NCAA D3 Football Tournament: Inside The MIT-Muhlenberg Matchup

Sean Kent WBE

Sean Kent and the MIT Football team are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

In just three days, a trio of New England D-III football teams will begin their pursuit of the ultimate prize: a national championship. And one of those teams is the MIT Engineers, who will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania to face Muhlenberg College.

MIT is making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament, as well as it’s third since 2014. The Engineers are 1-2 in their last three national postseason contests and will attempt to even their mark against an impressive Mules squad, which yet to drop a single contest this season.

Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.


MIT (7-2) at Muhlenberg (10-0)

Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Scotty Wood Stadium.

Rankings: Muhlenberg is currently fourth in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. MIT is not ranked nor receiving votes.

Conference Affiliate: Muhlenberg competes in the Centennial Conference (CC) – they finished 9-0 against league opponents. MIT competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and won six of seven league tilts this fall.

Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Both teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season. MIT, which captured its first-ever NEWMAC crown last fall, saw its run toward a national championship conclude in the opening round against Johns Hopkins. Muhlenberg advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Delaware Valley (20-13) and Randolph-Macon (35-6) before falling to Mount Union, 38-10.

Inside the Numbers with MIT: The Engineers rank 124th in scoring offense, averaging 26.4 points per game. They have scored 30 touchdowns this fall while kicking eight field goals … MIT’s defense and Concordia Wisconsin are tied for 77th in scoring defense, yielding 21.00 points per contest … MIT is averaging 333.6 yards of total offense (153.9 rushing and 179.7 passing yards) … The defense has yielded an average of 174.4 passing yards per game while limiting opposing rushing attacks to just 117.0 yards per game.

Inside the Numbers with Muhlenberg: The Mules are currently the 17th highest-scoring offense in D-III, averaging 41.9 points per game. They have scored 56 touchdowns in 10 contests while recording nine field goals. Muhlenberg has converted 52 PATs and recorded one safety for 419.00 points … The Mules boast the ninth-best scoring defense, yielding an average of 11.70 points per game … Muhlenberg is averaging 439.1 yards of total offense (281.60 passing yards per game and 157.5 rushing yards) … The Mules have limited opposing rushing attacks to 70.6 yards per game while the defense is limiting offenses to just 200.30 yards of passing per game.

MIT Players to Watch: 

  • Chris Mauck (QB) – Enters Saturday’s contest with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a starter … Mauck has completed 121 of 241 passes for 1,609 yards
  • Ashton Robinson (RB) – Has rushed for a career-high 366 yards on 95 carries in eight contests this season, along with three touchdowns.
  • Keithen Shepard (WR) – Leads the Engineers with 10 receiving touchdowns … the third-year receiver has caught a team-high 35 passes for 542 yards.
  • Mark Wright (Kicker) – Wright has connected on 8 of 11 field goals with his longest kick being a 43-yarder … he is 22 of 26 on extra points … he has produced 46 points in nine games.
  • Sean Kent (Defensive Back) – The senior defensive back leads the Engineers with 58.0 total tackles … He has recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss of 10 yards while registering two interceptions and five pass break-ups.

Muhlenberg Players to Watch:

  • Frankie Feaster (DE) – Named the CC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season … Feaster helped the Mules defense set a conference record of yielding just 91 points in nine conference contests.
  • Michael Hnatkowsky (QB) – Named the CC Offensive Player of the Year … He has tossed a school-record 34 touchdowns with only three interceptions … He ranks third in D-III in passing efficiency, completion percentage (sixth), and passing touchdowns (seven).
  • James Diggs (RB) – Diggs is averaging 70.0 rushing yards per game, which is fourth in the CC … He has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season.
  • Ryan Curtis (TE) – Named a first-team All-CC honoree … has caught 10 touchdowns and set the conference mark for career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
  • John Washington (DB) – Washington has recorded 28 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions as a first-time starter with the Mules.
  • Todd Spirt (Kicker) – Spirit leads the conference with 78 points … he is the CC all-time leader in extra points made with 185 (he set a program record with 56 extra points made last season.

10 Games To Watch In Week 3 (New England & Northeast)

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Happy Friday, New England (and now, Northeast) D3 Football Fans!

This week, we’re dishing out 10 games to watch – short and sweet predictions – as well as a video, courtesy of our friends from In the D3 Football Huddle. Earlier this week, our guy Matt Noonan joined hosts James Baker and Frank Rossi for a lighting round prediction of games to watch this week, including a few non-New England games.

So, without further ado, here is our own “lighting round” version of Games to Watch in Week Three – have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Framingham State at Bridgewater State (Friday, Sept. 15th at 7 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, but a HUGE game for the Rams. Framingham State picked-up a big win last week, defeating Cortland State at home, thanks to its defense. PICK: Framingham State 23, Bridgewater State 17 

Frostburg State at Christopher Newport (Saturday, Sept. 16th at 7 p.m.): Don’t sleep on these Bobcats, who have scored back-to-back wins this season, including a season-opening victory against Stevenson. These Bobcats should continue their offensive success again this weekend against the Captains. PICK: Frostburg State 30, Christopher Newport 21 

Randolph-Macon at Catholic (Saturday, September 16th at 1 p.m.): An impressive week two win over Utica has provided Catholic with some momentum. This week, they face a Randolph-Macon squad that has relied on both its offense and defense to win back-to-back games. This will be a good test for the Cardinals before entering New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play. PICK: Randolph-Macon 28, Catholic 16 

Wesleyan at Middlebury (Saturday, September 16th at 1 p.m.): The Cardinals are one of our teams to watch this fall in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and they should certainly find a way to slow down the Panthers’ passing and running games en route to an opening day win. PICK: Wesleyan 27, Middlebury 14 

Hamilton at Tufts (Saturday, September 16th at 1 p.m.): Coming off their best season in years, these Jumbos enter the 2017 season with optimism, but also some questions, too. Who will step-up at tailback with Chance Brady gone to graduation? That is one question, but we’ll certainly learn more about the Powder Blue and White once the final whistle is sounded. PICK: Tufts 26, Hamilton 21 

Endicott at MIT (Saturday, September 16th at 1 p.m.): Can quarterback Joe Kalosky and the Gulls continue their magic from a week ago? It is certainly possible, but these Gulls will need to find a way to stop MIT’s Andrew DeNucci, who will be a player to watch on defense this week. PICK: Endicott 17, MIT 14 

Brockport at St. John Fisher (Saturday, September 16th at 6 p.m.): Brockport State quarterback Joe Germinerio has been quite impressive this season, but can he continue his success against a solid St. John Fisher squad that is searching for its initial win? We think so! PICK: Brockport State 24, St. John Fisher 17 

Western New England at RPI (Saturday, September 16th at 12 p.m.): This is a BIG game for the Golden Bears, who scored a bounce-back win a week ago against Westfield State. This would be a HUGE win for the Blue and Gold, but RPI has looked extremely impressive the past two weeks. PICK: RPI 27, Western New England 24 

SUNY Maritime at Merchant Marine (Saturday, September 16th at 2 p.m.): SUNY Maritime is proving they can win games in all phases – offense, defense and special teams. They will certainly need every unit to be ready for this one, but Merchant Marine is coming off a bye week, which means Coach Mike Toop‘s squad will be ready to go come kick-off. PICK: Merchant Marine 39, SUNY Maritime 35 

Mass. College Hoops: Locals Earn Spots In Men’s NCAA D3 Tournament

By Matt Noonan 

The NCAA released its pairings for the upcoming men’s Division 3 tournament this afternoon, which begins later this week. Eight squads from Massachusetts earned spots in the tournament and will begin their quest toward Salem, Virginia in either the first or second round.

Below is a breakdown of each matchup, along with what teams they’ll be facing in the first or second round.

Amherst, which captured their third-straight NESCAC crown yesterday, earned a first-round bye. They’ll host the winner of Rhode Island College vs. York (N.Y.) on Saturday, March 8. RIC-York will play in Rhode Island on either March 6 or 7.

MIT, which won their third NEWMAC crown in four seasons, will travel to Plattsburgh State for a first-round matchup. If the Engineers are victorious against the Cardinals, they’ll advance to the second round and face the winner of Eastern Connecticut vs. Husson.

Bridgewater State, the winner of the MASCAC Conference, will travel to Cabrini for their first-round contest. A win for the Bears would pit them against the winner of Richard Stockton vs. Bowdoin College.

WPI will travel to SUNY Purchase for their first-round contest. The Engineers will take on Albertus Magnus, which won its third-straight GNAC crown. A win for WPI would advance them to the second round against either Purchase State or Hartwick.

Williamstown, the home of Williams College, will be the site of three local squads competing for a chance to advance to the third round. Williams College will play Mitchell College, the winner of the NECC Conference, while Babson will take on Gordon College, which captured the CCC Conference Crown with a win over Nichols. The winners of both contests will meet on Saturday.

Finally, Springfield College will travel to Randolph-Macon to play Mary Washington. If the Pride wins, they’ll face the winner of Randolph-Macon vs. DeSales.

Mass. College Hoops: D3 Hoops Weekend Schedule

By NoontimeSports.com 

Another weekend of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament is set to commence this evening and below are the local squads games and times.

Men’s Basketball

Randolph-Macon @ Amherst College (Sat., 3:00 p.m.) 

Virginia Wesleyan @ Williams College (Sat., 7:00 p.m.) 

Women’s Basketball

Game No. 1: Amherst College vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater (Fri., 5:30 p.m./semifinals) 

Game No. 2: DePauw vs. Williams College (Fri., 7:30 p.m./semifinals) 

Game No. 3: Winner of Game No. 1 vs. Winner of Game No. 2 (Sat., 7:00 p.m./championship) 

Mass. College Hoops: D3 Tournament Scoreboard

By Matt Noonan

Here are Saturday’s scores from the NCAA Division III tournament.

Men’s Basketball

* Randolph-Macon 79, WPI 68

* Williams College 89, Catholic 78

* Amherst College 89, SUNY Plattsburgh 72

Women’s Basketball

* Amherst College 59, Widener 45

* Williams College 63, Whitman 53