D3 Football: Wojenski Leads Framingham State To Second-Straight New England Bowl Win

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Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns in his team’s New England Football Bowl victory against Curry College. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns, while completing 19 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Rams topped Curry College, 48-14, in the 2017 New England Football Bowl this afternoon at Bowditch Field.

With the win, Framingham State has now won a pair of New England Football Bowls, including the inaugural game last year when they defeated Salve Regina in Newport, Rhode Island.

All five of Wojenski’s touchdowns were recorded in the first half as he connected with Khaneil Bruce and Quron Wright for a pair of strikes, respectively, while locating Shaquille Joseph on his team’s initial drive for a 24-yard score.

Wojenski would toss his next four touchdowns in the second quarter, which provided the hosts with a 34-7 advantage at the break.

Napoleon Miller and Sebastein Robert extended Framingham State’s advantage with rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while Curry mustered just one score in the third quarter when quarterback Alex Corvese hauled in a two-yard score on the far side from wide receiver Spencer Tyler.

The Rams conclude their 2017 season at 10-1 overall, while Wojenski ended his second season with the Black and Gold by tossing 19 touchdowns in eight contests.

Fram. State’s Harris Earns NEFW/Grinold Chapter DII/DIII Gold Helmet Award

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Framingham State senior Jaquan Harris (right) earned this week’s NEFW/Grinold Chapter Gold Helmet Award. (PHOTO CREDIT: Framingham State Univ. Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

After recording a NCAA Division III record five interceptions last Friday evening in his team’s 32-16 win over Fitchburg State, Framingham State senior Jaquan Harris earned this week’s New England Football Writers’ Grinold Chapter DII/DIII Gold Helmet Award.

The Gold Helmet is an additional award this week for Harris, who earned a trio of honors already, including a spot on the D3Football.com Team of the Week. Additionally, he was named the Defensive Player of the Week by both the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and Noontime Sports.

Harris’ five interceptions established a new single-game record at Framingham State – he now has recorded eight interceptions this fall, which ties the program mark for picks in a season.

Harris and the Rams head to Plymouth State this weekend for a marquee MASCAC clash. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Dartmouth College’s Jack Heneghan earned this week’s Division I (FBS/FCS) Gold Helmet following his team’s exciting 28-27 win over Yale University.

Mass. Maritime’s Phillips Earns NEFW Division II/III Gold Helmet Award

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Massachusetts Maritime Academy tailback Richie Phillips earned this week’s NEFW Division II-III Gold Helmet Award. (PHOTO CREDIT: Mass. Maritime Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Following an impressive showing against Maine Maritime Academy last weekend, Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior tailback Richie Phillips earned this week’s Division II-III Gold Helmet, which was presented by the New England Football Writers and Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Phillips, who received the prestigious award this afternoon at the weekly New England Football Writers Luncheon at Harvard University, recorded a career-high 146 yards on  on 25 carries, while registering a pair of scores, including a 31-yard touchdown reception at the end of the first half.

Prior to earning today’s prestigious award,  Phillips earned a spot on this week’s Noontime Sports Honor Roll, which was posted on Tuesday, September 19th.

The Buccaneers’ 34-25 win helped the squad secure the Admiral’s Cup for the first time since 2014. And according to today’s release, Massachusetts Maritime has now won five of the last seven meetings against Main Maritime, dating back to the 2011 season.

Through two games this season, Phillips has rushed for 196 yards on 48 carries and three touchdowns, while recording two catches for 45 yards. His catch this past weekend – the 31-yard touchdown reception – is the longest reception he has recorded this season.

Prior to earning today’s Division II-III Gold Helmet Award, Phillips’ teammate George Lampros was named this week’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Football Special Teams Player of the Week. Lampros concluded last week’s contest with a pair of field goals (34 and 39 yards out) – both kicks were his first, as noted in Sunday’s release – while converting four extra points.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy will begin conference play this Saturday, September 23rd when they visit Framingham State for the annual Kelley Cup. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Previewing The 2017 Bridgewater State Football Schedule

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Bridgewater State head coach Joe Verria and the Bears will begin their 2017 campaign on Saturday, September 2nd at Buffalo State. (PHOTO CREDIT: Bridgewater State University Office of Sports Information)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The defending Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) champions will host five games this season at Bridgewater State University, while making the trek to five institutions, including Buffalo State in week one.

Bridgewater State, which has unveiled its 2017 slate on its athletic department’s website, will play its initial home game on Saturday, September 9th when the Bears entertain Endicott College with kickoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

The Gulls and Bears last met in 2012 with Bridgewater State claiming a 20-14 win in BridgewaterMike McCarthy highlighted the contest with a pair of rushing scores – he concluded the game with 144 rushing yards on 20 carries.

Bridgewater State won nine games in 2012 and competed in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament against Widener.

Following a pair of non-conference clashes, the Bears will hop into league play with a ‘Friday Night’ clash with Framingham State University. Last season, Malik Garrett highlighted his team’s dramatic (and exciting) win over the Rams as he rushed for a pair of scores, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime, which helped the Bears lock-up the conference crown.

Bridgewater State will close out the opening month with a visit to Fitchburg State (Saturday, September 23rd) and a home date against Westfield State (Saturday, September 30th).

The Bears will visit a pair of squads in October, beginning with Plymouth State on Saturday, October 7th followed by a trip to UMass Dartmouth (Oct. 13th). Bridgewater State beat both squads last season, but needed two overtimes to top the Panthers in Bridgewater.

Bridgewater State will host Western Connecticut on Saturday, October 21st as part of the school’s ‘Homecoming Weekend’ before capping its regular season with back-to-back November tilts against Worcester State (Nov. 4th) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Nov. 11th).

For more on the Bears’ football team/program — HOP HERE

PROGRAM NOTE: We’ll have more on the Bears as we get closer to the start of the 2017 football season. 

Salem State Set To Face Tufts In NCAA Tournament

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Salem State’s Marcus Faison and the Vikings will take on Tufts University in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament’s First Round on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Salem State Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Salem State University men’s basketball coach Chris Harvey knows his Vikings will be challenged on the opening day of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Winners of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), the Vikings earned a date with Tufts University this Friday at St. John Fisher College (Pittsford, N.Y.) with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Salem State and Tufts did not meet this season, but did compete against each other last year at the New England Big 4 Challenge. The Jumbos beat the Vikings, 90-77, thanks to 25 points from Vincent Pace and 20 points from Tom Palleschi.

“It’s going to be a tough match-up for us,” Harvey said of his team’s first-round contest against the Jumbos.

“Coach (Bob) Sheldon is as good as an offensive coach that you will find and they’re playing good defense as well, so it’s cliché, but we will have to bring an A-effort to stay in the game, and if we do that and get a little bit of tempo going then we’ll have a fighting chance.”

The Jumbos, who advanced to this year’s NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid, enter the postseason winners of 20 contests. They saw their bid toward a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown conclude last Saturday with an 81-65 setback to Williams College.

Despite not facing the Jumbos this season, Harvey and his crew would consider themselves ‘very familiar’ with Tufts – in a way, they believe their last meeting, along with some current film study will help with crafting a game plan for defending the Powder Blue and White.

“We’re very familiar with Tufts (despite) not playing them this year,” Harvey said. “We played them last year and didn’t have success (against them), but we know a little bit about their (current) personnel and we’ll have to dive into film here and try to piece together a plan of attack.”

Part of that so-called ‘attack’ will be attempting to find a way to slow down Tufts’ offense, which has averaged 83 points per game this season. Not only can they score inside the paint, but also outside the half circle, too.

In order to be successful, the Vikings will need every member of its roster to step-up, whether it is on offense or defense. They’ll need their seniors and captains – Marcus Faison and Shyheim Davis-Smith – to guide them, along with some long-range field goals from Jacob Lindland. Additionally, they’ll need Faison and Drew Healy to control the glass on defense.

“We have to do what we do,” said Harvey, “and make sure how we play gets the most of our focus in practice. We’re not going to recreate Tufts, every set they run, every tendency they have, every individual player stuff … I am just a believer in really focusing on what you’re doing and put a lot of focus on that, what they’re doing and at the end of the day just go in confident with your game plan and try to execute and adjust in the flow of the game when you can.”

The winner of Salem State-Tufts will meet host St. John Fisher-St. Lawrence on Saturday, March 4 at 7 p.m.