With three games left in the season, the Tufts University football team sits at 5-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one game behind undefeated Amherst College.
As the Jumbos prepare for Saturday’s big game against the Mammoths, we caught up with Tufts football coach Jay Civetti to discuss the Powder Blue and White’s current success this fall on the gridiron, which recently included a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College last Saturday in Somerville.
“Anytime you beat Williams, that’s a big deal, and I’m certainly proud of the effort last week,” said Civetti. “There’s a lot of great accomplishments that came from that win.
“We’ve got a lot of ahead of us, and this weekend we have as good of a challenge as we’ve had all year.”
One of the players who’s stepped up defensively against the Ephs was junior linebacker Greg Holt. The senior linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles in the victory over the Ephs, which earned him the Gold Helmet award and NESCAC defensive player of the week honors.
“Greg’s just a tremendous competitor,” said Civetti. “He’s a very smart player. He’s got a great knack for the ball, and he just plays the game incredibly hard.”
“I think all the hard work he puts in during the week shows on Saturday.”
On offense, quarterback Ryan McDonald is having a solid senior season, throwing ten touchdown passes, while adding an additional six scores on the ground.
“The one thing about Ryan’s game is he’s a runner first before he’s a thrower,” said Civetti. “(He’s) managing the game in different ways, but at the same time, when he has to make moves…he’s doing everything he can to do that.”
McDonald and Holt will certainly be counted on this Saturday when the Jumbos visit the Mammoths of Amherst with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.
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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB
THE NINTH 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.’
Once again, Amherst College remained the top team in our weekly New England Top 10 poll following an impressive 30-point win over Wesleyan University last Saturday.
This week, the Mammoths will certainly be tested when they entertain Tufts University, which scored an important 28-21 win over Williams College, which tumbled out of our Top 10 poll following its second-straight loss of the season.
MIT moved up following a 13-0 shutout against Coast Guard Academy, while Western Connecticut slipped to the third position following a crazy 50-48 (4OT) victory against Bridgewater State.
Additionally, we saw more teams move-up one spot from a week ago, while welcoming Framingham State and Husson University back to the poll. The Rams kept their title hopes alive with an important win over Westfield State, while the Eagles of Husson soared past Anna Maria College.
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 Nine Poll| Monday, October 22nd, 2018
1. Amherst College
6-0 (6-0) | Last Week: No. 1
Week Nine: Tufts
7-0 (4-0) | Last Week: No. 3
Week Nine: WPI
3. Western Conn.
7-0 (5-0) | Last Week: No. 2
Week Nine: Fitchburg St.
4. Trinity College
5-1 (5-1) | Last Week: No. 5
Week Nine: Middlebury
5. Western New Eng.
6-1 (3-0) | Last Week: No. 6
Week Nine: Nichols
6. Endicott College
6-2 (4-0) | Last Week: No. 7
Week Nine: Bye
7. Tufts Univ.
5-1 (5-1) | Last Week: No. 8
Week Nine: Amherst
8. Springfield College
6-2 (4-1) | Last Week: No. 9
Week Nine: Bye
9. Framingham State
5-2 (4-1) | Last Week: NR
Week Nine: UMass Dartmouth
10. Husson University
5-2 (4-0) | Last Week: NR
Week Nine: Castleton
ON THE RISE:Bridgewater State (5-3, 4-2), Middlebury College (4-2, 4-2) and Williams College (4-2, 4-2)
2018 Noontime Sports Top 10 New England D3 Football Polls
The eighth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?
Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Eight, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.
Last Week (Week Seven): We went 6-4 so lets see how we do this week!
Season Predictions Records: 47-23 (we struggled with picks in week seven, so let’s see how we do this weekend!)
Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today
All Games taking place on Saturday, Oct. 20th
Coast Guard Academy at MIT (12 p.m.): This is a must-win for both team, who are currently in the hunt for the top spot in the NEWMAC. MIT is coming off the bye and should be well-rested for the second half of their schedule. Expect the Engineers’ offense to be challenged by the Bears’ defense, but eventually find a way to pull out a hard-fought win in the end. PREDICTION: MIT 20, Coast Guard 17
Gallaudet University at Dean College (12 p.m.): Sure, the Eagles of Husson appear to be the top team in the ECFC, but don’t overlook the Bison of Gallaudet, which could begin a late run toward the top of the conference with a must-needed win on the road. PREDICTION: Gallaudet 27, Dean 16
Bates College at Middlebury College (1 p.m.): The Panthers stunned the Ephs last week, so can they continue their late season magic against the Bobcats of Bates? PREDICTION: Middlebury 27, Bates 25
Mass. Maritime Academy at Plymouth State (1 p.m.): Plymouth State scored an impressive come-from-behind win over Framingham State last week – expect that momentum to continue this week against the Buccaneers. PREDICTION: Plymouth State 21, Mass. Maritime 14
Springfield College at Catholic University (1 p.m.): A disappointing loss to Merchant Marine can quickly be erased with a win on the road this week. Similar to Coast Guard, MIT, Merchant Marine and WPI, Springfield is still in the mix for a NEWMAC title, but needs to win their remaining contests, including Saturday’s tilt against Catholic. PREDICTION: Springfield 24, Catholic 14
Amherst College at Wesleyan University (1 p.m.): The Mammoths appear to be the front-runner in the NESCAC, but this will be a HUGE test for the Purple and White. Wesleyan is still somewhat in the mix to possibly share the NESCAC crown, but needs this win just as much as Amherst does. PREDICTION: Amherst 20, Wesleyan 17
WPI at Merchant Marine (1 p.m.): Merchant Marine picked-up some serious momentum last week with an impressive road win against Springfield. That momentum should continue this week against WPI. PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 21, WPI 17
Williams College at Tufts University (1:30 p.m.): Both squads will look to bounce back from week seven setbacks – we expect this game to come down to the final drive. PREDICTION: Tufts 28, Williams 21
Framingham State at Westfield State (2 p.m.): After falling to Plymouth State last week, the Rams must find a way to bounce back, so they can keep their conference title hopes alive. This won’t be an easy test for the Black and Gold, but if FSU is going to return to the win column, they must find a way to slow down the Westfield State rushing attack. PREDICTION: Framingham State 21, Westfield State 20
Bridgewater State at Western Conn. (6 p.m.): After posting 40 points or more for the past three weeks, the Colonials mustered just 23 points in a 10 point win over Massachusetts Maritime last Saturday. Expect the Colonials offense to bounce back this week at home. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 30, Bridgewater State 21
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 seven!
Our Noontime Sports ‘Stars of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track an athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too!
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.
Offensive Stars of the Week
Cory Brandon (Husson University): Brandon completed 17 of 19 passes for 303 yards, while tossing four touchdowns, including a pair of scores to Keyshaun Robinson, who led all Husson receivers, as the Eagles soared past Alfred State.
Leroy Brown (UMass Dartmouth): Brown hauled in a game-high 199 yards on six grabs for three score during his team’s setback to Bridgewater State.
Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman concluded last Saturday’s contest with five touchdowns (four through the air, one on the ground) as the Golden Bears rolled past Curry College in Springfield. Coleman completed 19 of 29 passes for 273 yards, while adding 41 yards on five carries.
Travon Holder (Westfield State): Holder rushed for three scores on 24 carries for 173 yards (7.2 yards per carry), while catching one pass for 15 yards in the Owls’ 41-27 win over Fitchburg State.
Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Jernigan recorded 256 yards of total offense, while reaching the end zone three times (two through the air, one on the ground) as the Panthers defeated Williams College on the road. The Middlebury signal-caller concluded the game with 162 passing yards (18 of 31), while adding 94 yards on 27 carries.
Joe Kalosky (Endicott College): Against University of New England, the Endicott signal-caller accounted for 315 yards of total offense and three scores. He connected on 18 of 32 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 87 yards on five carries for one score.
Ryan McDonald (Tufts University): Against Trinity College, McDonald completed 25 of 40 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 27 yards on eight carries and one score.
Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan University): Piccirillo accounted for 270 total yards of offense, including 185 yards through the air, while recording four touchdowns (three through the air, one on the ground) in his team’s win over Bates College.
Jordan Vazzano (Trinity College): Against Tufts University, Vazzano completed 10 of 19 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for two scores on 11 carries for 71 yards.
Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright recorded 161 yards of total offense by hauling in a team-high eight grabs for 111 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 50 yards on nine carries.
Defensive Stars of the Week
Michael Bianco (Becker College): Bianco paced the Hawks’ defense last Saturday against Nichols by registering a team-high 12 total tackles, including six solo stops and two sacks for a loss of 10 yards.
Kaleb Caron (Husson University): Against Alfred State, Caron registered four total tackles, two tackles for a loss of 11 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards, while recording one fumble recovery and one pass break-up.
Samuel Ejiasi (UMass Dartmouth): Ejiasi concluded last Saturday’s contests against Bridgewater State with seven solo tackles, including two tackles for a loss of six yards, one sack for a loss of four yards and one pass break-up.
Michael Goldsworthy (Coast Guard Academy): Goldsworthy concluded his team’s clash with Maine Maritime by registering four total tackles, including three solo stops, while recording a trio of interceptions for 32 yards.
Nick Giorgio (Springfield College): Against Merchant Marine last Saturday, Giorgio registered eight total tackles, including five solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 13 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards, while recording one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for seven yards.
Tyler Harrington (Bates College): Against Wesleyan University, Harrington stuffed the stat sheet with six total tackles, including five solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack for a loss of seven yards, while adding two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
Chris Lawrence (Nichols College): Lawrence led the Bison’s defense with 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 17 yards. Additionally, he recorded two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his team’s win over Becker College.
Kyle Johnston (Mass. Maritime): Johnston concluded last Saturday’s tilt with Western Connecticut by tallying eight total tackles, including five solo stops, one tackles for a loss of 10 yards, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry.
Derek Jones (Western Conn.): Jones paced the Western Connecticut defense with 10 total tackles, including five solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one-and-a-half sacks for a loss of seven yards, while recording one quarterback hurry against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Special Team Stars of the Week
Jordan D’Onofrio (Western Conn.): Against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, D’Onofrio connected on all three extra points, while recording 248 punting yards (41.3 yards per punt) with two kicks landing inside the Buccaneers’ 20-yard line.
Nick DiCairano (Endicott): DiCairano tallied 12 points last Saturday against University of New England by connecting on 10 of 11 kicks, including all nine extra points. He also registered 609 yards on 11 kickoffs (55.4 yards per kick) with one boot resulting in a touchback.
Robert Innis, Jr. (Univ. of New Eng.): The UNE kicker was a perfect six-for-six against Endicott College last Saturday, including all five-for-five on extra points.
Patrick Wolff (Wesleyan University): Wolff connected on all six kicks during his team’s win against Bates College, including a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter, which capped a five-play, 32-yard drive.
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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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