Noontime Rewind: The Best New England D-III Football Teams of the 2010s


By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Sunday, everyone! And welcome back for yet another Noontime Sports rewind post where we reflect on coverage from both the current year and decade (the twenty-tens!).

This particular post will highlight some of the best teams we covered in New England D-III football – let the debate and conversations begin.

As usual, if you have any thoughts (or inputs) please comment below, but again, thanks for stopping by and reading a brand new rewind – let’s go!

The 2010 Williams College Ephs: Williams secured its third outright title with a perfect 8-0 mark which was capped by an end of season win over Amherst College. Additionally, the Purple and Gold captured the Little Three crown while producing their seventh perfect season in program history.

The 2011 Endicott College Gulls: In 2011, the Gulls captured 10 of 11 contests while averaging 40.5 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Phil Konopka, was impressive, but the same could be said for the Endicott defense, which limited opponents to 16.5 points per contest. Kevin Eagan, who played just one season for the Gulls at defensive line, tallied 104.0 total tackles in 11 contests, including 55 solo stops and 23 tackles for a loss of 87 yards. Endicott finished the season with back-to-back wins, including an ECAC North Atlantic Bowl victory over Mount Ida College.

The 2012 Framingham State Rams: After finishing their 2011 campaign with a 7-4 mark, these Rams flipped the switch following an opening day loss to Endicott College by winning ten-straight contests, including a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina University. Salve Regina was projected to win this particular meeting, but the Seahawks struggled to contain FSU halfback Melikke Van Alstyne, who rushed for 96 yards and two scores. James Muirhead concluded the contest with eight total tackles, including six solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble. FSU would advance to the NCAA D-III Tournament but see their bid toward a national title conclude at Cortland State.

The 2013 Endicott College Gulls: Drew FrenetteSpencer Walsh, and Nate Lewis, along with the Endicott defense highlighted an exciting end of season win over Salve Regina to secure the program’s second NEFC crown in four seasons, along with a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament. Endicott recorded its first shutout of the season and finished 2013 with an 8-3 record. The Gulls entered the postseason with a seven-game winning streak after starting its 2013 campaign with a 2-2 record.

The 2014 MIT Engineers: MIT advanced to the postseason for the first time in school history and won an exciting opening round contest against Husson University before falling to Wesley College in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. The Engineers finished 10-1 in 2014 – they scored some exciting wins over Western New EnglandEndicott College, and Coast Guard Academy to secure their initial New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship in program history. MIT averaged 446.8 yards of total offense and 35.5 points per contest.

The 2015 Western New England Golden Bears: Western New England captured 10 of 11 contests in 2015, including a pair of conference victories against Endicott and Salve Regina. The Golden Bears produced 40 points or more in five contests and secured a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament in late November.

The 2016 Western New England Golden Bears: Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to Alfred in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament, the 2016 Golden Bears were very impressive, winning 11 of 12 contests by an average score of 39.8 to 19.0. WNE averaged 460.1 yards of total offense in 12 contests and limited opposing offenses to just 110.1 yards on the ground per game. They scored impressive wins over Springfield CollegeUnion College, and Endicott College before beating Husson University in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The 2017 Husson University Eagles: Coach Gabby Price led the Eagles to not just an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in 2017, but also an upset win over Springfield College in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. Husson beat a very impressive Springfield team, which entered the postseason on a ten-game winning streak. Halfback John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns while Elvin Suazo and the defense limited the Pride to a season-low 264 yards of total offense.

The 2018 Trinity College Bantams: The Bantams concluded their 2018 campaign not just with a 9-0 win over rival Wesleyan University, but also with their third consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship. Trinity won eight of nine contests and was able to win their ninth conference crown due to a 27-16 win earlier in the season against Amherst College. Trinity averaged 464.3 yards of total offense and 36.0 points per game while limiting opposing defenses to 67.7 rushing yards and 10.0 points.

The 2019 Middlebury College Panthers: Coach Bob Ritter led the Panthers to their first-ever 9-0 season in program history, along with a 2019 NESCAC championship. The team averaged 410.6 yards of total offense, including 227.4 passing yards while limiting opponents to 108.0 rushing yards per game. Middlebury scored some exciting wins this fall, along with some nail-bitters against Amherst College and Colby College. They scored 45 points against Wesleyan University in late October before producing 47 points one week later against Bowdoin College.

Mass. College Football: NCAA Tourney Predictions

By Matt Noonan 

Three local teams will be competing this weekend in the first round of the NCAA Division 2 and 3 tournaments, and below are game previews and predictions.

NCAA Div. 2 Tournament

American International College at West Chester University: The Yellow Jackets, who captured the Northeast-10 Conference crown last weekend with a victory over Stonehill College will look to keep their momentum going against an impressive Rams unit. AIC, which returns to the tournament for the first time since 2008, enters their first round contest with a seven-game winning streak. AIC is headed by junior quarterback Kevin Arduino, who led the NE-10 with 20 rushing scores, while passing for 13 touchdowns.

WCU, who’ll be tomorrow’s host, won 9 of 10 contests this season. Their only loss came against Bloomsburg, the second seed in the region, which will face the winner of this matchup.

Keep an eye on WCU’s running back Rondell White, a senior tailback that rushed for 1,683 yards and 19 touchdowns. Also, don’t overlook quarterback Sean McCartney, who concluded the regular season with 24 touchdowns and 2,483 passing yards.

Prediction: AIC 24, WCU 22 – Stopping Arduino won’t be an easy task. He’s guided the Yellow Jackets to some impressive conference wins this season and will certainly look to beat the Rams with both his legs, as well as his arm. The Rams offense will certainly challenge the Yellow Jackets defense, especially with their ground game, but AIC should pull this out with possibly a late touchdown or defensive stop.

NCAA Div. 3 Tournament:

Endicott College at Rowan University: Both teams earned a spot in the tournament following conference championship wins as the Gulls topped Salve Regina last weekend, while the Profs defeated TCNJ.

Against the Seahawks, the Gulls defense held their opponent to 325 total yards of offense, while quarterback Drew Frenette completed 14 of 30 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Spencer Walsh rushed for 118 yard on 37 carries. Look for both players to step up in this contest, especially Walsh, who will assist with opening up his team’s passing game.

Rowan is averaging 21 points per game, and as a team, they’ve rushed for 1,600 yards and held their opponents to 1,096 total rushing yards. Withler Marcelin leads the unit with 1,174 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns (nine touchdowns on the ground). Defensively, keep an eye on Chris Alvarez, who’s recorded 14 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks in 10 games.   

Prediction: Endicott 28, Rowan 27 – Both teams can run the ball, but the biggest question will be who can stop it? Obviously Endicott’s defense will look to repeat their performance from a week ago where they stopped one of the better New England offenses, while Rowan will look to their offense, which registered four touchdowns against TCNJ. Similar to AIC-WCU, look for a big defensive stop to shift the momentum to the eventual winner.

Framingham State at Ithaca College: For the second straight season, the Rams are headed back to the postseason after capturing the inaugural MASCAC crown. Yet, their run toward a championship won’t be easy, as they’ll face the winner of the Empire-8.

FSU is led by running back Melikke Van Alstyne, who recently eclipsed the 6,000-yard mark against Worcester State. He also registered three scores against the Lancers, too.

Van Alstyne considers this week’s opponent a mix of Endicott and Westfield State; two teams Framingham State defeated this year.

“I’d say (they’re) like Endicott, but tough like Westfield,” said the senior halfback. “They’re definitely a big and physical team, so we’ve got to bring our A-game.”

Tom Kelley, who is in his seventh year on the sidelines, know his team will need to play its best football of the season in order to advance to the second round.

“We have a lot of guys who remember (losing to in the tournament last year), they remember that feeling,” said Kelley. “The one thing we learned was that we can stand up to the rest of the country and that we can play with the NJAC teams and Empire-8, so we’re going to find that out this week.

“Ithaca is a very good football team. They don’t score a lot, but they don’t give up a lot. They’re very consistent, they don’t make a lot of mistakes, and they have a very good special teams, a very good defense and a very good offense, but our kids (feel) that we can play (with these teams), so we just to play our best game and see what happens.”

As Kelley mentioned, the Bombers defense finished first in their conference in points allowed (151), while their offense ranked seventh in points (220).

Prediction: FSU 21, Ithaca College 14 – This has the possibility of being an upset, especially if the Rams can get their running game going against an impressive defense. FSU’s defense stepped up down the stretch, especially against Bridgewater State. Their win against the Bears maybe their signature victory of the season, so look for a low scoring affair and possibly a late Van Alstyne touchdown to seal the win.

Mass. College Football: Late Afternoon Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

There were a few late afternoon kickoffs and below are their results.

Boston College 48, New Mexico State 34: Andre Williams rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, which pushed the Eagles ahead for good. Chase Rettig completed 17-of-25 passes for three touchdowns and 230 yards, while Alex Amidon hauled in eight catches for 88 yards and one touchdown.

Endicott 38, Western New England 21: Drew Frenette tossed three touchdowns and completed 17-of-32 passes for 323 yards and Spencer Walsh rushed for 92 yards on 22 carries and two scores as the Gulls defeated the Golden Bears in Beverley. WNE’s Kevin Cook led all rushers with 161 yards on43 carries and three touchdowns.

MIT 56, Maine Maritime 36: Peter Williams tossed five touchdowns, while Justin Wallace rushed for a pair as the Engineers defeated the Mariners in Cambridge.

Mass. College Football: Week 10 Honor Roll


With another week of college football in the books, it is now time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Honor Roll.

Conner Hempel (Harvard) – The junior quarterback amassed 205 yards of total offense in the Crimson’s win over Dartmouth. Hempel completed 18-of-27 passes for 135 yards and rushed for 70 yards on 17 carries and one score.

Andrew Flesher (Harvard) – The junior placekicker connected on 3-of-4 field goals and was 1-for-1 on extra points. His third and final field goal secured the win.

Peter Pujals (Holy Cross) – The first-year quarterback tossed three touchdowns and completed 23-of-28 passes for 238 yards. He also rushed fro 88 yards on 18 carries and one score.

Kevin Arduino (American International) – The junior quarterback recorded his second five-touchdown game of the season, which helped the Yellow Jackets defeat New Haven. Arduino completed 19-of-31 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushed for 166 yards on 22 carries and three scores.

Danny Guadagnoli (Bentley) – The senior quarterback led Bentley to a 24-19 win over Southern Connecticut by throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for another. He completed 22-of-34 for 337 yard with no interceptions.

Jeff Hill (Bentley) – The junior wide receiver caught nine passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns, including a 73-yarder on the third play of the game. It was the fourth straight game he’s eclipsed the century mark and he also became just the fourth player in program history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards.

Sam McDonald (Bentley) – The first-year safety had two second-half interceptions and five tackles. His first pick came with Southern inside the Bentley 25 in the third quarter and his second, with 2:17 remaining in the fourth, locked up the victory.

Nick McCarthy (Bentley) – The junior had a career-best 12 tackles, including eight solo stops, and a pass break-up.

Tyler Ford (Bentley) – The first-year punter punted five times for an average of 43.8 yards, with a long of 52. It marked the fifth straight game he’s averaged at least 42.

Mike Bates (Assumption) – The senior linebacker recorded 11 tackles along with one sack for a loss of nine yards. He also tipped a pass in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a pick-six.

Colin Markus (Stonehill) – The sophomore halfback rushed for 101 yards on 20 carries for a career-best three touchdowns in his team’s 42-14 win over Pace.

Nate Robitaille (Stonehill) – The junior wide receiver hauled in seven receptions for 116 yards and one touchdown.

Matt Tripicchio (Merrimack) – The senior defensive lineman recorded five tackles, a sack and three tackles for a loss of 13 yards in the Warriors’ win against Assumption.

DeJahn Dawkins (Becker) – The sophomore wide receiver hauled in a game-best eight catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns in the Hawks’ setback to Gallaudet.  

Melvin Booker (Becker) – The senior linebacker led his unit with 10 total stops, along with two tackles for a loss of 11 yards and one sack.

Carlous Julien (Mount Ida) – The senior linebacker concluded the Mustangs’ setback to Norwich with five solo tackles, which included three tackles for a loss of 14 yards and one sack.

Robert Small (Anna Maria) – The senior half back registered 225 yards on 29 carries and three scores in the AMCATs’ win over Castleton State. He also caught two passes for seven yards.

William Ricard (Anna Maria) – The sophomore wide out led all receivers with six grabs for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

Matt Silva (Framingham State) – The sophomore signal caller tossed four touchdowns and completed 15-of-24 passes for 308 yards in the Rams’ 58-12 victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Melikke Van Alstyne (Framingham State) – The senior halfback rushed for 228 yards on 25 carries and two scores.

Phillip Saint-Juste (Fitchburg State) – The junior wide receiver scored two touchdowns and hauled in seven receptions for 166 yards in his team’s win against Westfield State.

Tim Rich (Westfield State) – The senior quarterback tossed three touchdowns and completed 23-of-37 passes for 312 yards.

Pat Viencek (Worcester State) – The junior quarterback completed 30-of-54 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns in the Lancers’ loss to Plymouth State.

Spencer Walsh (Endicott) – The sophomore tailback rushed for three scores and 173 yards on 39 carries in the Gulls’ win over MIT.  

Kevin Fruwirth (Curry) – The senior quarterback completed 29-of-57 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns in the Colonels’ loss to Western New England.

John Krafick (WNE) – The senior signal caller tossed two touchdowns and completed 23-of-36 passes in his team’s win against Curry.

Jimmy Fairfield (Amherst) – The sophomore defensive back recorded 11 total stops, along with an interception and fumble recovery in his team’s 17-16 win over Trinity.

Nate Saffold (Williams) – The senior defensive back recorded team-high 12 total tackles, which included six solo stops against Wesleyan.

Mass. College Football: Late Afternoon Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

There were two conference games that occurred late this afternoon and below are their summaries.

Harvard 24, Dartmouth 21: Andrew Flesher‘s 23-yard field goal with 48 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Crimson past the Big Green in Cambridge. Paul Stanton Jr. rushed for a game-high 146 yards on 26 carries, while wide receiver Ricky Zorn (four catches, 40 yards) tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to Andrew Berg.

Endicott 52, MIT 21: Nate Lewis‘s five-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter provided the Gulls with the lead for good as Endicott cruised past the Engineers in Cambridge. Endicott’s Drew Frenette completed 21-of-26 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, while Spencer Walsh rushed for 173 yards and three scores.

MIT’s Peter Williams tossed two touchdowns and completed 13-of-22 passes for 200 yards in the loss.