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.
Welcome to a brand new week here at Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com), which will be highlighting some of our favorite games we have watched or covered, beginning with ten of our favorite games from the D3 Football world last fall.
Our list highlighted ten games from last season in no particular order – we hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane as much as we enjoyed producing it.
Share your thoughts on our list below or send us a tweet to either @NoontimeNation or @NoontimeSports.
Top 10 D3 Football Games from 2019
Joe Kalosky and the Endicott College Gulls began their 2019 season with an opening day win over Framingham State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nick Grace)
The win – the team’s first since beating the Rams, 34-7, in 2012 – was highlighted by Joe Kalosky‘s five touchdown passes while the defense recorded four interceptions and one sack. Endicott’s Justin McEwen concluded the game with five receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
The opening day win over the Rams certainly provided the Gulls with momentum to finish its 2019 slate with nine wins. And those nine victories matched the 2012 squad, which also finished with an identical record of 9-2.
Framingham State outlasts UMass Dartmouth for a much-needed week five victory. The Corsairs entered their week five meeting with the Rams with a great deal of momentum – they had won four-straight contests leading up to the highly anticipated contest, including an impressive 48-41 win over Husson University.
UMD was certainly ready (and prepared) to go toe-to-toe with the Rams, who needed a second-half rally to beat the Corsairs, 39-33.
Framingham State overcame a 13-point differential at the break by outscoring the visitors, 26-7, thanks to Adam Wojenski, who concluded the game with five touchdown passes, along with 53 yards on 11 carries.
Jernigan, Maldjian leads Middlebury College past Wesleyan University: Both Middlebury and Wesleyan entered their mid-October meeting as the top two teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). And the winner – as both teams knew – would secure sole possession of first place heading into the final three weeks of the regular season.
Middlebury broke open a tie game early in the second quarter with a two-yard touchdown run by Alex Maldjian, which helped the Panthers push ahead for good. Maldjian concluded the marquee matchup with 95 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns while Will Jernigan completed 18 of 25 passes for 359 yards and four touchdowns.
As for the Middlebury defense, the unit recorded four sacks for a loss of 27 yards, three pass break-ups, and one interception.
Hamilton College Stuns Amherst College with a last-second field goal. The last time the Continentals beat the Mammoths was more than two decades ago, but on Saturday, October 19th, 2019, the Blue and Gold scored an exciting 31-28 victory, thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Sam Thoreen as time expired. The win evened Hamilton’s mark at the time at 3-3 while Amherst fell to 4-2.
Thoreen finished the game with 11 points off three field goals and two extra points.
Keithen Shepard’s lone touchdown in overtime helped the Engineers of MIT beat the Engineers of WPI in overtime in November 2019. (
Mauck, Shepard lead MIT past WPI in overtime. In a must-win game for the MIT football team, the Engineers of Cambridge found a way to outlast WPI and keep their title hopes alive.
With less than 90 seconds remaining, Chris Mauck drove the Engineers into field goal range where Mark Wright drilled a 41-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session – well, the second additional session, to be exact – the Engineers again relied on Mauck, who connected with Keithen Shepard for a 23-yard game-winning touchdown that provided MIT with its first win over WPI since 1900.
The loss snapped an impressive seven-game winning streak by WPI, which included wins over RPI and Springfield College.
MIT would go onto win their second-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) title two weeks later against Springfield College.
Kingsley’s Fourth-Quarter Touchdown sends Anna Maria past Alfred State. Trailing Alfred State, 20-6, with 13:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, the AMCATs of Anna Maria needed to score two touchdowns as well as stop the Pioneers’ offense. And that is exactly what they did.
Kingsley concluded the game with 192 passing yards on 12 of 31 pass attempts while Tyshawn Anderson led all defenders with 24 total tackles, including 16 solo stops, three tackles for a loss of seven yards, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Terrell Watts threw for seven touchdowns while completing 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards. Errol Breaux led all receivers with eight catches for 125 yards and five touchdowns.
Two weeks after scoring an exciting four-point win over the Pioneers, the Bulldogs competed in their first-ever New England Bowl game against Endicott.
Fedorchak’s record day highlights Western New England’s win over Westfield State. In an early-season matchup against Westfield State, Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak established a pair of single-game records in the Golden Bears’ 56-35 win.
Fedorchak concluded the game with nine receptions for 319 yards and five touchdowns. He ended the opening frame by breaking the previous records for receiving yards (183) and touchdowns (three).
As a team, Western New England outgained Westfield State 701-354 while converting six of eight third-down attempts.
Quarterback Alec Coleman completed 22 of 27 passes for 403 yards and five touchdowns. He also registered 43 yards on the ground and one score.
Bates College rolls past Bowdoin College in its first nighttime contest. The Bobcats halted a seven-game losing streak under the lights in early November with a commanding 30-5 win over Bowdoin College, thanks to a pair of touchdown receptions by Jackson Hayes. Quarterback Brendan Costa completed 9 of 17 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns while Tyler Bridge rushed for a game-high 188 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.
As for the Bobcats’ defense, they concluded the contest with 56 total tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 17 yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, and six pass break-ups. They also registered three quarterback hurries.
Michael Pina highlighted the win by scoring three touchdowns, including one through the air to Joshua Pierre-Charles, who also registered two rushing scores. Joe Cox recorded 12 stops in the win – Nichols would go onto finish its season with six wins, which is the most they had recorded since 2016.
Jala Coad scored two second-half touchdowns while converting a key fourth down late in the fourth quarter, which helped The College of Brockport hang onto defeat Western New England, 33-28, in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Football Tournament.
With the win, the Golden Eagles advance to next Saturday’s (Nov. 30th) second-round where they will face Muhlenberg College, which defeated MIT in its opening-round contest.
Coad concluded Saturday’s affair between the Golden Eagles and Golden Bears with a game-high 152 yards on 29 carries, while quarterback Freddy June completed 16 of 26 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns while adding 64 yards on 16 carries and one score. June’s lone rushing score came late in the fourth quarter following a fake handoff, which provided the visitors with a 33-21 advantage.
Western New England countered on its ensuing possession with a two-yard touchdown strike from Brendan Smith to Adam Razza to bring the hosts within five points (33-28).
Brockport would run out the clock on the ensuing possession and rely on Coad to extend the drive with a two-yard rush on a fourth down play that helped the visitors secure their ninth win of the season.
Western New England led Brockport, 14-12, at the break, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Smith to Steven Fedorchak.
The Golden Bears, who hosted their first postseason contest since 2016, conclude their 2019 campaign with a 9-2 record, including a 7-0 conference mark. WNE captured its third-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown this fall, thanks to late-season wins over Endicott College and Becker College.
Muhlenberg 38, MIT 0: Michael Hnatkowsky threw for three touchdowns, while Nick DeLucas and Mark Riggio each rushed for one score as the Mules of Muhlenberg defeated the Engineers of MIT in their opening-round contest. Will Exson paced the MIT defense with 10 total tackles.
Wesley College 58, Framingham State 21: The Wolverines jumped out to a 27-7 lead after one quarter and never looked back as Wesley rolled past the Rams of Framingham State in their opening-round contest. Drew Fry completed 24 of 28 passes for 345 yards and five touchdowns in the win, while Framingham State’s Elijah Nichols concluded the game with seven receptions for 133 yards and one touchdown. FSU quarterback Adam Wojenski completed 15 of 42 passes for 295 yards and one touchdown.
Alec Coleman and the Western New England football team will host the College of Brockport on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)
By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
It’s time to highlight our final New England D-III football team, which will be competing this weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. And that team is the Western New England Golden Bears, who won their third-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title this fall with late-season wins against Becker College and Endicott College. WNE also defeated Husson University in its season finale to conclude its conference slate without a single blemish.
The Golden Bears will face The College of Brockport in the opening round – the Golden Eagles captured their third-straight Empire 8 Conference (E8) title a few weeks ago with a 16-7 win over Alfred State.
Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.
Brockport (8-2) at Western New England (9-1)
Gametime/Location: Brockport will travel to Western New England on Saturday, November 23rd with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. The game will be played in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Rankings: The Golden Eagles are currently receiving votes in the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. Western New England enters its 11th contest of the season unranked or receiving votes.
Conference Affiliation: Brockport competes in the Empire 8 Conference – they finished 5-1 in league play this season. Western New England is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Golden Bears won every conference tilt this fall.
Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Brockport advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season following an opening-round win against Framingham State. The Golden Eagles’ season concluded against RPI, which defeated Brockport, 21-13. The loss to the Engineers was the team’s first of the 2018 season.
Western New England advanced to the first round last season but saw their run toward a national championship conclude with a 42-24 setback to Frostburg State. The Golden Bears’ meeting with the Bobcats was the first NCAA Tournament appearance under the direction of coach Jason Lebeau.
Inside the Numbers with Brockport: The Golden Eagles are averaging 29.60 points per contest while limiting opponents to 13.20 points per game … Brockport has recorded 112 rushing first downs this season while yielding just 22 to opponents … The Brockport defense has limited opposing rushing attacks to just 695 yards, which is an average of 28.3 yards per game … Brockport has recorded 40 offensive touchdowns this season while opponents have scored just 18 … Brockport has held the ball for close to two-thirds of every contest this season. They usually have the ball for 34:18 per contest, while opponents are on offense for an average of 25:41.
Inside the Numbers with Western New England: The Golden Bears are 5-0 at home this season – they were also 5-0 in Springfield, Massachusetts last season, too. WNE’s last home setback came against Springfield College on September 2, 2017. Since falling to the Pride, the Golden Bears have won 15 games at home … WNE is averaging 488.2 yards of total offense this season … The Golden Bears are averaging 40.6 points per game while limiting opponents to just 27.1 points per contest … WNE is averaging 290.0 passing yards per game while rushing for 198.2 yards per contest … The Golden Bears’ opponents have averaged 384.3 yards per game, including 230.8 passing yards.
Players to Watch on Brockport:
Jason Hellwig (QB): Hellwig will be under center Saturday after starting seven games this season. He enters the game with 735 passing yards and one touchdown pass.
Jala Coad (RB): Coad led all rushers with 822 rushing yards on 186 carries and 16 touchdowns. Coad is averaging 82.20 rushing yards per game.
Imhotep Cromer (WR): Cromer leads the receiving core with 30 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 60.33 receiving yards per game.
DaQuan Hubbard (WR): Hubbard is second on the team in receiving yards (469) and is one of four receivers to catch one touchdown.
Alex West (LB): West leads the team with 56 total tackles. He has recorded 33 solo stops, 17.0 tackles for a loss of 71 yards, and six quarterback hurries.
Lawrence Jenkins (LB): Jenkins is second on the team in tackles for a loss (10 for 64 yards). He has tallied 42 total tackles, including 23 solo stops, four quarterback hurries, and one interception.
Players to Watch on Western New England:
Alec Coleman (QB): The senior signal-caller has completed 146 of 214 passes for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 305 yards and nine touchdowns.
Jamyre Soberanis (RB): Soberanis has rushed for a team-high 929 yards on 139 carries and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 92.9 yards per contest.
Steven Fedorchak (WR): The third-year receiver is first on the team in receptions (53), receptions per game (5.9), receiving yards (979) and receiving touchdowns (10).
Adam Raza (WR): Razza is second on the team in receptions (39), receiving yards (779) and touchdown receptions (five).
Kieran Lombard (K): Lombard has recorded 82 points off 52 extra points and 10 field goals. His longest field goal was a 44-yard kick.
Erich Keutmann (LB): Keutmann leads the team with 119.0 total tackles, including 60 solo stops, seven tackles for a loss of 27 yards, and three sacks for a loss of 10 yards. He also recorded three pass break-ups.
Joshua Salem (LB): Salem is second on the team in total tackles (85.0). He has produced 54 solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards while registering two interceptions, one pass break-up, and one block.
With the second 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 for the entire football season.
Offensive Team of the Week
Julian Burris (Dean College): Against Western Connecticut, Burris led all receivers with nine catches for 158 yards. He averaged 17.6 yards per reception.
Alec Coleman (Western New England): Coleman tuned in an impressive performance last Friday evening against Westfield State. The senior signal-caller completed 22 of 27 passes for 403 yards and five touchdowns while adding 43 yards on eight carries (5.4 yards) and one score.
Ryan Deguire (Springfield College): Deguire helped the Pride score their first win of the season by capping an 18-play, 85-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown. Deguire concluded his team’s contest with a game and team-high 100 yards on 11 carries.
Matt Dunn (Norwich University): Dunn completed 34-of-49 pass attempts for 399 yards and two touchdowns as Norwich topped St. Lawrence University in Vermont.
Ollie Eberth (Amherst College): In his team’s season-opener against Bates College, Eberth accounted for 304 yards of total offense, including a team-high 68 rushing yards on 12 carries. He completed 15 of 31 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
Steven Fedorchak (Western New England): The junior wide receiver hauled in nine receptions for 319 yards and five touchdowns last Friday evening in Western New England’s big win over Westfield State.
Connor Fitzsimons (Fitchburg State): Fitzsimons helped the Falcons score their first win of the 2019 season by tossing the game-winning touchdown with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The Fitchburg signal-caller concluded his team’s two-point win over Castleton University with 23 of 37 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
Ryan Gaboury (University of New England): Gaboury led the University of New England receiving core with nine catches for 138 yards and one touchdown.
Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): For the second-straight week, Gacioch put up some impressive numbers as the Corsairs sailed past the Eagles in an instant thriller. The Corsairs’ signal-caller completed 26 of 42 passes for 512 yards and five touchdowns while adding 27 yards on 17 carries.
Tyler Halls (Husson University): Halls led the Eagles receiving core with 13 catches for 185 yards. He also caught one touchdown, too.
Aidan Hogan (Husson University): In his team’s first contest of the 2019 season, Hogan caught six passes for 105 yards and four touchdowns.
David James (Western Connecticut): James concluded last Saturday’s contest against Dean College with five touchdown passes, including four scores through the air. He completed 14 of 35 passes for 279 yards.
John Kenney (Endicott College): Kenney led the Gulls’ rushing attack with 191 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.
Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): The Panthers’ signal-caller racked-up 252 yards of total offense, including a game and team-high 82 yards one 21 carries and one touchdown. Jernigan completed 16 of 33 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown as Middlebury topped Williams College in its season-opener.
Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Against Franklin Pierce, Juvelier accounted for 299 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. He completed 30 of 48 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns while adding 20 yards on nine carries.
Matt Long (Mass. Maritime Academy): Long enjoyed a successful start to his team’s 2019 campaign last Friday against Maritime (N.Y.). He rushed for 141 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns while adding 114 yards through the air (7 of 11 pass completions).
DJ Machado (UMass Dartmouth): Machado concluded last Saturday’s contest against Husson with six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Randy Morgan (Becker College): Morgan rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries for one touchdown as the Hawks scored its second-straight win of the 2019 season.
David Morrison (Husson University): Against UMass Dartmouth, Morrison completed 22 of 40 passes for 339 yards and five touchdowns.
Michael Pina (Nichols College): Pina completed 29 of 43 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s week two setback to Coast Guard Academy. He threw three touchdowns to three different receivers.
Ashton Scott (Wesleyan University): Scott recorded 293 yards of total offense, including a team-high 76 yards on 13 carries. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win against Colby College.
Frank Stola (Williams College): Stola recorded a game-high six receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday in the Ephs’ season-opener against Middlebury.
Defensive Team of the Week
Luke Apuzzi (Williams College): Apuzzi turned in an impressive performance against Middlebury with 10 total tackles, including two forced fumbles, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of seven yards and one sack for a loss of six yards.
Colin McCabe (Mass. Maritime Academy): McCabe posted 12 total tackles, including eight solo stops, three-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 15 yards and two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 14 yards and one fumble recovery in the Buccaneers’ season-opening win last Friday against Maritime (N.Y.).
Javien Delgado (UMass Dartmouth): Against Husson University, Delgado tallied a team-high 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops and three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards.
Jack Fontana (Mass. Maritime Academy): Against Maritime (N.Y.), Fontana tallied a team-high 16 total tackles, including nine solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 12 yards, and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of nine yards. Fontana also recorded one pass break-up in his team’s initial win of the 2019 season.
Pete Huggins (Middlebury College): Huggins led the Panthers’ defense last Saturday against Williams with 13 total tackles, including five tackles for a loss of 16 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.
Carlos Riberio (Anna Maria College): Against Union College, Riberio led the AMCATs’ defense with 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops, along with one forced fumble and one pass break-up.
R.J. Robiskie (Coast Guard Academy): Robiskie led the Bears defense against Nichols College with 10 total tackles (two solo stops and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards). Additionally, Robiskie registered one pass break-up and one quarterback hurry.
Tim Russell (Endicott College): Against Rochester last Saturday, Russell recorded a team-high 13 total tackles. He concluded the contest with four solo stops and, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of five yards and half a sack for a loss of four yards.
Matt Schiano (Amherst College): Against Bates College last Saturday, Schiano stuffed the stat sheet with seven total tackles, including four solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards, one sack for a loss of one yard, one pass break-up and one interception (eight-yard return).
Keegan Stanton-Meas (University of New England): Stanton-Meas led the Nor’easters’ defense last Saturday with 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops. He also registered half a tackle for a loss of one yard, one pass break-up, and one interception.
Terrell Thomas (Maine Maritime Academy): Against Plymouth State, Thomas led the Mariners’ defense with 14 total tackles, including 12 solo stops. He also added one quarterback hurry.
Special Teams of the Week
Connor Kennelly (Amherst College): Kennelly connected on a trio of extra points and two field goals for nine points last Saturday against Bates.
George Lampros (Mass. Maritime Academy): Lampros tallied seven points last Friday evening on four extra points and one field (23-yards).
Kieran Lombard (Western New England): Lombard connected on all eight extra points last Friday in Western New England’s second win of the season.
Mason Von Jess (Wesleyan University): Against Colby, Von Jess recorded 12 points on three extra points and three field goals, while tallying 420 yards on seven kickoffs. Five of his seven kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.
Bryce Wade (WPI): Wade connected on a pair of field goals last Saturday, including a 26-yard boot, which helped WPI edge RPI, 6-3. Wade also recorded nine punts for 300 yards with three kicks landing inside the RPI 20-yard line. He also registered a trio of kickoffs for 170 yards with one touchback.