Tag Archives: Matt Silva

New England D3 Football Notebook: Framingham State Begins New Era

Framingham State Football head coach Tom Kelley says the Rams have started a new era. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Framingham State Football head coach Tom Kelley says the Rams have started a new era. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

“It’s a new era,” Framingham State football head coach Tom Kelley said. “We just can’t roll out the footballs anymore.”

Kelley – the successful sideline boss of a Framingham State football program, which has won three straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) titles – knows the road to a fourth consecutive crown won’t be easy.

Unlike past seasons where the Rams have entered a new campaign with some household names like Matt Silva, Matt Mangano, Nick Stanfield, Kevin Donahue, Pat McGrath and Melikke Van Alstyne, Framingham State’s current roster features a plethora of young players.

“They’re working hard,” Kelley said of his first and second-year players. “They are not cutting corners, but it certainly is going to be an interesting year.”

Framingham State graduated 22 players from last season’s squad, including Silva, Mangano and Stanfield, but Kelley is confident his returners will fill the void.

“Out of the 22 guys (that graduated this past spring), we like the guys behind them,” said Kelley, “and now it’s their turn to step-up.”

Some of the returners Kelley and his coaching staff will ask to ‘step-up’ are seniors Chris Dagg (linebacker/safety), Jalen Wingard (defensive back), and juniors Jalen Green (halfback), Svenn Jacobson (linebacker) and Joe Wilder (offensive line).

Framingham State will conclude its training camp this weekend with a scrimmage before turning the page to their initial game of the season against Endicott College at home on Saturday, September 3.

Following a visit from the Gulls, Framingham State hits the road two important games, including a visit to Cortland State – both teams played last season and combined for 110 points and 1,071 yards of total offense.

The Rams’ final game of the month is against Western Connecticut State at home (Homecoming & Family Weekend) – the Colonials were picked third in the conference’s preseason poll.

“Our first four games will be tough,” said Kelley.

Rams occupy top spot in MASCAC preseason poll: Framingham State collected eight of nine first-place votes in the MASCAC preseason poll, which was released on Wednesday.

Bridgewater State collected the final first-place vote, checking in fourth overall.

Behind the Rams is Fitchburg State and Western Connecticut State, while Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Worcester State tied for fifth. UMass Dartmouth, Westfield State and Plymouth State rounded out the final three spots, checking in seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.

Eight of the nine teams are in action next Friday or Saturday, while Massachusetts Maritime Academy kicks-off its 2016 campaign on Friday, September 9 when they visit Maritime (N.Y.) for the Ninth-Annual Chowder Bowl.

New England D3 Football Notebook: Quick Takes And Thoughts On 2016 Season

Another season of New England D3 Football is right around the corner. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Another season of New England D3 Football is right around the corner. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

It is never too early to start thinking about New England Division III football.

The countdown to training camp – and the first game – is on!

Below are some quick pre-season takes on each conference. As the season gets closer, we’ll have team and conference previews, so stay tuned!

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): After a successful 7-3 campaign last season, Becker will be a team to watch this fall. Can they continue their success under first-year head coach Frank Forcucci?

Absolutely, but they will need to play their best football against Husson, Norwich and Castleton State.

Keep an eye on Castleton State – the Spartans ended their season by capturing the Maple Sap Bucket Trophy with a 31-13 win over the Cadets. Rising sophomore Moe Harris will be one of many players to watch this season after he concluded his initial season with the Green and White by leading the rushing attack in yards (1,065), touchdowns (14) and yards per game (106.5).

Liberty League (Springfield & WPI): The Engineers of WPI enjoyed one of their best seasons under head coach Chris Robertson, finishing 7-4 overall and 4-3 in conference play.

WPI earned some impressive wins, defeating MIT (31-28), Norwich (27-10) and Springfield (19-17). They will look to keep their momentum going this season, but the biggest question facing the squad is who will be their number one halfback? Zach Grasis graduated, so that could open the door for rising sophomore Connor Sakowich.

Springfield will have a new head coach this season as Mike Cerasuolo was tabbed the program’s head coach earlier this year. A former player, Cerasuolo will look to continue his former head coach Mike DeLong’s success. DeLong retired last fall after an impressive 32-year run with the Pride.

Cerasuolo has been the program’s offensive coordinator for the past 15 seasons.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State will remain the favorite, but don’t overlook Bridgewater State and Fitchburg State.

The Bears won five of their final seven contests last season, including a 64-42 win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the 37th Annual Cranberry Bowl. Rising junior Alex McLaughlin will look lead the rushing attack – he rushed for 16 touchdowns last season – while rising senior Danny Higgins should navigate the unit’s air attack after tossing 13 touchdowns.

Fitchburg State graduated some key defensive players, but return rising seniors Mamour Samb (linebacker) and Ousame Samb (cornerback). Mamour Samb finished second on the team in total tackles (67) and tackles per game (7.4), while Ousame Samb led the unit with eight pass breakups. Rising senior Garrett Dellechiaie is back under center after an impressive junior season, which saw him toss 26 touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-high four touchdowns, too.

Framingham State graduates some key pieces, including quarterback Matt Silva, but again, don’t overlook a Rams team that has depth on both sides of the ball.

 New England Football Conference (NEFC): The Golden Bears won 10 consecutive regular season games last fall thanks to an impressive defensive unit that registered 22 sacks (third in NEFC), 15 interceptions (first in NEFC) and 282.2 yards per game (first in NEFC).

The Golden Bears maybe the favorite heading into the 2016 season, but don’t overlook Endicott, MIT, Salve Regina or U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The Seahawks capped their season by defeating Husson in the ECAC Clayton Chapman Bowl Championship thanks to an impressive performance by quarterback Brandon Basil, who tossed five touchdowns, while completing 25 of 49 passes for 421 yards.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Amherst College will certainly be the favorite heading into the 2016 season, but let’s not forget about Tufts, which finished its 2015 campaign 6-2 following a 31-28 win over Middlebury.

The Jumbos return a pair of rising seniors – quarterback Alex Snyder and running back Chance Brady – while rising junior Steve DiCenzo and rising senior Shane Thomas should lead the defense.

Other teams to watch in the NESCAC include Middlebury and Trinity – the Bantams finished second last season and yielded the second fewest points in the conference (81 points).

Amherst’s 17-7 win last fall over Williams marked the second straight season the Purple and White finished their campaign undefeated (8-0). Can they make it three years in a row? We’ll find out!

Mass. College Football: Framingham State’s Silva Earns Golden Helmet Award

Framingham State University senior Matt Silva earned the New England Football Writer's Golden Helmet Award after an impressive showing in week two. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Framingham State University senior Matt Silva earned the New England Football Writer’s Golden Helmet Award after an impressive showing in week two. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Framingham State University senior quarterback Matt Silva was the recipient of this week’s New England Football Writer’s Gold Helmet Award for Division II/III players. This is the third time Silva has earned this honor.

In his team’s second contest of the season, Silva set a single-game record for completions (43), attempts (59) and passing yards (510) in the Rams 61-49 setback to SUNY Cortland. Additionally, he tossed five touchdowns for the second consecutive week and rushed for 44 yards on 11 carries and one score.

Through two games this season, Silva has recorded 10 touchdown passes, 771 passing yards and 64 yards on the ground with one score. He leads the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) in yards per game (385.5) and touchdowns (10).

Framingham State opens conference play on Saturday, September 19 when they host Fitchburg State University, winners of its first two games.

“(We’re) onto Fitchburg State,” Framingham State head coach Tom Kelley said at yesterday’s New England Football Writer’s luncheon at Harvard University. “They’re (an) athletic and fast team.”

Mass. College Football: Five Game To Watch (Week Two)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The second week of the college football season is upon us, so let’s pick a few games to watch – five to be exact – and predictions.

Best of luck to all teams competing this evening and tomorrow – make sure to check-back every Friday of the season for our ‘Five Games to Watch’ post.

UMass (0-0) at Colorado (0-1): The Minutemen commence its 2015 season on the road (Saturday, Sept. 12 at 2:00 p.m.), competing against a Buffaloes squad that fell to Hawai’i last Thursday. UMass will look to continue its turnaround from last season, which saw the offensive unit post 45 scores compared to 13 touchdowns in 2013. Second-year graduate student Blake Frohnapfel will be the team’s signal-caller and was recently named to four watch lists, including the Dave O’Brien Award, which is given to the top quarterbacks across college football by Davey O’Brien, according to the UMass Athletic website. He is also in the running for the Manning Award, an accolade that is handed out by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the top signal-caller in the country. Expect the quarterback to have a big game and lead his team to victory. PREDICTION: UMass 24, Colorado 21

Stonehill College (1-0) at Merrimack College (0-1): On Wednesday, Stonehill head coach Robert Talley described this matchup as a ‘good rivalry.’ This rivalry will be played under the lights in North Andover (Friday, September 11, 7:00 p.m.) as both teams open Northeast-10 Conference play following an interesting first week. The Skyhawks defeated Bloomsburg (originally No. 11 in the country), while the Warriors fell to Bowie State by just three points (35-32). Stonehill is now receiving votes in the national poll.

Matt Clifford highlighted the Warriors’ defensive outing, posting five solo tackles; two pass-breakups and one fumble recovery, while Brian Carroll paced the unit with eight total tackles – all eight tackles were solo stops. Stonehill quarterback Matt Foltz completed 13 of 19 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, running back Colin Markus rushed for one score and 122 yards on 27 carries, and Donovan Phanor, who was tabbed the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week, registered seven total tackles, one interception, one pass-breakup and one fumble recovery. This has the making of a great game, but expect defense to be the focal point. PREDICTION: Stonehill 31, Merrimack 27

New Haven (0-1) at Bentley University (0-1): Last weekend, the Falcons fell behind early, but showed great fight down the stretch in a 35-20 setback to Mercyhurst. Martin Bannerman rushed for a pair of touchdowns, while Michael Baron finished two-for-two on field goals and extra points, respectively. Bryan Hardy had an impressive outing on defense, finishing with seven total tackles – five solo stops – one tackle for a loss and one fumble recovery. Bentley will look to utilize its strong finish from a week ago to get off to a good start this evening (Friday, September 11) when they commence NE-10 play against New Haven, which fell to Slippery Rock, 39-13. Bentley anticipates a good crowd this evening that will assist the squad in picking up its initial victory of the season. PREDICTION: Bentley 27, New Haven 21

SUNY Cortland (1-0) at Framingham State University (1-0): Following a week one victory against Endicott College, Tom Kelley and the Rams turn the page to another difficult opponent: The Red Dragons. In 2012, Cortland and Framingham State met in the NCAA Division III Tournament with the Red Dragons prevailing by just one point. Saturday’s game (September 12, 12:00 p.m.) could be a potential playoff preview, however, the Rams will need another strong outing from quarterback Matt Silva, who tossed five touchdowns last weekend against the Gulls. Framingham State will also rely heavily on Svenn Jacobson, who paced the defense with 11 total tackles – five solo stops – and one forced fumble. The Red Dragons rallied to win their first game, posting 13 points in the final frame to overcome a 17-13 deficit at the break. Carson Lassiter led the Red Dragons defense with 13 total tackles, while recording a trio of pass-breakups and one forced fumble. PREDICTION: Framingham State 20, Cortland 17

WPI (1-0) at Worcester State University (0-1): One week after an exciting three-point victory against MIT, the Engineers of WPI will look to continue its momentum on Friday evening (September 11, 7:00 p.m.) when they make the short trip to Worcester State University. WPI’s defense came up with some important stops down the stretch, including a fumble recovery by Brian Murtagh with 3:03 remaining in the fourth quarter. Defense will again be the focal point against a talented Worcester State offense, but so will special teams. WPI will need to contain Terrence Gibson, who recorded 187 yards on three kickoff returns last week. Gibson also hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions from quarterback Trevor Vassey, who completed 16 of 36 pass attempts for 315 yards. Vassey also tossed three touchdowns in his team’s setback to Salve Regina University. This has the making for a classic ‘Friday Night Lights’ contest, but the question is which defense or player will make ‘the play’ to seal the win? PREDICTION: WPI 35, Worcester State 34

Mass. College Football: Kelley, Framingham State Know SUNY Cortland Will Be A ‘Big Test’

Framingham State University head coach Tom Kelley was happy with his team's week one victory, but knows week two will be a challenge against SUNY Cortland. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Framingham State University head coach Tom Kelley was happy with his team’s week one victory, but knows week two will be a challenge against SUNY Cortland. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Framingham State University’s football team is coming off an impressive opening day win. The Rams defeated Endicott College, 42-6, last Saturday to commence its season, but now face a tough test in SUNY Cortland, which rallied to defeat Heidelberg University last weekend.

Framingham State and Cortland last met in 2012 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Tournament. The Red Dragons escaped with a one-point victory before ending its season the following weekend against Wesley – a team that has made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.

“(Saturday) is going to be a big test,” Framingham State head coach Tom Kelley said following his team’s initial victory of the season. “They’re a fast team and we’re going to have to bring our A-game. The good news is we’re at home (this weekend), so that will be nice, but we’ll find out who we are (during this game).”

Against the Gulls, the Rams relied heavily on senior quarterback Matt Silva, who tossed five touchdowns and was tabbed the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Player of the Week.

“Matt has that it factor,” Kelley said of his team’s signal-caller. “He is a senior and he is a coach on the field and he reads the defenses awfully well. He has a tremendous core of wide receivers and we gave him some time to throw the ball and we ran it a little bit, so we kept Endicott’s (defense) off-balanced and I think that was huge for us.”

Silva finished Saturday’s game 29-for-35 for 261 yards. He connected with seniors Tevin Jones and Jared Gauthier for a pair of touchdowns, respectively, while targeting sophomore Mike Calicchio for one score.

Excluding Silva’s performance, the Rams defense did their job, limiting Endicott to 12 first downs and 220 yards of total offense. Sophomore Svenn Jacobson, who was named the MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week, led the unit with a game-high 11 tackles, including five solo stops with a forced fumble. Framingham State also held its opposition to just 60 yards on the ground.

“I am really proud of all the guys, but we certainly have to cleanup some stuff on both sides of the ball,” said Kelley. “We have a new coordinator (on defense) and new coaches over there too, so really we are happy with (our week one_ outcome, but have a real long way to go on both sides of the ball.”

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