Tag: Shane Aylward

Five Teams That Could Win The CCC This Fall

Quarterback Mike Ingraffia will be a player to watch on offense this fall at Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By Matt Noonan

Last fall, Endicott College captured its first conference crown in eight seasons by winning the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league with an 8-2 record.

The Gulls, which advanced to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, saw their run toward a national title conclude with a 20-14 setback to RPI.

Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to the Engineers, Endicott should once again be in the mix for the conference crown. But the same could be said for a few other teams in the CCC, which will be ready to challenge the Gulls for some hardware.

Here are five teams that I believe can win the Commonwealth Coast Football league this year.

Endicott: I believe the Gulls can win their second-straight title, but their path to their fourth conference crown in program history won’t be easy.

For the Gulls to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need a similar effort this fall from quarterback Mike Ingraffia, who capped his sophomore season with career-highs in passing yards (1,531) and touchdowns (15).

Ingraffia is just one of many student-athletes to watch on the Gulls this fall, specifically its offense, but the same could be said for classmate and wide Shane Aylward, who ended the 2021 season as the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Aylward ranked fifth in the conference in receiving yards (712) while finishing tied for sixth with five touchdown receptions.

Colin Meropoulos was named the CCC Defensive Rookie of the Year and will be tasked with leading a defense that limited its opponents to 19.5 points per game.

Husson University: One should never count out coach Nat Clark’s Eagles, which concluded its 2021 campaign with a 7-3 record.

For the Eagles to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need some key members of last year’s squad to step up this year, including wide receiver Jon Bell, who concluded the 2021 season with career-bests in receptions (49), receiving yards (753), and touchdowns (four). Bell will most likely be targeted a few more times this fall by quarterback Nic Visser, who led the conference in passing yards (2,598).

Linebacker Tucker Buzzell will be the player to watch on defense after leading Husson with 85 total tackles last fall.  

Salve Regina University: For the first time since 2016, the Seahawks ended its season with eight wins, thanks to an impressive opening month that saw Salve Regina win four straight non-conference contests, including an epic come-from-behind win over Rowan University.

The team’s early-season momentum came to an end in early October with a 41-3 setback to Western New England.

Salve Regina would bounce back by winning four of their final five contests.

The biggest question facing this year’s squad is who will return this fall? Salve Regina’s roster featured eight graduate students last fall, along with 21 seniors, including halfback Joey Mauriello, but one player that will return this year – and is someone to watch – is linebacker Zachary Ludemann. The Howell, New Jersey native placed 11th in the conference in total tackles (69.0).

Western New England: For the second-straight season, the Golden Bears won five of six conference contests. But their lone setback to Endicott resulted in Western New England missing the national postseason for the first time in two years.

Will the loss to the Gulls be this year’s motivation for the Yellow and Blue?

Endicott and Western New England are scheduled to compete at the end of the season, so perhaps the final game could determine the conference’s winner.

The Golden Bears featured three different quarterbacks last fall, including Bryce Karstetter and Conrad Swanson, who will likely compete for the starting job this summer. But in addition to the team’s quarterback battle, keep an eye on the wide receivers and tight ends. Steven Fedorchak and Adam Razza have graduated, which means we could see Greg Perry and Ryan Larson become the squad’s top two receivers.  

No matter the make-up of this year’s Golden Bears, the expectation is coach Jason Lebeau’s squad will be ready to contend for its fourth CCC title.

University of New England: For the second-straight season, the Nor’easters won four games, including a pair of league tilts.

Can they double that win total this fall?

Perhaps they can, but for UNE to do that, they will need to play some of its best football early on.

UNE ended its 2021 season with a wild victory over Curry College, which highlighted a few players to watch this fall.

One of those players to watch in 2022 is quarterback Jarrett Henault, a Goffstown, New Hampshire native that threw for a career and season-high five touchdowns in his team’s win over the Colonels. Henault appeared in eight contests last season and will be tasked with leading an offense that will feature Mikey Brennan, Jakob Rivers, and Shane LaPorte this fall.

While the offense has a chance to improve from one year ago, the same could be said for the Nor’easter defense, which will be led by David Hutchison, a defensive lineman from St Johnsbury, Vermont.

UNE might be a longshot to win the CCC, but they certainly proved last season that they can contend with some of the best teams in the conference.

The 2021 New England College Football Season Was Worth The Wait

Matthew Sluka and the Holy Cross football team concluded its 2021 campaign with 10 wins, along with a trip to the NCAA FCS Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Another season of New England college football — and yes, preps and high schools, too — are slowly ending. But the 2021 season is still on my mind.

After not seeing so many local teams compete last fall due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was an amazing feeling to pace the sidelines these last few months and watch numerous student-athletes compete on the gridiron.

The 2021 New England football season will be one we will all remember — in my opinion, it was worth the wait. (And you can revisit some of our favorite memories from the sidelines by watching our end-of-season highlights on YouTube!).

There were some of the “usual suspects” that either won or were in the mix for their respective conference title to some new teams, especially in NCAA Division III that deserve our attention going forward.

Before we officially say so long and farewell to a fun season of coverage, allow me to revisit a few stories that I certainly will remember from this season.

  • Holy Cross not only won its third-straight Patriot League title, including two in the same year, thanks to a shortened spring season to go with their first postseason victory in program history. And despite losing on Friday in the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs to the University of Villanova, the future is very bright for coach Bob Chesney’s squad.  
  • Harvard University captured their 137th meeting with Yale University last month, thanks to a game-winning touchdown pass from Luke Emge to Kym Wimberly. The 34-31 victory by the Crimson clinched their first eight-win season since 2015. 

  • Sacred Heart University made its second-straight appearance in the NCAA FCS Tournament, but came up short to Holy Cross, which edged the Pioneers in the opening round by a score of 13-10. The Red and White will graduate some key pieces from this year’s squad, but will attempt to win their third-straight Northeast Conference crown next fall.

  • Bentley University and the University of New Haven were two teams to watch in New England NCAA Division II.

    Both teams met twice last month, including in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Two weeks earlier, the Falcons and Chargers squared-off in an early November contest with New Haven not only winning the game, but also securing their first Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) crown since 2012.

    The Chargers lost to Kutztown University last weekend in the second round of the playoffs, but they will certainly be a team to watch next season — the same could be said for the Falcons.

  • Bentley’s Stephen Sturm was one of a few NE10 signal-callers to watch this fall as he concluded the season with a league-high 23 touchdown passes.

    Saint Anselm’s Drew Willoughby, who was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, threw for a league-high 2,803 passing yards to go with 22 touchdowns. He averaged 311.4 passing yards per game.

  • Anna Maria College won its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title with seven wins, which is the most victories any AMCATs squad has recorded in a single season. And despite losing to Delaware Valley in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, coach Dan Mulrooney’s squad will certainly be a team to watch next fall, both in and outside of the ECFC.

  • The 2021 Williams College football team made history by becoming the first squad to win nine games in a single season.

    The Ephs capped their campaign with three impressive wins over Amherst College (24-19), Trinity College (42-3), and Wesleyan University (25-0) to clinch a 9-0 record, their first perfect season since 2010.

  • Colby College could be a team to watch next fall as they matched their 2013 squad with four wins.

    The Mules captured their second-straight Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown with a pair of victories over Bates College (10-2) and Bowdoin College (21-10).  

  • Tom Kelley and the Framingham State University football team won their third-straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown outright. The Rams concluded their season with an 8-3 overall record for the third consecutive season, as well as posted a perfect 8-0 league mark for the second-straight year.

    The Rams will continue to be the team to watch (and yes, follow) in 2022, but will certainly be challenged by a slew of teams in the MASCAC.

  • Endicott College captured its first conference crown since 2013, as well as hosted its first-ever NCAA playoff game.

    Coach Paul McGonagle’s Gulls will certainly be a team to watch next fall — the Green and White are young and will return a slew of talent from this year’s squad on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Mike Ingraffia and wide receiver Shane Aylward.

  • After starting its season with a 1-3 record, Springfield College bounced back with six-straight wins to capture its second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. The Pride ended their season with three important wins against Catholic University (28-14), MIT (17-7), and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (28-23).

  • NCAA D-III Football Teams to Watch in 2022: Bridgewater State, Husson University, Salve Regina University, Plymouth State, Trinity College, Tufts University,  UMass Dartmouth, University of New England, and Western Connecticut.

Inside The Matchup: RPI @ Endicott College

Joe Deptula and the RPI defense will be tasked with slowing down an Endicott College football team that is averaging 28.7 points per game. (PHOTO COURTESY: Perry Laskaris/RPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

We’re another day closer to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament — 32 small college football teams will be competing for spots in the second round on Saturday, including Endicott College and RPI.

Endicott and RPI will meet for the first time in the postseason — additionally, Saturday’s first round matchup will mark the first time the Gulls and Engineers meet since RPI edged Endicott, 6-3, on September 11, 2010.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup that features two teams that captured their respective conference crown.


Game Time & Location: Saturday’s matchup between the Gulls and Engineers will take place in Beverly, Massachusetts at Hempstead Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Team Schedules: Endicott College | RPI

Team Statistics: Endicott College | RPI


RPI’s journey to the postseason: It’s been an exciting few weeks for these Engineers, who bounced back from a 10-9 setback to Hobart College with hard-fought wins over Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University, and Union College. Their come-from-behind win over Union last Saturday, which was highlighted by a game-winning field goal from Trevor Bisson, not only provided the squad with the Dutchman Shoes Trophy, but also the opportunity to represent the Liberty League (LL) in the national tournament.

Endicott’s journey to the postseason: After capping its last two seasons with appearances in the New England Bowl, the Gulls returned to the postseason by winning eight of 10 contests, including five of six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchups. Endicott rebounded from a late October setback to Salve Regina University with a pair of end-of-season wins over the University of New England and Nichols College to secure its third trip in program history to the NCAA Tournament.

RPI’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Engineers last appeared in the postseason in 2018 when they win a pair of games against Husson University and Brockport. Their quest for a national title would conclude on the first day of December when they lost to Johns Hopkins University by a score of 37-14.

Endicott’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: Endicott’s last appearance in the national postseason occurred in 2013 — the Gulls won the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina, but los their first postseason contest to Rowan University by a score of 24-0.

RPI’s NCAA Tournament history: The Engineers will be making their seventh appearance in the national postseason in program history with their first trip occurring in 1999. Saturday will mark the third time coach Ralph Isernia has guided RPI to the postseason.

Endicott’s NCAA Tournament history: Endicott is making its third appearance in the national postseason with their first two trips occurring in 2010 and 2013. This particular trip is Paul McGonagle’s first with the Gulls – he last was in the postseason in 2017 as an associate coach with Assumption College.

Players to Watch on RPI:  George Marinopoulos (QB), Vinnie McDonald (WR), Peter Lombardi (WR/ATH), Josh Cohen (DL), Joe Deptula (LB), C.J. Lyons (DB), Zac Montrief (P), Conor Ahern (DL), Francis Perry (DB), and Sterling Walker-Sutton (Return Specialist).

Players to Watch on Endicott: Mike Ingraffia (QB), John Kenney (RB), Shane Aylward (WR | CCC Offensive Rookie of the Year), Colin Meropoulos (DL | CCC Defensive Rookie of the Week), Sam Opont (DL), Tim Russell (LB | CCC Defensive Player of the Week), Tyler Davis (DB) and Ryan Smith (K).

Noontime’s D3 Football Roundup: Ingraffia, Aylward Lead Endicott Past Husson

Shane Aylward caught the go-ahead/game-winning touchdown on Saturday in Endicott College’s 24-17 win over Husson University. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

Mike Ingraffia completed 18 of 27 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns – his second touchdown to Shane Aylward proved to be the difference as Endicott College topped Husson University, 24-17, to improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) play.  

With the win, the Gulls remain in the top spot in the league for the second-straight week while Husson concludes a four-game winning streak, which began last month with a 10-7 victory over Plymouth State.

Endicott led Husson, 14-10, at the break, thanks to a five-yard touchdown run by Tyler Bridge and a 27-yard strike from Mike Ingraffia to Geoffrey Ingrando before extending its lead midway through the third quarter with a 33-yard field goal by Ryan Smith.

Husson would tie the game on the ensuing possession with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Nic Visser to Tyler Halls, but Endicott would respond late in the session with Ingraffia capping a 14-play, 87-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Aylward.



Endicott will visit Salve Regina University next week – the Seahawks picked-up its sixth win of the season by downing Nichols College by a score of 35-20.

Joey Mauriello rushed for 203 yards and 30 carries and three touchdowns against the Bison while quarterback Jack Maguire completed 17 of 29 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Logan Sawyer led the Bison with 294 passing yards and one touchdown pass to Cameron Bowden.

Salve Regina led Nichols, 14-6, at the break before pushing ahead for good by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter.

Western New England bounced back from last week’s setback to Endicott by beating Curry College, 23-10. Wide receiver Steven Fedorchak concluded the contest with seven grabs for 103 yards and one touchdown.

The Golden Bears will be at home next weekend – they will welcome Nichols to Springfield, Massachusetts for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

One week after scoring an impressive 60-0 victory over Coast Guard Academy, the Springfield College Pride scored another big win as they defeated Norwich University, 56-7, in Vermont.

Isaiah Cashwell-Doe rushed for a game-high 144 yards on five carries and two touchdowns while Patrick Ladas added 59 yards on five carries and one rushing score.

Springfield concluded the game with 576 yards of total offense while its defense registered five tackles for a loss of 25 yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions.

The Pride remain one of three teams with perfect records against New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foes – Merchant Marine improved to 3-0 in league play with a 56-34 win over MIT while Catholic University topped Coast Guard Academy, 30-7.

Aaron-Moses Williams completed 30 of 45 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns – his final touchdown pass to Ke’Vaughn Davis (13 catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns) proved to be the difference as the Worcester State Lancers rallied to beat Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 28-24.

Worcester State will visit Plymouth State next weekend – the Panthers scored their second straight win by defeating Fitchburg State this afternoon by a score of 36-0. Tyler Kayo and Manny Sanchez combined for three rushing touchdowns against the Falcons.

One week after almost beating Wesleyan University, Bowdoin College snapped a 14-game losing streak to Amherst College by defeating the Mammoths in Maine by a score of 21-14.

Quarterback Andrew Boel tossed three touchdowns in the win while Andre Eden rushed for 105 yards on 31 carries.

Amherst is now 1-2 against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams from Maine.

Trinity College and Williams College remained perfect through five weeks of NESCAC play as the Bantams rolled past Bates College, 45-7, while the Ephs topped Hamilton College, 35-7.