NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The Framingham State-Wesley Matchup

Adam Wojenski 5

Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski will be one of a few players to watch on the Rams this Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s time to highlight the second New England D-III football team that will be competing this weekend in the NCAA Division III Tournament. And that squad is the Framingham State University Rams, which enter the postseason on an eight-game winning streak.

The Rams, who captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall with some important late wins over Bridgewater StateMassachusetts Maritime Academy, and Western Connecticut, will be making their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as well as their second-straight trip as Framingham State competed last season against The College of Brockport.

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


Framingham State (8-2) at Wesley College (9-1) 

Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Rankings: Wesley is currently the tenth best team in D-III, according to the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. Framingham State was not ranked nor receiving votes in this week’s poll.

Conference Affiliation: Framingham State competes in the MASCAC, while Wesley is a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: The Rams’ 2018 season concluded in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament with a 40-27 setback to Brockport. The Golden Eagles secured a 24-0 lead at the break before the Rams trimmed the deficit in the second half by outscoring the hosts, 27-16.

Quarterback Adam Wojenski concluded the contest 28 of 58 for 450 yards and two touchdowns – he did have three interceptions – while Brockport’s Joe Germinerio completed 19 of 40 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns.

Wesley did not compete in the NCAA Tournament last season but did advance to the second round in 2017 following a 45-27 win over RPI. The Wolverines’ run toward a national championship concluded with a 49-28 setback to Brockport.

Inside the Numbers with Framingham State: The Rams have produced 346 points this season while allowing 176 … The 346 points are the most any MASCAC team produced this fall. They also led the conference in points per game (34.6), touchdowns (51), rushing yards (1,728), rushing yards per game (172.8), few yards allowed per game (274,8), interceptions (14), and fewest rushing yards allowed per contest (90.5) … Framingham State will be making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament – they have never won a postseason contest. Saturday’s meeting with Wesley will be the team’s second in the postseason as the two squads met in 2015 with the Wolverines winning by a score of 42-22.

Inside the Numbers with Wesley College: Wesley is currently second in the NJAC with 337 points – Salisbury University is first with 417 points. The Wolverines are averaging 33.7 points per game … Wesley is second in the NJAC in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 157 points (15.7 points per game) … Wesley is second in the conference in total offense – they are averaging 441.7 yards per game … The Wolverines are first in total defense in the NJAC, yielding an average of 249.7 yards per game … Wesley boasts the second-best rushing offense in the NJAC behind Salisbury and is first in the conference in passing offense .. Saturday’s postseason contest will be coach Chip Knapp‘s first as the team’s head coach since taking over for coach Mike Drass last season.

Framingham State Players to Watch: 

  • Andrew Fennelly (O-Line): Named the MASCAC Football Offensive Lineman of the Year.
  • Devaun Ford (RB): Named the MASCAC Offensive Rookie of the Year. Ford rushed for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games. He is averaging 100.3 yards per contest.
  • Joshua Onujiogu (DE): Named the MASCAC Defensive Player of the Year. He has recorded 44.0 total tackles and eight sacks in nine contests this season.
  • Adam Wojenski (QB): The senior signal-caller has completed 184 of 303 passes for 2,455 yards and 27 touchdowns (eight interceptions). He has also rushed for 429 yards on 88 carries and four touchdowns.
  • Jacob Maher (TE): The Worcester State transfer leads the Rams in receptions (54), receptions per game (5.4), receiving yards (792) and touchdowns (eight).
  • Cully Curran (DB): Leads the defense with 67.0 total tackles … has recorded 39 solo tackles, including seven-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 22 yards, one fumble recovery, one interception, and five pass break-ups.
  • Anthony Behonick (LB): Second on the team in total tackles (49.0) … the junior linebacker has recorded 37 solo stops, including eight-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three interceptions, and one pass break-up.

Wesley College Players to Watch:

  • Drew Fry (QB): The first-year signal-caller will get the start on Saturday, as noted (and confirmed) by WDEL 1150AM/101.7FM. Fry, who was a three-year starter for Middletown in Delaware, was named the 2018 offensive player of the year.
  • Marcellus Pack (RB): The senior tailback has rushed for 595 yards on 102 carries and seven touchdowns.
  • Ruhann Peele (WR): The senior wide-out leads the team in receptions (81), receptions per game (8.1), receiving yards (1,141), and receiving touchdowns (12).
  • Corterris Simpson (WR): Second on the team in receptions (45), receptions per game (4.5), receiving yards (522), and touchdowns (five).
  • Nick Bruhn (PK/P): Has recorded 63 points on nine field goals and 36 extra points. His longest field goal was a 31-yard kick.
  • Dante Daniel (LB): The third-year linebacker leads the defense in total tackles (83.0) … Daniel has recorded 43 solo tackles, including eight-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 23 yards, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, one interception, and seven pass break-ups.
  • Shymere Vessels (DE): Vessels has recorded 57.0 total tackles, including 26 solo stops, 10 tackles for a loss of 29 yards and one sack for a loss of six yards.

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Tuesday, Oct. 22nd, 2019)

D3 TEAM OF WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the seventh week of the 2019 New England Division III football season in the books, it is now to unveil our Zelos Athletics Team of the Week.

Similar to our ‘Players of the Week’  Zelos Athletics is also powering our teams of the week, which can be seen (here on our site) every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.


Offensive Team of the Week

OJ Armstrong (Tufts University): Armstrong led the Tufts receiving core with six catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns as the Jumbos rolled past Bowdoin College in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Tim Callahan (Springfield College): Callahan led all rushers with 161 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns as Springfield topped Merchant Marine on the road.

Stefano D’Emilia (Bridgewater State): D’Emilia accounted for eight touchdowns and 398 yards of total offense last Saturday in his team’s big win against UMass Dartmouth. The senior signal-caller completed 15 of 27 passes for 345 yards and five touchdowns while adding a game-high 53 rushing yards on 12 carries and three scores.

Tijani Harris (Trinity College): Harris rushed for a game-high 158 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns which helped the Bantams top Colby College at home.

Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Against Wesleyan University, Jernigan completed 18 of 25 passes for 359 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 36 yards on 12 carries.

Ryan Jones (Coast Guard Academy): Jones completed 26 of 34 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns which helped the Bears of Coast Guard Academy top Maine Maritime Academy.

Joe Kalosky (Endicott College): Kalosky was impressive against Curry College, completing 19 of 23 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns.

Matt Long (Mass. Maritime Academy): Against Fitchburg State, Long amassed 245 yards of total offense, while recording four touchdowns. He completed 10 of 21 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown while adding 100 yards on 15 carries and three scores.

Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina): Mauriello rushed for 265 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns against Western New England.

Justin Moffatt (Coast Guard Academy): Moffatt caught a game-high 13 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears topped Maine Maritime Academy on the road.

Randy Morgan (Becker College): Morgan rushed for a game-high 188 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns while catching one pass for 11 yards against Nichols College.

David Morrison (Husson University): Against the University of New England, Morrison completed 25 of 39 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 16 yards on six carries.

Julian Nyland (WPI): Nyland accounted for 209 yards of total offense against Catholic University by completing 10 of 13 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 19 yards on four carries and one score.

Terrell Watts (Dean College): Watts completed 20 of 27 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulldogs topped Anna Maria College on the road.

Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): The senior signal-caller was close to perfect last Saturday, completing 35 of 38 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns as the Rams topped Plymouth State on the road.


Defensive Team of the Week

Brett Bates (Amherst College): Against Hamilton College, Bates tallied seven total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 26 yards, along with one forced fumble and one pass break-up.

Joe Cox (Nichols College): Cox led the Bison defense with 16 total tackles, including 13 solo stops and two tackles for a loss of three yards against Becker College.

Desmond Dias (Dean College): Dias led the Dean defense against Anna Maria with 12 total tackles, including five solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards. He also recorded one sack for a loss of 13 yards.

Seth Gewanter (Castleton University): Against SUNY-Maritime, Gewanter stuffed the stat sheet with 12 total tackles, including six solo stops, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of three yards and one forced fumble.

Joe Gowetski (Bowdoin College): Gowetski stuffed the stat sheet against Tufts University with 11 total tackles, including four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 14 yards.

Will Kearney (Wesleyan University): Against Middlebury College, Kearney posted a team-high 18 total tackles, including seven solo stops.

Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu helped the Rams defense limit Plymouth State to just 53 yards of total offense and five first downs. The defensive end concluded the game with six total tackles (five solo stops), including three tackles for a loss of 19 yards.

Sean Reall (UMass Dartmouth): Reall led the Corsairs’ defense against Bridgewater State with 14 total tackles, including eight solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 11 yards. He also recorded one block, too.


Special Teams of the Week

Patrick Crowley (Coast Guard Academy): Crowley posted nine points against Maine Maritime Academy off two field goals, including a 44-yard field goal, and three extra points.

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano posted 11 points on eight extra points and a 47-yard field goal against Curry College while recording 10 kickoffs for 613 yards with three touchbacks.

Christian Hutra (Springfield College): Hutra drilled a career-long 32-yard field goal while connecting on six extra points as the Pride of Springfield College stretched their winning streak to three games with an important road victory over Merchant Marine.

Jeremy Jackson (UMass Dartmouth): Jackson punted the ball six times for 232 yards against Bridgewater State with two kicks landing inside the Bears’ 20-yard line.

Carter Massengill (Middlebury College): Massengill tallied nine points off seven kicks, including a 20-yard field goal as the Panthers topped Wesleyan University in a battle of undefeated teams.

Alex Santiago (Nichols College): Santiago connected on all six kicks last Saturday against Becker College, including a 33-yard field goal. He finished the game with eight points.

Bryce Wade (WPI): Wade concluded last Saturday’s game with 10 points off seven extra points and one field goal (27-yards) as the Engineers rolled past Catholic University.

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Sept. 10, 2019)

D3 TEAM OF WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Before we officially turn our attention (and the page) to week two, let’s unveil our first New England Divison III Football Team of the Week, which is powered by our friends from Zelos Athletics.

Our Noontime Sports teams of the week will appear every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.

As always, make sure to follow our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 


Offensive Players of the Week | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Alec Coleman (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Coleman completed 28 of 36 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 46 yards on 12 carries for one score.

Connor Field (WPI): Field rushed for 117 yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win over Worcester State.

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Against Alfred State, Gacioch completed 19 of 28 passes for 338 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 14 yards, too.

David Hamilton (Plymouth State): Hamilton capped a 10-play, 51-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown with 6:46 remaining in the fourth quarter which helped Plymouth State edge Castleton University. The PSU halfback concluded the contest with 146 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

Joe Kalosky (Endicott College): Kalosky completed 21 of 28 passes for 374 yards while tossing five touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win against Framingham State.

Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina): Mauriello led the Seahawks’ rushing attack with 140 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.

Randy Morgan (Becker College): Morgan led the Hawks rushing attack with 133 yards on 29 carries while scoring two touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win over Anna Maria College.

Justin McEwen (Endicott College): McEwen hauled in five receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns against Framingham State.

Michael Pina (Nichols College): Against Dean College, Pina completed 20 of 33 passes for 242 yards while tossing four touchdowns in an opening day win for the Bison.

Manni Romero (Norwich University): Romero led the Cadets’ receiving core with six catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Jake Wood (Nichols College): Wood hauled in six catches for 111 yards and three touchdowns in Nichols’ season-opening win over Dean.


Defensive Players of the Week | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tyshawn Anderson (Anna Maria College): Anderson led the AMCATs’ defense with 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops in his team’s season-opener against Becker College.

Spencer Baron (Maine Maritime Academy): Against SUNY Maritime, Baron tallied 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops, one pass break-up, one fumble recovery, and a half a tackle for a loss for two yards.

Bailey Devine-Scott (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Devine-Scott posted 12 total tackles, including nine solo stops, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and four pass break-ups.

Alijah Ellis (Westfield State): Ellis led all defenders last Saturday with 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops in the Owls’ season-opener against Union College.

Jordan Fletcher (Western Connecticut): In his team’s season-opener against William Patterson, Fletcher led the Colonials defense with 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops and two-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 19 yards.

Matt Messner (Salve Regina): In his team’s season-opener against Norwich University, Messner registered 12 total tackles, including six solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and one sack for four yards.

Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu led the Rams’ defense with 12 total tackles, including nine assists and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of four yards.

Steven Silvia (Bridgewater State): Silvia led the Bears’ defense with eight total tackles against Morrisville State, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of seven yards and one sack for five yards.

Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter led the Corsairs’ defense against Alfred State with seven total tackles, including four solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 12 yards and one pass break-up.

Adam Zimmerman (MIT): Zimmerman led the Engineers’ defense with 12 total tackles, including a pair of solo stops against Carnegie Mellon.


Special Team Players of the Week | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): Against Framingham State last Friday, DiCairano recorded 13 points on seven extra points and two field goals. DiCairano’s longest field goal was a 47-yard boot.

Kieran Lombard (Western New England): Lombard recorded 15 points on seven kicks last Saturday against Springfield College, including four field goals.


As always, make sure to follow our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 

D3 Football: Getting To Know The 2019 Framingham State Rams

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Joshua Onujiogu (91) will be counted on to lead the Framingham State Rams defense this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

In just two days, the Framingham State University football team will take the field for the first time this season when they visit Endicott College for an important week one contest.

Framingham State and Endicott have met 14 times – the series is tied at 7-7 – but the Rams have won the last six meetings, dating back to a 35-23 win in week one of the 2013 season.

Before the Rams and Gulls tangle under the lights in Beverly, Massachusetts, here are some things you need to know about this year’s Framingham State football team, which will once again be led by coach Tom Kelley.


Framingham State Rams | 2019 Team Capsule

The Rams’ 2018 Season: Framingham State won eight of 11 contests last fall en route to claiming a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title and spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Coach Tom Kelley was tabbed the MASCAC Champion’s Choice Coach of the Year, while 13 student-athletes landed on the first and second all-conference teams, including defensive lineman Joshua Smiley and quarterback Adam Wojenski.

Framingham State captured one of two non-conference games while ending the regular season on a four-game winning streak.

The Rams drew The College at Brockport in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament but saw their bid toward a national championship dashed with a 40-27 setback. Wojenski concluded the game with 450 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Wojenski’s New Targets: Heading into his final season with the Rams, quarterback Adam Wojenski is adjusting to some new wide receivers and tight ends he will be throwing the ball to this fall, including Jacob Maher, who transferred from Worcester State.

Maher, who played high school football for Marshfield High School, was recently named to the D3Football.com Preseason All-American team after earning a pair of New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England honors as a member of the Lancers.

“He’s a beast,” said Wojenski when asked about building a rapport with his new tight end.  “(Once) we get our timing down then we’ll be good to go.”

Maher won’t be the only wide receiver or tight end Wojenski will be targeting this fall as the Stratford, Connecticut native is expected to target Austin NunnElijah Nichols, and Manny Exilhomme, too.

Wojenski is confident in his new receivers, who he claims have “stepped up” in preseason practices. “They will be ready,” he said.

New Leadership on DefenseSimilar to the Rams’ offense, the defense will also look a bit different than last year due to some key graduation losses, but that doesn’t seem to faze Josh Smiley, who claims “(the) defense (has) bought into our system and we’re all ready to go.” 

Smiley is just one of a few returners on defense this fall – he will be joined up front by Rufus RushinsFacundo Isas, and Joshua Onujiogu.

The unit also returns linebackers Brian Donahue and Cully Curran, and strong safety Carls Alphonse

Framingham State’s defense will be guided by Mike Landers, who coached the wide receivers last fall.

Onujiogu has enjoyed working with Landers, who he claims has helped both him and his teammates understand more than just the typical x’s and o’s.

“(We’re) learning more things (that) we may have not thought of before,” said Onujiogu of Landers’ defensive formations and schemes.

Added Smiley, “We do (get) more freedom, but this is going to be a fast-moving defense.”

Youth Movement: For the Rams to enjoy a successful campaign this fall, they will need some first-year players to step-up on both offense and defense.

The Rams’ 2019 roster features a slew of first-year players, including halfback Devaun Ford, who is expected to start on Friday against Endicott.

Ford played locally for Mashpee High School and competed for a trio of Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Super Bowl teams, including the 2017 Division 7 squad that beat Blackstone Valley, 22-16.

Danny Marinaccio is also a first-year back that is expected to step up and help the offense this fall.

On defense, Issac Nascimento is a student-athlete that can help the secondary – he will certainly learn a great deal from the upperclassmen and coach Shawn Theriault

“We’re going to be young and we’re going to have to count on some of the young guys to step up,” said Kelley.

In the past, both first and second-year players have done quite well in Kelley’s system, and have helped the squad by making some key plays when needed.

Conference Favorites: The Rams were picked to win the MASCAC this fall, according to the 2019 preseason coaches poll.

Framingham State secured seven first-place votes, while Western Connecticut, which secured the second position, earned a pair of first-place nods.

Bridgewater StatePlymouth State, and UMass Dartmouth rounded out the top five, checking-in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, while Westfield State secured the sixth position.

Fitchburg State checked-in seventh, Massachusetts Maritime Academy secured the eighth position, while Worcester State placed ninth.

Conference play for most teams will begin in week three with the Rams hosting Westfield State at 12 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

The Early Preseason Outlook: Framingham State Rams

FSU RAMS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

We continue with our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ by highlighting the Framingham State University Rams, who will begin their conference title defense on Friday, September 6th when they visit Endicott College.

The Rams’ 2018 Season: It was another successful season for coach Tom Kelley‘s crew, which captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with an 8-3 mark. Framingham State returned to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2015 but saw their national championship hopes dashed in the opening round against Brockport State.

Yet, despite falling to the Golden Eagles, the Rams remained one of New England’s top programs last fall, as well as the team to beat in the MASCAC. The Rams played their best football late in the season when they scored wins against UMass DartmouthWestern Connecticut, and Worcester State.

The 2019 Outlook: Framingham State graduated 19 student-athletes from last year’s unit, including halfbacks Quron Wright and Sebastein Robert, and wide receivers Mike Calicchio and Napoleon Miller. Additionally, the Rams bid farewell to some key members of their defense, too, so this season is all about the squad’s rising seniors, juniors and sophomores, who will be tasked with attempting to guide the Rams back to the national postseason for the second-straight season.

Quarterback Adam Wojenski returns for his final season and will most likely target Shaquille Joseph, who enjoyed a very successful second season with the Rams. Joseph ranked third on the team in receptions (27) while finishing second in touchdown receptions (6).

Fullback Rufus Rushins could be tasked with being more than just a third-down back for the Rams after finishing third on the team in rushing yards (235 yards). The Rams may also rely on Chris Jenkins or Nick Caliri, too.

Anthony Behonick and Joshua Smiley will be tasked with leading the Rams’ defense this fall – the duo combined for 115 total tackles last season, including five stops for a loss of 17 yards. Additionally, keep an eye on Joshua Onujiogu, who will join Smiley on the defensive line.

The Rams will need some help in the secondary as defensive back Rashaun Rivers graduated this past spring, along with DeSean Hart and Kenny SullivanCully Curran will be the defensive back to watch heading into camp in a few weeks.

Framingham State’s Schedule: The Rams will be tested immediately with trips to Brockport and Endicott before welcoming Westfield State to Framingham on Saturday, September 21st for a 12 p.m. kick-off in week three.

Framingham will enjoy an early bye week during the final weekend of September before entertaining UMass Dartmouth on Friday, October 4th.

Framingham State closes the month of October with two key contests against Plymouth State and Western Connecticut before heading to Massachusetts Maritime Academy to compete in the annual Kelley Cup game.

After the Kelley Cup, the Rams will play their final home game against Bridgewater State. The game could decide this year’s MASCAC champion, so make sure to circle Saturday, November 9th on your calendar.

Players to Watch: Joshua Onujiogu (Defensive End/Wareham, MA), Adam Wojenski (Quarterback/Stratford, Conn.), Shaquille Joseph (Wide Receiver/Somerville, Mass.), Rufus Rushins (Fullback/Defensive Line/Lynn, Mass.), Henrique DeBoni (Kicker/Rio Claro, Brazil), Jared Archer (Offensive Line/Mansfield, Mass.), Andrew Fennelly (Offensive Tackle/Wayland, Mass.), Anthony Behonick (Linebacker/Rutland, Mass.), Joshua Smiley (Defensive Line/Springfield, Mass.), Jack Sullivan (Linebacker/Dartmouth, Mass.), and Cully Curran (Defensive Back/Arlington, Mass.).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.