NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The MIT-Muhlenberg Matchup

Sean Kent WBE

Sean Kent and the MIT Football team are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

In just three days, a trio of New England D-III football teams will begin their pursuit of the ultimate prize: a national championship. And one of those teams is the MIT Engineers, who will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania to face Muhlenberg College.

MIT is making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament, as well as it’s third since 2014. The Engineers are 1-2 in their last three national postseason contests and will attempt to even their mark against an impressive Mules squad, which yet to drop a single contest this season.

Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.


MIT (7-2) at Muhlenberg (10-0)

Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Scotty Wood Stadium.

Rankings: Muhlenberg is currently fourth in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. MIT is not ranked nor receiving votes.

Conference Affiliate: Muhlenberg competes in the Centennial Conference (CC) – they finished 9-0 against league opponents. MIT competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and won six of seven league tilts this fall.

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Both teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season. MIT, which captured its first-ever NEWMAC crown last fall, saw its run toward a national championship conclude in the opening round against Johns Hopkins. Muhlenberg advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Delaware Valley (20-13) and Randolph-Macon (35-6) before falling to Mount Union, 38-10.

Inside the Numbers with MIT: The Engineers rank 124th in scoring offense, averaging 26.4 points per game. They have scored 30 touchdowns this fall while kicking eight field goals … MIT’s defense and Concordia Wisconsin are tied for 77th in scoring defense, yielding 21.00 points per contest … MIT is averaging 333.6 yards of total offense (153.9 rushing and 179.7 passing yards) … The defense has yielded an average of 174.4 passing yards per game while limiting opposing rushing attacks to just 117.0 yards per game.

Inside the Numbers with Muhlenberg: The Mules are currently the 17th highest-scoring offense in D-III, averaging 41.9 points per game. They have scored 56 touchdowns in 10 contests while recording nine field goals. Muhlenberg has converted 52 PATs and recorded one safety for 419.00 points … The Mules boast the ninth-best scoring defense, yielding an average of 11.70 points per game … Muhlenberg is averaging 439.1 yards of total offense (281.60 passing yards per game and 157.5 rushing yards) … The Mules have limited opposing rushing attacks to 70.6 yards per game while the defense is limiting offenses to just 200.30 yards of passing per game.

MIT Players to Watch: 

  • Chris Mauck (QB) – Enters Saturday’s contest with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a starter … Mauck has completed 121 of 241 passes for 1,609 yards
  • Ashton Robinson (RB) – Has rushed for a career-high 366 yards on 95 carries in eight contests this season, along with three touchdowns.
  • Keithen Shepard (WR) – Leads the Engineers with 10 receiving touchdowns … the third-year receiver has caught a team-high 35 passes for 542 yards.
  • Mark Wright (Kicker) – Wright has connected on 8 of 11 field goals with his longest kick being a 43-yarder … he is 22 of 26 on extra points … he has produced 46 points in nine games.
  • Sean Kent (Defensive Back) – The senior defensive back leads the Engineers with 58.0 total tackles … He has recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss of 10 yards while registering two interceptions and five pass break-ups.

Muhlenberg Players to Watch:

  • Frankie Feaster (DE) – Named the CC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season … Feaster helped the Mules defense set a conference record of yielding just 91 points in nine conference contests.
  • Michael Hnatkowsky (QB) – Named the CC Offensive Player of the Year … He has tossed a school-record 34 touchdowns with only three interceptions … He ranks third in D-III in passing efficiency, completion percentage (sixth), and passing touchdowns (seven).
  • James Diggs (RB) – Diggs is averaging 70.0 rushing yards per game, which is fourth in the CC … He has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season.
  • Ryan Curtis (TE) – Named a first-team All-CC honoree … has caught 10 touchdowns and set the conference mark for career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
  • John Washington (DB) – Washington has recorded 28 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions as a first-time starter with the Mules.
  • Todd Spirt (Kicker) – Spirit leads the conference with 78 points … he is the CC all-time leader in extra points made with 185 (he set a program record with 56 extra points made last season.

Noontime Hoops Notebook: Which D3 New England Teams Are Going Dancing?

Noontime Hoops Notebook

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops

Monday brought some exciting news to a slew of New England D3 basketball teams that learned they will be headed to the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially tips-off this Friday, March 1st.

Below are the teams from New England that will be competing for a national championship beginning this Friday.

Men’s Basketball 

  • Husson University at Williams College (Williams will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Albertus Magnus at Christopher Newport (Christopher Newport will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Penn State-Behrend at Hamilton College (Hamilton will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Keene State vs. Moravian College (Hamilton)
  • Amherst College vs. Rosemont College (at the University of Rochester)
  • Emerson College vs. Rowan University (Rowan will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Middlebury College vs. Nichols College (Rowan)
  • Mitchell College at Swarthmore College (Swarthmore will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • MIT vs. Skidmore College (Swarthmore)
  • Salem State at Oswego State (Oswego State will be hosting the first and second rounds)

Women’s Basketball 

  • New England College at The University of Scranton (Scranton will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Eastern Connecticut vs. Johns Hopkins (Scranton)
  • Westfield State vs. Mount Saint Mary (Gettysburg College)
  • Western New England at Tufts University (Tufts will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Hunter College at Bowdoin College (Bowdoin will be hosting the first and second rounds)
  • Smith College vs. Merchant Marine (Bowdoin)
  • Emmanuel College vs. Hartwick College (at SUNY New Paltz)
  • MIT vs. St. Joseph’s (Maine) (at Ithaca College)
  • Middlebury College vs. John Carroll (at DeSales)
  • Husson University at Amherst College (Amherst will be hosting the first and second rounds)

Stay connected with our Noontime Sports basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

New England Sends Four Teams to NCAA D3 Football Tournament

josh_smiley

Framingham State’s Joshua Smiley and the Rams are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Four New England D3 football teams secured spots in the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially begins Saturday, November 17th with 16 opening round contests.

32 teams were selected to compete in this year’s tournament, including a trio of local teams (Framingham StateHusson University and Western New England) which captured their respective conference crown.

MIT, which also earned a spot in this year’s tournament, secured an at-large bid following an exciting 22-7 win yesterday over Springfield College to secure the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown (the NEWMAC title was the Engineers’ first in program history).

All four teams will hit the road this week with Framingham State visiting Brockport, Husson traveling to RPI, MIT heading to Johns Hopkins and Frostburg State entertaining Western New England. All four match-ups will commence at 12 p.m. eastern.

Both Husson and WNE advanced to the tournament last year, while Framingham State is making its first appearance in three seasons (the Rams last competed in the national postseason in 2015). MIT is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after making an impressive debut four years ago with an opening round win against Husson.

We’ll have more on all four match-ups later this week, but as always, stay connected with @Noontime_FB on Twitter for news, notes and more from the New England football world! 

NCAA D3 Tournament: Opening Round Roundup

NS NCAA TOURN ROUNDUP

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Welcome to the official start of ‘March Madness!’

The NCAA Division III basketball tournament commenced today with some pretty exciting outcomes as St. Joseph’s (Maine) and Hamilton College each began the day with opening round wins. The Monks scored an exciting five-point (61-56) victory over UMass Boston women’s basketball team in Amherst, while the Continentals defeated Nazareth, 86-72, thanks to a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds from Kena Gilmour.

The Monks of St. Joseph’s played some impressive defense down the stretch, holding the Beacons just nine points in the third and fourth quarters. Julia Champagne led the Monks with 16 points – she also stuffed the stat sheet with six caroms, three steals and one one assist.

Joining the Monks in the second round of the women’s tournament is Amherst CollegeBowdoin College and Tufts University. The Jumbos scored an opening round win over Westfield State, thanks to 17 points off the bench from Cailin Harrington, along with 15 points from Jac Knapp and Melissa Baptista.

On the men’s side: MIT scored an opening round win as the Engineers defeated Brockport, 81-67. Tim Roberts recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Middlebury College topped Lebanon Valley, 83-63, behind a triple-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists from Jack Daly.

Joining MIT and Middlebury in the second round is Springfield CollegeWesleyan UniversityEastern Connecticut and Williams College. The Pride scored an exciting opening round win as they edged Albright, 88-86, thanks to a pair of freebies from Jake Ross, along with a late free throw from Heath Post.

Bobby Casey helped the Ephs break-open a one-point (21-20) lead at the break to defeat the Bears of Bridgewater State, 56-45. James Heskett concluded the game with 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.  


Saturday’s Schedule | Round Two 

  • Women’s Basketball: St. Joseph’s (Maine) at Amherst College, 6 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: FDU-Florham at Bowdoin College, 7 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: Ithaca at Tufts University, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Ramapo at Williams College, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Middlebury College at Eastern Connecticut St., 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: MIT at Johns Hopkins, 8 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Hamilton College at York (Pa), 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Swarthmore at Wesleyan, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Springfield at Cabrini, 7 p.m.

D3 Notebook: MIT, Tufts, Williams Looks To Continue Their Postseason Success

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been a busy fall for numerous Massachusetts college teams, especially those that extended their campaigns beyond their regular season slates.

As of today, three local Division III squads remain in the hunt for some NCAA championship hardware and below is an update on where each squads stands.

Football: MIT’s football team – perhaps the story of the 2014 fall collegiate season? – won their first-ever postseason contest (in program history!) last weekend with a 27-20 overtime victory against Husson College (the winner of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference). The Engineers advanced to tomorrow’s second round game against Wesley College, kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. If the Engineers can squeak out a victory against the fourth-ranked Wolverines, they’ll extend their season into December and compete against the winner of Hobart-Johns Hopkins on Saturday, December 6.

Men’s Soccer: The Jumbos of Tufts University punched their ticket to the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer semifinals with a 1-0 victory against Messiah. Prior to their quarterfinal win, the Powder Blue and White defeated Dickinson, Wheaton (Mass.) and Muhlenberg. The Jumbos have outscored all four of their opponents by a score of 9-0.

Tufts returns to action on Friday, December 5 when they compete against Ohio Wesleyan. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The game will take place at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. If the Jumbos prevail, they’d face the winner of Oneonta State-Wheaton (Ill.) on Saturday, December 6 at 2:30 p.m. in the finals.

According to NCAA.com, the Jumbos have never appeared or competed in a national championship match.

Women’s Soccer: The second NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) squad to extend their fall season into December is the Williams College women’s soccer team. The Ephs, who’ll face Johns Hopkins on Friday, December 5 at 8:30 p.m., secured a spot in the 2014 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament semifinals with four consecutive victories. Williams topped Lasell and Ithaca in the first and second rounds before claiming wins against Roger Williams and TCNJ in the third round and quarterfinals. Their last two wins against the Hawks and Lions were decided by one goal.

A win against the Blue Jays would pit Williams against Lynchburg or Illinois Wesleyan – the other two semifinalists. This year’s championship and semifinal matches will occur at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. The finals – scheduled for Saturday, December 6 – would occur at 6:30 p.m.

According to NCAA.com, the Ephs have never competed in a national championship match. However, Williams did host a finals match in 1999, but the game featured UC San Diego and Macalester.