Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage rolls on with a closer look at Plymouth State, which begins its season on Saturday, September 7th when they visit Castleton University for a 12 p.m. kickoff.
The Panthers’ 2018 Season: One year after posting a 9-2 record, the Panthers finished with a 6-4 mark, which included a thrilling 29-28 win over Framingham State, along with a hard-fought 10-7 win against Westfield State.
The Panthers did not compete in the NCAA Tournament last fall but certainly proved their nine-win season from 2017 wasn’t a fluke – this team is certainly capable of competing for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) every season.
Plymouth State had 15 seniors on last year’s squad that will certainly be missed this season – these student-athletes were a big reason why the Green and White won 9 of 11 contests in 2017, so look for the rising seniors and juniors to lead the Panthers this upcoming season.
The 2019 Outlook: Plymouth State will be without some key members of last year’s team, as well as the 2017 squad, especially on defense. Graduation losses to Grant McGregor, Mitch Banuskevich, Brady LaFrance and Malcolm Huesman won’t be easy to replace however, the Panthers do return defensive back Matt Shea, who led the defense with 77.0 total tackles.
Defensive back David Salazar will also be a player to watch in the secondary, too. The rising sophomore averaged 5.3 total tackles per contest one year ago, while also recording 2.5 tackles for a loss of 10 yards.
Plymouth State graduated a slew of linebackers, but do return Elijah Bussell and Eric Smith. The duo combined for 53.0 total tackles last season.
On offense, the Panthers must find their replacement for quarterback Zack Edwards, a dual-threat signal-caller that concluded the 2018 season with 15 touchdowns (14 passing touchdowns).
David Hamilton returns for his final season at halfback after rushing for career-highs in yards (911) and touchdowns (eight) one year ago.
Wide receiver Jacob Szulc returns for his third season after leading the team with 26 receptions for 493 yards and seven touchdowns.
Plymouth State will also return a slew of offensive linemen, including Nick Cusano, who competed in all 10 contests one year ago, and Matt Palma, who appeared in nine games.
Plymouth State’s Schedule: We will learn more about this Plymouth State squad by the end of September – the opening month features a pair of non-conference foes, along with back-to-back conference clashes with Worcester State in week three and UMass Dartmouth in week four. Plymouth State beat the Lancers last fall but lost to the Corsairs. Can they win both conference games this season?
The Panthers will travel to Westfield State for an important conference meeting in week six before entertaining Framingham State in week seven for their Hall of Fame Game.
Weeks after their meeting with the Rams, the Panthers travel to Bridgewater State before capping their 2019 campaign with a trip to Western Connecticut on Saturday, November 16.
Players to Watch: David Hamilton (Halfback/ West Deptford, N.J.), Jacob Szulc (Wide Receiver/Concord, N.H.), Terrell Lewis (Wide Receiver/Nashua, N.H.), Jeremy Martin (Kicker/Charlton, Mass.), Nick Cusano (Offensive Line/Wethersfield, Conn.), Matt Palma (Offensive Line/Cheshire, Conn.), Matt Shea (Defensive Back/Windham, N.H.), and David Salazar (Defensive Back/West Newton, Mass.).
Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.
After earning a hard-fought victory on the road last Saturday, the Plymouth State University football team scored an additional win two days later as our Noontime Sports New England D3 Football Team of the Week.
The New England D3 Football Team of the Week is decided by a Twitter poll, which was (and will continue to be) seen throughout the remainder of the season on Sunday and Monday’s through @NoontimeSports.
The Panthers secured a first-place nod in this week’s poll by collecting 57 percent of the votes, while Nichols College placed second with 26 percent. Middlebury College and Coast Guard Academy rounded out the the poll, finishing third (10 percent) and fourth (seven percent), respectively.
Against Framingham State, the Panthers used a late touchdown drive to push ahead, 29-28, before clinching the victory with a fourth down stop on the ensuing possession.
The win was the Panthers’ second-straight regular season victory against the Rams – they defeated Framingham State last season en route to sharing the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown. The win provided the Green and White an opportunity to compete in last year’s NCAA Division III Tournament, too.
Quarterback Zack Edwards concluded this past Saturday’s contest with two touchdowns, including the go-ahead strike to Max Osgood late in the fourth quarter. Halfback David Hamilton rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries (4.3 yards per carry) and one touchdown, while Jacob Szulc caught four passes for 149 yards and one touchdown.
Matt Shea highlighted the Panthers’ defense with a team-high eight total tackles, including six solo stops and one tackle for a loss of three yards. Elijah Bussell ended the game with five total tackles, including four solo stops and one fumble recovery.
Kicker Jeremy Martin tallied nine points in the win on three extra points and two field goals. His longest field goal was a 35-yard boot with 30 second remaining in the second quarter, which provided the Panthers with a 10-7 advantage at the break.
Plymouth State, which is now 3-3 overall and 2-3 in conference play, will look to continue its momentum on Saturday, October 20th when they host Massachusetts Maritime Academy at 1 p.m.
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB
With another week of New England D3 Football in the books, it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports Football Stars of the Week from week six!
Our ‘Stars of the Week’ post will appear every Monday on our site throughout the remainder of the college football season. The weekly post will highlight some key contributors from the New England region from the past week on offense, defense and special teams.
Congratulations to this week’s recipients and best of luck to all student-athletes, coaches and teams competing this upcoming weekend.
Travon Holder enjoyed a successful day on the ground, rushing a season-high 203 yards and three touchdowns against Mass. Maritime Academy. (PHOTO COURTESY: Westfield State Athletics)
Offensive Stars of the Week
Hunter Belzo (Springfield College): Against Coast Guard Academy, Belzo scored three touchdowns, including two on the ground. Belzo rushed for 207 yards on 31 carries, while tossing two passes (five attempts) for 39 yards and one touchdown.
Errol Breaux (Dean College): Breaux turned in an impressive performance against Husson University last Friday evening by leading all receivers with 229 yards on six catches (38. 2 yards per reception), while hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions.
Noah Brum (Worcester State): Brum concluded his team’s conference clash against Western Connecticut by completing 28 of 47 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns.
Alex Cohen (Anna Maria College): Cohen helped Anna Maria erase a 17-0 deficit by completing 26-of-38 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 32 yards on 12 carries and one score as the AMCATs topped Castleton University on the road.
Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 23-of-52 passes for a career-high 407 yards, while tossing a pair of touchdowns during his team’s contest against Merchant Marine.
Ryan Gaboury (University of New England): Gaboury hauled in a game-high 10 grabs for 192 yards and three touchdowns with his longest reception being a 41-yard touchdown in the first half.
Moe Harris (Castleton University): Harris reached the end zone three times, including two times on the ground as he finished last Saturday’s contest against Anna Maria with 204 yards on 31 carries. His lone catch was a 44-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, which evened the score at 24-24.
Matt Hersch (Colby College): Hersch had his hand in all three scores for the Mules as he finished the contest 23-of-40 for 277 yards, while tossing a trio of touchdown passes against Wesleyan University.
Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Juvelier recorded five touchdowns last week against University of New England, including four through the air. He finished 35-of-49 for 369 yards, while rushing for 51 yards on 10 carries and one score.
Travon Holder (Westfield State): Holder rushed for a season-best 203 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Owls past Massachusetts Maritime Academy on the road.
Brian Peters (University of New England): Peters helped the Nor’easters win their first-ever game in program history by completing 25-of-33 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday against Curry College.
Manni Romero (Norwich University): Romero hauled in a season-best 10 catches for 272 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday during the Cadets’ conference setback to Merchant Marine.
Andrew Yamin and the Amherst College defense registered six sacks last week in a shutout win over Middlebury College. (PHOTO COURTESY:
Defensive Stars of the Week
Taj Gooden (Wesleyan University): Gooden turned in an impressive showing against Colby College, registering nine total stops, including five solo tackles, four tackles for a loss of 13 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.
Blayne Merchant (WPI): Against Catholic University, Merchant tallied a team-high seven solo stops and eight total tackles – he matched Nick Ostrowski with the same number of total tackles. Additionally, he recorded two tackles for a loss of 14 yards, one sack for a loss of 11 yards and one quarterback hurry.
Chris Rice (Castleton University): Rice stuffed the stat sheet with eight total stops, including five solo tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss of 18 yards and one sack for a loss of 10 yards against Anna Maria.
Keegan Stanton-Meas (University of New England): Stanton-Meas helped the Nor’easters claim their first-ever win in program history against Curry College by finishing the game with 12 total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one sack. He also registered a pair of pass break-ups, too.
Andrew Yamin (Amherst College): Yamin registered a season-high 3.5 sacks for a loss 22 yards, while leading the Amherst College defense with 11 total tackles (four solo stops) as the Mammoths shutout Middlebury College last Saturday.
Special Team Stars of the Week
Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano registered nine points on seven kicks, including six extra points in the Gulls’ fourth win of the season last Saturday.
Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington connected on all four kicks, including a 26-yard field gaol for six points, while recording six punts with three of them landing inside the Catholic University’s 20-yard yard line. One of his boots resulted in a touchback.
Robert Inniss, Jr. (University of New England): Inniss Jr.’s game-winning field goal (38 yards) with five seconds remaining helped the Nor’easters claim their first-ever win in program history against Curry College last Saturday. Inniss Jr. concluded the game with eight points (one field goals and five extra points).
Jeremy Martin (Plymouth State): Martin connected on a trio of kicks last Friday evening against Bridgewater State, including two field goals with his longest boot coming from 44-yards out. He also recorded four punts for 150 yards with one kick landing inside the Bears’ 20-yard line. Additionally, he booted four kickoffs for 258 yards with three resulting in touchbacks.
Stay connected with our Noontime Sports football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB!
Happy Monday! With another weekend of college football in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive, Defensive and Special Team units of the week, as well as our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, too.
Offensive Player of the Week: Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): In a must-win game for the Rams, Wojenski registered five touchdowns, including four through the air as Framingham State rallied to beat Western Connecticut, 39-35. The Rams’ signal-caller completed 18 of 27 passes for 325 yards.
Defensive Player of the Week: DeSean Hart (Mount Ida): Against Anna Maria, Hart recorded a pair of touchdowns – a 90 yard fumble recovery and a 100 yard interception – while tallying 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles and one pass break-up.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Jeremy Martin (Plymouth State): Martin helped his team secure the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown by converting all three extra points, as well as a 36-yard field goal. Additionally, three of his punts landed inside the Fitchburg State 20-yard-line. He also finished the game with six punts for 230 yards and five kickoffs for 221 yards.
Offensive Team of the Week
Dante Aiken (WNE): Aiken rushed for 152 yards and four scores on 28 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry as the Golden Bears defeated Curry en route to claiming the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) title.
Abbi Bamgbose (UMass Dartmouth): Bamgbose led all receivers with five receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s double-digit win over Massachusetts Maritime.
Stephen Beahn (Framingham State): Beahn hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions, including the go-ahead and game-winning score with 10 seconds remaining as the Rams topped the Colonials in Framingham. The senior wide out concluded the contest five receptions for 93 yards.
Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Brown-Simpson led all rushers with 109 yards on 22 carries and one score against Plymouth State. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry, too.
Brendan Costa (Bates): Costa rushed for a game-high 170 yards on 20 carries and one score, averaging 8.5 yards per carry, while completing one of five passes for 23 yards as the Bobcats claimed their fourth-straight CBB crown.
Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese amassed 321 yards of total offense, including 227 passing yards, while recording a quartet of touchdowns (three through the air) in his team’s 42-28 setback to Western New England.
Moe Harris (Castleton): Against Gallaudet, Harris rushed for a game-high 128 yards on 29 carries and two scores, while averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
Tyler Hyde (Springfield): Against Maine Maritime, Hyde rushed for 118 yards on seven carries and two scores, while averaging a game-high 16.9 yards per carry.
Joe Kalosky (Endicott): Kalosky completed 14 of 26 passes for 181 yards and three scores, while rushing for 27 yards on two carries during his team’s first Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) win over Nichols.
Jack Lavanchy (Bridgewater State): Lavanchy led all receivers in receptions (nine) and yards (169), while hauling in two touchdown receptions against Worcester State.
Emmanuel Leake (Anna Maria): Leake amassed 277 yards, including 211 passing yards against Mount Ida, while completing 12 of 20 passes for one touchdown. He also rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and one score.
Jimmy Martinez (Middlebury): Martinez recorded three catches for 117 yards and two scores in his team’s 41-20 win over Hamilton.
Sean McAllen (WPI): Against Coast Guard, McAllen rushed for 152 yards on 20 carries and three scores, while averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
Jack Meservy (Middlebury): Meservy completed 11 of 16 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 41-20 win over Hamilton.
Noah Nelson (Bowdoin): Against Bates, Nelson amassed 314 yards, including 302 passing yards. Nelson completed 34 of 55 passes and two touchdowns, while rushing for 12 yards on 12 carries.
Michael Nolan (Nichols): Against Endicott, Nolan rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries and one score, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He also concluded the game with 10 yards on four receptions, too.
James O’Regan (Amherst): O’Regan led all receivers with 95 yards on six receptions and one touchdown in his team’s big win against Trinity.
Gregory Olson (Bowdoin): Olson concluded Saturday’s tilt with Bates by recording nine receptions for 98 yards, while hauling in a pair of touchdown passes from Nelson. Olson averaged 10.9 yards per reception.
Hunter Paupaw (Worcester State): Paupaw rushed for 65 yards on seven carries and three scores, while averaging 9.3 yards per carry.
Mike Pedrini (Tufts): Pedrini rushed for a game-high 135 yards on 31 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and three scores in his team’s 28-14 win over Colby.
Jace Pena (UMass Dartmouth): Against Massachusetts Maritime, Pena completed 21 of 35 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns as the Corsairs sailed passed the Buccaneers for a 37-14 win.
Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan): Piccirillo was quite impressive against Williams, completing 26 of 32 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns, while leading all rushers with 69 yards on 15 carries and two scores.
Michael Pina (Mount Ida): Pina completed 19 of 29 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 55 yards on eight carries (6.9 yards per carry) and one score in his team’s exciting win over Anna Maria.
Marquis Roderique (Anna Maria): Roderique concluded Saturday’s contest against Mount Ida with a career and season-best 11 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown reception was Roderique’s first of his collegiate career.
Michael Slaughter, Jr. (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter, Jr. rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries and two scores, while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
John Smith (Husson): Smith rushed for 143 yards on 15 carries for three scores, while averaging 9.5 yards per carry in his team’s eighth win of the season. The win secured the Eagles a spot in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. The three scores bumped Smith’s total to 23 rushing touchdowns this season, which shattered his original single-season mark of 20 that he set in 2015.
Anthony Service (WNE): Service amassed 240 yards of total offense, including 196 passing yards in his team’s fourth-straight conference win over Curry. The senior signal-caller completed 15 of 22 passes and one touchdown, while rushing for 44 yards on 10 carries. Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Against Maine Maritime, Wilcox rushed for 213 yards, an average of 15.2 per carry, and three touchdowns on 14 carries.
Defensive Team of the Week
Max Breschi (Bates): Against Bowdoin, Breschi registered 11 total tackles, including a quartet of solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry.
Anthony Fogarty III (Bridgewater State): Fogarty III paced the Bears’ defense with 12 total stops, including nine solo tackles, two tackles for a loss of 19 yards and one interception returned for 27 yards.
Joseph Grogan (Curry): Against Western New England, Grogan recorded eight total tackles, including four solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack for a loss of seven yards.
Alex LaPiana (Tufts): Against Colby, LaPiana registered six total tackles, including four solo stops, along with one fumble recovery and one interception.
John Jackson (Middlebury): Against Hamilton, Jackson tallied nine total tackles, including six solo stops and one tackle for a loss of four yards. He also recorded a forced fumble and fumble recovery, too.
Jon Lindgren (Bates): Lindgren recorded 16 total tackles, including 11 solo stops, one tackle for a loss of five yards, six pass break-ups and one blocked kick.
Brett McEvoy (Nichols): Against Endicott, McEvoy led all defenders with 15 total tackles, while concluding the game with five solo stops and half a sack for a three-yard loss.
Blayne Merchant (WPI): Merchant tallied seven solo tackles against Coast Guard, including four tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards.
Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu concluded Saturday’s primetime conference tilt with Western Connecticut with seven solo stops, including a sack for a loss of nine yards.
Dereck Pacheco (WPI): Pacheco led the Engineers’ defense with 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops, one tackle for a loss of six yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and blocked kick.
Sebastien Philemon (Colby): Philemon recorded 18 total tackles, including six solo stops, two tackles for a loss of five yards and one sack for a loss of three yards in his team’s 28-14 setback to Tufts.
Jakob Trautwein (Castleton): Trautwein led the Spartans’ defense with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops, one tackle for a loss of one yard and one interception for 15 yards.
Mitch Turley (MIT): On ‘Senior Night’ in Cambridge, Turley turned in a monstrous performance, tallying 10 total tackles, including nine solo stops, one fumble recovery for 34 yards, one interception and one pass break-up against Norwich University.
Marquez Walls (Dean): Against SUNY Maritime, Walls registered seven total tackles, including five solo stops, three interceptions for 50 yards and two pass break-ups. Additionally, he scored a touchdown on a 73-yard punt return in the opening quarter, which provided the Bulldogs with the lead after one quarter of play.
Andrew Yamin (Amherst): Yamin recorded seven solo tackles, including a trio of stops for a loss of 11 yards and one sack for a loss of four yards in his team’s big win over Trinity.
Christian Zotti (Springfield): Zotti registered seven total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, a tackle for a loss of 13 yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s win over Maine Maritime.
Special Teams of the Week
Henry Atkeson (Amherst): Atkeson punted the ball eight times against Trinity with five boots landing inside the Bantams’ 20-yard line. He totaled 252 yards on eight punts for an average of 31.5 yards per kick.
Riley Ford (Mount Ida): Ford connected on seven of eight extra points, as well as a 30-yard field goal for 10 points against Anna Maria.
John Glaser (Endicott): Glaser recorded 10 points off seven extra points and a 26-yard field goal during his team’s initial conference win against Nichols.
Christian Humulock (Springfield): Humulock converted eight of nine extra point attempts in his team’s 62-0 win over Maine Maritime.
Andrew Verre (Salve Regina): Verre connected on seven of eight extra point attempts during his team’s win over Becker College.
Mark Wright (MIT): Wright connected on four of five kicks, including a 30-yard field goal. Wright concluded his team’s conference clash against Norwich with eight points.