D3 Football: Early Preseason Noontime Top 10 Poll

Noontime Early Preseason Poll

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Monday, New England D3 Football fans and friends!

We are a few weeks away from unveiling our first Noontime Sports New England Top 10 Football Poll for the upcoming season, so get excited! Additionally, we are about to kick-off our preseason coverage, too.

So, in honor of a brand new season of coverage, it is time to unveil our first-ever ‘Early Preseason Poll,’ highlighting our early 10 teams to watch heading into camp in a few weeks, along with what teams are ‘on the rise.’


Noontime Sports New England Top 10 Football Poll | Early Preseason Poll
Monday, July 30th, 2018

1. Springfield College 

2017 Record: 10-1 (NEWMAC)

2. Framingham State 

2017 Record: 10-1 (MASCAC)

3. Trinity College 

2017 Record: 8-1 (NESCAC)

4. Western New England 

2017 Record: 8-3 (CCC)

5. Husson University

2017 Record: 10-2 (ECFC)

6.  WPI 

2017 Record: 9-2 (NEWMAC)

7. Plymouth State 

2017 Record: 9-2 (MASCAC)

8. Amherst College 

2017 Record: 7-2 (NESCAC)

9. Curry College 

2017 Record: 8-3 (CCC)

10. MIT   

2017 Record: 7-3 (NEWMAC)

ON THE RISE: Middlebury College (2017 Record: 7-2 NESCAC) & Williams College (2017 Record: 6-3 NESCAC)


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Noontime 2017 Year In Review: Revisiting The New England D3 Football Season

2017 Football Rewind

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier this season, we unveiled our Noontime Sports 2017 Team of the Year, but now it is time to re-visit the New England Division III season once more!

That’s right, it’s time for a Noontime 2017 Rewind as we look back on the past few months of coverage, while slowly looking ahead to what we can expect from the New England Division III Football world in 2018.

It was a great year of coverage and we certainly look forward to doing it again next season, so stay tuned, New England Division III football fans and friends!

Teams of the YearFor starters, we must begin with Husson University, which was led by senior tailback John Smith, who rushed for 31 touchdowns this season and 2,242 yards on 340 carries.

Smith, who was tabbed our Offensive Player of the Year, guided the Eagles to an exciting postseason victory over Springfield College before putting a scare into Delaware Valley in round two – the win over the Pride was the Eagles’ first-ever playoff win.

Despite falling short to the Aggies, the Eagles left a serious impression on us for the upcoming season and will certainly be one of our top teams to watch in 2018.

Springfield College also enjoyed an impressive 2017 campaign, winning 10-straight regular season contests, as well as the first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. The Pride scored an exciting opening day win against Western New England, which was followed-up with another impressive victory against Kean (28-8) in week two.

The Pride concluded their season with an impressive 435.2 rushing yards per game, while the defense held opponents to roughly 12 points per game. Senior halfback Jordan Wilcox was one of four nominees for this year’s Gagliardi Trophy.

Trinity College and Williams College are two other schools that deserve this particular honor – the Bantams captured another New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown this fall, while the Ephs enjoyed a bounce-back season under second-year coach Mark Raymond. The Ephs received a boost from first-year (and NESCAC Rookie of the Year) quarterback Bobby Maimaron, who led the Purple and Gold past Amherst College in the final game of the year – it was an overtime thriller!

Let’s not forget about Curry College or Framingham State – both teams met in the New England Bowl last month and will certainly be teams to watch in 2018. Additionally, we cannot overlook WPI, which won its first-ever postseason game against SUNY Maritime in the New England Bowl, too. The Engineers could certainly be a team that challenges the Pride for the top seed in the NEWMAC last year, so let the countdown to Springfield-WPI begin! Another team to watch in the NEWMAC next season … MIT!

Finally, a tip of the cap is due to Plymouth State, which again enjoyed another winning season – the Panthers captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown en route to a first-round playoff match-up against Brockport.

The NESCAC Nine Game Schedule was … AWESOMEThe nine-game schedule in the NESCAC this season was awesome … seriously, we really enjoyed it!

Every week was must-see, must-follow and must-watch football – everyone had a chance to contend for the crown and a new storyline always unfolded after the final game concluded.

Trinity College may have been the team to beat again this season, but watching Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College and Williams College compete with them for the top spot was extremely exciting. Additionally, let’s not overlook Tufts University and Wesleyan University, which also provided the Bantams with some challenges along the way to another league crown, too.

Outside the race for the crown, it was awesome to see the Maine triangle (Bates CollegeBowdoin College and Colby College) continue their CBB rivalry.

We are really excited to see what happens next year, but all in all, the nine-game schedule was awesome!

The Football Friday PodcastAs sports media evolves, so does Noontime Sports and it seems like our weekly – and yes, sometimes bi-weekly – podcast on New England Division III football worked, so thank you all for tuning in/listening to our various conversations with coaches, student-athletes and media members.

We’ll continue it again next season, but certainly open to additional ideas or thoughts – maybe we should do a special segment like a ‘lightening round?’ Luckily, we have time to figure out some additional content ideas before a new season kicks-off, so keep your eyes out for season two of Football Friday, which will most likely begin next August.

ESPN D3 Coverage … MORE PLEASE: It was great to see the Coast Guard-Merchant Marine game streamed on ESPN3 last month – we need to see more games like this one on the four-letter network next year and beyond. Perhaps we could see more Division III (and some Division II games, too) on a new streaming service/platform, which ESPN plans to roll out next year? It is possible, so let’s see what happens, but that would be a great place for fans to go to watch and stream games.

Closing ThoughtsIt was a great season – seriously, it was a tremendous year with some great stories and outcomes, which means 2018 should be even more exciting. We’re counting down the days to camp – yep, the clock is ticking in our office – and will look forward to bringing you coverage of New England Division III Football in 2018, so see you all on the gridiron soon!

D3 Football: Noontime Sports Team Of The Week (Mon. Nov. 20th)

Noontime Team Week

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Following a busy weekend of NCAA Division III Tournament games, along with a pair of New England Bowls, too, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week.

Offensive Player of the Week: Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski was tabbed the New England Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) after tossing five touchdowns – all in the first half – which helped the Rams of Framingham State capture their second-straight bowl crown. Wojenski concluded the game 19 of 28 for 246 yards.

Defensive Player of the Week: Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Against Curry, Fleming registered nine total tackles, including four solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 15 yards, one sack for a loss of 14 yards and one forced fumble.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Devin Pickett (Husson): Pickett connected on all three boots, including a 22-yard field goal mid-way through the fourth quarter, which helped the Eagles score their first-ever NCAA Tournament win over Springfield. Pickett concluded the contest with five points.


Offense of the Week

Dante Aiken (WNE): Aiken led all rushers with a game-high 98 yards on 21 carries (4.7 yards per carry) in his team’s NCAA Division III Tournament setback to Delaware Valley.

Hunter Belzo (Springfield): Belzo led the Pride with 113 yards rushing on nine carries (12.6 yards per carry), while registering one touchdown.

Shaquille Joseph (Framingham State): Joseph led all Framingham State receivers with seven grabs for 72 yards, while catching the game’s initial touchdown pass.

John Smith (Husson): Against Springfield, Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two scores as the Eagles stunned the Pride in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Spencer Tyler (Curry): Tyler concluded his team’s New England Bowl contest against Framingham State with a game-high nine receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown. He also threw a touchdown to quarterback Alex Corvese in the second half.

Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox concluded his team’s game against Husson by tallying 111 yards on 22 carries (5.0 yards per carry), while rushing for a pair of touchdowns.

Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright concluded last Saturday’s New England Bowl with 109 yards of total offense, including 60 yards on 16 carries and four receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns.


Defense of the Week

Luca Cerasani (WPI): Cerasani concluded his team’s New England Bowl against SUNY Maritime with seven total tackles, including six solo stops, four tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two sacks for a loss of 14 yards. He also recorded one pass break-up, too.

Nick Giorgio (Springfield): Giorgio concluded his team’s contest with Husson by tallying seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 10 yards, one sack for a loss of nine yards and one forced fumble.

Tim Huffam (WNE): Against Delaware Valley in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Huffam paced the Golden Bears’ defense with 10 total tackles, including five solo stops, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and a sack for a loss of seven yards.

Sam Malafronte (WPI): Malafronte concluded his team’s New England Bowl with a team-high nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and one tackle for a loss of two yards.

Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu recorded four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, a pair of tackles for a loss of 13 yards and one pass break-up in his team’s New England Bowl victory.

Matt Shea (Plymouth State): Against Brockport in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Shea recorded a game-high 12 total tackles, including eight solo stops.

Elvin Suazo, Jr. (Husson): Suazo Jr. recorded a team-high 11 total tackles, including four solo stops, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win against Springfield.

Dominic Traversa (Springfield): Against Husson, Traversa paced the Pride’s defense with a game-high 13 total stops, including five solo tackles, one fumble recovery and one tackles for a loss of two yards.

Cody Wlasuk (Framingham State): Wlasuk concluded his team’s 11th game of the season by recording seven total tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of 14 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards, one pass break-up and one interception returned for nine yards.

Christian Zotti (Springfield): Zotti concluded his team’s contest against Husson with 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble, one interception returned for 24 yards and one pass break-up.


Special Teams of the Week

Ryan Clifford (Framingham State): Clifford connected on six of seven extra point attempts in his team’s 48-14 New England Bowl victory last Saturday.

Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington concluded his team’s New England Bowl by connecting on all three kicks, including a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, which provided the host Engineers with the lead for good.

D3 Football: Final Noontime Sports New England Football Top 10 Poll

NS Football Final Poll.png

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

With another season of New England Division III Football slowly winding down, it is time to dish out our final Noontime Sports Top 10 poll.

We will be wrapping-up the 2017 season later this week, while previewing the Husson-Delaware Valley second round NCAA Tournament match-up, too.

As always, thank you all for staying connected with us over the past few month, as well as all the support, and we will look forward to seeing you all back on the gridiron real soon.

  1. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC) 
  2. Springfield College (10-1, 7-0 NEWMAC) 
  3. Husson University (10-1, 7-0 ECFC) 
  4. Framingham State (10-1, 7-1 MASCAC) 
  5. WPI (9-2, 6-1 NEWMAC) 
  6. Western New England (8-3, 5-0 CCC) 
  7. Plymouth State (9-2, 8-0 MASCAC) 
  8. Curry College (8-3, 4-1 CCC) 
  9. Amherst College (7-2, 7-2 NESCAC) 
  10. MIT (7-3, 5-2 NEWMAC) 

On The Rise: Middlebury College (7-2, 7-2 NESCAC) and William College (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC)

D3 Football: Husson Stuns Springfield, Brockport Rolls Past Plymouth State

Smith_090917
John Smith and the Husson Eagles defeated Springfield in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. (PHOTO CREDIT: Monty Rand Photography/Husson University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries (3.8 yards per carry) and two scores as Husson stunned Springfield, 23-21, in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.

Smith reached the end zone twice – once in the second quarter and once in the third – while quarterback Cory Brandon got the visitors on the board with a second quarter touchdown strike to Kyle Gaudet (36-yard reception).

Husson led Springfield, 14-6, at the break, and 20-14 after three quarters of play before Devin Pickett extended the visitors’ advantage to 23-14 with a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

Springfield trimmed the deficit with a Hunter Belzo 52-yard touchdown run to pull within two-points (23-21), but that would be the closest the Pride would get to the Eagles.

Brandon completed the contest with 209 yards and one touchdown pass, connecting on 20 of 30 passes, while Kyree Calli led all receivers with 64 yards on seven reception.

Husson’s defense limited the top-ranked rushing offense to just 264 yards. Belzo paced the Pride’s rushing attack by tallying 113 yards on nine carries, while Jordan Wilcox rushed for 111 yards on 22 carries and two scores.

The win extends the Eagles’ campaign to next weekend where they’ll face Delaware Valley in the second round, while Springfield concludes a historic season at 10-1 overall.

Husson, which captured the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown this fall, will face Delaware Valley next weekend in the second round of the tournament. The Aggies secured a date with the Eagles by defeating Western New England, 35-0.

Saturday’s win marked the first time an ECFC team has won a postseason contest.

Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0: Sammy Mohr clinched an opening round win for the Aggies with a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the final session as DelVal earned its 11th consecutive win of the season. Aaron Nelson led DelVal and all receivers with 121 yards on two receptions and one score, while WNE’s Dante Aiken rushed for a game-high 98 yards on 21 carries. WNE concludes its season at 8-3 – the Golden Bears captured the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown a few weeks ago when they defeated Curry College, 42-28.

Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0: Joe Germinerio accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air, as the Golden Eagles soared past the ‘Mountain Men’ of Plymouth State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Germinerio completed 19 of 27 passes for 316 yards, while Tyree Brown rushed for a game-high 156 yards on eight carries and one score. The Panthers conclude their season with a 9-2 overall record – Plymouth State also captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown this year, too.

Framingham State 48, Curry 14: Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns, while completing 19 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Rams won their second New England Bowl at Bowditch Field in Framingham. Quron Wright led all rushers with 60 yards on 16 carries, while Curry’s Nick Villanueva hauled in a game-high 92 yards on four receptions. Framingham State’s Joshua Onujiogu led all defenders with a pair of sacks for 13 yards, while concluding the game with a pass break-up and four total tackles, including a trio of solo stops. The Rams conclude their season with a 10-1 overall ledger, while Curry finished 8-3.

WPI 17, SUNY Maritime 3Sean McAllen and Lain Zembekeach rushed for one touchdown, while Spencer Herrington booted a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter, which helped WPI defeat SUNY Maritime, 17-3, in the New England Bowl on Saturday evening at Alumni Stadium in Worcester. SUNY Maritime’s Matthew Murphy trimmed the deficit mid-way through the fourth with a field goal, but that was the closest the Privateers would get to the Engineers. WPI concludes its season on a seven-game winning streak, while matching the 1992 team for nine wins, which is the most victories recorded by any Engineers squad in a single-season. SUNY Maritime ends its season with a 9-2 overall ledger, too.