechin (wide receiver/defensive back), Chris Faraca (wide receiver/defensive line), and Troy Irizarry (running back/defensive end). 
  • Going back to Medford-Revere, here are a few players I am looking forward to watching on Friday: Dominick Terranova (Medford | QB), Alvin Legros (Medford | WR), Isiah Blake (Medford | RB), Osman Elkouram (Medford | LB), Augusto Gonsalves (Revere | DE), Wilmer Rodriguez (Revere | RB), Davi Barreto (Revere | RB), and Max Doucette (Revere | LB).

  • Kipp Academy Lynn Collegiate football coach Jim Rabbitt joined me this week on the Noontime Sports Podcast — you can hear the show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as on other platforms, too.

    Jim and I discussed a variety of topics, including his playing days at Framingham State, his path to becoming the head coach of the Panthers, and what he and his team learned from their 2019 campaign, which saw Kipp Academy fall short of advancing to its first-ever state championship at Gillette Stadium.

    This week, Kipp Academy, which has won its first two contests, will look to continue its early season momentum when they travel to Georgetown for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Royals enter the week three clash with a 1-1 record.

  • There are quite a few teams that boast a 2-0 record, but here are the squads — well, programs, to be exact — that I am interested in watching this week to see if they can pick up their third-straight win:

    East Bostons: The Jets soared past Brighton last Friday and appear to be the team to watch in the Boston City League.

    North Reading: The Hornets are averaging 47.5 points per game but will they be able to score six or seven touchdowns tomorrow against 2-0 Pentucket?

    St. Mary’s (Lynn): Keep your eyes on the Spartans tomorrow evening as they travel to Bishop Feehan for a battle of 2-0 squads.

    Malden Catholic: The Lancers have scored back-to-back wins to start their season against Gloucester and Weymouth, but face a tough test tomorrow against Scituate, which lost a heartbreaker last Friday to Duxbury.

    And a few more: Billerica, Chelmsford, Lunenburg, Wakefield, Marblehead, North Quincy, Ashland, Norwood, Dover-Sherborn, Norton, and Cathedral.

Noontime Football Postgame: Bishop Fenwick 48, Arlington Catholic 7

Bishop Fenwick’s Costa Beechin and the Crusaders leaned heavily on the run game to beat Arlington Catholic on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan

MEDFORD, Mass. — After relying on its passing game to score an opening day win over South Hadley last Friday, Bishop Fenwick turned to its rushing attack on Saturday to score an impressive 48-7 victory over Arlington Catholic at Hormel Stadium.

Troy Irizarry highlighted his team’s initial Catholic Central Large (CCL) win by rushing for three touchdowns, including two scores in the opening session.

Costa Beechin (25-yards) and Luke Connolly (13-yards) each rushed for one score, as well, while Steven Woods tossed his fourth touchdown of the season early in the opening frame when he capped a two-play, 28-yard drive with a 21-yard strike to Chris Faraca on the left side.

Arlington Catholic, which outlasted Lowell Catholic last Friday, registered its only score at the end of the first quarter when quarterback Isaiah Osgood located Andrew Sullo down the far side for a 27-yard touchdown.

The touchdown was Osgood’s third of the season.

While Osgood’s touchdown did provide somewhat of a spark for the Cougars in the second quarter, it quickly disappeared late in the session when Bishop Fenwick’s Michael DiFelice pounced on a loose ball with two minutes remaining. Woods appeared to have mishandled the snap on his opponent’s one-yard line, but luckily DiFelice fell on the loose ball quickly — for a moment, it appeared as if maybe Arlington Catholic’s Niko Ceppi had recovered the loose ball, but the head referee flung his hands into the air shortly after the play had ended to signal it was a touchdown, not a touchback.

Bishop Fenwick is back in action next Friday, September 24 when they host Austin Prep at 7 p.m. while Arlington Catholic will visit Archbishop Williams for a 6 p.m. kickoff.