Mass. College Football: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Week Three Predictions)

Harvard University senior Scott Hosch will commence the season under center for the Crimson. (Photo Credit: AmericanSportsnet.com)
Harvard University senior Scott Hosch will commence the season under center for the Crimson. (Photo Credit: AmericanSportsnet.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Another weekend of college football has arrived – hooray!

Below are five games to watch/follow (and predictions) – make sure to circle back on on our social media channels this weekend (Facebook and Twitter) for updates, scores and news.

Merrimack at Assumption (Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.): Both teams will look to capture their first Northeast-10 Conference victory this evening as the Greyhounds host the Warriors in what promises to be an exciting ‘Friday Night Lights’ contest. Assumption’s Brendan Tobey is second in the conference in passing yards per game (246.5) and has tossed three touchdowns thus far, while Alex Shain is the top rusher in touchdowns (three) and yards per game (126.0). Merrimack’s defense is sixth in the NE-10, but tied for fourth in sacks (four). Brian Carroll has had an impressive season for the Warriors on defense, tallying 20 total tackles, including 17 solo stops, so expect him and his teammates to challenge Tobey and Shain. PREDICTION: Assumption 25, Merrimack 23 

Boston College vs. No. 9 Florida State Univ. (Friday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.): Following a pair of non-conference clashes, the Eagles host their first conference contest against an impressive Seminoles squad that captured their initial games against Texas State (59-16) and South Florida (34-14). Dalvin Cook is second in the nation in rushing, compiling 422 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. The Eagles defense will need to focus on Cook, while winning the time of possession on offense. PREDICTION: Florida State 34, Boston College 20 

Harvard at Rhode Island (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.): The Crimson’s title defense begins tomorrow as they travel one state over to face a Rhode Island, which has lost a pair of games this season, including a 47-0 setback to Syracuse. Harvard signal-caller Scott Hosch will start the season under center, looking to guide the Crimson to their fourth consecutive week one victory. PREDICTION: Harvard 30, URI 17 

American International College (AIC) at New Haven (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.): This should be an interesting match-up with both squads claiming NE-10 victories last weekend. New Haven rallied to defeat Bentley with a late field goal, while AIC quarterback Kwame Jarvis tossed a trio of touchdown passes in the Yellow Jackets’ 44-13 victory over So. Connecticut State. Andre Anderson of New Haven is second in the conference in rushing yards, averaging 110 yards over two games, while locating the end zone twice. Jerrod Shelby has paced the Yellow Jackets’ defense with a team-high 17 total tackles (eight solo stops) and one sack (six yard loss). New Haven captured this contest last year, registering a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to claim a 31-24 victory. PREDICTION: AIC 28, New Haven 25 

UMass vs. Temple (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m./Gillette Stadium): The Owls – currently receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll – have won back-to-back games, including an opening week victory against Penn State (27-10). Last week, the Owls defense intercepted Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel four times en route to 34-26 victory. This week, Temple travels takes on a UMass squad that lost its opener against Colorado, 48-14, but wide receiver Tajae Sharpe finished the game with 11 catches for 138 yards. The Minutemen will need to limit their mistakes from one week ago to defeat a talented Temple squad. PREDICTION: Temple 31, UMass 26 

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 Hoops: New Haven Edges Stonehill In East Regional Finals

By NoontimeSports.com 

University of New Haven is headed to the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Quarterfinals following a dramatic 58-57 win over Stonehill College on Monday evening in the East Regional Finals in Garden City, New York.

Briana Bradford recorded the game’s most important steal with four seconds remaining before dashing down the court for a right-handed layup, which sealed the victory and punched the Chargers’ ticket to the quarterfinals in South Dakota.

Stonehill immediately called a timeout following the basket and attempted to net the game-winner, but Kelly Martin’s three-point attempt did not drop and the Chargers escaped with an exciting one-point win.

Bradford netted seven points, pulled down six rebounds and recorded one assist and one steal, while teammate Aquillin Hayes scored a game-high 21 points. Hayes also recorded 10 rebounds.

Tori Faieta paced Stonehill with a double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds; Martin chipped in 12 points, four assists and six boards, while Ashley Gendron and Amy Pelletier scored five points apiece.

Stonehill led New Haven, 33-32, at the break, but the Chargers outscored the Skyhawks during the second stanza, 26-24.

New Haven converted 26-of-69 attempts from the floor, including three trifectas. Stonehill connected on 19-of-61 attempts and finished with four triples. The Skyhawks sank 15-of-18 shots at the free throw line – Martin finished a perfect 10-for-10 at the stripe – while Hayes connected on 3-of-4 attempts, the only free throws recorded by the Chargers.

The Chargers, who trailed most of the second half, earned their initial lead of the second stanza with 5:56 remaining as Elizabeth Cruso drilled a three-pointer that provided them with a 53-52 advantage.

Cruso would extend the Blue and Gold’s advantage with another triple at 4:26 before Stonehill closed the gap at 3:18 with a layup by Paige Marshall.

Marshall converted Stonehill’s final field goal of the evening, a trifecta with 56 seconds remaining, which put the Skyhawks up, 57-56.

New Haven, which entered the East Region as the second-seed, will face the winner of Cal Poly-Pomona/California Baptist University on Tuesday, March 24.

Mass. College Hoops: NE-10 Quarterfinals Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

A few local squads competed in today’s Northeast-10 Conference Quarterfinals and below is their outcomes and summaries.

Men’s Basketball

St. A’s 79, Bentley 78: Roy Mabrey‘s jumper with 11 seconds remaining provided St. A’s with the lead for good as the Hawks edged the Falcons in Manchester. Tyler McFarland led Bentley with 20 points, as well as recorded eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals and one assist, while Alex Furness registered eight points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.

Women’s Basketball

Assumption 61, New Haven 58: Jamie Insel recorded three straight layups during the final four minutes, while Shannon Ray and Caitlin Ackerman combined for the final three points as the Greyhounds defeated the Chargers in Connecticut. Ray recorded a team-best 21 points, while Insel finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Stonehill 75, AIC 60: Tori Faieta recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, along with four assists and four blocks as the Skyhawks soared past the Yellow Jackets in Easton. Stonehill’s Mary Louise Dixon led all scorers with 22 points, while Alyssa Roach paced AIC with 13 points.

Bentley 77, Le Moyne 51: Lauren Battista and Jacqui Brugliera combined for 25 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block as the Falcons defeated the Dolphins in Waltham.

Mass. College Football: Saturday Scoreboard

By NoontimeSports.com 

Here are the results from this afternoon’s contests.

* Boston College 38, NC State 21

* Harvard 38, Penn 30

* Akron 14, UMass 13

* Bentley 56, St. A’s 41

* New Haven 27, Assumption 17

* Merrimack 35, So. Conn. 24

* AIC 27, Stonehill 17 (Northeast-10 Conference Championship)

* Mount Ida 6, Husson 0

* Springfield College 35, WPI 21

* Framingham State 36, Worcester State 0

* Bridgewater State 45, Mass. Maritime 20 (35th Annual Cranberry Bowl)

* West Conn. 37, Westfeld State 0

* Fitchburg State 41, Plymouth State 30

* Curry College 54, Maine Maritime 38

* WNE 62, Nichols 37

* MIT 48, Coast Guard 31

* Endicott 24, Salve Regina 0 (NEFC Championship)