Tag Archives: Kevin O’Brien

Player Perspective: Kevin O’Brien (Endicott College)

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Endicott College’s Kevin O’Brien has helped the Gulls defense limit opponents to just 17.2 points per game this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Kevin O’Brien and the Endicott College defense have been a unit to watch this fall.

Through five contests, the Endicott defense has limited opponents to just 17.2 points per game, which is roughly five points less than what this unit yielded to opposing teams through five weeks last season.

O’Brien, who is in his third season with the Gulls, credits defensive coordinator Sean Golden for helping both he and his teammates be well-prepared for the opposing offenses they have and will face this season. Additionally, he credited his classmate Tim Russell – the two linebackers have complemented each other quite well this fall when it comes to rushing the passer to dropping back in coverage to defend the pass.

Noontime Sports caught up with the third-year linebacker to discuss the Gulls’ 2019 season thus far, but also what he did to prepare himself for a successful junior season with the Endicott defense.

Your team heads into the bye week with a 4-1 record. I know we chatted prior to the Framingham State game a few weeks ago, but did you (and your teammates) think you would be 4-1 heading into the sixth week of the season? 

We knew we could be a very good team as we returned almost everyone (from last year’s squad). We were a few plays away from upsetting a very good Wesley College team (last month) but I think we have yet to play our best football which is exciting.

Through five weeks, the defense has yielded just 17.2 points per game. What has been the difference this season for the defense compared to last season (or your first season with the Gulls in 2017)? 

One big difference is we have so many defensive linemen that can play good football for us. We have been regularly rotating the defensive linemen throughout the game and I think we probably have the best depth (at that position) in our conference.

Rotating and having fresh linemen is obviously good for a number of reasons and helps everyone else out.

Both last season and this season, your defense has defended the run pretty well. How have you (and the defense) been able to slow down opposing rushing attacks? 

Anytime you prepare to slow down the run game or key in on a (certain) player (becomes) a group effort.

Coach Golden, who is our defensive coordinator, has been putting myself and the rest of the defense in good positions to stop the run and force teams to get into a third and medium or long situation. We then can dial something up (a play) that can get our unit off the field (and let the offense go back to work).

We face a ton of good running backs in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) conference, including halfbacks from Curry CollegeSalve Regina University, and Western New England, so each week is a new and difficult challenge (for our unit).

With the bye week coming at the halfway mark of the season, what do you feel the defense must work on, both this week and next week heading into an important stretch, beginning with Curry College next Saturday, October 19th. 

The defense has played well so far but we still have a lot to work to do.

In some games, we have let teams get into the red zone before we tighten up to get a stop. We have often lived by the motto “bend, but don’t break” when we are in the red zone.

I think we need to work on getting stops earlier and forcing teams to punt while tightening up our tackling to disguising our coverages to force turnovers.

Our offense is so explosive and has tons of options so we know the quicker we can get a stop on defense the quicker our offense can go get points (for us).

From a personal perspective, how do you feel your game has improved from last season to this season? Have you prepared differently for games this year than last year? 

With another year of playing under my belt, I feel as if I’m stronger and more experienced than most players.

I’ve prepared myself a little bit differently this year (than my previous two seasons with the program). I play the “Mike” linebacker whereas last year I played “Buck,” which focuses on outside containment. Will Rivera was the “Mike” for our defense last season.

Playing “Mike” linebacker is a new challenge as I am usually always on the front side of coverage and the strongside of the run. And depending on a run or pass, I rely on calls and checks on the fly.

It is definitely a challenge but Tim Russell, who is our “Buck” linebacker has helped me out tremendously and has been playing excellent next to me.

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Sept. 24th, 2019)

D3 TEAM OF WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the third 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 for the entire football season.


Offensive Team of the Week 

Alex Cohen (Anna Maria College): Against Nichols College, Cohen completed 21 of 43 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

Will Daniels (Western Connecticut): Daniels led all receivers with eight receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

Tyler Halls (Husson University): Halls led the Eagles’ receiving core with seven receptions for 114 yards (16.3 yards) and one touchdown.

David Hamilton (Plymouth State): Hamilton rushed for 142 yards on 17 carries (8.4 yards) and one touchdown in the Panthers’ 34-9 win over Worcester State.

David James (Western Connecticut): James completed 18 of 23 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Colonials with 46 rushing yards on nine carries and one touchdown.

Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Jernigan accounted for 306 total yards of offense, including 292 passing yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 28-0 win over Bates College.

Seamus Lambert (Trinity College): Against Bowdoin College, Lambert completed 13 of 18 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns.

Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University): Mauriello led the Seahawks’ rushing attack with 207 yards on 22 carries (9.4 yards) and five touchdowns in Salve Regina’s first win of the season against Dean College.

Sean McAllen (WPI): Against Husson University, McAllen rushed for 84 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns.

Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): The third-year signal-caller registered 391 yards of total offense against Tufts University, including 102 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Maimaron completed 20 of 38 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns.

Brian Peters (University of New England): Peters completed 16 of 25 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns. He also added eight yards on five carries.

Nick Santavicca (Bridgewater State): Santavicca led all rushers last Saturday with 200 yards on 31 carries and three touchdowns against Western Connecticut.

Ashton Scott (Wesleyan University): Scott completed 10 of 16 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns against Hamilton College. He also rushed for a team-high 82 yards on 21 carries.

Frank Stola (Williams College): Stola led all receivers with 13 receptions for 233 yards and four touchdowns against Tufts University.

DeVante Reid (Trinity College): Reid led the Bantams’ receiving core with six receptions for 246 yards and four touchdowns.

Terrell Watts (Dean College): Against Salve Regina, Watts completed 27 of 44 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns.

Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Against Westfield State, Wojenski completed 19 of 28 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 57 yards on six carries 9.5 yards) and one touchdown.

Devin Wollner (Castleton University): Wollner rushed for a game-high 141 yards on 20 carries (7.0 yards) and one touchdown against the Nor’Easters of University of New England.


Defensive Team of the Week 

Richard Austin (Fitchburg State): Austin led the Fitchburg State defense with 11 total tackles, including nine solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 16 yards, one sack for a loss of three yards, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Eugene Bizer (Coast Guard Academy): Bizer led the Coast Guard Academy defense with 13 total tackles, including five solo stops and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards against Norwich University. He also recorded an interception for 16-yards.

Joe Cox (Nichols College): Cox led the Bison defense with nine solo (and total) tackles, including three tackles for a loss of nine yards and one forced fumble.

Brian Donahue (Framingham State): In his team’s first win of the 2019 season, Donahue led the Rams defense with seven total tackles, including six solo stops, one sack for a loss of nine yards and one forced fumble.

Chris Gemayel (Bridgewater State): Against Western Connecticut, Gemayel recorded 11 total tackles, including six solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of five yards and one forced fumble.

Joe Kelly (Amherst College): Kelly was a player to watch last Saturday against Colby College. He tallied five total tackles (all solo stops), including three tackles for a loss of 20 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two pass break-ups.

Kevin O’Brien (Endicott College): O’Brien led the Gulls defense with a career-high 13 total tackles (nine assists and four solo stops) against Wesley College.

Joshua Salem (Western New England): Salem paced the Golden Bears’ defense with 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops and one tackle for a loss for one yard against Stetson last Saturday evening in Florida.

Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth): Against Fitchburg State, Slaughter led the Corsairs with eight total tackles, including seven solo stops, four tackles for a loss of six yards, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one pass break-up.

Swavaughn Smalls (Anna Maria College): Smalls stuffed the stat sheet against Nichols College with 11 total tackles, including four solo stops, two tackles for a loss of six yards and one-and-a-half sacks for a loss of five yards.

AJ Smith (Springfield College): Smith registered 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 14 yards and one pass break-up against Union College.

Jared Zieman (Becker College): Against MIT, Zieman led the Hawks with 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards.


Special Teams of the Week

Jordan D’Onofrio (Western Connecticut): D’Onofrio converted six extra points while recording three punts for 111 yards with one kick landing inside the Bridgewater State 20-yard line.

Sam Han (Wesleyan University): Han punted the ball six times last Saturday against Hamilton College for 257 yards. Three kicks resulted in touchbacks, while the other three landed inside the Hamilton 20-yard line.

George Lampros (Mass. Maritime): Lampros converted six extra points last Saturday against Maine Maritime Academy while tallying three punts for 129 yards with one kick resulting in a touchback.

Melchior Lynch (Fitchburg State): Against UMass Dartmouth, Lynch recorded seven points on three kicks – two field goals and one extra point – while recording four kickoffs for 221 yards.

Andrew Schreibstein (Williams College): Schreibstein tallied 14 points last Saturday against Tufts University with five extra points and three field goals. He punted the ball four times for 167 yards with two kicks landing inside the Jumbos’ 20-yard line. He also had three touchbacks on three kickoffs.

Bryce Wade (WPI): Wade connected five kicks last Saturday against Husson University, including a 21-yard field goal. Wade concluded the game with seven points (four extra points and one field goal).

D3 Football: Endicott Enters The 2019 Season With Some Additional Motivation

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Endicott College senior Andrew Tudino prepares to snap the ball in practice. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nicholas Grace/Endicott College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

In the words of coach Paul McGonagle, last season was “good, but not great” for the Endicott College football team.

The Gulls posted their first winning season since 2013 but struggled to maintain their mid-to-late season momentum down the stretch when they lost back-to-back contests to Merchant Marine and Salve Regina.

Both setbacks, according to McGonagle, provided the unit with some additional motivation heading into the offseason.

“It’s given us some good drive in the offseason, spring ball, winter, and for the guys in the summertime,” said McGonagle, who is entering his second season with the Endicott football program.

That extra motivation will be put to the test this Friday, September 6th when the Gulls entertain Framingham State in their season-opener at 7 p.m.

Endicott has high hopes for this season and hopes last year’s ending will provide the squad with the motivation it needs to capture its first conference crown en route to a national postseason appearance.


What you should know about the 2019 Endicott Gulls 

The Gulls’ schedule2019 will present some unique challenges for the Gulls, who are scheduled to compete against a trio of NCAA Tournament teams from last season, including Husson University and Western New England, two teams that compete against Endicott in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

McGonagle considers the 2019 schedule “a challenge,” but also a “very competitive schedule” that will certainly test his returners and newcomers.

“We play three NCAA playoff teams (from a year ago),” said McGonagle when discussing the team’s schedule.

“We have Husson joining our conference this year, which will make it more competitive, and then we have Framingham and Wesley (College) coming up from Delaware, so it is a great challenge for our guys and hopefully they will be ready for it.”

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Senior quarterback Joe Kalosky will once again be a focal point of the Endicott College offense. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols Grace/Endicott College Athletics)

The second year of Endicott’s new offenseLast season, the Gulls implemented a new offense that seemed identical to what the Philadelphia Eagles ran during their 2017 march toward their first-ever Super Bowl championship in franchise history. And that was a run-pass option (RPO) offense, a scheme the Gulls used frequently with moving the ball up and down the field.

Operating an RPO offense was something quarterback Joe Kalosky seemed to like – he is excited to apply what he learned in the offseason from studying his team’s game film – but as McGonagle said, “we are a whatever it takes” offense.

“Football is a copycat (game), so we do RPO’s, but we also do other stuff, too,” said McGonagle.

“(Last season), there were three games where we rushed for over 300 yards and there were games where we threw for over 300 yards, so we are not one dimensional. There are RPO’s, there are regular old school dropbacks, play action, three-step drops (and much more), so I think it helps us out when it is a sunny game or a rainy game.”

McGonagle praised Kalosky’s effort to improve his game this past spring and summer and believes “the sky is the limit” for the Plymouth, Connecticut native, who did run some RPO plays in high school.

Kalosky enjoyed his best season with the Gulls last fall, recording career-bests in competition percentage (56.5%) and touchdown passes (24). He also rushed for a career-high 365 yards on 40 carries for two touchdowns.

Last season’s ending has motivated Endicott’s defenseFor junior linebacker Kevin O’Brien, last year’s final two contests against Merchant Marine and Salve Regina has become the motivation for this year’s defense.

“The defense would like to have those last two games back,” said O’Brien, who played high school football at Braintree High School.

“The two games were high-scoring and we were one or two stops away from a different outcome, so we’re going to focus on putting all four quarters together, putting the whole season together and having to not rely on Joe and this offense to put up big numbers for us to win.”

O’Brien will be one of many returners to lead a unit that limited opposing offenses to 27.5 points per game last season. Endicott graduated some key pieces from last year’s defense, including linebacker William Rivera, who recorded 114.0 total tackles in 11 contests.

Replicating Rivera’s production won’t be easy, but as O’Brien said of this year’s linebacking core, “it will be more of a group effort.”

In addition to O’Brien, Endicott will certainly rely on defensive back Steven Abbott, who recorded a career-high 61.0 total tackles last fall, as well as Tim Russell, who transferred from Hamilton College after posting 74.0 tackles in two seasons with the Continentals.

Sam Opont will also be a player to watch on defense, too – the Bridgeport, Connecticut native tallied a career-high 53.0 total tackles last fall as a defensive lineman, including 6.5 tackles for a loss.

Nick DiCairano is focused on “consistency” this fall: Heading into his second and final season with the Gulls, Nick DiCairano, who began his collegiate career kicking for Pace University in the Northeast-10 Conference, seems focused on being more consistent this fall after tallying 80 points on 44 extra points and 12 field goals.

“I think this year (I am) mostly focusing on cosistency, ” said DiCairano, who was tabbed our Noontime Sports Special Teamer of 2018.

“Whatever happened last year, happened last year. I am not even thinking about it. The coaches and even everyone on the team have really helped me get into the mindset of one kick at a time (and) focus on what I can control.

“I am fortunate enough to have an amazing snapper and holder, which takes the weight off my shoulders, and helps me be more consistent, too. But I think just going into the year I have been really focusing on being consistent and taking every kick one at a time.”

While DiCairano has certainly been a player to watch on extra points and field goals, he is also someone McGonagle can rely on for opening kickoffs, too.

“Nick is a very valuable player to this program,” said McGonagle.


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

The Early Preseason Outlook: Endicott Gulls

Endicott Gulls

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

We continue our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ by highlighting the Endicott College Gulls, who commence their 2019 campaign with a visit from Framingham State on Friday, September 6, 2019, at 7 p.m.

The Gulls’ 2018 Season: Endicott returned to its winning ways last fall, finishing one win shy of the 2013 squad with a 7-4 mark. The Gulls qualified for their first-ever New England Bowl and scored some impressive (and exciting wins) against Bridgewater State, Hobart, and Western New England.

The team’s win over the Golden Bears was highlighted by five touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Kalosky, who also finished the game with 88 yards on eight carries.

Despite ending their season with back-to-back losses to Merchant Marine and Salve Regina, the Gulls entered the offseason with some momentum that should carry into this season when they see familiar foes like Framingham State and Western New England.

The 2019 Outlook: The Gulls graduated 15 student-athletes from last year’s squad, including wide receiver Christian Cole, strong safety Christian Pizzotti and linebacker William Rivera, but do return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball with Kalosky, halfback Hakim Fleming, wide receiver Shea McManaway and linebacker Kevin O’Brien.

Additionally, Endicott welcomes back Nick DiCairano, who was our Noontime Sports Special Teamer of the Year. The Trumbull, Connecticut native enjoyed an impressive first season with the Gulls by connecting on 11 of 12 field-goal attempts, including a 45-yard boot in his team’s 52-22 win over Curry College.

Endicott also returns a slew of offensive linemen, including Kha-Lil GoodmanAndrew Tudino and Isaiah Gibbs, which should help the offense find its groove from last season.

Endicott’s Schedule: Endicott begins the season with four-straight home games, including a trio of non-conference clashes with Framingham State, Rochester and Wesley. Additionally, the Gulls will host Becker College at the end of the month before heading to Salve Regina in early October for an important Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) meeting. Weeks after visiting the Seahawks, the Gulls will travel to Husson University and Western New England – both games are must-wins for the Gulls if they want to capture their initial CCC title.

Endicott will end its season with a home date with the University of New England followed by a trip to Dudley, Massachusetts to face Nichols College.

Players to Watch: Joe Kalosky (Quarterback/Plymouth, Conn.), Hakim Fleming (Running Back/Bridgeport, Conn.), Shea McManaway (Wide Receiver/Lisbon, Conn.), Riley Shanley (Tight End/Simsbury, Conn.), Nick DiCairano (Kicker/Trumbull, Conn.), Kevin O’Brien (Linebacker/Braintree, Mass.), Steven Abbott (Defensive Back/Melrose, Mass.), Kha-Lil Goodman (Offensive Line/Bellmore, N.Y.), Andrew Tudino (Orange, Conn.), and Isaiah Gibbs (Offensive Line/Teaneck, N.J.).


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