Tag: Keon Smart

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

Jon Bell and Nic Visser will be two players to watch on Saturday when Husson University hosts Western New England in an important Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) next Saturday (Oct. 29). (PHOTO COURTESY: Eric Ogden)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s Wednesday, which means we’re just a few days away from yet another busy weekend of New England NCAA Division III football.

As usual, it is time to highlight five teams to watch this week, including a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) squads that are looking to keep pace with Endicott College.

Castleton University (3-4, 2-1 ECFC): Despite losing to Gallaudet University earlier this month, the Spartans of Castleton remain in the mix for an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown.

The Green and White have scored league wins against Dean College (39-0) and SUNY-Maritime (36-33) and almost topped the Bison.

Gallaudet outscored the Spartans, 17-10, in the second half of their week six meeting, while Castleton concluded the contest with a game-high 233 yards of total offense.   

Castleton bounced back last week, scoring its second conference win against SUNY-Maritime, thanks to four touchdowns in the final quarter. Quarterback Evan Smith capped the dramatic comeback by tossing his only touchdown of the game to Jackson Brand with 48 seconds remaining.

This week, Castleton will need both Smith and Brand, along with Kevin McDonough, Jacob Griggs, and Jordan Wright to score yet another league win against Keystone College.

Colby College (3-2, 3-2 NESCAC): The Mules have a chance to match their win total from last season if they can find a way to beat Hamilton College this weekend.

Colby topped Amherst College for the second-straight season last Saturday, thanks to quarterback Matt Hersch, who completed 20 of 34 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown. Hersch added a team-high 58 rushing yards on seven carries while Keon Smart tallied 16 carries for 35 yards and one touchdown.

Amherst may have registered more offensive yards than Colby (337-239), but the Mules’ defense provided some challenges for quarterback Mike Piazza.

Colby’s last win over Hamilton came in 2018 when they edged the Continentals, 23-21.

Husson University (3-4, 2-1 CCC): The Eagles have flown back into the Commonwealth Coast Conference title race.

Husson rebounded from a 20-0 setback to Endicott College by scoring back-to-back wins over Curry College (38-26) and the University of New England (31-14) to bump its league record to 2-1.

Quarterback Nic Visser has recorded six touchdown passes and 611 passing yards in his last two outings to go with one rushing score — he will certainly be a player to watch next weekend as the Eagles will be idle this Saturday.

Husson will host Western New England next Saturday, October 29 at 12 p.m.

Like Husson, Western New England is in the mix for a league crown, despite seeing its comeback fall short a few days ago to Salve Regina University.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (3-3, 3-1 MASCAC): After starting its season with two-straight losses, the Buccaneers have stormed back, winning three of their last four contests.

On Saturday, coach Jeremy Cameron’s squad will go for its fourth win of the season when they welcome Western Connecticut to Buzzards Bay.

The Navy Blue and Gold are one of four Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) squads in the mix for the conference crown. But unlike UMass Dartmouth, Massachusetts Maritime, along with Bridgewater State and Plymouth State have each lost one league game.

Massachusetts Maritime topped Western Connecticut last fall, thanks to George Lampros, who converted a 46-yard field goal with 2:44 remaining in the fourth quarter to provide the visiting Buccaneers with a two-point lead that they would not relinquish.

Lampros has graduated, so the Buccaneers will need to lean on someone else – perhaps more than just one player, to be exact – to clinch an important win against the Wolves.

University of New England (4-2, 2-1 CCC): It’s a big week for the Nor’easters.

UNE will entertain Endicott College on Saturday in a must-win for the Blue and White so they can keep their conference title hopes alive.

Endicott has won all three meetings with UNE but needed a Ryan Smith field goal last season to edge the Nor’easters, 19-17.

Quarterback Jarrett Henault accounted for 220 yards of total offense last week as the Nor’easters topped Nichols College, 31-12.  The Goffstown, New Hampshire native tossed three touchdowns in the win with all three scores landing in the hands of Mikey Brennan.

In his last three contests, Brennan has caught 14 passes for 282 yards and five touchdowns.

Look for Henault to locate Brennan a few times on Saturday against the Gulls.

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.

Five New England D3 Football Teams to Watch In 2022

Alex Cohen and the Anna Maria College football team will be a squad to watch in 2022. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to kick off our preseason football coverage – are you ready for some football?

Yes, we know the Boston Celtics are occupying our attention while writing this post, but while we anxiously wait for the fourth game of the NBA Finals to tip off tomorrow evening, let’s highlight five teams New England NCAA Division III football fans should watch this fall.  

Anna Maria College: Quarterback Alex Cohen is back, along with some key members of last year’s squad, which captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title.

Cohen will certainly be a player to watch this fall after concluding the 2021 season with career-highs in passing yards (3,087) and touchdown passes (23).

Wide receiver Hayden Braga returns for another season, as well, along with Alvin Martin (linebacker) and Armstrong Antoine (defensive back) – all three student-athletes, along with Cohen, should help the AMCATs contend for their second-straight conference crown.

Anna Maria is scheduled to face some challenging conference foes in September, beginning with their season-opener against UMass Dartmouth.

Colby College: Coach Jack Cosgrove has the Mules heading in the right direction.

Last year, Colby won four games for the first time since finishing 4-4 in 2013. The Mules scored some important early and mid-season wins over Amherst College and Middlebury College while providing some challenges for Hamilton College and Tufts University.

Halfback Keon Smart will be a player to watch on offense – the sophomore tailback finished his initial season with the Mules last fall with 248 rushing yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns.

Colby will commence its 2022 season at home against Williams College.   

Curry College: A new era of Colonels football has begun with the hiring of first-year coach Todd Parsons.

Parsons, who oversaw the Endicott College offense last fall, inherits a squad that finished 3-6 last season, including 1-5 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

Michael Sims will be a player to watch on the Colonels after concluding his initial season with the Purple and White with 49 total tackles, including 26 solo stops to go with one fumble recovery, one interception, and one pass break-up.

Sims played high school football in Connecticut and was a two-way player for Griswold High School. He played fullback on offense and linebacker on defense. Maybe we could see him play fullback this fall?

Curry will begin its 2022 season at home against MIT.

Dean College: Like Curry, Dean will have a new leader of its football program with Andrae Murphy returning to his alma mater to coach a Bulldogs squad that won just two games last fall.

Errol Breaux, the team’s leading wide receiver, was a player to watch last fall as he led the receiving core in catches (75), receiving yards (1,215), and touchdowns (eight). Quintus Reid was also a player to watch on offense as the New Haven, Connecticut native concluded his junior season with 52 receptions and six touchdowns.

It’s likely Murphy’s signal-caller will be David Curry, who was spotted under center every game last fall. He completed 196 of 351 passes for 2,585 yards and 18 touchdowns. Curry also led the rushing attack with 627 yards and six touchdowns.

Dean will travel to Fitchburg State for its season-opener.

University of New England: For the second time in program history, the Nor’easters concluded its campaign with four wins (they won a program-record four wins in 2019 after capping their inaugural campaign one year earlier with just two victories).

Last fall, UNE gained our attention by scoring an impressive early-season win against Bridgewater State, which saw the Blue and White outscore the hosts, 14-0, in the second half to set up a game-winning field goal by Ruelas Villasen in overtime.

In addition to their come-from-behind win against the Bears of Bridgewater, they also provided some challenges for Endicott and Western New England down the stretch. They capped their 2021 campaign with a wild victory over Curry.

The team’s late-season win over the Colonels, which was highlighted by five passing touchdowns by Jarrett Henault should provide the Nor’easters with some momentum heading into four this season in program history.

UNE will begin its season on the road at Coast Guard Academy.