Tag: Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference

UMass Dartmouth, USMMA Capture New England Bowls

Dante Aviles-Santos tossed four touchdowns on Saturday in his team’s first-ever New England Bowl. (PHOTO COURTESY: Eric Ogden)

By Matt Noonan

Three days after being named the 2021 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dante Aviles-Santos concluded his sophomore season by recording six touchdowns, including two rushing scores as UMass Dartmouth rolled past Alfred State in one of two New England Bowls this afternoon.

The Corsairs, who beat the Pioneers by a score of 42-16, ended their season on a six-game winning streak to finish 9-2 for the first time since 2003.

Aviles-Santos, who recorded 339 yards of total offense, scored two of his six touchdowns in the opening frame, including a three-yard rushing score with 11:56 remaining that provided UMass Dartmouth with a lead that would eventually grow to 22-3 at the break.

Both teams would trade touchdowns throughout the third quarter – Alfred State did pull within three scores (34-16) when Jake Palmer capped a four-play, 58-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown, but that would be the closest they would get. UMass Dartmouth would tack on one more score in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Aviles-Santos to Winston DeLeon.

Alfred State’s Aaron Jenkins, who was named the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Year, ended the game with 287 yards of total offense, including 215 yards passing and one touchdown. Mike Nushar led the Pioneers’ defense with a game-high 21 total tackles, including 12 solo stops to go with one forced fumble.

Despite the loss, the Pioneers concluded the season with six wins, which is the most they have recorded in a single season since their initial campaign in 2013.

Merchant Marine 63, Western New England 35: Coach Mike Toop won his final game on the sidelines as the Mariners jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back as the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) capped its season with a New England Bowl against the Golden Bears of Western New England.

Ian Blankenship recorded seven touchdowns in the win – he rushed for a game-high 137 yards on 30 carries for four scores while completing 4 of 11 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Talsen Smith caught both touchdown passes while finishing the contest with three catches for 120 yards.

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak led all receivers with 130 yards on six grabs and caught three touchdowns.

As a team, USMMA recorded 579 yards of total offense on 83 plays compared to 412 yards on 85 plays for Western New England.

The Mariners end their season with a 9-1 record while setting a program record for points in a game with 63.

Framingham State Secures MASCAC Crown with 47-13 win over Bridgewater State

Devaun Ford registered two touchdowns — one through the air, one on the ground — as Framingham State topped Bridgewater State on Saturday at Bowditch Fiel. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

By Matt Noonan

A total team effort highlighted by five rushing touchdowns helped Framingham State defeat Bridgewater State, 47-13, and secure the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) outright for the third consecutive season.

The Rams, who have won or shared the conference crown every season except in 2016, improve to 7-2 overall and 7-0 in league play while the Bears dip to 5-4 and 5-2.

Saturday’s win marked the fourth consecutive time the Rams have beaten the Bears since Bridgewater State edged Framingham State in overtime in 2016. The win provided the Bears with their first MASCAC crown since winning it outright in 2008.

Marcus McBean Jr. rushed for a pair of scores, including his team’s initial touchdown on a five-yard carry early in the second quarter while Devaun Ford tallied two scores – one on the ground, one through the air – and led all rushers with 99 yards on 16 carries.

Quarterback Nicolas Goffredo tallied three touchdowns, including one on the ground, and completed 23 of 37 passes for 281 yards.

McBean Jr. and Ford provided the Rams with an early lead before James Cahoon capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive late in the second quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hairston, which brought the visitors within one score (14-7) at the break. But that would be the closest the Bears would get as Framingham State capped all three offensive series in the third quarter with touchdowns to secure a 34-7 lead heading into the final session.   

The 47 points the Rams produced were the most they have recorded in a single game this season while the offense registered a season-best 530 yards of total offense.

Chase Buono led the Framingham State defense with seven total tackles while Joshua Onujiogu registered four tackles for a loss of 17 yards.

Despite the loss, James Cahoon concluded the game with 234 passing yards while halfback Adam Couch was limited to just 17 yards on six carries.

Framingham State will attempt to win their eighth-straight contest next Saturday, November 13 when they visit Worcester State for a 12 p.m. kickoff. Bridgewater State will visit Massachusetts Maritime Academy for the 42nd Annual Cranberry Bowl, which will also commence at 12 p.m.

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch In Week 10

Ricky Goodson and the Amherst College football team will look to continue their recent momentum on Saturday against Trinity College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Geoff Botle, Clarus Studios Inc.)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s that time of the week when we highlight five teams to watch this weekend in New England Division III. And with the tenth week quickly approaching, that means we better press the publish button … NOW!

Amherst College (5-2, 5-2 NESCAC): The Mammoths head into their final road game of the 2021 season with a great deal of momentum.

Last weekend, Amherst overcame a two-score deficit to edge Wesleyan University in four overtimes.

Can they continue that momentum this week against Trinity College? We think so.

Amherst has won two of their last five meetings with the Bantams, who have captured back-to-back contests in 2018 (27-16) and 2019 (21-7). When Amherst has beaten Trinity, it has been by at least a touchdown — in some games, it has been eight or nine points.

Like Wesleyan, Amherst is a resilient bunch — they bounced back from a 21-14 setback last month to Bowdoin College by scoring a pair of wins over Hamilton College and Wesleyan to put themselves in a position to conclude their 2021 campaign with possibly six or seven wins.

Trinity will enter Saturday’s contest looking to bounce back from a 42-3 setback to Williams College.

Anna Maria College (5-2, 3-1 ECFC): For the past few weeks, the AMCATs of Anna Maria appeared destined to win their first-ever conference crown. But after seeing their five-game winning streak was snapped last weekend to Castleton University, their hopes of winning an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title were somewhat derailed — well, at least for one day.

The AMCATs head into the final two weeks of the regular season in a four-way tie for first place in the conference. And this week’s contest with Gallaudet University is an important one as the Bison are also in the position to win the ECFC crown.

Under the direction of coach Dan Mulrooney, the AMCATs have beaten the Bison once when they ended their 2019 campaign with a 53-14 victory.

A win against the Bison would keep the team’s conference title hopes alive while a loss would result in some scoreboard watching next weekend.

Bridgewater State (5-3, 5-1 MASCAC): Despite losing to UMass Dartmouth last weekend, the Bears of Bridgewater State are still in the mix for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown. However, for the Red and White to win their first title since 2016, they will need to score two more wins against Framingham State and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Wins against the Rams and Buccaneers are possible, but coach Joe Verria’s squad needs to play their best football, both this week and next week. Additionally, the Bears will need to lean on halfback Adam Couch, who leads the conference with 125.4 rushing yards per game.

Couch recently became the ninth running back in Bridgewater State’s program history to eclipse 1,000 yards last weekend — he has currently rushed for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight contests.

Bridgewater State has won four of six contests this fall when Couch rushes for 100 yards or more.

Castleton University (5-3, 3-1 ECFC): The Spartans head into their final two contests with a great deal of momentum, thanks to three-straight wins, including an impressive 38-31 victory last Saturday against Anna Maria.

Like the AMCATs, the Spartans are one of four teams in first place with hopes of winning the conference crown.

This week, the Green and White will head to New York to compete against an Alfred State squad that has also won three of four conference matchups this season. For Castleton to be successful, they will need to find a way to slow down quarterback Aaron Jenkins, who rushed for three touchdowns last weekend against Keystone College while completing 8 of 12 passes for 126 yards.  

Castleton should be able to come away with a hard-fought win to keep momentum on their side for next week’s home date with Gallaudet.

Salve Regina University (8-1, 4-1 CCC): The Seahawks are one win away from matching their 9-2 record from 2012 when they captured the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division crown and competed in the league’s final championship game against Framingham State.  

If the Seahawks are going to enter their upcoming bye week with nine wins, then they must play perhaps their best football of the season against a Husson University squad that outlasted them in their previous meeting in 2019.

Like Salve Regina, Husson is in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title but needs to win their last two contests against the Seahawks and Western New England. Neither matchup is going to be easy, but these Eagles must find a way to contain an impressive Salve Regina passing attack that produced five touchdowns last weekend against Curry College. In addition to an impressive showing by quarterback Jack Maguire, Nicholas Lane rushed for a season-high 102 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.

Player Perspective: George Lampros (Mass. Maritime Academy)

George Lampros converted five field goals last Saturday, October 23 in Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s 22-20 victory over Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: James Bazzano)

By NoontimeSports.com

George Lampros was quick to credit his coaches and teammates for his performance last weekend against Western Connecticut.

“We have really developed (a strong rapport) over the years,” said Lampros, a graduate kicker for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team. “And it plays a huge role (for me) during games.”

Lampros enjoyed his best outing of the 2021 season by converting a season-best five field goals, including a career-long 46-yard boot late in the fourth quarter, which helped the Buccaneers edge the Colonials, 22-20, and snap a six-game losing streak.

The Bridgewater, Massachusetts native also tallied one extra point to go with four punts for 163 yards with one kick landing inside the Western Connecticut 20-yard line and was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Special Teams Player of the Week.

The 16-point outing, which was the most Lampros has tallied this season, was a testament to a program that continues to put him “in the right position” to succeed as both a kicker and punter.

Lampros has enjoyed his best season with the Buccaneers by converting all 14 field goal attempts to go with nine extra points.

Noontime Sports recently caught up with George Lampros to discuss his most recent outing against the Colonials, as well as how he has improved his kicking and punting skills since his first season in 2017.

Take me through your final kick in the fourth quarter. Were you nervous about attempting a 46-yard field goal? And when the ball sailed through the uprights, what sort of emotions did you experience? 

Obviously, the stakes were a bit higher and as soon as I started walking onto the field the level of the crowd escalated. Everybody understood the situation. Yes, I was a little nervous, but I’ve made that kick a thousand times before, so I knew I was ready ahead of the snap.

And when I saw the football sail through the uprights, I couldn’t help but get excited. I knew that we were close to sealing the deal, and I had done what I needed to do to help my team be successful against the Colonials.

Including the five field goals you made last Saturday, you have converted all nine attempts this fall. So, what’s the secret to your recent success as a kicker? 

I have realized the importance of taking advantage of each opportunity you are presented, which motivates me to put in the work every day. After the 2020 season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought my journey was over, but now that I’m back on the field I know I’m not done with this sport. I’ve got a blessing on my hands, and I’ve got a lot to prove, so this is my chance to prove it. 

How have you improved your kicking skills from your initial season in 2017 to this fall? Did you watch any video of yourself in action or tweak your training? 

I have seen a few videos of myself and worked on tweaking a couple of small things. Other than that, I have just focused on getting stronger and converting every opportunity that I am presented with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I’ve also learned how to not overwork myself, which has led to previous injuries, but when I am not kicking field goals or PATs in practice, I am thinking about different scenarios that I could face during a game.

Who are a few kickers you have watched that have inspired you to become the kicker you are today? 

I’ve always looked up to guys like Adam Vinatieri, who deserves to be in the National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame – he has always been known as the guy who comes through in the clutch. I’m also a big fan of Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens) and Greg Zuerlein (Dallas Cowboys), as well as Pat McAfee, who has established a voice for kickers and punters through his unique personality. He is certainly entertaining.

If you could only kick or punt for a team, which would it be? I know you do both for the Buccaneers, but we had to ask! 

I’ve always thought I could perform better if I just focused on punting, but then again, I like putting points on the board after our team scores a touchdown.  

Finally, you majored in international maritime business – what interested you in pursuing this degree? Also, what do you hope to do with it after the current school year concludes?

Since graduating with that degree, I’ve worked in project management for a large company in Weymouth. I have enjoyed the experience thus far while learning a lot which is important to me. I’m very optimistic about my future once I finish my master’s program, but I do intend to continue my training with hopes of possibly kicking at the professional level.

Goffredo, Ford Lead Framingham State Past Western Connecticut, 35-21

Devaun Ford recorded 171 yards of total offense in their win on Saturday against Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

By NoontimeSports.com

Make it five-straight wins for the Framingham State Rams as the Black and Gold topped Western Connecticut, 35-21, this afternoon at Bowditch Field to head into their bye week with a great deal of momentum.

Quarterback Nicolas Goffredo completed 16 of 28 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns while adding 67 yards on 12 carries. Devaun Ford led all rushers with 93 yards on 20 carries and caught three passes for 78 yards – he concluded the contest with two touchdowns (one rushing, one catching) – while Cully Curran and Anthony Behonick each recorded 10 total tackles.

Framingham State broke open a 7-7 tie by scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter to secure a 28-14 lead at the break. Devaun Ford, Marcus McBean Jr., and Elijah Nichols all located the end zone in the second session while Mack Driver registered the Colonials’ lone touchdown by capping a four-play, 40-yard drive with a four-yard rushing score with 6:47 remaining.

Julian Ferguson would close the gap for the visitors with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter by catching a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback John Giller before Framingham State responded midway through the fourth quarter with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Nicolas Goffredo to Devaun White to secure the team’s fifth consecutive conference win.

With a 5-2 record, including a 5-0 mark against Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) teams, the Rams move into the top spot in the conference. Bridgewater State, which was idle today, sits right behind the Rams with a 4-2 record, including a 4-0 mark against conference foes.

Both Bridgewater State and Framingham State have beaten Western Connecticut this fall.  

Framingham State will look to continue its mid-season momentum in two weeks when they visit Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Saturday, October 30 at 12 p.m. The Buccaneers will visit Western Connecticut next Saturday, October 23 – the game will also be played at 12 p.m., too.