D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Five (New England & Northeast)

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Ah, it’s Friday, which means it’s time to dish out some weekly picks! It also means a brand new weekend of college football (and high school and professional) is upon us, too.

Any who, here are 10 Games to Watch this week in New England and Northeast D3 Football, as always, make sure to stay connected on Facebook and Twitter throughout the weekend for news, scores and updates!

Brockport at Cortland: The Golden Eagles have soared to four-straight wins this season, including an impressive 38-7 win over St. John Fisher two weeks ago. Their momentum should certainly continue this week against the Red Dragons. PREDICTION: Brockport 28, Cortland 21 

Buffalo State at Alfred: This is a big-time test for the Bengals, who are a perfect 1-0 in Empire 8 play this season. Buffalo State scored an impressive win last week, tallying 24 unanswered points over the final two frames to beat RPI. They certainly will need to play their best against a quality Saxons foe, which has yielded at least two touchdowns per game this season. PREDICTION: Alfred 30, Buffalo State 21 

MIT at Merchant Marine: If the Engineers are going to secure another NEWMAC win, their offense will need to match the Mariners’, who have scored 31 points or more in three games this season. Slowing down Brice Moore won’t be an easy task, but this Engineers defense should be up for the challenge. PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 38, MIT 26 

Husson at Endicott: Endicott clearly gave Hobart a challenge last week, but can that momentum continue this week, especially against a talented Husson squad that is coming off a disappointing setback to Western New England one week ago? If Endicott is going to win this one, they must find a way to slow down John SmithPREDICTION: Husson 21, Endicott 17 

Williams at Trinity: A pair of 2-0 squads are set to meet in Hartford on Saturday in what should be an interesting NESCAC affair. Trinity’s offense has put up a lot of points in its first two contests, so the Ephs must find a way to slow down their passing and rushing attacks. Keep an eye on Williams quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Justin Nelson in this one. PREDICTION: Trinity 30, Williams 20 

Alfred State at SUNY Maritime: Conference play officially begins for the ECFC and this could be an interesting contest to follow, especially since Alfred State did provide a challenge to Rochester a few weeks ago. The Privateers were off last week, but have scored some important wins this season, including a 38-31 win over Merchant Marine. PREDICTION: SUNY Maritime 28, Alfred State 14 

St. Lawrence at Western New England: The Golden Bears returned to the win column last week by defeating the Eagles of Husson, thanks to 21 unanswered points over the final two frames. This week, they must continue that second half momentum against a talented St. Lawrence unit, which provided challenges to Ithaca College two weeks ago. PREDICTION: St. Lawrence 28, Western New England 20 

Hobart at Ithaca: The Bombers were off last week, but return to action this week against a solid Hobart squad that relied on its passing game to defeat Endicott. Ithaca must find a way to slow down Shane Sweeney, who ranks second in the Liberty League in touchdown passes (eight). PREDICTION: Hobart 24, Ithaca 21 

Union at Morrisville State: Since falling to Husson, these Dutchmen have found ways to grind out wins, including last week when they squeaked out an exciting third-straight victory over Curry College. This week, they must rely on all units – offense, defense and special teams – to defeat Morrisville State. PREDICTION: Morrisville State 30, Union 20 

Hartwick at Utica: Can the Pioneers win their initial Empire 8 contest of the season? If they do, it will entail finding a way to slow down an impressive Hartwick passing attack. PREDICTION: Hartwick 31, Utica 22 

Under The Helmet With WPI’s Dereck Pacheco

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WPI’s Dereck Pacheco (94) recorded six solo stops last week in the Engineers’ season-opening win over Anna Maria College. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier today, WPI senior defensive lineman Dereck Pacheco was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Week for his effort in the Engineers’ week one victory over Anna Maria.

Pacheco paced the Engineers’ defense with six solo stops, including four tackles for a loss for 29 yard, while recording a pair of sacks. He also recorded two of quarterback hurries, too.

This week, Pacheco and the Engineers host RPI during WPI’s Homecoming with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m on Saturday, September 9. Last season, Pachecho helped WPI defeat RPI, 19-7, thanks to 10 total stops, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss and a safety. The win provided the Engineers of Worcester with the Transit Trophy for the first time in two seasons.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Pachecho earlier today to discuss his team’s week two contest against RPI, as well as his goals for the team this season.

What are your goals for a successful senior season with WPI? 

Obviously, the big the goal for the season is to get that championship ring, but as long as we keep plugging away game-by-game, week-by-week (then we will be successful). My goal by the end of the year is to have this team’s chemistry get stronger and stronger, so we have a legacy to leave behind (as seniors). We did lose a lot of big-time seniors (from) last year’s team, but I feel this new group of guys we have can really give these (young) guys a chance to develop and get better as a team.

One of the players who graduated this past spring was linebacker Brian Murtagh, who you had a chance to play with the past three seasons. How did he help you improve your game over the past few seasons? 

He was always very vocal, while getting the guys excited for practice. Brian did a good job getting the guys geared up to be on the field and that’s what he passed down to the rest of the captains. He wanted to make sure that the energy was always there and when you step on the football field that you’re only thinking about football.

This week, your team faces RPI in the Transit Trophy game. Tell me more about being a part of this rivalry.  

When I think of RPI-WPI, I think of Ohio State-Michigan because of that rivalry there. We’re both competitive engineering schools, guys are similar (on both sides of the ball),   so it is nice to have a team with equal caliber (student-athletes) on the other side.

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Dereck Pacheco was tabbed the NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, September 5. (PHOTO COURTESY: WPI Athletics)

This game is also a Homecoming Game, so what’s that atmosphere like as a student-athlete? 

It is very humbling because you’re looking at guys in the stands that have been in your shoes – all of my friends and family come to the game each week, but when you have the alumni there you’re trying to play for them and get that win for them because they were in your shoes (years ago). Playing for the alumni, families, coaches and friends is really (what this game) is about at the end of the day.

What’s it like to compete in a new conference this season? 

I was playing (against) some friends in the Liberty League, but in this conference – the NEWMAC – I am playing against some new friends. It is nice to get a new group of guys out there to battle against, but at the same time I am going to miss the Liberty League.

Have you always played defensive line? Did you happen to play another position growing up? 

Growing up and playing Pop Warner, while being the biggest guy out there, they had me play running back, quarterback and other positions, but as I (got older) I was still the biggest guy out there, so they put me on the line in high school. At first, it was offensive line and I didn’t really like it, so the next day (my coach) put me on the defensive line and I have been there ever since.

Are you still following your former high school’s football team? 

Oh yeah. Barnstable has been doing alright after (I) graduated, but I think eventually they’re going to be (a team) that’s back up there (with the top teams in the state).

What is your major? 

I am majoring in civil engineer. I grew up helping my dad – he owns a small and local construction company, so at a young age I would be out there helping him pick up nails and lumber, and then basically that feeling of building (something) from bottom to top stuck with me and I grew a passion for it. I feel like civil engineering is kind of the same deal, but my focus is project management.

Being from Barnstable, what’s your favorite type of sea food? 

Definitely the cod fish.

What are three songs do you listen to on a game day? 

Believe it or not, I am not a big song guy because I have the self-motivation drilled into me from my father, but if I were to choose what I am listening to in the weight room, I am usually listening to Metallica and classic rock because when I was in high school and that was all we would be allowed to listen to (while working out in the gym).

Finally, what is your all-time favorite movie? 

It’s kind of cliche, but Friday Night Lights. I like that movie a lot because my high school team somewhat resembled that whole movie. My junior year, we made it to the Division 1A Super Bowl (against Everett) and we played at Gillette Stadium, but lost by one point.

New England D3 Football: Nichols, Mount Ida & Tufts Highlight Week 8 (LINKS)

The Nichols College Bison earned their first-ever win over Coast Guard Academy on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Nichols College Athletics)
The Nichols College Bison earned their first-ever win over Coast Guard Academy on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The eighth week of the New England D3 Football season is in the books.

We saw some exciting outcomes yesterday, including a dramatic come-from-behind win by Mount Ida College, Nichols College claiming their initial win over Coast Guard Academy, Tufts University’s Chance Brady re-writing the record book and much more.

Catching Up With Springfield College Fullback Jordan Wilcox

Springfield College fullback Jordan Wilcox rushed for a career-high 174 yards and four touchdowns last week against Rochester. (Photo Credit: Springfield College Athletics)
Springfield College fullback Jordan Wilcox rushed for a career-high 174 yards and four touchdowns last week against Rochester. (Photo Credit: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Springfield College junior fullback Jordan Wilcox had a career day last Saturday, rumbling for a career-high 174 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries in his team’s 70-47 win over Rochester.

“Our offense can do a lot of great things when everyone does their job,” Wilcox said a few days after his team’s Homecoming victory.

Wilcox rushed for a trio of first half scores, including a pair in the second quarter, before ripping off his longest rush of the afternoon – a 54-yard touchdown in the third quarter, which helped the Pride push ahead for good.

Two days after his team earned their fourth win of the season; the Liberty League honored Wilcox by naming him the Offensive Player of the Week. The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) also honored Wilcox, naming him this week’s Division III North Offensive Player of the Week, too.

Noontime Sports caught up with Wilcox following his team’s exciting win to discuss his performance, as well as what Springfield must do to secure a win this week against Hobart.

How did your o-line (and teammates) help you enjoy an extremely successful day on the ground with 174 yards and four touchdowns?

Those guys upfront do a great job coming off the ball and really opening up huge running lanes. Our halfbacks took on (some strong) linebackers at the second level to get me into open field, so I give a lot of credit to them.

Have you ever scored four touchdowns in a game before – say in high school (or perhaps a pick-up game)? 

This was the first time I have scored four touchdowns in a single-game since peewee football. I scored three touchdowns in a game in high school. All in all, (my four touchdowns from last Saturday) would not have happened if it were not for the other 10 guys on the field doing their job.

Tell me how you have been able to improve every week – gaining either similar yardage from the previous week or more?

Every week I go into film sessions and practices trying to correct the little things so the big things can happen on Saturdays. (My goal is) to put our team in the best possible position to win every play, so we can win every game.

Tell me about the WPI game. How did your team overcome a three-score deficit to defeat the Engineers for an important Liberty League victory?

WPI was a big game for us. Things weren’t going as expected during our team’s first few drives, so our defense really kept us in the game with a few turnovers. (First-year) quarterback Chad Shade came into the game (following a few offensive series) and we – the offense – rallied behind him to secure an important conference win.

Would it be fair to say the WPI game provided your team with a boost of confidence heading into St. Lawrence and other Liberty League games thus far?

It did. We knew what we were capable of doing as an entire team against a good opponent like WPI, but the biggest takeaway was how our team executed (against the Engineers).

This week, your team faces Hobart on the road – what’s the biggest goal and objective your team must accomplish in order to secure a road win?

It starts with a good week of practice, while also watching film and focusing on what we need to do to be successful.

Do you idolize your game after a current or past fullback (or running back)? If so, who?

Growing up, I idolized running backs like Adrian Peterson.

Your three favorite movies are?

Friday Night Lights, We Are Marshall and Remember the Titans.

Who is your all-time favorite band or musician?

J.Cole

Favorite football memory of all-time -could be here at Springfield or while in high school?

Beating Hobart last season.

The last book you read for pleasure?

Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode Five (James Baker | In The HuddLLe)

Noontime Sports Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com 

On Tuesday evening, Matt Noonan was joined by James Baker – one of the co-hosts for ‘In The HuddLLe’ (yes, there is an extra ‘L’) to talk about the first week of the NCAA Division III Football season for the fifth episode of Noontime Sports The Podcast.

Baker, who co-hosts a weekly D3 Football podcast with Frank Rossi, provided his ‘two-cents’ on the various New England teams and conferences, including Framingham State, Endicott College, WPI, Springfield, Husson and various New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools.

Make sure to stay connected with Baker (and Rossi) throughout the entire season on Twitter (@ITHuddLLe) and check-out their week one/season preview podcast – HOP HERE.