NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The MIT-Muhlenberg Matchup

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Sean Kent and the MIT Football team are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

In just three days, a trio of New England D-III football teams will begin their pursuit of the ultimate prize: a national championship. And one of those teams is the MIT Engineers, who will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania to face Muhlenberg College.

MIT is making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament, as well as it’s third since 2014. The Engineers are 1-2 in their last three national postseason contests and will attempt to even their mark against an impressive Mules squad, which yet to drop a single contest this season.

Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.


MIT (7-2) at Muhlenberg (10-0)

Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Scotty Wood Stadium.

Rankings: Muhlenberg is currently fourth in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. MIT is not ranked nor receiving votes.

Conference Affiliate: Muhlenberg competes in the Centennial Conference (CC) – they finished 9-0 against league opponents. MIT competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and won six of seven league tilts this fall.

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Both teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season. MIT, which captured its first-ever NEWMAC crown last fall, saw its run toward a national championship conclude in the opening round against Johns Hopkins. Muhlenberg advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Delaware Valley (20-13) and Randolph-Macon (35-6) before falling to Mount Union, 38-10.

Inside the Numbers with MIT: The Engineers rank 124th in scoring offense, averaging 26.4 points per game. They have scored 30 touchdowns this fall while kicking eight field goals … MIT’s defense and Concordia Wisconsin are tied for 77th in scoring defense, yielding 21.00 points per contest … MIT is averaging 333.6 yards of total offense (153.9 rushing and 179.7 passing yards) … The defense has yielded an average of 174.4 passing yards per game while limiting opposing rushing attacks to just 117.0 yards per game.

Inside the Numbers with Muhlenberg: The Mules are currently the 17th highest-scoring offense in D-III, averaging 41.9 points per game. They have scored 56 touchdowns in 10 contests while recording nine field goals. Muhlenberg has converted 52 PATs and recorded one safety for 419.00 points … The Mules boast the ninth-best scoring defense, yielding an average of 11.70 points per game … Muhlenberg is averaging 439.1 yards of total offense (281.60 passing yards per game and 157.5 rushing yards) … The Mules have limited opposing rushing attacks to 70.6 yards per game while the defense is limiting offenses to just 200.30 yards of passing per game.

MIT Players to Watch: 

  • Chris Mauck (QB) – Enters Saturday’s contest with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a starter … Mauck has completed 121 of 241 passes for 1,609 yards
  • Ashton Robinson (RB) – Has rushed for a career-high 366 yards on 95 carries in eight contests this season, along with three touchdowns.
  • Keithen Shepard (WR) – Leads the Engineers with 10 receiving touchdowns … the third-year receiver has caught a team-high 35 passes for 542 yards.
  • Mark Wright (Kicker) – Wright has connected on 8 of 11 field goals with his longest kick being a 43-yarder … he is 22 of 26 on extra points … he has produced 46 points in nine games.
  • Sean Kent (Defensive Back) – The senior defensive back leads the Engineers with 58.0 total tackles … He has recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss of 10 yards while registering two interceptions and five pass break-ups.

Muhlenberg Players to Watch:

  • Frankie Feaster (DE) – Named the CC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season … Feaster helped the Mules defense set a conference record of yielding just 91 points in nine conference contests.
  • Michael Hnatkowsky (QB) – Named the CC Offensive Player of the Year … He has tossed a school-record 34 touchdowns with only three interceptions … He ranks third in D-III in passing efficiency, completion percentage (sixth), and passing touchdowns (seven).
  • James Diggs (RB) – Diggs is averaging 70.0 rushing yards per game, which is fourth in the CC … He has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season.
  • Ryan Curtis (TE) – Named a first-team All-CC honoree … has caught 10 touchdowns and set the conference mark for career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
  • John Washington (DB) – Washington has recorded 28 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions as a first-time starter with the Mules.
  • Todd Spirt (Kicker) – Spirit leads the conference with 78 points … he is the CC all-time leader in extra points made with 185 (he set a program record with 56 extra points made last season.

D3 Football: Zelos Players of The Week

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the eleventh (and final) week of the New England Division III Football regular season in the books, it is time to unveil our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track 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


This season, Noontime Sports will select at least one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week.

The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season and shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Quarterback Ryan Jones accounted for five touchdowns (three passing and two rushing) in his final game on Saturday with the Coast Guard Academy football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Offensive Player of the Week: Ryan Jones (Coast Guard Academy | Quarterback | Punxsutawney, Pa.): In his final game with the Bears, Jones completed 12 of 27 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns while adding 36 yards on 16 carries and two scores against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday. Despite the season-ending loss to the Mariners in the Secretaries Cup, Jones rushed for a season-best two touchdowns – he had only rushed for one score in two games earlier this season. Additionally, he threw for 300 yards (or more) for just the second time this fall after throwing for a career-high (and season-best) 353 yards last month in his team’s win over Maine Maritime Academy.


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Tony Slaughter led the Corsairs’ defense with 11.0 total tackles in its season-finale against Westfield State. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

Defensive Player of the Week: Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth |Defensive Back | Springfield, Mass.): In his final game with the Corsairs, Slaughter recorded 11.0 total tackles, including seven solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 11 yards, which helped UMass Dartmouth defeat Westfield State, 19-13. Slaughter also recorded two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry, too. The 11.0 total tackles were two stops shy of his season-high of 13.0, which he registered earlier this month in his team’s 28-12 win over Western Connecticut.


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Mark Wright drilled a 36-yard field goal last Saturday, which helped MIT edge Springfield College in its season finale. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robert Krawitz)

Special Teamer of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT | Kicker | Fort Worth, Texas): Wright booted a 36-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining to send the Engineers past the Pride of Springfield College, 43-40, in a wild season finale that helped MIT clinch its second-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. Additionally, Saturday’s win over Springfield secured MIT a spot in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament. MIT will be competing in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season, as well as the third time since its initial appearance in 2014. Wright ended the game with nine points off five kicks, including two field goals.

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the ninth 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, which can be seen (here on our site) every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.


Offensive Players of the Week

Michael Bethune, Jr. (Dean College): Bethune, Jr. rushed for a team-high 213 yards on 21 carries – that is 10.1 yards per rush – while catching three passes for 11 yards against Alfred State.

Errol Breaux (Dean College): Against Alfred State, Breaux caught eight passes for 125 yards and five touchdowns.

Jacob Carroll (Tufts University): Carroll completed 14 of 19 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday to lead the Jumbos to a 35-10 win over Colby College.

Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman completed 18 of 32 passes for two touchdowns against Endicott College while adding 31 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.

Brendan Costa (Bates College): Costa totaled 275 yards of total offense with 212 passing yards (9 of 17 completions) and 63 rushing yards on eight carries. The third-year signal-caller also tossed three touchdowns as the Bobcats topped the Polar Bears to provide coach Malik Hall with his first win with the program.

Stefano D’Emilia (Bridgewater State): D’Emilia tallied 266 yards of total offense against Plymouth State, including 35 yards on six carries and one touchdown. The senior signal-caller concluded the game 19 of 29 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown.

Luis Gonzalez (UMass Dartmouth): Against Western Connecticut, Gonzalez rushed for 140 yards on 29 carries (4.8 yards) and two touchdowns as the Corsairs captured their sixth contest of the 2019 season.

Tyler Halls (Husson University): Against Nichols College, Halls caught a game-high 11 catches for 219 yards and three touchdowns.

Tanner Kingsley (Anna Maria College): Kingsley completed 26 of 38 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns against Castleton University this past Saturday.

Steven Lawton (Fitchburg State): Lawton rushed for a game-high 141 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns as the Falcons soared past the Lancers for their initial conference win last Friday.

Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): Against Wesleyan University, the third-year signal-caller completed 8 of 28 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for a game-high 125 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.

Alex Maldjian (Middlebury College): Against Hamilton College, Maldjian rushed for a game-high 145 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns.

Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University): Against the University of New England, Mauriello rushed for 193 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns.

Jacob McCarthy (Castleton University): Against Anna Maria, McCarthy completed 21 of 30 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns.

Tyler McGovern (Salve Regina University): McGovern completed 10 of 20 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns against the University of New England.

Frank Roche (Tufts University): Roche caught a game-high eight catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns as the Jumbos topped Colby College in Maine.

Jamyre Soberanis (Western New England): Soberanis rushed for a game-high 140 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.

Terrell Watts (Dean College): Watts completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards and seven touchdowns while adding six yards on five carries in his team’s exciting win over Alfred State.


Defensive Players of the Week

Hunter Atwood (Curry College): Against Becker College, Atwood recorded nine total tackles, including seven solo stops. Additionally, he recorded one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 12 yards, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.

Sam Cantrell (MIT): Cantrell paced the Engineers’ defense against WPI last Saturday with 11 total tackles (Be Delhees also finished with 11 total stops, too). Four the 11 stops were solo tackles, while two were tackles for a loss of eight yards. Cantrell also recorded one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Anthony Casparriello (Worcester State): Against Fitchburg State last Friday evening, Casparriello tallied 12 total tackles, including three solo stops and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of six yards. Additionally, he posted one quarterback hurry, too.

Noah Clack (Bowdoin College): Clack stuffed the stat sheet last Saturday against Bates College with seven total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one sack for a loss of six yards. He also recorded one forced fumble.

Chris Gemayel (Bridgewater State): Gemayel tallied seven total tackles, including three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards and one sack for a loss of three yards, which helped the Bears celebrate Senior Day with a victory against Plymouth State.

Pete Huggins (Middlebury College): Huggins tallied seven total tackles, including three solo stops and one tackle for a loss of seven yards, while recording one pass break-up and one fumble recovery as the Panthers beat Hamilton College, 14-7.

Erich Keutmann (Western New England): Keutmann recorded 23 total tackles, including nine solo stops and one tackle for a loss, along with one pass

Robert Levine (Trinity College): Levine was one of two Bantams that posted 10.0 total tackles against Amherst College. He concluded the game with eight solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of five yards and one quarterback hurry.

Colin McCabe (Mass. Maritime Academy): McCabe recorded 11 total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of six yards. McCabe also forced two fumbles, while recovering one fumble during a 16-6 setback to Framingham State.

David Redmond (Husson University): Redmond stuffed the stat sheet against Nichols with six total tackles, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 12 yards and one forced fumble. Four of the six stops were solo tackles.

Chris Rice (Castleton University): Against Anna Maria last Saturday, Rice stuffed the stat sheet with five total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one sack for a loss of 12 yards. Additionally, Rice recorded one quarterback hurry and one interception.

Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter total 13 total tackles, including 12 solo stops against Western Connecticut. Three of the 13 tackles for were stops for a loss of 11 yards.

Jack Sullivan (Framingham State): Sullivan paced the Rams defense against Massachusetts Maritime Academy with nine total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 14 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards. Seven of the 11 tackles were solo stops.


Special Teamers of the Week

Henry Atkeson (Amherst College): Against Trinity College, Atkeson converted one extra point, while tallying 139 yards on three punts – all three kicks landed inside the Bantams’ 20-yard line. Atkeson also recorded two kickoffs of 111 yards.

Gabriel DeSouza (Curry College): DeSouza recorded four punts against Becker College with three kicks landing inside the Hawks’ 20-yard line.

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano connected on five kicks against the University of New England, including a 30-yard field goal.

Angelo DiSanto (Salve Regina Univ.): Against the University of New England, DiSanto converted two of three field goals (longest was a 30-yard kick) and five of seven extra points. He recorded one punt for 44-yards, which landed inside the UNE 20-yard line. He also recorded nine kickoffs for 491 yards with one touchback.

Quintus Reid (Dean College): Reid punted the ball four times against Alfred State for 125 yards. One of the punts resulted in a touchback, while another punt landed inside the Pioneers’ 20-yard line. In addition to his punting duties, Reid also caught four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

Mark Wright (MIT): Wright tallied eight points off two extra points and a pair of field goals. He drilled a season-long 43-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, which was followed by a game-tying 41-yard kick that sent the game to overtime.

D3 Football: Zelos Athletics Players of The Week (Monday, Nov. 4th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the ninth week of the New England Division III Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track 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


This season, Noontime Sports will select at least one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week.

The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season and shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Terrell Watts tossed a program-record seven touchdowns which helped the Bulldogs of Dean College outlast Alfred State, 50-46. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

Offensive Player of the Week: Terrell Watts (Dean College | Quarterback | New Haven, Conn.): The second-year signal-caller tossed a program-record seven touchdown passes last Saturday to lead the Bulldogs to an important (and thrilling) conference win over Alfred State.

Tabbed this week’s Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Week, Watts completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards with five of his seven touchdowns landing in the hands of Errol Breaux, who concluded the game with 125 yards on eight catches. The five touchdown receptions were a season-best for Breaux.

Watts’ seven touchdown passes places him third in touchdowns thrown in a single game this season. Evan Lewandowski of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse tossed nine touchdowns earlier this season against University of Wisconsin-Platteville, while Wyatt Smith of Linfield College threw for eight scores against University of Puget Sound last month.

In eight games this season, Watts has completed 152 of 247 passes for a career-high 2,012 yards and 25 touchdowns.


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Tony Slaughter established a new single-season record for tackles for a loss last Saturday against Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth | Defensive Back | Springfield, Mass.): Slaughter concluded last Saturday’s win against Western Connecticut with 13 total tackles, including 12 solo stops. Additionally, he recorded two sacks and three tackles for a loss of 11 yards to establish a new single-season record for tackles for losses.

As noted in Sunday’s release about Slaughter being named this week’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Defensive Player of the Week, Slaughter erased Marvey Mathurin‘s single-season record by bumping his total to 18 tackles for a loss of 70 yards. Mathurin posted 17.5 tackles for a loss of 65 yards in 2017, which was his final season with the Corsairs.

Through eight contests this season, Slaughter has registered 50.0 total tackles, including 36 solo stops, six sacks for a loss of 38 yards, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and two pass breakups. He has also tallied two blocks.

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Jack Sullivan (Framingham State | Linebacker | Dartmouth, Mass.): Sullivan paced the Rams defense last Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime Academy with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and four tackles for a loss of 14 yards. One of his tackles was a sack for a loss of nine yards.

The seven solo stops is a season-best for the senior, while the four tackles for a loss were also a season-best. Sullivan’s lone sack was the senior’s first of the season.

Sullivan has competed in six games this season, logging 21.0 total tackles, including 12 solo stops and four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards.


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Mark Wright drilled a season-long 43-yard field goal last Saturday, which helped MIT tie the game and eventually win it in double-overtime. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robert Krawitz)

Special Teamer of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT | Kicker | Fort Worth, Texas): Wright drilled a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 41-yard kick as time expired to send last Saturday’s game to overtime and help MIT defeat WPI, 28-22.

Wright posted a season-high eight points off two field goals, including a season-long 43-yarder, along with two extra points to bump his season total to 27 points. The third-year kicker has converted four of seven field goals while kicking 15 of 19 extra points.

The Early Preseason Outlook: MIT Engineers

MIT Engineers

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ coverage continues with a closer look at the MIT Engineers, who will look to capture their second-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown this fall.

MIT kicks-offs its 2019 slate on Saturday, September 7th, 2019 when they host Carnegie Mellon at 12 p.m.

The Engineers’ 2018 Season: MIT enjoyed a very successful 2018 campaign by capturing its first-ever NEWMAC championship while making its second appearance in program history in the NCAA Tournament.

Yet, despite ending its season with a first-round setback to Johns Hopkins University, coach Brian Bubna‘s squad proved they can win games with both its offense and defense, as well as its special teams, too.

MIT pitched three shutouts last season, including a pair in October against Coast Guard Academy (13-0) and Maine Maritime Academy (35-0), while limiting Springfield College to just seven points in their regular-season finale.

Quarterback Udgam Goyal enjoyed one of his best seasons under center, tossing a career-high 18 touchdowns, including three to Eddy Garcia-Montes, who led the receiving core with 45 receptions.

Keithen Shepard enjoyed a very successful second season with the Engineers by catching a career-high 39 receptions for 513 yards and six touchdowns. Shepard will certainly be a player to watch this season – it’s possible he could be the team’s go-to receiver.

The 2019 Outlook: MIT graduated 13 student-athletes from last year’s team, including Udgam Goyal, who was the team’s primary quarterback for the past three seasons, and their top wide-out Eddy Garcia-Montes. Additionally, the Engineers bid farewell to halfback/wide receiver Miguel Wagner, linebacker Andrew DeNucci and defensive back Mitch Maisel.

Replacing all five student-athletes, along with other members of the Class of 2019 won’t be an easy task for Buban and his staff, but they do return some key pieces from last year’s squad, including halfback John Robertson, wide receiver Eric Bradford, and linebacker Sam Cantrell.

The Engineers did graduate a pair of offensive linemen but do return Will Roberts, who will be the anchor of MIT’s line this fall. The Sacramento, California native appeared in 11 contest last season and was named NEWMAC First-Team All-Conference.

The biggest question facing the Engineers is can they repeat their success from a year ago? We’ll find out once a new season of MIT football commences in a few weeks.

MIT’s Schedule: The Engineers commence their title defense with a home date against Carnegie Mellon before embarking on a three-game road trip, beginning Saturday, September 21st at Becker College. MIT will then visit Catholic University before heading to U.S. Merchant Marine in early October.

The schedule gets more challenging in late October when MIT visits Coast Guard before entertaining Norwich University and WPI in early November.

A mid-to-late November clash with Springfield could possibly determine the conference’s representative in the NCAA Tournament.

Players to Watch: John Robertson (Halfback/Brentwood, Tenn.), Keithen Shepard (Wide Receiver/Vancouver, Wash.), Eric Bradford (Wide Receiver/Dublin, Ohio), Jack Montinaro (Wide Receiver/Riverside, Conn.), Will Roberts (Offensive Line/Sacramento, Calif.), Mark Wright (Kicker/Fort Worth, Texas), Sam Cantrell (Linebacker/Seattle, Wash.), Tyler Ray (Defensive Back/Suwanee, Ga.), Ben Wolz (Defensive Line/College Station, Texas), and AJ Iversen (Defensive Back/Kansas City, Mo.).


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