Noonan: What Quarterbacks Could Have An Impact This Saturday?

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Western New England’s Alec Coleman is just one of many D3 quarterbacks that can lead offenses with both his arm and legs. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

Last week, a majority of New England’s D3 quarterbacks were forced to tuck and run – you can thank Mother Nature for last week’s ground and pound attack.

Sure, the weather may have been a factor for some offensive game plans, but watching quarterbacks lead teams down the field this fall with both their arms and legs seems to be the new norm for a position that used to be all about throwing touchdowns or fades.

And with a very important week approaching for some teams, one should expect to see their favorite school’s quarterbacks once again utilize both their arms and legs in must-win contests.

One of those quarterbacks that can pass and run is Alec Coleman of Western New England, who has scored 16 touchdowns in his last three contests, including nine scores on the ground.

Last week against Nichols College, Coleman helped the Bears erase a one-score deficit by finishing the game with five touchdowns, including four on the ground (Coleman’s four rushing scores matched a season-high, which he set one week earlier during his team’s 70-13 win over the University of New England).

Coleman began catching our attention for his passing and rushing abilities last month when he guided his team to impressive wins against Anna Maria College and Salve Regina.

Through eight games this season, Coleman has accounted for 28 touchdowns, including a team-high 13 scores on the ground. He currently leads the Golden Bears’ rushing attack with 652 yards and should certainly enjoy more success this weekend against Endicott College.

Watching the Endicott defense attempt to slow down Coleman will be one of many storylines to follow when the two teams converge on Saturday in Beverly – a win for Coleman’s squad would most likely secure the Blue and Gold their second-straight conference crown.

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Springfield College’s Hunter Belzo has been a player to watch under center the past few weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan)

In Springfield this weekend, one should keep an eye on Hunter Belzo, the running back turned quarterback that has led Springfield College to some exciting wins this fall, including a 17-14 win last month at WPI (that was hands down one of my favorite football games I saw this season).

Belzo, who made his first career start under center against the Engineers last month, will look to keep the Pride in contention for a conference crown when Springfield hosts Maine Maritime Academy.

Similar to his performance two weeks ago against Catholic University, Belzo should have no problems finding the end zone against the Mariners with both his feet and arm.

Amherst College quarterback Ollie Eberth has quietly enjoyed a successful third season with the Mammoths, tossing eight touchdowns, while adding a career-best six scores on the ground.

Eberth recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns in his team’s first two wins of the season, while adding one score on the ground against Colby College and Middlebury College.

Last week against Tufts University, Eberth relied more on his teammates in the rushing game, but did conclude his team’s 19-13 win with 150 passing yards.

This week, Eberth will most likely depend on arm against a Trinity College defense that has surrendered an average of 204.9 yards per game through the air, while holding rushing attacks to roughly 65 yards per contest. But maybe Eberth could locate the end zone with his feet when Amherst’s offense makes it into the red zone on Saturday.

Trinity’s defense managed to slow down Tufts signal-caller Ryan McDonald, a player coach Jay Civetti considers “a runner first,” a few weeks ago, so it will be interesting to see if they can contain Eberth, as well.

McDonald is always a player to watch on the Jumbos – so far this season, he has scored 17 touchdowns, including seven on the ground. Last week against Amherst, McDonald rushed for a 25-yard touchdown late in the second, which brought the visitors within four points (10-6) of the Mammoths at the break.

A few other quarterbacks to keep an eye on this week:

  • Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): The Decatur, Georgia native has been a quarterback to watch this fall – currently, he has recorded career-bests in touchdown passes (six) and rushes (four). Despite being grounded for much of last week against Trinity, Jernigan has been able to lead a Panthers offense with both his arm and legs. Against Williams College, he rushed for a season-high 94 yards on 27 carries and one score, while tossing two touchdowns. One week later against Bates College, he relied on his arm more than his leg to lead the Blue and White to an exciting 35-34 victory. Look for Jernigan to return his form from earlier this season when the Panthers visit Hamilton College on Saturday.
  • Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): Maimaron still has time to establish some new career-highs, both this week and next week, but our Noontime Sports Rookie of the Year has quietly produced a successful second season with the Ephs, which has seen the Duxbury, Massachusetts native toss eight touchdowns, while adding an additional eight scores on the ground. The eight rushing touchdowns shattered his mark of seven from one year ago. 
  • Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan University): The Shelton, Connecticut native is always a quarterback to watch every week. So far this season, he has accounted for 15 touchdowns, including three on the ground. He needs 29 yards to match last year’s rushing total (474), which he should be able to muster against Williams on Saturday.

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

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Seven (Oct. 13th)

10 Games To Watch Week Seven 101118

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The seventh week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Seven as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Six): We went 8-2 for the second-straight week last week, so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 41-19 (can we make it three-straight weeks of 8-2?)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


All Games taking place on Saturday, Oct. 13th 

Plymouth State at Framingham State (12 p.m.): It wasn’t pretty, but Tom Kelley‘s Rams found a way past Fitchburg State last week. Expect another grind-it-out effort from the Black and Gold this week against the Panthers of Plymouth State. PREDICTION: Framingham State 26, Plymouth State 14 

Nichols College at Becker College (12 p.m.): Nichols looks to bounce back after falling to Endicott last week and they should be able to against the Hawks of Becker. PREDICTION: Nichols 21, Becker 7 

Wesleyan University at Bates College (1 p.m.): At 2-2, every game is a must-win for these Cardinals, especially if they would like to secure a share of NESCAC crown. PREDICTION: Wesleyan 28, Bates 21 

Curry College at Western New England (1 p.m.): The Golden Bears return from the bye and should begin their second half of the season with an important conference win against the Colonels of Curry College. PREDICTION: Western New England 35, Curry 20

Maine Maritime at Coast Guard (1:30 p.m.): After falling short to the Pride last week, the Bears look to bounce back and return to the win column on Homecoming Weekend. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 27, Maine Maritime 8 

Tufts University at Trinity College (1:30 p.m.): The Jumbos are currently in the drivers seat with Amherst and Williams, so this is a must-win for the Powder Blue and White, especially if they want to keep pace with the Mammoths and Ephs for a NESCAC title. PREDICTION: Tufts 28, Trinity 27 

Middlebury College at Williams College (2 p.m.): The Ephs picked-up their fourth win of the season last week at Bates and should find a way past the Panthers on their home turf. PREDICTION: Williams 28, Middlebury 10 

Merchant Marine at Springfield College (2 p.m.): Its another big week for the Pride, who will once again need everyone to step-up, especially against a former Liberty League (LL) rival. Expect this one to be close with the Pride pulling out yet another hard-fought win at home. PREDICTION: Springfield 26, Merchant Marine 21 

Endicott College at Univ. of New England (2 p.m.): Endicott has not lost since falling to MIT last month and should continue their winning ways on Saturday against an up and coming Nor’easters squad. PREDICTION: Endicott 28, UNE 14 

UMass Dartmouth at Bridgewater State (4 p.m.): The Bears are still in contention for a conference crown, but must find a way to defeat a Corsairs squad, which has won two of three contests this season on the road. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 20, UMass Dartmouth 14 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Six (Oct. 5-6)

10 Games To Watch Week 6

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The sixth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Six, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Five): We went 8-2 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 33-17 (BIG bounce back week last week, so let’s see if we can keep it rolling this week!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


Friday Night Lights | Oct. 5th, 2018 

Dean College at Husson Univ. (7 p.m.): The Eagles scored an important win last week against SUNY Maritime, but must find a way to stop an up and coming Bulldogs team that appears to be a contender in the ECFC. PREDICTION: Husson 35, Dean 32 

Plymouth State at Bridgewater State (7 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, who have rebounded since falling to Framingham State in its initial MASCAC clash of the season. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 24, Plymouth State 16 


Saturday Games | Oct. 6th, 2018 

Coast Guard Academy at Springfield College (12 p.m.): The last time the Bears beat the Pride was in 1999. The win was coach Bill George‘s initial victory with Coast Guard Academy. Perhaps he scores his second win against Springfield this week on the road? PREDICTION: Coast Guard 24, Springfield 20 

Fitchburg State at Framingham State (12 p.m.): Framingham State remains the front-runner in the MASCAC, but this is a game they must-win, especially if they want to keep pace with Western Connecticut. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Fitchburg State 20 

Catholic Univ. at WPI (12 p.m.): The Engineers returned to the win column last week with a conference victory over Maine Maritime and should find a way past these Cardinals this week in Worcester. PREDICTION: WPI 28, Catholic 17 

MIT at Maine Maritime (12 p.m.): Its homecoming for coach Brian Bubna, who began his coaching career with the Mariners. MIT scored an impressive win last week and should keep its momentum going this week in Maine. PREDICTION: MIT 28, Maine Maritime 10

Williams College at Bates College (1 p.m.): A friend of our site thinks this could be a trap game for the Ephs, but we think the Purple and Gold will continue their early season momentum. PREDICTION: Williams 28, Bates 14

Trinity College at Hamilton College (1 p.m.): The Continentals scored their first win of the season last week against Wesleyan, thanks Christian Snell‘s blocked punt late in the fourth quarter. Snell pounced on the loose ball in the end zone to record the go-ahead touchdown. Perhaps Snell blocks another punt this week and reaches the end zone against Trinity? PREDICTION: Hamilton 26, Trinity 20 

Amherst College at Middlebury College (1:30 p.m.): The Panthers have rebounded from their week one setback to Wesleyan with back-to-back wins over Bowdoin and Colby, but this is a must-win for the Blue and White against a talented Amherst squad, which has won three-straight. PREDICTION: Amherst 28, Middlebury 21 

Tufts University at Bowdoin College (1:30 p.m.): Ryan McDonald should once again find a way to get the job done, both through the air and on the ground. PREDICTION: Tufts 35, Bowdoin 17 

Noontime Sports: Football Stars of the Week (Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018)

Stars Of The Week Oct 1st

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 five!

Our ‘Stars of the Week’ post will appear every Monday on our site throughout the remainder of the college football season. 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.


Offensive Stars of the Week

Brandon Brown (Fitchburg State): Brown accounted for four touchdowns, including two on the ground as the Falcons soared past Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Brown rushed for 63 yards on 11 carries, while completing 15 of 19 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

Udgam Goyal (MIT): Completed 25 of 43 passes for 362 yards and four touchdowns in MIT’s fifth-straight win of the season over Merchant Marine.

Peter Hoff (WNE): Hoff led all rushers with 204 yards on 23 carries, while rushing for one touchdown in his team’s 41-14 win over Salve Regina.  

Joe Kalosky (Endicott College): Kalosky completed 19 of 29 passes for 245 yards and five touchdowns as Endicott cruised past Curry College.

Ryan McDonald (Tufts Univ.): McDonald led the Jumbos to their third-straight win by completing 15 of 36 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for a game-high 161 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns.

Kyle McKinnon (Western Conn.): Rushed for a trio of touchdowns on 15 carries for 75 yards in the Colonials 40-27 win over UMass Dartmouth. McKinnon’s final touchdown late in the fourth quarter sealed the win.

Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan University): Piccirillo completed 20 of 36 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 64 yards on 20 carries and one score against Hamilton College.

Terrell Watts (Dean College): Watts concluded last Saturday’s game 19 of 27 for 268 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 45 yards on 20 carries in his team’s first conference win over Alfred State.


Defensive Stars of the Week

Derek Breunig (Maine Maritime): Breunig concluded last Saturday’s clash with WPI by tallying seven total tackles, including three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards and one sack for 10 yards.

Antonio Rocha (Husson Univ.): Rocha tallied six total tackles, including five solo stops and one sack for a loss of 10 yards in his team’s win over SUNY Maritime. Additionally, he recorded one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

William Rivera (Endicott College): Rivera paced the Gulls defense with 12 total tackles, including seven solo stops, one sack and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of two yards. Additionally, he recorded one forced fumble and one pass break-up against Curry College.

T.J. Rothmann (Williams College): Rothmann led the Ephs defense with 15 total tackles, including eight solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of five yards. He also recorded one fumble recovery, one interception and one pass break-up in Williams’ 21-16 win over Trinity College.

AJ Smith (Springfield College): Against Norwich, Smith tallied eight total tackles, including seven solo stops and two sacks for a loss of 16 yards.


Special Team Stars of the Week

Cole Austin (Coast Guard Academy): Austin connected on all four kicks in his team’s 20-9 win over Catholic University, including both field goals

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano connected on all eight kicks, including a 45-yard field goal early in the first quarter against Curry College.  

Kevin Heintz (Univ. of New England): Against Nichols College, Heintz recorded eight punts for 273 yards with three boots landing inside the Bisons’ 20-yard line. Additionally, one of his eight kicks resulted in a touchdback.

Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington connected on all six kicks, including a trio of field goals in his team’s bounce-back win over Maine Maritime. Additionally, he punted the ball four times for 132 yards with two kicks landing inside the Mariners’ 20-yard line.


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

Noontime Sports: Football Stars of the Week (Monday, Sept. 24th, 2018)

NS Stars Week 4

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 four!

Our ‘Stars of the Week’ post will appear every Monday on our site throughout the remainder of the college football season. 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.


Offensive Stars of the Week

Hunter Belzo (Springfield College): Belzo (113 rushing yards, two touchdowns) accounted for a pair of touchdowns against WPI last Saturday, including the go-ahead touchdown midway through the final quarter to lead the Pride to a hard-fought 17-14 win.

Errol Breaux (Dean College): Breaux concluded his team’s fourth game of the season by hauling in four catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 33.8 yards per reception.

Austin Calamita (Western Conn.): Calamita hauled in three touchdowns, while finishing with a game-high 10 receptions for 150 yards as the Colonials topped Salve Regina on the road.

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Gacioch (236 passing yards, two touchdowns) tossed two touchdowns Leroy Brown, while rushing for a team-high 62 yards on 13 carries as the Corsairs edged Plymouth State in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Ryan Jones (Coast Guard Academy): Jones (257 passing yards, two touchdowns) helped the Bears squeak past Norwich University by capping a 16-play, 76 yard drive with a three yard score on the ground with nine seconds remaining in regulation.

Nate Richam (Bowdoin College): Richam led all rushers in last Saturday’s Middlebury-Bowdoin clash with 288 yards on 30 carries (9.6 yards per carry) for two touchdowns.

Jordan Vazzano (Trinity College): Vazzano (353 passing yards) registered six touchdowns this past weekend, including five through the air as the Bantams topped Bates College for their second win of the season.


Defensive Stars of the Week

George Balian (Endicott College): Balian paced the Gulls with a career-high 10 total tackles, including six solo stops and one pass break-up in his team’s exciting 27-24 win over Hobart. The pass break-up occurred at the end of the contest – it dashed a potential comeback by the Statesmen.

John Bennett (Maine Maritime): Bennett recorded 11 total tackles last Saturday against Merchant Marine, including seven solo stops and one-and-a-half tackles for a five-yard loss. He also registered one fumble recovery.

Tyler D’Errico (Salve Regina): D’Errico paced the Seahawks’ defense with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and two tackles for a loss of two yards, while recording one pass break-up against Western Connecticut.

Jonathan Hobart (Middlebury): Against Bowdoin College, Hobart turned in an impressive performance, which included nine total tackles (four solo stops), one fumble recover, one interception and one pass break-up.

Brandon Mole (Becker College): Mole concluded his team’s contest against Dean College with seven total tackles (five solo stops), including four tackles for a loss of nine yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.


Special Teams Stars of the Week

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano was a perfect five-for-five on kicks against Hobart, including two-for-two on field goals. His longest boot happened to be a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Mark Wright (MIT): Wright accounted for 10 points on all four extra points, as well as a pair of field goals as the Engineers rallied to beat Catholic University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.