Stephen Gacioch led the Corsairs to an exciting overtime victory one year ago on this exact date. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)
By Matt Noonan
Yes, I miss New England D-III football, but luckily we have some great memories to revisit this fall, including an exciting overtime clash that occurred on this exact date one year ago between Husson University and UMass Dartmouth.
The Corsairs outlasted the Eagles, 48-41, in overtime, thanks to an impressive showing by quarterback Stephen Gacioch, who concluded the contest 26 of 42 for 512 yards and five touchdowns. The Rhode Island native also led the UMass Dartmouth rushing attack with 27 yards on 17 carries.
Husson led UMass Dartmouth, 21-14, after one quarter of play and held a seven-point advantage at the break (27-20).
The Corsairs erased the seven-point deficit in the third quarter with a pair of touchdown passes from Gacioch to DJ Machado and Pedro DelToro while Husson kept pace with the hosts by recording a 36-yard touchdown pass late in the frame from David Morrison to Tyler Halls.
UMass Dartmouth would push ahead late in the fourth quarter when Olawale Junaid capped a four-play, 36-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown before Husson countered to even the score and send the game into overtime when Morrison connected with Aidan Hogan for a seven-yard touchdown pass.
Gacioch and the Corsairs would again respond in the extra session when the UMass Dartmouth signal-caller located Abbi Bamgbose for a 23-yard score before the hometown team’s defense denied the Eagles a chance to even the score on its ensuing possession.
The win – certainly an exciting one for the Blue and Gold – bumped UMass Dartmouth’s overall record to 2-0 while the setback was the first of the season for the Eagles.
Frank Stola and the Williams College football team will be one of the favorites in the NESCAC this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)
Our WAY too early New England D-III football preseason coverage rolls on with some predictions on who we think will win their respective conference this season.
Yes, we know these are VERY early predictions and they will certainly change once we get closer to kick-off, but for now, enjoy some way too early thoughts (from your friends at Noontime Sports) on who we think will celebrate a conference championship in November.
Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)
Predicted Winner(s): Endicott College or Western New England
Teams to Watch: Husson University, Nichols College, and Salve Regina University
Quick Synopsis: Yes, we know the Gulls and Golden Bears will be the teams to watch this fall, but don’t overlook Husson, Nichols, and Salve Regina as these three teams that will certainly challenge Endicott and Western New England for the CCC crown. Western New England has won the conference the last three years while Endicott has come close the past two seasons to snatching the title from its rival.
Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)
Predicted Winner: Dean College
Teams to Watch: Maritime (N.Y.)
Quick Synopsis: With a 4-1 conference mark, the Bulldogs were able to win their first-ever ECFC title last fall, so expect that momentum to continue one year later. Maritime (N.Y.) will also be a team to watch this season, while the other ECFC teams should provide challenges to both the Bulldogs and Privateers.
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)
Predicted Winner(s): Framingham State or UMass Dartmouth
Teams to Watch: Bridgewater State and Western Connecticut
Quick Synopsis: The Rams of Framingham State have enjoyed a great deal of success the past few years, but could this be the year of the Corsairs? With quarterback Stephen Gacioch leading the UMass Dartmouth offense this fall, expect the Corsairs to challenge the Rams for the top spot in the MASCAC.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)
Predicted Winner(s): Wesleyan University or Williams College
Teams to Watch: Middlebury College, Trinity College, and Tufts University
Quick Synopsis: As of now it seems as if this conference could be a two-team or five-team race for the NESCAC crown. Williams will welcome back an impressive senior class that should help them overcome the challenges to secure their first outright title since 2008. Keep your eyes on Trinity and Tufts – these two teams could play spoiler – and, of course, don’t overlook the Cardinals of Wesleyan, who will return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball.
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
Predicted Winner: MIT
Teams to Watch: Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and Springfield College
Quick Synopsis: Coach Brian Bubna and the Engineers have won back-to-back NEWMAC championships so it is hard to pick against MIT, which will once again be one of a few teams to watch in this conference. The Bears of Coast Guard Academy could also be a team that takes that next step, but don’t overlook Merchant Marine and Springfield College. Also, let’s not count out WPI, which did graduate a big senior class, but will carry over some momentum from its 10 win season.
Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak will be one of many players to watch on the Golden Bears this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)
Our early New England D-III football coverage has begun with our ‘Way Too Early‘ Top 20 Poll – what did you think?
Now, it is time to dig a bit deeper and highlight a few teams we believe fans should watch (and keep their eyes on) once the season officially kicks-off in a few months.
Dean College: After winning their first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title last November, the Bulldogs enter the 2020 season with a great deal of momentum. Sure, their 2019 campaign concluded with a difficult loss to the Gulls of Endicott College in the New England Bowl, but with a slew of starters expected to return this fall, including quarterback Terrell Watts, wide receiver Errol Breaux, and defensive end Wadell Alceus, don’t expect these Bulldogs to take a step backward.
Endicott College: The Gulls – like most squads highlighted on this list – did graduate some key players from last year’s squad, as well as their 2018 campaign, too. But Endicott does return some important pieces on both sides of the ball, including tight end Riley Shanley, defensive back Dylan Gardner, quarterback Dylan Bonfilio, and linebackers Tim Russell and Kevin O’Brien. All five players, along with some newcomers and returners will make the Gulls a team to continue to watch in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) conference.
Framingham State: After a slow start to its 2019 campaign, the Rams scored a must-needed win over Westfield State, which provided Framingham with all the momentum they needed to win their conference’s crown. This year, the Rams will look a bit different – they won’t have quarterback Adam Wojenskiunder center – but will have return some key pieces on both sides of the ball, including halfback Devaun Ford, who was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Rookie of the Year. On defense, look for Joshua Onujiogu to lead a unit that limited opposing rushing attacks to less than 100 yards per game.
Middlebury College: After winning nine consecutive contests last fall, it is hard to pick against these Panthers, who will certainly be challenged from the get-go. Yes, the Panthers bid farewell to some key players from a year ago, but welcome back quarterback Will Jernigan for one more season. Jernigan will be tasked with leading an offense that averaged 30.6 points per game while registering 410.6 yards per contest.
UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch was fun to watch last season – he recorded career-bests in passing yards per game (277.6) and touchdowns (20) while rushing for a career-high six scores. Gacioch should be the player to watch again with these Corsairs, who ended their 2019 campaign with seven wins.
Wesleyan University: Quarterback Ashton Scott enjoyed a successful 2019 season – he finished with 17 touchdowns while completing 147 of 240 passes for 1,939 yards. Scott will be one of a few players to watch on offense – keep your eyes on halfback Glenn Smith and wide receiver Matthew Simco – while Taj Gooden will be asked to lead a defense that limited opponents to 19.1 points per game.
Williams College: We believe this Ephs team has a chance to win the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this fall. They will be challenged, of course, but with quarterback Bobby Maimaron guiding the offense to linebackers Jarrett Wesner and TJ Rothmann leading the defense, these Ephs should be well-prepared to combat whatever they will face once their season begins in September.
Western New England: Some believed the Golden Bears were a bit lower than anticipated on our ‘Way Too Early’ New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll last week. And you know, we agree – these Golden Bears should have been a bit higher on our poll. Wide receiver Steven Fedorchak and linebacker Erich Keutmann should be able to help the Blue and Gold defend their conference crown not just against Endicott, but also other league foes.
A few other teams worth noting – we will certainly have more on them – include MIT, Salve Regina, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Western Connecticut.
With the eighth week of the 2019 New England Division III football season in the books, it is now to unveil our Zelos Athletics Team of the Week.
Similar to our ‘Players of the Week’ Zelos Athletics is also powering our teams of the week, which can be seen (here on our site) every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.
Offensive Players of the Week
Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman completed 31 of 41 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns while adding 24 yards on six carries and one score, which helped the Golden Bears beat Curry College.
Trevor Chase (Norwich University): Chase snagged seven catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday against Maine Maritime Academy.
Leesandro Colon (Westfield State): Colon rush for a team-high 132 yards on 20 carries (6.6 yards) and two touchdowns as the Owls claimed their first win of the 2019 season against Fitchburg State.
Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 20 of 25 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns against Maine Maritime Academy while adding 28 yards on five carries.
Connor Field (WPI): Field rushed for 129 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns, which helped the Engineers defeated Merchant Marine.
Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Against Worcester State, Gacioch completed 18 of 31 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown, while adding 39 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns.
Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Against Bowdoin College, Jernigan completed 13 of 24 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 53 yards on 12 carries and two scores.
Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Juvelier completed 30 of 54 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns against Western New England while adding 14 yards on nine carries and one touchdown.
Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina University): Mauriello rushed for 202 yards on 27 carries and five touchdowns against Becker College.
Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen tallied 129 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown while catching one pass for 78 yards and one score.
Julian Nyland (WPI): Nyland completed 14 of 18 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns while adding 17 yards on three carries and one score as the Engineers rolled past Merchant Marine in Worcester.
Brian Peters (University of New England): Peters completed 34 of 50 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday against Nichols College.
Michael Pina (Nichols College): Pina tallied 382 total yards of offense last Saturday in an exciting four-overtime win against the University of New England. The Bison signal-caller completed 29 of 48 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns while adding 53 yards on nine carries (5.9 yards).
Frank Roche (Tufts University): Roche hauled in a game-high six receptions for 136 yards and three touchdowns against Hamilton College.
Matthew Simco (Wesleyan University): Simco caught five passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday, which helped the Cardinals score a bounce-back win against Amherst College.
Chad Shade (Springfield College): Against Catholic University, Shade completed three of seven passes for 92 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 66 yards on 13 carries and one score.
Terrell Watts (Dean College): Watts racked up 275 yards of total offense against Gallaudet University, including 26 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns.
Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski completed 15 of 25 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for a game-high 84 yards on 16 carries and one score.
Defensive Players of the Week
Tyshawn Anderson (Anna Maria): Anderson tallied 13 total tackles, including eight solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of nine yards and a pair of forced fumbles against SUNY-Maritime last Saturday.
Ben Anthony (Williams College): Anthony stuffed the stat sheet against Trinity College by posting seven total tackles, including four solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded one interception (43 yards).
Colin McCabe (Mass. Maritime Academy): McCabe posted seven total tackles, including six solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 13 yards against Plymouth State.
Joe Gowetski (Bowdoin College): Gowetski was a player to watch last Saturday as he posted 14 total tackles, including 11 solo stops and six tackles for a loss of 22 yards. Additionally, he recorded one forced fumble.
Avantaye Salomon (Norwich University): Against Maine Maritime Academy, Salomon tallied four total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 21 yards and one forced fumble. He also finished the game with two sacks for a loss of 18 yards.
Joshua Smiley (Framingham State): Smiley tallied five solo tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 24 yards and one forced fumble which helped the Rams defeat Western Connecticut.
Mehdi Squalli (Endicott College): Against Husson University, Squalli posted seven total tackles, including three solo stops and a half-of-a-tackle for a one-yard loss. Additionally, he recorded an interception for 30 yards while registering one pass break-up.
Brian Tucker (Western Connecticut): Against Framingham State, Tucker posted seven solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of three yards, while recording one fumble recovery.
Special Teamers of the Week
Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCairano tallied 11 points last Saturday against Husson off seven kicks, including two field goals with the longest being a 46-yard kick. Additionally, the senior kicker recorded eight kickoffs for 497 yards with four kicks resulting in a touchback.
Kevin Heintz (University of New England): Heintz concluded Saturday’s four-overtime thriller against Nichols College with 12 points off eight kicks, including two field goals (longest field goal was a 40-yard boot). Additionally, Heintz punted the ball four times with two kicks landing inside the Nichols’ 20-yard-line.
Andy Kenosh (Castleton University): Kenosh was a perfect three-for-three on field goals against Alfred State – his longest kick was a 31-yard field goal.
Bryce Wade (WPI): Wade tallied 10 points off 10 kicks, including a 39-yard field goal as WPI defeated Merchant Marine last Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall.
With the fifth week of the 2019 New England Division III football season in the books, it is now to unveil our Zelos Athletics Team of the Week.
Similar to our ‘Players of the Week’ Zelos Athletics is also powering our teams of the week, too – these posts (and teams) can be seen every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.
Offensive Team of the Week
Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 11 of 25 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns against Springfield College.
Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Against Framingham State, Gacioch amassed 440 total yards of offense, including 343 passing yards and two touchdowns. The junior signal-caller also rushed for a game-high 97 yards on 20 carries and two scores.
Zach Levy (Curry College): Levy helped the Colonels score their first win of the 2019 season by rushing for a game-high 216 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns last Saturday against the University of New England.
Seamus Lambert (Trinity College): Lambert connected on 15 of 23 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns while adding 41 yards on 14 carries.
Matt Long (Mass. Maritime Academy): Long accounted for 232 yards of total offense, including a game-high 160 rushing yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns. He also completed 10 of 19 passes for 72 yards.
Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina): Mauriello rushed for a game-high 163 yards on 20 carries (8.2) and three touchdowns last Saturday against Endicott College.
Shea McManaway (Endicott College): McManaway led all receivers last Saturday against Salve Regina with 118 yards on nine catches and two touchdowns.
Jacob Maher (Framingham State): Maher hauled in five catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday against UMass Dartmouth.
Alex Maldjian (Middlebury College): Maldjian rushed for a game-high 125 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns against Amherst College.
Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen rushed for 183 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns last Saturday against Maine Maritime Academy.
Aaron-Moses Williams (Worcester State): Williams completed 30 of 41 passes for 405 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Nikolas Moquin (Maine Maritime Academy): Moquin completed 22 of 32 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns while adding 19 yards on four carries against WPI.
Randy Morgan (Becker College): The first-year tailback rushed for a team-high 152 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown last Saturday against Husson University.
Brian Peters (Univ. of New England): The third-year signal-caller completed 33 of 49 passes for a game-high 444 yards and three touchdowns against Curry College.
Michael Pina (Nichols College): Pina completed 34 of 50 passes for a game-high 325 passing yards and two touchdowns against Western New England.
Garrett Poussard (Husson University): Against Becker College, Poussard rushed for a game-high 159 yards on 31 carries (5.1 yards) and two touchdowns.
Keithen Shepard (MIT): Shepard caught a game-high seven catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday against Merchant Marine.
Jeremy Soule Jr. (Bridgewater State): Soule Jr. rushed for a game-high 195 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns as the Bears defeated Westfield State last weekend.
Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski completed 14 of 25 passes for 422 yards and five touchdowns last Saturday against UMass Dartmouth while adding 53 yards on 11 carries.
Defensive Team of the Week
Tyshawn Anderson (Anna Maria College): Anderson registered 14 total tackles, including seven solo stops and one sack for four yards, along with a forced fumble last Saturday against Apprentice.
Zack Catarius (Salve Regina): Catarius stuffed the stat sheet last Saturday against Endicott College with 12 total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 22 yards and two sacks for a loss of 18 yards. Additionally, Catarius scooped one fumble.
Noah Clack (Bowdoin College): Against Wesleyan University, Clack tallied a team-high 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops and three tackles for a loss of seven yards.
Jack Fontana (Mass. Maritime Academy): Fontana paced the Buccaneers’ defense last Saturday with 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops. He also recorded one sack for a loss of three yards.
Kyle Johnston (Mass. Maritime Academy): Against Worcester State, Johnston tallied six total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 19 yards and two forced fumbles.
Joe Kelly (Amherst College): Kelly paced the Mammoths’ defense with 11 total tackles, including 10 solo stops and three tackles for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded five quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
Colin McCabe (Mass. Maritime Academy): McCabe tallied eight total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 30 yards and two fumble recoveries last Saturday against Worcester State.
Ricky Montalvo (Western New England): Against Nichols College, Montalvo tallied 11 total tackles, including three-and-a-half tackles for 15 yards and one-and-a-half sacks for 13 yards.
Philip Orlando (Coast Guard Academy): Orlando stuffed the stat sheet last Saturday against Catholic University with 13 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 11 yards and two forced fumbles.
Special Teams of the Week
Matt Alswanger (Tufts University): Alswanger connected on all five kicks, including one field goal for 21-yards against Bates College.
Michael Chen (Bowdoin College): Chen tallied seven points off two field goals and one extra point. His longest field goal was a 40-yarder.
J.P Dallazem (Trinity College): Against Hamilton College, the first-year kicker (and punter) tallied a career and season-high seven points off four extra points and a 31-yard field goal for seven points.
Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): DiCiarano tallied 12 points on six kicks, including a trio of field goals. The senior kicker booted a career and season-long 47-yard field goal.
Kieran Lombard (Western New England): Lombard connected on six kicks last Saturday against Nichols College, including three field goals with his longest kick being a 44-yard field goal.
Bryce Wade (WPI): Wade registered nine points off six extra points and a 38-yard field goal last Saturday against Maine Maritime Academy.