D3 Football: Malik Hall Tabbed Bates College Football Coach

180619_Coach_Hall_1159
Malik Hall was named the new head football coach at Bates College on Monday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Monday was an exciting day for Malik Hall, who was tabbed the 20th head coach of the Bates College football program.

Hall arrives in Lewiston, Maine after spending the past three seasons with the Penn Quakers football team, serving as the defensive line coach. He helped Penn secure back-to-back Ivy League championships in 2015 and 2016. Penn finished its 2017 campaign 6-4 by winning its final four contests, including a pair of wins over Harvard and Princeton.

In addition to his time with the Quakers, Hall has also served as an assistant at Central Connecticut StateFordhamHofstra, UMass Amherst and Wagner.

Hall graduated from UMass in 2003 and was a two-year letterman and starter for the Minutemen, helping them capture the Atlantic 10 Championship his senior season. He would return to Amherst eight years later to assist former head coach Kevin Morris as the team’s defensive line coach.

“We are delighted to welcome Malik Hall to the Bobcat family,” Bates Athletic Director Jason Fein said in a statement. “Once we interviewed him, it was crystal clear that Coach Hall has both the experience and vision to take Bates football to the next level. We’re excited to see what happens on the field.”

“It’s my great honor to accept the head coaching position at Bates,” said Hall via yesterday’s press release. “I am very much looking forward to building upon Bates’ traditions of academic excellence and relentlessness on the field. The Hall family can’t wait to join the Bates family.”

Hall takes over a program that was guided by Mark Harriman for the past 20 seasons. Harriman, who recently stepped down in April, guided the Bobcats to seven Colby-Bates-Bowdoin titles, including his final one last fall when Bates topped the Polar Bears, 24-17.

Bates opens its season on September 15th when they host Amherst College at 1 p.m.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB Today! 

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Keeps Title Hopes Alive

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

They were on the brink of elimination but Coach Tim Murphy’s Crimson football team, along with a superb relief effort from quarterback Joe Viviano, kept their 2017 Ivy League title hopes alive with their second consecutive come-from-behind victory.

Last week the Crimson defeated the Columbia Lions for the 14th consecutive time, 21-14, in the Bronx.

The Crimson 5-3 (4-2) dramatic triumph over the Lions 6-2 (3-2) sets up another important showdown on Saturday, November 11th against the Penn Quakers 4-4 (2-3) at Harvard Stadium.

Murphy made a call to his bullpen and Viviano, who came off the bench in the second quarter and went 6-for-12 (120 yards), while connecting on a pair of touchdowns and rushing for one to lead the Crimson comeback.

Viviano and Henry Taylor hooked-up on a 65-yard TD pass in the second quarter and followed that up with a 1-yard keeper to give the Crimson a 14-7 lead at the half.

Harvard added an insurance tally to make it 21-7 in the third quarter when Viviano found Jake Barann on 2-yard TD toss.

It was a bitter loss for Coach Al Bagnoli’s Lions who had a chance with a win to control their own destiny in the Ivy League title chase. Now the Lions need help to remain in the hunt and face possible elimination in this week’s contest at Cornell.

Penn invades Harvard Stadium this week in a spoiler roll after a stunning 38-35 victory over Princeton 5-3 (2-3) at Franklin Field last week.

Abe Willows rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Tre Solomon added 116 yards on the ground as Penn accumulated 531 total yards of offense in the victory which put a damper on Princeton’s title hopes.

Saturday’s contest will mark the 88th meeting between the Ivy rivals, with the Crimson leading the series, 48-37-2. Last season, the Quakers prevailed 27-14 at Franklin Field.

The kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on NESN Plus and the Ivy League Network. Alex Vispoli and Eric Gallanty will have the call.

Bob’s Prediction: With weather expected to be cold and very windy the Crimson must control the line of scrimmage or the Quakers could spoil Harvard’s title bid. All signs point to New Haven and THE GAME! Harvard 14, Penn 7 

Next week: It’s the Yale Bowl, November 18 for a 12:30 kickoff (CNBC).

Around the Ancient Eight: Yale 7-1 (4-1 Ivy League) is in sole possession of first place and has total control of their Ivy League title hopes entering the final two weeks of the season. The Bulldogs will travel to face pre-season favorite Princeton on Saturday and with a win will have a chance to capture the title outright against Harvard in THE GAME.

Dartmouth 6-2 (3-2) will look to keep their title hopes alive when they face Brown 2-6 (0-5) this evening, Friday, November 10th at Fenway Park while Columbia 6-2 (3-2) is in Ithaca Saturday afternoon against Cornell 3-5 (3-2).

Harvard’s Tim Murphy registered his 200th coaching win (168 at Harvard) in the Crimson’s 21-14 victory over Columbia.

Harvard’s defensive tackle Richie Ryan was named Ivy Defensive Player of the Week for his monster game in the win over Columbia. Ryan had 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble to lead the Crimson defensive unit.

Penn’s senior wide receiver Justin Watson broke the Quaker record for career receptions (265) and tied the Ivy record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception (8) in last week’s win over Princeton. Watson was named Ivy Offensive Player of the Week.

Hopefully, Harvard and Yale will prevail this weekend to setup plenty of Ivy League drama in THE GAME at the Yale Bowl next Saturday, November 18th (12:30 p.m. CNBC).

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Keeps Title Hopes Alive, Set To Face Columbia

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard kept their 2017 Ivy League title hopes alive with a come-from-behind 25-22 win over Dartmouth at Harvard Stadium last Saturday.

The Crimson’s win set up an important showdown  in New York on Saturday against Coach Al Bagnoli’s Columbia Lions 6-1 (3-1), who fell from the ranks of the unbeaten at the hands of Yale, 23-6.

Yale, Columbia and Cornell rest at the top of the Ivy standings with 3-1 records while the Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth remain in hot pursuit with two losses.

The Crimson rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Big Green 5-2 (2-2) behind the play of freshman quarterback Jake Smith. Smith was 18-for-35 for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Smith also rushed for 64 yards.

Smith’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Shampklin with 7:21 left in regulation sealed the win.

Meanwhile Bagnoli’s surprising Lions suffered their first loss of the season, courtesy of a dominating performance by a Yale defense.

Yale’s defense was the story as they recorded four sacks and two interceptions in limiting the Lions to just 206 yards of total offense and just one touchdown (1-yard run by quarterback Anders Hill).

Saturday’s contest will be the 76th meeting between the Crimson and Lions. Harvard holds a 60-14-1 lead in the series. The Crimson has won the last 13 games between the two schools. The kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Bob’s Prediction: The Crimson will make it 14 in a row over the Lions and stay alive in the title chase. All signs point to THE GAME! PREDICTION: Harvard, 21, Columbia 17

Next week: Penn invades Harvard Stadium, Saturday, November 11 for a 12 p.m. kickoff (NESN).

Around the Ancient Eight: It’s crunch time in the Ivy League this weekend with three huge contests, in addition to the Harvard/Columbia clash. Yale 6-1 (3-1) hosts Brown 2-5 (0-4), Princeton 5-2 (2-2) is at Penn 3-4 (1-3) while Dartmouth 5-2 (2-2) travels to Ithaca to face Cornell 3-4 (3-1). There are six teams in the hunt for the title with just three weeks remaining in the schedule.

Harvard’s all-purpose back, Justice Shelton-Mosley, leads the nation in punt returns for touchdowns (two) and punt return average (23.1).

Yale’s freshman running back, Zane Dudek, is having quite an inaugural season for the Bulldogs. Last week in the Bulldogs huge 23-6 win over previously unbeaten Columbia Dudek rushed a season-best 173-yards. The effort earned the first-year phenom National Rookie of the Week as well as offensive player and co-rookie of the week in the Ivy League.

Dudek, who ranks second among all Football Championship Subdivision ball carriers (8.4 yards per attempt), was placed on the FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List. He has been Ivy Rookie of the Week three times while having four games where he rushed for over 100 yards.

Yale’s senior linebacker standout Matthew Oplinger leads the FCS averaging better than one per game and has 9.5 on the year.

Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, November 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.

Looking way ahead to a game that is looking more and more like it will determine the Ivy League football champion, Yale will host Harvard in THE GAME on Nov. 18.

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)

Ivy League Football Notebook: It’s Crunch Time For Harvard, Princeton

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

It is crunch time in the Ivy League and over the next month teams will battle for a chance to be crowned 2017 Ivy football champions.

Harvard and Princeton, preseason picks to finish at the top of the Ivy heap, will kick off the weekend with a clash under the lights this evening at Harvard Stadium.

Both squads have one loss in the league and it is one of those games that can be filed as “must have.”

Harvard 3-2 (1-1 Ivy) prepped for the Tigers with a solid 38-10 non-league victory over Lafayette which featured a breakout effort by Crimson running back Charles Booker III (159 yards, 1 TD).

Harvard’s All-Ivy performer Justice Shelton-Moseley returned a punt 85 yards to open the scoring. Shelton-Moseley’s performance earned him Ivy Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.

The Crimson defense turned in a stellar effort, limiting the Leopards to just 12 rushing yards.

Freshman quarterback Jake Smith looked sharp and is improving with each snap.

The Harvard offense, defense and special teams look ready to face Princeton 4-1 (1-1) who tuned-up for the big showdown with a 53-0 victory at Brown.

Tiger running back Charlie Volker scored 4 touchdowns, including a 96-yard run which set a new school record.

The Tigers offense netted 538 total yards in the one-sided contest while the defense limited Brown to 170.

Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff was very efficient as he completed 21-of-27 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns.

On the other side, the Tigers are firing on all eight cylinders which should make for an exciting evening of football.

The game will be nationally-televised on the NBC Sports Network starting at 7:30 p.m.

Bob’s Prediction: Both teams are ready with the home team getting the edge in this one – it should be an Ivy League Classic! Harvard 24, Princeton 23

Next week: Dartmouth will invade Harvard Stadium on Oct. 28 (12 p.m. NESN).

Around the Ancient Eight: The other big game this weekend pits a battle of the unbeaten when Dartmouth 5-0 (2-0) hosts Coach Al Bagnoli’s surprising Columbia Lions 5-0 (2-0) on Saturday (Eleven Sports, ILN).

Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll. Columbia will look to continue their best start since 1996.

The Ivy League registered its best non-conference record since 1994, finishing 18-6 in out-of-conference play in 2017.

Princeton’s Volker 96-yard touchdown run from scrimmage broke a 65-year record for the longest rushing score in Tiger history; the previous record was a 93-yard touchdown by Homer Smith, set against Yale on Nov. 15, 1952.

Friday night’s game in Cambridge will be the first Ivy League road night contest ever for Princeton.

Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, Nov. 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.

The Ivy League published results of their experimental kickoff rule, which has produced tangible results, including a significant drop in injuries and concussions throughout the 2016 season. After averaging six concussions per year during the Ivy League conference slate the previous three seasons, athletes suffered zero concussions on kickoff plays in 2016.

(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).

Follow Bob on Twitter @WhitneyBob; like him on Facebook and Instagram.

Harvard, Yale Highlight Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

lee_harvardyale3_spts-14120
Harvard’s Bryce Aiken will be one of many players to watch on the Crimson this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Boston Globe)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The Harvard men’s basketball team was chosen to finish first in the Ivy League this winter, according to yesterday’s release.

Harvard, which collected six first-place votes, edged Yale by two points – the Bulldogs earned eight first-place votes, while tallying 118 points.

Princeton University, which is projected to finish third, garnered a trio of first-place votes for 114 points, while Penn and Columbia rounded out the top five.

Cornell, Dartmouth and Brown were projected to finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Harvard welcomes back a quartet of its leading scorers from a year ago, including sophomore Bryce Aiken, who was tabbed the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season.

Aiken, a first-team All-Conference selection, paced the Crimson with 14.5 points per game last season, while tallying a career and season-best 28 points against Yale. As noted in his player bio, Aiken became the second first-year since Siyani Chambers to earn first team All-Ivy League honors.

Yale will certainly be a team to watch this season and should receive a boost from senior Makai Mason, who has been selected as the Ivy League preseason player of the year, per various outlets, including NBCSports.com.

Mason earned first-team All-Conference honors during his sophomore season (2015-16) – he became the fourth sophomore in program history to earn a spot on the conference’s first-team.

Against Baylor in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Mason netted a career and game-high 31 points, including 11 free throws to lift the Bulldogs to an exciting first round win.

Both teams will commence their respective 2017-18 campaigns on Friday, November 10 with Harvard hosting MIT and Yale facing Creighton at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.