Noontime Sports: Football Stars of the Week (Monday, Oct. 8th, 2018)

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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 six!

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.


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Travon Holder enjoyed a successful day on the ground, rushing a season-high 203 yards and three touchdowns against Mass. Maritime Academy. (PHOTO COURTESY: Westfield State Athletics)

Offensive Stars of the Week

Hunter Belzo (Springfield College): Against Coast Guard Academy, Belzo scored three touchdowns, including two on the ground. Belzo rushed for 207 yards on 31 carries, while tossing two passes (five attempts) for 39 yards and one touchdown.

Errol Breaux (Dean College): Breaux turned in an impressive performance against Husson University last Friday evening by leading all receivers with 229 yards on six catches (38. 2 yards per reception), while hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions.

Noah Brum (Worcester State): Brum concluded his team’s conference clash against Western Connecticut by completing 28 of 47 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

Alex Cohen (Anna Maria College): Cohen helped Anna Maria erase a 17-0 deficit by completing 26-of-38 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 32 yards on 12 carries and one score as the AMCATs topped Castleton University on the road.

Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 23-of-52 passes for a career-high 407 yards, while tossing a pair of touchdowns during his team’s contest against Merchant Marine.

Ryan Gaboury (University of New England): Gaboury hauled in a game-high 10 grabs for 192 yards and three touchdowns with his longest reception being a 41-yard touchdown in the first half.

Moe Harris (Castleton University): Harris reached the end zone three times, including two times on the ground as he finished last Saturday’s contest against Anna Maria with 204 yards on 31 carries. His lone catch was a 44-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, which evened the score at 24-24.

Matt Hersch (Colby College): Hersch had his hand in all three scores for the Mules as he finished the contest 23-of-40 for 277 yards, while tossing a trio of touchdown passes against Wesleyan University.

Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Juvelier recorded five touchdowns last week against University of New England, including four through the air. He finished 35-of-49 for 369 yards, while rushing for 51 yards on 10 carries and one score.

Travon Holder (Westfield State): Holder rushed for a season-best 203 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Owls past Massachusetts Maritime Academy on the road.

Brian Peters (University of New England): Peters helped the Nor’easters win their first-ever game in program history by completing 25-of-33 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday against Curry College.

Manni Romero (Norwich University): Romero hauled in a season-best 10 catches for 272 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday during the Cadets’ conference setback to Merchant Marine.


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Andrew Yamin and the Amherst College defense registered six sacks last week in a shutout win over Middlebury College. (PHOTO COURTESY:

Defensive Stars of the Week

Taj Gooden (Wesleyan University): Gooden turned in an impressive showing against Colby College, registering nine total stops, including five solo tackles, four tackles for a loss of 13 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.

Blayne Merchant (WPI): Against Catholic University, Merchant tallied a team-high seven solo stops and eight total tackles – he matched Nick Ostrowski with the same number of total tackles. Additionally, he recorded two tackles for a loss of 14 yards, one sack for a loss of 11 yards and one quarterback hurry.

Chris Rice (Castleton University): Rice stuffed the stat sheet with eight total stops, including five solo tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss of 18 yards and one sack for a loss of 10 yards against Anna Maria.

Keegan Stanton-Meas (University of New England):  Stanton-Meas helped the Nor’easters claim their first-ever win in program history against Curry College by finishing the game with 12 total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one sack. He also registered a pair of pass break-ups, too.

Andrew Yamin (Amherst College): Yamin registered a season-high 3.5 sacks for a loss 22 yards, while leading the Amherst College defense with 11 total tackles (four solo stops) as the Mammoths shutout Middlebury College last Saturday.


Special Team Stars of the Week

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano registered nine points on seven kicks, including six extra points in the Gulls’ fourth win of the season last Saturday.

Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington connected on all four kicks, including a 26-yard field gaol for six points, while recording six punts with three of them landing inside the Catholic University’s 20-yard yard line. One of his boots resulted in a touchback.

Robert Inniss, Jr. (University of New England): Inniss Jr.’s game-winning field goal (38 yards) with five seconds remaining helped the Nor’easters claim their first-ever win in program history against Curry College last Saturday. Inniss Jr. concluded the game with eight points (one field goals and five extra points).

Jeremy Martin (Plymouth State): Martin connected on a trio of kicks last Friday evening against Bridgewater State, including two field goals with his longest boot coming from 44-yards out. He also recorded four punts for 150 yards with one kick landing inside the Bears’ 20-yard line. Additionally, he booted four kickoffs for 258 yards with three resulting in touchbacks.


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

Under The Helmet with Norwich University Quarterback Matt Dunn

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Matt Dunn has been spotted under center this fall for the Norwich University football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

In the words of Norwich University sophomore quarterback Matt Dunn, the Cadets current season has been a “decent” one so far.

Dunn has helped the Cadets enjoy a “decent” campaign by leading the Maroon and Gold on seven touchdown drives, including four two weeks ago during his team’s epic back and forth affair with Coast Guard Academy.

Against Coast Guard, Dunn tossed a career-high four touchdown passes, while completing 23 of 35 passes for 274 yards. His 23 completions and 274 passing yards were also career-bests, too.

Unfortunately, the Cadets fell to the Bears, 38-35, on a late touchdown drive that helped Coast Guard erase a four-point deficit with nine seconds remaining. But despite the setback, Dunn and his teammates seem to be thinking optimistically about their remaining games by keeping the focus on improving every day.

“Coach (Brian) Hayes, Coach (Greg) Vreeland, Coach (Sam) Chaves, and Coach (Kyle) Smesko are excellent coaches that put us in the best possible position to do well,” Dunn explained.

“All we need to do is execute on what they say (going forward), which I believe we have done for the past couple weeks. (We also) need to continue to do (what we are being taught in practice) for the remainder of the season, too.”

Prior to this past weekend’s conference clash with Springfield College, we caught-up with Dunn to discuss his second season with the Cadets.


Who has helped you improve as a quarterback this season? Do you feel you’re a better quarterback than you were last season? 

There have been a lot of people that have helped me improve as a quarterback, starting with Coach Hayes. He always helps us with our craft and makes sure we are doing the little things right correctly. Coach Hayes knows the game and the position, and when you do what he says you can really see the results.

Also, I credit my fellow quarterbacks Jeff Baldassari, Matt Chaffee, Hunter Powers, and Grant Willard, who are great teammates to lean on. We all help each other out every day with the focus on getting better and correcting mistakes. We are a tight group that loves to compete and we certainly make each other better.

I also owe a lot to my father for helping me improve, not only as a quarterback, but also as a player and teammate, too. I talk to him every day about football, school, military, other sports and life, and he always has the best advice for me. He keeps me centered after every game telling me what he saw and what I can improve on. He has always been a huge part of my success and I can’t thank him enough for that.

Everyone I mentioned (above) has and will continue to play a big roll in making me a better quarterback.

Have you always played quarterback? If not, what other positions have you played over the years before focusing on quarterback? 

Last season I played wide receiver after switching from playing quarterback for my entire life. I love being a part of every play on the offense, whether it is throwing the ball, running the ball or handing it off. I just like being involved. I give props to my linemen on offense and defense, who are constantly battling in the trenches on every play. I also give credit to the running backs and linebackers that go up against each other every day, too. And of course, I can’t forget my receivers and defensive backs that are the most athletic players on the field.

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Matt Dunn (6) is spotted under center during his team’s third contest of the season against Castleton University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

Being from Massachusetts, is it fair to say Tom Brady is your all-time favorite quarterback? If not, who is and why? 

I would be lying if I didn’t say I love watching Tom Brady play for the New England Patriots. He is absolutely my favorite quarterback but there are many others who I love to watch play the position, as well. I enjoy watching Drew Brees, Baker Mayfield, Tate Martell and Russell Wilson. They are all great quarterbacks that are considered “smaller” than the average quarterback like myself, but they still go out there and get the job done. They have prove that size doesn’t matter as long as you have the drive to be great, along with the work ethic, too.

What interested you in attending Norwich University? 

There were many things that interested me in attending Norwich University. First was the military – it has always been a dream of mine to serve my country.  My older brother Chris served in the Marines and told me about the officer career, which sounded right up my ally. Additionally, I was interested in continuing my athletic career with the Cadets’ football team, which was a huge part of coming to Norwich.

Additionally, what interested you in pursuing a major in Criminal Justice? What do you hope to do with your major following graduation? 

Criminal Justice interested me because of what I have seen others do with the degree. You can be a cop, work for the three letter agency or even do something with a security department for major companies. I hope to commission into the military upon graduation and once my service is complete to transition into either a police officer in Massachusetts at the state or local level or become a Boston firefighter. I believe the people who are police officers or firefighters have to greatest job in the world. They keep everyone safe and put their own lives on the line to do it. I certainly have a lot of respect for these brave men and women.

Finally, do you have a game day ritual? If so, what is it and how long have you followed it? 

Oh yeah, I’m a huge ritual guy. My main ritual is putting my equipment on the right side first before the left. I always put on my right sock, cleat or pant leg on before doing it on the left side. I have done that for as long as I can remember. It started when I played hockey and I have done it ever sense.