Tag: Jack Dickinson

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

Matt Hersch and the Colby College football team will attempt to win its second-straight contest on Saturday against Trinity College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Colby Athletics and Peter Li)

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is quickly approaching, which means its time to highlight five squads to watch this week, including the Mules of Colby College, which scored its first opening day win in six years last weekend.

Colby College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC): For the first time since 2016, the Mules scored an opening day win.

Colby topped Williams College last Saturday by a score of 24-14, which erased memories of last year’s meeting between the two squads that saw the Ephs beat the Mules, 42-0.  

Quarterback Matt Hersch highlighted his team’s win by completing 14 of 23 passes for two touchdowns while adding 46 yards on six carries and one score. Halfback Keon Smart led all rushers with 129 yards on 21 carries.

Colby’s defense intercepted quarterback Jack Dickinson twice while recording three sacks for a loss of 10 yards.

The Mules outgained the Ephs, 357-264, and will attempt to win their second-straight contest on Saturday against a Trinity College squad that was able to squeak past Tufts University last weekend.

Trinity has won its last five meetings with the Mules.

Dean College (0-3, 0-0 ECFC): Coach Andrae Murphy’s Bulldogs have produced the most points amongst all Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) squads through three weeks.

Yet, despite producing 108 points in three contests, the Bulldogs have surrendered 137 points, including 77 points earlier this month in a crazy setback to Nichols College.

Dean is inching closer to its first win – perhaps it occurs this weekend when the Bulldogs visit MIT?  

Wide receiver Quintus Reid has been a player to watch this fall – he currently ranks third in the ECFC in receiving yards (266) and is tied for second in touchdown receptions (four) with Anna Maria College’s Justin McMillian.

Reid’s teammate, Mozes Mooney, leads all ECFC receivers with five touchdown receptions.

In addition to Reid and Mooney, fans of New England small college football should keep their eyes on quarterback Nathan Cisco, who previously competed for the University of Idaho. Cisco has tossed eight touchdowns this season.

Framingham State (1-2, 0-1 MASCAC): This is an important week for the Rams.

Coming off its first loss to UMass Dartmouth since 2016, the Rams will look to bounce back against Westfield State on Saturday.

A win against the Owls would even their overall record, but also provide the Black and Gold with some much-needed momentum heading into an important matchup in week five with Plymouth State. The Panthers are idle this weekend, but currently sit atop the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) standings with a 3-0 record.

Halfback Devaun Ford will be one of many players to watch on Saturday – the Mashpee, Massachusetts native has rushed for a team-high 264 yards and two touchdowns this season. He led all rushers with 143 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown last week against UMass Dartmouth.

In addition to Ford, the Rams will need some key members of its defense to have a big game. Keep your eyes on Dylan DeWolfe, Gerell Boyce, and Cully Curran.

Nichols College (3-0, 0-0 CCC): In the words of coach Dale Olmsted, last Saturday’s win against Coast Guard Academy was a “team effort.”

The Bison scored their third-straight win, thanks to quarterback Xavier Powell, who concluded the non-league matchup with 318 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.  

Derrick Revolus recorded three interceptions to go with 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops. Joshua Sayer led the Nichols defense with 13 total tackles – he also recorded one pass breakup.

The squad’s effort from last week will certainly be needed this week as Nichols concludes its non-conference slate with a visit to Hartwick College on Saturday. Hartwick was idle last weekend after dropping its initial contest of the 2022 season earlier this month to King’s College.

Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC): Quarterback John Giller has the Wolves heading in the right direction.

The sophomore signal-caller has tossed seven touchdowns in three contests while completing 47 of 93 passes for 716 yards.

Last week against Westfield State, Giller recorded a season-high 305 passing yards to go with three touchdowns. Eli Koukoulis caught two touchdowns – he is currently third on the team in receiving yards (117) but tied with Julian Ferguson for touchdown receptions (two).    

WestConn’s defense has received a boost from Jaeden Alexander, Nosa Uzamere, and Stephen Johnson – expect this trio, along with other members of the defensive unit to provide some challenges for Bridgewater State’s offense on Saturday.

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 NESCAC Football Preview: Can Williams Defend Its 2021 Crown?

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team begin their 2022 season on Saturday at Colby College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour)

By Matt Noonan

A brand-new season of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football returns this Saturday.

As expected, there are some enticing matchups this weekend, including Trinity College at Tufts University, Amherst College entertaining Middlebury College, and Bates College visiting Wesleyan University.

But perhaps the game most fans will be watching – or perhaps following – is Williams College at Colby College.

The Ephs completed their first-ever 9-0 campaign last fall – Williams defeated Trinity, Wesleyan, and Amherst during the final three weeks to clinch its first outright crown since 2010 (the Ephs concluded its 2010 campaign with an 8-0 record, along with some hardware).

Quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Frank Stola have graduated so if Williams is going to defend its crown, the Ephs will need to lean on both its returners and newcomers this fall.

Halfback Joel Nicholas returns after leading the NESCAC in scoring last season – the Buffalo, New York native tallied 17 touchdowns in nine contests. In addition to Nicholas, Williams will lean on John Freeman (offensive line), Ian Devine (defensive line), and Rocco Giandomenico (defensive back).  

The biggest question for the Ephs is who will play quarterback?

That remains an unknown, but don’t be surprised if you see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo line up under center on Saturday.

“We’ll make our decision on who will start later this week,” coach Mark Raymond said in the Williams College football preview on Ephsports.com. “Both are smart, talented, athletic, and they are good leaders who have taken control of the offense.”

Looking to challenge Williams for the top spot in the standings are Trinity and Wesleyan, which finished second and third, respectively, last season.

The Bantams return some key pieces from its 8-1 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Additionally, Noah Glantz (defensive line), Brian Casagrande (linebacker), and Aidan Kennedy (defensive back) return to anchor a defense that yielded 13.77 points per game last season.

Trinity concluded its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst (49-7) and Wesleyan (14-7) but saw its six-game winning streak snapped last October against Williams (42-3).  

Wesleyan began its 2021 campaign with six-straight wins before losing its final three contests to Amherst, Williams, and Trinity.

But despite ending its previous season with three-straight losses, there is a sense of optimism surrounding coach Dan DiCenzo’s squad, which will be led this fall by Nick Helbig, who was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year last November.

Helbig was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2019 with Middlebury College’s Alex Maldjian and finished his junior season with 50 total tackles. He ranked second in the conference in tackles for a loss (11) and tied with Ian Devine in sacks (5.5).

As a unit, the Cardinals surrendered 168 points while the offense produced 197 points, thanks to David Estevez, a dual-threat quarterback that placed fourth in the conference in rushing yards (746). His longest burst was an 88-yard rush against Tufts last October.

Wesleyan shared the conference crown with Amherst and Middlebury in 2013 while finishing as the runner-up to the Panthers in 2019.

Trinity won three-straight titles from 2016 to 2018 and is seeking its 18th crown in program history.

Noontime’s Team to Watch in 2022: Colby College. Coach Jack Cosgrove’s squad has gradually improved over the last few seasons – last fall, the Mules produced its first four-win season since finishing 4-4 in 2013.

Brett Holmes, who represented the Blue and White on the NESCAC First-Team Defense last November, has graduated, which means Colby will need to lean on a few returners, including defensive back Nick Donatio, who led the unit in total tackles (69.0). Donatio also recorded a team-high 47 solo stops to go with six pass breakups.

Linebacker EJ Brister is back after recording 35 total tackles in nine contests, including seven tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

Quarterback Matt Hersch returns after throwing for 1,742 yards – expect him to target wide receiver Jack Sawyer, who led the Colby receiving core with 462 yards on 28 receptions.

Colby may have dropped three of its first four contests last season, but the Mules did score some impressive wins last fall over Amherst (10-7) and Middlebury (28-14). Additionally, they topped Bates and Bowdoin College to claim their third consecutive CBB crown (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin trophy).

Noontime’s Surprise Team in 2022: Middlebury College. The 2022 season will mark the final time coach Bob Ritter will pace the sidelines, so I expect this current group of Panthers to play some inspired football this fall.

Middlebury’s perfect season from 2019 seemed like a distant memory last fall as the Navy Blue and White won just three of nine contests.

For the Panthers to cap Ritter’s time on the sidelines with some hardware, they will need to score wins over Trinity, Wesleyan, and Williams, along with Amherst, Colby, and Tufts. Additionally, they will want to beat Bates, Bowdoin, and Hamilton College.

Linebacker Jack Pistorius has graduated, which means the Middlebury defense will need to lean on Tomas Kenary (defensive line), who was named Co-Rookie of the Year last fall with Andre Eden of Bowdoin, and wide receiver Donovan Wood, who earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Offense.

Cole Crider returns as the team’s punter – he represented Middlebury on the All-NESCAC First team Special Teams.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College. As much as I would like to pick Williams to repeat, Trinity seems like the safe pick, as well as the early favorite by many that observe or cover the NESCAC. Sure, you could make the case for Wesleyan, but in the end, coach Jeff Devanney’s squad will score a few late-season wins over Bates, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan to secure the team’s first NESCAC crown in four years.