Four New England D3 football teams secured spots in the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially begins Saturday, November 17th with 16 opening round contests.
32 teams were selected to compete in this year’s tournament, including a trio of local teams (Framingham State, Husson University and Western New England) which captured their respective conference crown.
MIT, which also earned a spot in this year’s tournament, secured an at-large bid following an exciting 22-7 win yesterday over Springfield College to secure the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown (the NEWMAC title was the Engineers’ first in program history).
All four teams will hit the road this week with Framingham State visiting Brockport, Husson traveling to RPI, MIT heading to Johns Hopkins and Frostburg State entertaining Western New England. All four match-ups will commence at 12 p.m. eastern.
Both Husson and WNE advanced to the tournament last year, while Framingham State is making its first appearance in three seasons (the Rams last competed in the national postseason in 2015). MIT is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after making an impressive debut four years ago with an opening round win against Husson.
We’ll have more on all four match-ups later this week, but as always, stay connected with @Noontime_FB on Twitter for news, notes and more from the New England football world!
The Engineers, who were the lone New England squad to appear on the list, checked-in seventh overall, while Brockport secured the top spot for the second-straight week followed by Frostburg State and RPI at second and third, respectively.
Delaware Valley and Ithaca College rounded out the top five by checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.
MIT enters the final week with an overall record of 8-1 record and needs to beat Springfield College this Saturday (Nov. 10th) for a chance to compete in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which will kick-off next weekend.
Ashton Robinson powered the Engineers to their eighth win of the season last Saturday over Norwich by rushing for 87 yards on 12 carries and one score, while Sam Cantrell and Ben Wolz each tallied seven total tackles, respectively, Wolz also finished the game with two tackles for a loss of six yards and one sack for a five yard loss, while Tyler Ray registered six total tackles, along with a trio of pass break-ups.
Kickoff for Saturday’s must-see meeting between the Pride and Engineers is scheduled for 12 p.m. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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It’s been an exciting few weeks for the MIT football team, which entered its bye week with an impressive 6-0 record, including a 3-0 mark in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings.
The Engineers, who were tabbed once again the top team in the New England in the D3 Coaches Poll earlier this week, seem to be enjoying some much-needed downtime before they return to the gridiron next week for an important four-game stretch, beginning with a home date against Coast Guard Academy.
Earlier this week, we caught-up with first-year coach (and former defensive coordinator) Brian Bubna to discuss his team’s impressive play through six weeks.
On the team limiting opponents to roughly 14 points per game: “We have some pretty good talent at three spots: defensive line, linebacker and defensive back. I think the big part of (our success on defense) is a mix of older guys and younger guys, but also the way they play, too.”
On the play of senior quarterback Udgam Goyal: “He kind of got put in there at a young age. He played like a freshman (his first year) and a sophomore (his second season, but now, as a senior) he’s put it all together, and become what we’ve hoped for.”
On Miguel Wagner’s running game: “As a runner, he’s very physical. He can take a one or two-yard run, and turn it into three or four, and keep the offensive moving.”
On the team’s final four contests: “To win the conference, you have to go undefeated throughout conference play. Even if you lose one, you’re hoping that someone else loses one. You gotta win ‘em all in conference.”
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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB
The fourth week of the New England D3 Football season has arrived, which means it is time to unveil our newest Top 10 poll of the season, as well as our ‘teams are on the rise.’
Trinity College slid into the top spot for the first time this season with a convincing 35-0 win over Colby College, while Wesleyan University moved up two spots to the second position with a monstrous win over Middlebury College. Both teams will look to keep their momentum going this week against Bates College and Tufts University.
Salve Regina and Western Connecticut join the poll this week after each squad secured important week three wins. Western Connecticut scored an important win over Plymouth State and will attempt to win their third-straight contest against the Seahawks on Saturday, who defeated Dean College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Finally, MIT moved up to the seventh position with a 31-29 win over Endicott College on the road last weekend. The Engineers have been an exciting story thus far under first-year coach Brian Bubna, who will attempt to earn his first NEWMAC win as a head coach on Saturday when MIT welcomes Catholic University to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This year’s Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football poll is assembled by local coaches and media members.
New England D3 Football: Week Four Poll | Monday, September 17th, 2018
1. Trinity College
1-0 | Last Week No. 2
Week Four: Bates (9/22)
2. Wesleyan Univ.
1-0 | Last Week No. 4
Week Four: Tufts (9/22)
3. Springfield College
2-1 | Last Week No. 1
Week Four: WPI (9/22)
4. Amherst College
1-0 | Last Week No. 3
Week Four: Hamilton (9/22)
5. Framingham State
2-1 | Last Week No. 5
Week Four: Mass. Maritime (9/22)
2-1 | Last Week No. 6
Week Four: Springfield (9/22)
3-0 | Last Week No. 8
Week Four: Catholic
8. Western Conn.
2-0 | Last Week NR
Week Four: Salve Regina
9. Western New Eng.
2-1 | Last Week No. 9
Week Four: Anna Maria
10. Salve Regina
2-1 | Last Week NR
Week Four: Western Conn.
ON THE RISE: Coast Guard Academy (2-1), Endicott College (1-2), Middlebury College (0-1) Tufts University (1-0), Williams College (1-0) and Worcester State (2-1)
2018 Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Polls
But after practiced concluded, I had a chance to quickly catch-up with first-year coach Brian Bubna, who is eager to lead the Engineers into their first game next Friday, August 31st when they host Becker College at Steinbrenner Stadium (kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.).
Here are some takeaways from my conversation with Coach Bubna, who is no stranger to the Engineers football team. Bubna has spent nine seasons with the program, and was most recently the squad’s defensive and recruiting coordinator before being named the head coach in March.
On creating a fun, but competitive environment: “We try to keep it competitive and fun because these guys have so much academic responsibilities and internships, so when they get out here it has to be fun and it has to be excitable, too. We work hard and have fun doing it, so the guys enjoy it. We go from drill to drill with different stuff. We try to change it up, so it is not the same thing every day, so we can keep them on their toes.”
On what party means to the MIT football team: “Yeah, that is just kind of our definition for how we want to go about working hard or what our intensity level is and just how we want to do things each day. So, it is about going hard and having fun, so that is what party means to us.”
On inching closer to the start of a new season: “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, so as coaches we’re going, ‘oh man, we’ve got to work this situation, these scenarios or work these different special teams’ things,’ so there is so much to work on and so much to practice, and even going through it once (or) twice is not enough. You need to get more reps in, so I think the guys are getting more and more excited for our first game, while the coaches are still thinking about what we need to accomplish between now and then, but that is just part of being a coach.”
On being more involved with the game plan instead of just focusing on defense: “It definitely adds to the amount that you have to look at and worry about when putting together a game plan. So it’s great if the defense looks great, but on the other hand it’s like well, what was the issue offensively that we have to worry about? So, it has to be all offense, defense and special teams – it can’t just be a one-sided plan, so it adds to the amount that you have to look at, but we’ll make it work.”
On more young coaches (or former players) that want to get into coaching: “It is one of these things where if you want to try and get into coaching, you kind of have to do it early on or after you graduate. I started a bit later than most guys, but you have to get in when you’re young. It does take a while to move up, but we have been pretty fortunate here at MIT with a lot of our coaches coming back year after year. Some of them started as volunteers, but are now paid coaches, but I think being a little bit on the younger side helps with relating to the guys because you’re younger, as well. Also, the rule changes you see in the NFL and college shows that every year football is changing and there is new kickoff rules this year, so every year is changing and you have to be adaptable to it. I don’t think any other sport has changed as much as football has in the past 10-to-20 years to make it safer, competitive and entertaining, but these are all good changes.”
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