Tag: Southern Connecticut State University

Five New England D2 Teams To Watch This Fall

Khyon Fitzpatrick and the New Haven Chargers will once again be a squad to watch in the Northeast-10 this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clarus Studios)

By NoontimeSports.com

Our preseason college football coverage continues by highlighting five New England NCAA Division II teams to watch this fall – all the teams listed below compete in the Northeast-10 Conference (NE10).

In case you missed it, make sure to check out our New England FCS and Division III teams to watch, as well.

American International College (AIC): After beginning their 2021 campaign with three-straight wins, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory against Pace University, the Yellow Jackets’ winning ways vanished with a hard-fought loss to Bentley. AIC would lose its next five contests before ending its season with a 14-7 victory over the Setters.

The hope for the Yellow Jacket is they can use their final contest from 2021 as motivation – perhaps a learning lesson? – for what they must do to contend for a conference title.

AIC was competitive last fall – they certainly provided challenges for the top teams in the league but look for coach Kris Kulzer’s squad to finish with a few more wins this fall.

Wide receivers Jaheim McGuire and Jaxon Ramsay return after combining for 64 catches, 1,079 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.

Bentley University: A new signal-caller will be spotted under center this fall – quarterback Stephen Sturm graduated following an impressive career with the Falcons, which saw him throw for 7,166 yards and 58 touchdowns in four seasons.

Additionally, Bentley will have a new coach as Alvin Reynolds takes over for Bill Kavanaugh, who stepped down as the head football coach in March. Reynolds has been with the Falcons since 2018 – prior to arriving in Waltham, he spent time with a slew of NFL teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, and Jacksonville Jaguars

Reynolds will guide a Falcons squad that finished 9-2 overall last year, as well as secured a bid to the NCAA Division II postseason for the first time since 2004.

Halfback Nathaniel Larkins, who finished second on the team with 558 rushing yards, returns, along with wide receiver Noah Neville (32 catches for 555 yards and six touchdowns). Linebacker Salvatore Lupoli Jr. also returns – he placed second on the team in total tackles with 90.0.

Saint Anselm College: Quarterback Drew Willoughby will be the player to watch on the Hawks this fall.

Named the NE10 Rookie of the Year last November, Willoughby enjoyed an impressive debut with the Royal Blue and White by completing 251 of 431 passing attempts for 2,803 yards and 22 touchdowns. Additionally, he added three scores on the ground.

Willoughby led Saint Anselm’s to three conference wins last year – the hope is he can continue his impressive play this fall, beginning in the opening week against Millersville University.

Halfback Vincent Wagner returns, as well, along with wide receiver Anthony Brown, who led the Hawks with nine touchdown receptions.

Southern Connecticut State University: The Owls won four of 10 contests last fall, including a non-league victory over Central Connecticut State University in the opening week (the Blue Devils, an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) squad, compete in the Northeast Conference (NEC)).

As a team, SCSU averaged 332.4 yards per game – most of their offensive yards came through the air, thanks to wide receivers Tylon Papallo and Izaiah Sanders, who represented the program on the league’s second team. Papallo and Sanders combined for 10 touchdown receptions to go with 76 catches for 1,196.

The expectation is both student-athletes will return this fall, which will certainly pose problems for opposing defenses.

Linebacker Robert Nunez, who earned NE10 All-Rookie honors, will also be a player to watch on the Owls. He finished second on the team in total tackles

 (63.0) and solo stops (29.0).

University of New Haven: 27 graduate students helped the Chargers not only finish atop the NE10 final standings last fall with 10 victories but also advance to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament (UNH beat Bentley in the opening round before falling to Kutztown University).

It’s possible a few of these student-athletes will return this fall, but UNH will return some underclassmen, including defensive back Khyon Fitzpatrick, who finished second on the team with 62.0 total tackles.

Fitzpatrick was recently named a preseason first-teamer by The College Football Network (TCFN) – he, along with Bentley’s Cedie Dashiell II, was the only two student-athletes from the NE10 on the list.  

New Haven has been the team to watch (and follow) these last few years in the NE10 so the expectation is they will once again be in the hunt for a league crown.

Observations & Thoughts From Five Weeks of New England D2 & D3 Football

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak set the program record for touchdown receptions last weekend against Salve Regina. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan

We’re slowly reaching the halfway mark of the 2021 college football season – crazy, right?

But the good news is there is still plenty of football left to be played.

While yesterday – Sunday, October 3, 2021 – technically marked the beginning of the sixth week of the season, here are some observations from what I have witnessed over the past few weeks.

Let’s begin in the Northeast 10 Conference (NE10) where Bentley University has won five straight contests to stretch its current winning streak to 10 games, dating back to October 2019.  

The Falcons, who currently occupy the top spot in the conference, have won three consecutive league matchups this fall, including a 34-21 contest this past weekend against Saint Anselm. Quarterback Stephen Sturm account for four touchdowns – three passing, one rushing – and 379 yards of total offense against the Hawks while Cole McCubrey registered a team-high 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops (Rene Nunez also recorded nine solo tackles).

Bentley enters the sixth week of the season as the 18th best team in Division II, according to the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll. The Falcons are one of nine teams on this week’s list that have won five consecutive contests this fall.

West Florida and Northwest Missouri State, which secured the first and second positions in this week’s AFCA D-II Poll, boast identical 4-0 records.

As noted above, there is still a lot of football left to be played, but Bentley has certainly found ways to score hard-fought wins, both this past weekend and at the end of September against American International College.

This week, the Falcons host a Pace University squad that provided challenges for New Haven, which broke open a 14-14 tie with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Last week’s Pace-New Haven contest marked the first time the Chargers competed on the road this school year.

Coach Chris Pincince seemed proud of his team’s effort against the Setters, saying that “a win is a win, we look forward. We took another step toward another goal (of winning the Northeast 10 title) that we have.”

New Haven hosts Saint Anselm this week – the Chargers defense will be tasked with slowing down an impressive Hawks passing attack that is led by quarterback Drew Willoughby, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 1,410 yards in four contests.

As of now, it appears as if both Bentley and New Haven are the frontrunners for the conference crown as neither squad has dropped a league contest thus far, but don’t overlook Southern Connecticut (3-2, 2-1), Assumption College (2-3, 2-1), and Stonehill College (3-1, 1-1). All three, along with possible American International College could conclude the season in the top spot.

Sure, we picked against Western New England this past weekend in the previous 10 Games to Watch – I thought Salve Regina University would continue its early-season momentum against the Golden Bears – but the Blue and Gold proved me wrong as they defeated the Seahawks, 41-3, in their initial Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) contest.

Steven Fedorchak highlighted his team’s big win over the Seahawks by setting a new program record for touchdown receptions with 23. He concluded the contest with a game-high 87 yards on six catches.

With the win, the Golden Bears returned to the top spot in our weekly poll and seem destined to occupy that position for the remainder of the season baring a future setback to say Endicott College this week or another conference foe later this fall.

We’ll share our weekly picks later this week, but from what I have seen from Western New England thus far, as well as this past weekend, they certainly are the favorite to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Alex Cohen recorded six touchdowns last weekend in his team’s first-ever win against Keystone College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College)

Here are a few more teams to keep an eye on over the next few weeks:

Anna Maria College: The AMCATs have been a great story this fall.

Anna Maria has won three of four meetings, including its first-ever with Keystone College, which saw quarterback Alex Cohen account for six touchdowns – five passing and one rushing.

Last Saturday’s win provided coach Dan Mulrooney with his seventh victory as the AMCATs head coach – the seven wins are the most recorded by a head coach in program history, dating back to their initial season in 2009.

Anna Maria has never won the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) but could be in line for the title, pending how the next few weeks play out.

Framingham State: After losing back-to-back non-conference games earlier this season, the Rams have bounced back, winning three straight, including their first conference clash of the season with UMass Dartmouth.

Coach Tom Kelley’s squad enters the sixth week of the season tied with Bridgewater State for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) – the two teams will compete next month in Framingham.

The Rams pitched their first shutout of the season last weekend against Plymouth State (33-0) and will attempt to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday when they visit Fitchburg State for a 3 p.m. kick-off.

Norwich University: The Cadets scored a big win last weekend against Coast Guard Academy to secure a three-way tie atop the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings.

After starting their 2021 campaign with back-to-back losses, Norwich has rebounded quite well – hey, they did not make things easy on Endicott, which rallied to beat the Cadets on their home field.

Keep an eye on the Cadets moving forward – maybe their win against Coast Guard Academy is just the start of an exciting second-half run.

Trinity College: I watched the Bantams game last weekend against Middlebury College and came away impressed.

Trinity blanked the defending champions by a score of 28-0, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Spencer Fetter, who has thrown eight touchdowns this fall while completing 62 of 91 passes for 952 yards.

Fetter was impressive, but the same could be said for others, including halfback William Kirby and linebacker Brian Casagrande, who both scored one touchdown last weekend.

Trinity is one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have yet to drop a game this season – they will attempt to continue their winning ways on Saturday when they visit Hamilton College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.

University of New England: The Nor’easters are one win away from matching their program record for wins in a single season after capturing their last three matchups, including a pair of non-league wins over Alfred State and Bridgewater State.

Last Saturday, UNE scored its first win in program history against Nichols College, thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Jack Mahoney, Jaymeson Maheux, and Connor Sirois.   

UNE travels to Salve Regina this weekend for its second conference tilt of the 2021 season.

Bentley Outlasts AIC In Battle of Unbeatens

Nathaniel Larkins rushed for a game-high 131 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday against AIC. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bentley University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Three second-half touchdowns were all Bentley University needed to defeat American International College in Saturday’s battle of unbeaten squads in the Northeast-10 Conference.

The Falcons, who rallied to tie the game at the break, secured a hard-fought 35-27 victory over the Yellow Jackets to secure the top spot in the conference, along with its fourth consecutive victory.

Halfback Nathaniel Larkins rushed for a game-high 131 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns with his second score providing the visitors with their first and only lead of the game, which grew to a two-score advantage with 5:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Bentley quarterback Stephen Sturm completed 8 of 18 passes for 76 yards and one touchdown while adding 103 rushing yards on 14 carries.

AIC, which concluded the contest with 405 yards of total offense, was led by quarterback Jayson DeMild, who accounted for 298 yards of total offense, including 265 passing yards and three touchdowns. DeMild tossed two scores in the opening frame to Tommy Smith and Jaxon Ramsay before connecting with Jaheim McGuire in the fourth quarter to bring his team within one score (28-21) with 9:19 remaining.

Bentley’s Cole McCubrey intercepted DeMild on his team’s ensuing possession for a 45-yard touchdown return to provide the Falcons with a 35-21 lead with 5:17 remaining.

McCubrey concluded the game with a team-high eight total tackles, including three solo stops ad one forced fumble.

With the win, Bentley has now beaten AIC in six of their last seven meetings to bump their all-time series advantage to 15-12.

Bentley will look to continue its early-season momentum next Saturday, October 2 when they visit Saint Anselm College for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

AIC, which was competing at home for the first time since November 9, 2019, will look to bounce back next Friday, October 1 when they travel to Southern Connecticut State University for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

New England Small Colleges In The NFL & AFL Draft

Tom Carr WEB
Bates College fullback Tom Carr, who is one of two Bobcats to rush for 30 touchdowns in a career, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in 1966. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College.)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 2020 NFL Draft is just a few hours away – are you excited?

While we anxiously await to hear who will be this year’s first-round pick – most likely Joe Burrow, right? – we wanted to highlight some former New England small college players that heard their names announced during past NFL and American Football League (AFL) Drafts.

Our list was created with the help of ProFootballReference.com’s NFL and AFL Draft History.


American International College (AIC)

  • 1944: Myron Majewski (Tackle): Majewski was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 328th pick in the 32nd round.
  • 1953: Bill Murray (End): Murray was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 272nd pick in the 23rd round.
  • 1957: Tom Rychlec (End): Rychlec was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 119th pick in the 10th round. The Meriden, Connecticut native played one season with the Lions before competing for the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (AFL)from 1960 to 1963.
  • 1961: Joe Scibelli (G): Scibelli was drafted by two teams – the New York Titans of the AFL and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. He elected to play for the Rams and played for Los Angeles from 1961 to 1975. He started 195 of 202 games on defense. The Springfield, Massachusetts native competed in six postseason contests.
  • 1961: Andy Griffith (RB): Griffith was drafted by the New York Titans of the American Football League with the 198th pick in the 25th round.
  • 1967: Bill Delaney (TE): Delaney was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 112th pick in the fifth round.
  • 1970: Glen Dumont (RB): Dumont was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 364th pick in the 14th round.
  • 1972: Bruce Laird (DB): Laird was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 152nd pick in the sixth round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played ten seasons in the NFL – eight with the Colts and two with the San Diego Chargers. He started in 127 of 164 contests while competing in five postseason games.
  • 1977: Terry Randolph (DB): Randolph was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 290th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1992: Gabe Mokwuah (LB): Mokwuah was drafted by the Green Pack Packers with the 287th pick in the 11th round.

Amherst College 

  • 1972: Jean Fugett (TE): Figett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 338th pick in the 13th round. The Baltimore, Maryland native played eight seasons in the NFL – he played four seasons with the Cowboys (1972-1975) before finishing his career with the Washington Redskins.
  • 1974: Freddie Scott (WR): Scott was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 174th pick in the seventh round. The Grandy, Arkansas native played 10 seasons in the NFL – he spent the majority of his career with the Detroit Lions (1978-1983) while competing in four postseason contests. He never won a playoff game.
  • 1978: Bill Swiacki (TE): Swiacki was drafted by the New York Giants with the 232nd pick in the ninth round.
  • 1978: Sean Clancy (LB): Clancy was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 217th pick in the eighth round. The Manhasset, New York native played two seasons in the NFL – he spent one year with the Dolphins and his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also competed in just one postseason contest.

Bates College

Bentley University

  • 2008: Mackenzy Bernadeau (G): Bernadeua was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 250th pick in the seventh round. The Waltham, Massachusetts native played seven seasons, including four with the Dallas Cowboys from 2012 to 2015. He started 49 of 111 games, including all 16 for the Cowboys in 2012. He also played in two postseason games with the Cowboys in 2015 against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Bowdoin College

  • 1966: Paul Soule (HB): Soule, who was from Portland, Maine, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1966 AFL Draft with 174th pick in the 20th round.
  • 1978: Steve McCabe (G): McCabe, who grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, was drafted the Washington Redskins with the 324th pick in the 12th round. McCabe is the only member of the Polar Bears football program to be drafted by an NFL team after becoming the school’s first and only student-athlete to earn Kodak Division III All-American honors.

Brandeis University  

Colby College 

  • 1955: John Jacobs (E): Jacobs was selected by the New York Giants with the 224th pick in the 19th round.
  • 1959: Bob Sargent (T): Sargent was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the 292nd pick in the 25th round.

Middlebury College

  • 1949: John Corbisiero (B): Corbisiero was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 169th pick in the 17th round.
  • 1955: Al Dennis (E): Dennis was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals with the 191st pick in the 16th round.
  • 1958: Dick Fusco (T): Fusco was drafted by the New York Giants with the 214th pick in the 18th round.

Norwich University

  • 1943: Walt Domina (HB): Domina was selected by the New York Giants with the 106th pick in the 12th round. A two-spot athlete with the Cadets, Domina was remembered for his impressive play on the gridiron – he still holds individual records for points (31) and most touchdowns scored (five) in a single-game. Both records were recorded against Middlebury in 1940.

Southern Connecticut State University

  • 1963: Ralph Ferrisi (RB): Ferrisi was drafted by two teams – Boston Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Ferrisi, who was born in Bronx, New York, but graduated from Weymouth High School, played professionally for the Vikings.
  • 1967: Tom Reale (OT): Reale was selected by the New York Giants with the 369th pick in the 15th round.
  • 1967: Dick Nocera (RB): Nocera was selected by the Boston Patriots with the 414th pick in the 16th round of the AFL Draft.
  • 1985: Travis Tucker (TE): Tucker was picked 287th overall in the 11th round by the Cleveland Browns. The Brooklyn, New York native played three seasons for the Browns while competing in a trio of postseason contests.
  • 1987: Scott Mersereau (DT): Mersereau was selected 136th overall in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Rams. The Riverhead, New York native never played for the Rams, however, but competed for the New York Jets from 1987 to 1993. He started in 91 of 102 contests and finished his career with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He only played in one postseason contest in 1991 against the Houston Oilers.

St. Anselm College

  • 1940: Ray McLean (HB): McLean was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 192nd pick in the 21st round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played eight seasons with the Bears, making seven starts in 76 contests. He rushed for five scores while catching 21 touchdowns.

Trinity College

  • 1937: Mickey Kobrosky (QB): Kobrosky was drafted by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native played seven games for the Giants in 1937, completing 2 of 13 passes for 18 yards while rushing for 41 yards on 13 carries.
  • 1959: Roger LeClerc (LB): LeClerc was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 177th pick in the 15th round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native was transformed into a kicker with the Bears where he connected on 76 of 152 attempts while drilling 154 of 160 extra points. He did play one season for the Denver Broncos in 1967 before retiring.
  • 1985: Joe Shield (QB): Shielf was selected by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Brattleboro, Vermont native played just three games with the Packers during the 1986 season.

Tufts University 

  • 1946: George Feldman (HB): Feldman was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 208th pick in the 22nd round.
  • 1958: George Kurker (T): Kurker was selected by the New York Giants with the 149th pick in the 13th round.
  • 1977: Daryl Brown (DB): Brown was picked 240th in the ninth round by the Cleveland Browns.

UMass Boston

  • 1974: Erle Garrett (DB): The only student-athlete to be drafted in UMass Boston’s history, Garrett was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 441st pick in the 17th round.

University of New Haven

  • 1958: Lou Pitney (C): Pitney was drafted by the New York Giants with the 345th pick in the 29th round.
  • 1959: Dick Splain (T): Splain was selected by the Washington Redskins with the 185th pick in the 16th round.
  • 1982: Mile McPherson (DB): McPherson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the 256th pick in the 10th round. The Queens, New York native never played a down for the Rams but did play four seasons for the San Diego Chargers while playing in two postseason games against the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1991: Harry Boatswain (G): Boatswain was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 137th pick in the fifth round. The Brooklyn, New York native played began his five-year career with the 49ers before competing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995 and the New York Jets in 1996. He also competed in seven postseason games, including four contests against the Dallas Cowboys.

Wesleyan University 

  • 1947: Burt VanderClute (G): Vander Clute was picked 69th overall in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1947: Jack Medd (C): Medd was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 89th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1948: Jim Burton (E): Burton was drafted by the Boston Yanks with the 69th pick in the ninth round.
  • 1949: John Geary (T): Geary was selected by the New York Bulldogs with the 93rd pick in the 10th round.

Williams College

  • 1970: Jack Maitland (RB): Maitland was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 408th pick in the 16th round. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native played just one season for the Colts, starting two of the 14 games. He rushed for 209 yards on 74 carries for one score while catching nine passes for 67 yards and one touchdown. One year later, Maitland suited up for the New England Patriots where he played for the hometown team in 1971 and 1972.
  • 1976: Scott Perry (DB): Perry was picked 147th overall in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pleasanton, California native played four seasons with the Bengals before ending his career with both the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Perry played in two postseason games in 1981 with the Chargers.
  • 1996: Ethan Brooks (T): Brooks was selected 229th overall in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons. Brooks played seven seasons of professional football, including three with the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-04.

 

Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Players Of The Week (Week Two)

 

Kevin Donahue earned this week’s WACBA Player of the Week honors following two impressive outings against So. Conn. and Pace University! (Photo Credit: Assumption College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The second week of the college basketball season in Worcester is in the books. And with that being the case, here is this week’s WACBA Players of the Week.

Men’s Player of the Week: Kevin Donahue (Assumption College) – In his team’s two games this past week, the Connecticut native tallied 19 points per game, along with three rebounds and one assist per contest. He shot 52.2 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. He sank 17 points in his team’s first game of the week against Southern Connecticut on the road before tallying 21 points at home against Pace University. Donahue drained seven three-pointers in his team’s win against Pace and was named to this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Weekly Honor Roll.

Women’s Player of the Week: Alex Smith (Holy Cross) – For the second week in a row, Smith earned this honor after two impressive outings against the Crimson and Minutewomen. The junior from New Jersey scored a season-high 20 points in her team’s 63-59 victory against UMass, as well as dished out six assists. Smith tallied 14 points, four assists and three rebounds in her team’s loss to Harvard.