Player Perspective: Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth)

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Stephen Gacioch recorded three touchdowns in his team’s 21-14 win over Plymouth State University to bump UMass Dartmouth’s record to 4-0. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Stephen Gacioch has enjoyed a successful start to his junior season with the UMass Dartmouth football team.

Through four contests, the Tiverton, Rhode Island native has completed 91 of 143 passes for 1,344 yards and 15 touchdowns, while adding 185 yards on 63 rushing attempts and one score.

Earlier this week, Gacioch was tabbed our Offensive Player of the Week – he was also awarded his second Division II/III Gold Helmet Award of the season from the New England Football Writers Association after leading the Corsairs to a 21-14 win last weekend against Plymouth State.

Gacicoch is currently second in Division III in passing yards and is tied for third in touchdown passes with Blaine Hawkins of Central College.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Gacioch about his team’s impressive start, as well as what he and the team must do this week when they visit Framingham State on Saturday, October 5th.

Your team is off to a 4-0 start. Did you imagine your team would enjoy this much success when you all convened prior to your first game against Alfred State?

Prior to (facing) Alfred State (in week one), we had a feeling that things were different this year. There was a focus and intensity that was buzzing throughout camp, and every day we were making each other better. We knew if we played each game with high intensity, make no mental mistakes, and stayed disciplined that we had the talent to start the way we have (thus far).

From your perspective, what has made this offense click?

We’re a close-knit group. We have a lot of returners at the receiver position and we have four unselfish running backs that rotate and maintain fresh legs throughout the game.

Our offensive line has done a great job of being versatile and overcoming many different situations we’ve been in this year. We like to spread the ball around and give everyone their opportunities to make a play and we thrive off that as a group.

How has the defense, which has allowed just 18.0 points per game, helped the offense during practice?

Our defense does a great job. Playing against them in camp every day was the hardest challenge we’ve faced – the offense became much better because of (facing this unit every day).

Our scout guys right now are doing an amazing job giving us different looks at practice to prepare us every week for a new opponent.

How has your relationship with DJ Machado and Leroy Brown improved from last season to this season?

This year they both came to camp ready to play. They have instilled so much trust in me that there are times when I know pre-snap who the ball should go to based on matchups or defensive alignments.

DJ and Leroy have done an awesome job at winning their routes and I trust them to make the plays.

This week, your team faces Framingham State in an important conference contest. What must the offense do to be successful against the Rams defense?

As an offense, we must win the 12% rule, which is to now allow sacks, drops,  turnovers or foolish penalties. And if we can execute the game plan then we’ll be successful.

Lastly, what do you enjoy most about playing on the road? Do you get a different adrenaline boost being away from your home stadium?

I personally like the feeling of having something to prove. Whenever we’re on the road there are people who doubt us and it gives a little extra adrenaline every-time we’re on the field.

Noontime Sports Stars Of The Week (Week Seven) Powered By Zelos Athletics

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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 seven!


Our Noontime Sports ‘Stars of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track an athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too! 


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.


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Western New England quarterback Alec Coleman recorded five touchdowns last weekend against Curry College.(PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

Offensive Stars of the Week

Cory Brandon (Husson University): Brandon completed 17 of 19 passes for 303 yards, while tossing four touchdowns, including a pair of scores to Keyshaun Robinson, who led all Husson receivers, as the Eagles soared past Alfred State.

Leroy Brown (UMass Dartmouth): Brown hauled in a game-high 199 yards on six grabs for three score during his team’s setback to Bridgewater State.

Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman concluded last Saturday’s contest with five touchdowns (four through the air, one on the ground) as the Golden Bears rolled past Curry College in Springfield. Coleman completed 19 of 29 passes for 273 yards, while adding 41 yards on five carries.

Travon Holder (Westfield State): Holder rushed for three scores on 24 carries for 173 yards (7.2 yards per carry), while catching one pass for 15 yards in the Owls’ 41-27 win over Fitchburg State.

Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Jernigan recorded 256 yards of total offense, while reaching the end zone three times (two through the air, one on the ground) as the Panthers defeated Williams College on the road. The Middlebury signal-caller concluded the game with 162 passing yards (18 of 31), while adding 94 yards on 27 carries.

Joe Kalosky (Endicott College): Against University of New England, the Endicott signal-caller accounted for 315 yards of total offense and three scores. He connected on 18 of 32 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 87 yards on five carries for one score.

Ryan McDonald (Tufts University): Against Trinity College, McDonald completed 25 of 40 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 27 yards on eight carries and one score.

Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan University): Piccirillo accounted for 270 total yards of offense, including 185 yards through the air, while recording four touchdowns (three through the air, one on the ground) in his team’s win over Bates College.

Jordan Vazzano (Trinity College): Against Tufts University, Vazzano completed 10 of 19 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for two scores on 11 carries for 71 yards.

Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright recorded 161 yards of total offense by hauling in a team-high eight grabs for 111 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 50 yards on nine carries.


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Bates College senior Tyler Harrington turned in a very impressive performance last Saturday against Wesleyan University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College Athletics)

Defensive Stars of the Week

Michael Bianco (Becker College): Bianco paced the Hawks’ defense last Saturday against Nichols by registering a team-high 12 total tackles, including six solo stops and two sacks for a loss of 10 yards.

Kaleb Caron (Husson University): Against Alfred State, Caron registered four total tackles, two tackles for a loss of 11 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards, while recording one fumble recovery and one pass break-up.

Samuel Ejiasi (UMass Dartmouth): Ejiasi concluded last Saturday’s contests against Bridgewater State with seven solo tackles, including two tackles for a loss of six yards, one sack for a loss of four yards and one pass break-up.

Michael Goldsworthy (Coast Guard Academy): Goldsworthy concluded his team’s clash with Maine Maritime by registering four total tackles, including three solo stops, while recording a trio of interceptions for 32 yards.

Nick Giorgio (Springfield College): Against Merchant Marine last Saturday, Giorgio registered eight total tackles, including five solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 13 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards, while recording one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for seven yards.

Tyler Harrington (Bates College): Against Wesleyan University, Harrington stuffed the stat sheet with six total tackles, including five solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack for a loss of seven yards, while adding two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

Chris Lawrence (Nichols College): Lawrence led the Bison’s defense with 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 17 yards. Additionally, he recorded two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his team’s win over Becker College.

Kyle Johnston (Mass. Maritime): Johnston concluded last Saturday’s tilt with Western Connecticut by tallying eight total tackles, including five solo stops, one tackles for a loss of 10 yards, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry.

Derek Jones (Western Conn.): Jones paced the Western Connecticut defense with 10 total tackles, including five solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one-and-a-half sacks for a loss of seven yards, while recording one quarterback hurry against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


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Wesleyan University kicker Patrick Wolff was clutch this past weekend against Bates College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Patrick Wolff)

Special Team Stars of the Week

Jordan D’Onofrio (Western Conn.): Against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, D’Onofrio connected on all three extra points, while recording 248 punting yards (41.3 yards per punt) with two kicks landing inside the Buccaneers’ 20-yard line.

Nick DiCairano (Endicott): DiCairano tallied 12 points last Saturday against University of New England by connecting on 10 of 11 kicks, including all nine extra points. He also registered 609 yards on 11 kickoffs (55.4 yards per kick) with one boot resulting in a touchback.

Robert Innis, Jr. (Univ. of New Eng.): The UNE kicker was a perfect six-for-six against Endicott College last Saturday, including all five-for-five on extra points.

Patrick Wolff (Wesleyan University): Wolff connected on all six kicks during his team’s win against Bates College, including a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter, which capped a five-play, 32-yard drive.


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