D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Five (Sept 29th)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The fifth week of the New England D3 football season is set to kickoff tomorrow – are you ready for some football?

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for Week Five, as well as who we think will win their respective matchup.

Last Week (Week Four): We went 5-5 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week!

Season Predictions Records: 25-15 (we went 5-5 last week, so let’s see if we can bounce back!)

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today


Merchant Marine at MIT (11 a.m.): MIT needed a second half rally to top Catholic in their NEWMAC opener last week, but they will need a complete 60-minute effort to top coach Mike Toop’s Mariners this week. PREDICTION: MIT 28, USMMA 27

Western New England at Salve Regina (12 p.m.): After a disappointing week one setback to Springfield, these Golden Bears have found their groove, winning three-straight, including a hard-fought 31-28 victory against Husson. The team’s early season momentum should continue this week on the road against the Seahawks. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Salve Regina 26

Springfield College at Norwich University (1 p.m.): It was a gritty effort last week against WPI, but this brotherhood seems to be in good spirits after claiming an important conference win. They should find a way once again to get past a Cadets squad. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Norwich 10

Univ. of New England at Nichols College (1 p.m.): The Bison have won two of three contests at home this season and should improve that mark with an important conference victory on Saturday against UNE. PREDICTION: Nichols 28, UNE 10

Gallaudet University at Anna Maria College (1 p.m.): Look for this game to come down to perhaps the final drive with the AMCATs scoring with no time left on the clock. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 17, Gallaudet 14

Coast Guard Academy at Catholic University (1 p.m.): Ryan Jones and the Bears squeaked out an important win last Saturday against Norwich. Can they keep this momentum going in our nation’s capital? PREDICTION: Coast Guard 31, Catholic 21

Endicott College at Curry College (1 p.m.): The Gulls have some serious momentum on their side following their week four win over Hobart. PREDICTION: Endicott 31, Curry 17

Husson University at SUNY Maritime (1 p.m.): SUNY Maritime appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, but can they take that next step this week against the league’s defending champion? Prediction: SUNY Maritime 24, Husson 14

Trinity College at Williams College (1:30 p.m.): Which defense will make the big stop? That is the biggest question heading into this important NESCAC clash. PREDICTION: Williams 35, Trinity 28

UMass Dartmouth at Western Conn. (5 p.m.): The Colonials seem like a team on a mission this fall, but the same could be said for the Corsairs, who have won three of four contests thus far, including an important conference clash last week against Plymouth State. The Corsairs must find a way to slow down the Colonials offense, which is averaging five touchdowns per game this season. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 27, UMass Dartmouth 17

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Two (Sept. 7th-8th)

10 Games Social WK 2

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The second week of the New England D3 football season is upon us – let’s go!

Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for week two, as well as our predicted winners for each contest.

Last week, we went 6-4 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week (fingers crossed for a perfect 10)!

Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today! 


Bridgwater State at Endicott College (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): The Bears fended off a late rally by Buffalo State to secure an opening day win last weekend, as well as some momentum heading into Endicott’s first-ever Friday Night Lights home contest. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 24, Endicott 14

Mass. Maritime at SUNY Maritime (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): Who wants some chowder? Perhaps the Privateers? SUNY Maritime captured the Chowder Bowl last year and should win it again this evening. PREDICTION: SUNY Maritime 37, Mass. Maritime 35 

MIT at Curry College (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): Coach Brian Bubna earned his first win on the sidelines as a head coach last Friday evening. Can he win his second game against a Curry squad, which produced 44 points in its opener last week? PREDICTION: MIT 28, Curry 21 

Salve Regina University at Montclair State (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): The Seahawks soared back to beat Worcester State last Saturday, so can they do it again on against a team they topped last year by a touchdown? PREDICTION: Salve Regina 24, Montclair State 20 

Western Conn. at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs put up 41 points last week – is this a sign of things to come? Maybe, but can they do it against a solid West Conn. team? PREDICTION: Dean 35, West Conn. 31 

WPI at No. 25 RPI (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): This is almost a ‘must-win’ for the Engineers of Worcester, who have aspirations of winning its first-ever NEWMAC crown this fall. As usual, RPI-WPI is a must-see, must-watch game, so this is a big early season test for coach Chris Robertson‘s squad. PREDICTION: RPI 28, WPI 20 

Framingham State at SUNY Cortland (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): This is a big test for coach Tom Kelley and the Rams, who will look to slow down a Red Dragons squad, which rolled past Fitchburg State last Saturday. Framingham State has the offense to keep-up with the Red Dragons, but can their defense make the big stop when needed? PREDICTION: SUNY Cortland 38, Framingham State 28 

Springfield College at Kean University (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 1 p.m.): Junior quarterback Chad Shade stole the show last week, rushing for a career-best six scores in his team’s first-ever win at home against Western New England. He’ll probably have another big game this week against a solid Kean squad. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Kean 21 

Westfield State at Western New England (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 1 p.m.): The Golden Bears will attempt to provide first-year coach Jason Lebeau with his first win on the sideline when they host Westfield State, which captured its first game of the season last Friday over Nichols. PREDICTION: WNE 28, Westfield State 21 

Castleton University at Fitchburg State (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 2 p.m.): Both teams will look to bounce back after week one setbacks. Our thought is Castleton will find a way to beat the Falcons on the road. PREDICTION: Castleton 24, Fitchburg State 17 

New England D3 Football 2018 Predictions

Preseason Predictions

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the first New England D3 football game scheduled for Thursday, August 30th – University of New England will travel to New London, Connecticut to play its first-ever varsity contest against Coast Guard Academy – it is time to unveil our Noontime Sports 2018 Season Projections, which includes our five picks to win each conference, along with teams to watch and dark horses.


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

Projected Conference Winner 

Western New England: A new era has officially begun at WNE with Jason Lebeau taking over for Keith Emery. The Golden Bears are certainly the favorite in this conference, but do have some questions heading into a new season. However, we expect WNE to celebrate another CCC title, but they could encounter some challenges along the way. Look for junior tailback Peter Hoff to lead the offense, while senior linebacker Mike Chirco will oversee the defense.

Team to Watch

Curry College: Sure, the Colonels may have graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad, but there seems to be some early season excitement surrounding the Purple and White. Once again, coach Skip Bandini will ask everyone to step-up, especially when the game is on the line.

Dark Horse   

Endicott College: Similar to WNE, Endicott will be under new leadership this fall with first-year coach Paul McGonagle returning to the Beverly campus to lead a squad that certainly has potential to make 2018 an exciting fall. They have solid pieces on both sides of the ball and will certainly provide challenges to both their conference and non-conference foes.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) 

Projected Conference Winner 

Husson University: The John Smith era may have ended last November, but don’t overlook these Eagles, who will once again be a team to watch in New England. Senior quarterback Cory Brandon returns and should be in for a solid final season with the Green and Gold – look for him to target classmate and wide out Kyle Gaudet and junior Quintarian Brown. On defense, senior linebacker Elvin Suazo will lead a unit that limited opposing offenses to an average of two touchdowns per game last season. Classmate and defensive lineman Tarik Smith is back, as well, and will certainly be a player to watch up front.

Team to Watch 

SUNY Maritime: The Privateers certainly have what it takes to challenge the Eagles for the top spot – they also have what it takes to make another postseason appearance after finishing its 2017 campaign 9-2 overall, as well. Senior quarterback Thomas Wright has some of his favorite targets back from last season, so look for him to connect with classmates Brandonn Drumgole and Curtis Smith. Wright should have enough time to go through the motions with two key members of last year’s line back this fall: seniors Nick Acevedo and Dean Lynch. Junior linebacker Liam Bailey will lead the Privateers defense – he will receive some help from classmate and defensive end Payton Campbell. SUNY Maritime will be under new leadership this season as Vincent DiGaetano returns to Throggs Neck, New York – he was with the program from 2005-2015.

Dark Horse 

Gallaudet University:  The Bison could surprise some folks this fall – they were picked to finish fifth in the ECFC Coaches Preseason Poll, but could perhaps finish maybe a spot or two higher by the conclusion of the 2018 season. Look for senior Dylan Mento (wide receiver) and junior Timel Benton (quarterback) to power the offense, while senior Louie Akuffo (linebacker) lead the defense after recording a career-best 55 solo stops last fall.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Projected Conference Winner 

Framingham State: It’s hard to pick against these Rams, who graduated some key pieces of last year’s squad. However, the same determination from a year ago remains with this team – they are coming off back-to-back New England Bowl championships and hope to return to the NCAA Tournament in mid-November. Senior halfback Quron Wright should lead the offense once again – look for sophomore wide-out Shaq Joseph to become a familiar target for junior quarterback Adam Wojenski. Junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu returns – he will be tasked with leading a unit that does have some question marks heading into a new campaign, but should definitely improve as the season progresses.

Team to Watch 

Plymouth State: Picked to finish second in this summer’s MASCAC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Panthers welcome back a slew of talent on both sides of the ball, which should once again keep them in the mix for a conference crown. Offensively, the team returns most of its returners (and contributors) from last season, including senior quarterback Zack Edwards and junior wide-out Jacob Szulc. Senior halfback Mitch Banuskevich is also back, as well – he led the team’s rushing attack last fall with 668 yards on 166 carries. Defensively, the Panthers graduated some key players, but do return junior defensive back Matt Shea.

Dark Horse 

Worcester State: Keep an eye on the offensive combo of senior quarterback Noah Brum and junior tight end Jacob Maher. These two will be tasked with leading the Lancers offense, along with senior halfbacks Dexter Andrews and Hunter Paupaw. Sophomore linebacker Mike Quinn enjoyed a successful first season with the Lancers – he led all defenders with 100 total tackles, and will certainly be the player to watch on defense.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Projected Winner 

Trinity College: The Bantams return 14 starters from last season, including senior  running back Max Chipouras, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Chipouras should be the focal point of the Bantams’ offense as quarterback Sonny Puzzo graduated – they will also have to make up for the loss of two-time All-American Chris Simmons on the line, as well. Senior defensive end Corey Jean Jacques should anchor one of the best defenses in both the NESCAC and New England.

Team to Watch 

Amherst College: Don’t overlook this Mammoths squad, which on paper looks like a team that could contend for some NESCAC hardware this season. Junior quarterback OIlie Eberth is back and will have a few familiar targets to throw to, including classmate James O’Regan and senior Bo Berluti. On defense, look no further than senior Andrew Yamin, who will  once again provide nightmares for opposing offenses.

Dark Horse 

Williams College: Coach Mark Raymond led the Ephs to an impressive 6-3 mark last fall, which included a season finale win over rival Amherst College. The win over the Mammoths could be the momentum Williams needs to contend for a NESCAC crown this season. Sophomore quarterback Bobby Maimaron was extremely impressive in his first season – he will once again be a player to watch on offense this fall.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) 

Projected Winner 

Springfield College: Sure, some pieces from last year’s unit graduated, but that won’t slow down the Pride’s momentum, which should certainly continue this season. Junior tailback Hunter Belzo will be tasked with carrying the load – the same could be said for classmate and quarterback Chad Shade. And the good news is both Belzo and Shade will be able to run behind junior center Nick Bainter, who will be tasked with anchoring Springfield’s o-line. Senior Nick Giorgio will be the player to watch on defense for the Pride – he should receive some help from classmates Josh Corporan (linebacker), Marlowe Scott (defensive back) and Johnny Bianchi (strong safety).

Team to Watch 

WPI: This Engineers squad seems extremely determined to challenge Springfield College for the top spot in the NEWMAC. A good chunk of last year’s team returns, including junior halfbacks Sean McAllen and Connor Field, seniors Luca Cerasani (d-line) and Sam Malafronte (linebacker), along with junior Nick Ostrowski (linebacker). WPI also returns place kicker and punter Spencer Herrington – he will be ready for the big kick when his number is called.

Dark Horse 

Merchant Marine: Sure, the Mariners will look a tad bit different this fall than last year – and the year before, too – but this young squad could provide some challenges on both sides of the ball when they enter NEWMAC play in a few weeks. Senior fullbacks Wiley Martin and Joseph Bellomo will be tasked with leading an offense that will be without quarterback Bryce Moorse, who graduated in the spring. Senior defensive back Brooks Cannell will be a player to watch on defense this fall, as well.

Want more New England football? Then make sure to toss us a follow on Twitter: @Noontime_FB 

Noontime 2017 Year In Review: Revisiting The New England D3 Football Season

2017 Football Rewind

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier this season, we unveiled our Noontime Sports 2017 Team of the Year, but now it is time to re-visit the New England Division III season once more!

That’s right, it’s time for a Noontime 2017 Rewind as we look back on the past few months of coverage, while slowly looking ahead to what we can expect from the New England Division III Football world in 2018.

It was a great year of coverage and we certainly look forward to doing it again next season, so stay tuned, New England Division III football fans and friends!

Teams of the YearFor starters, we must begin with Husson University, which was led by senior tailback John Smith, who rushed for 31 touchdowns this season and 2,242 yards on 340 carries.

Smith, who was tabbed our Offensive Player of the Year, guided the Eagles to an exciting postseason victory over Springfield College before putting a scare into Delaware Valley in round two – the win over the Pride was the Eagles’ first-ever playoff win.

Despite falling short to the Aggies, the Eagles left a serious impression on us for the upcoming season and will certainly be one of our top teams to watch in 2018.

Springfield College also enjoyed an impressive 2017 campaign, winning 10-straight regular season contests, as well as the first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. The Pride scored an exciting opening day win against Western New England, which was followed-up with another impressive victory against Kean (28-8) in week two.

The Pride concluded their season with an impressive 435.2 rushing yards per game, while the defense held opponents to roughly 12 points per game. Senior halfback Jordan Wilcox was one of four nominees for this year’s Gagliardi Trophy.

Trinity College and Williams College are two other schools that deserve this particular honor – the Bantams captured another New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown this fall, while the Ephs enjoyed a bounce-back season under second-year coach Mark Raymond. The Ephs received a boost from first-year (and NESCAC Rookie of the Year) quarterback Bobby Maimaron, who led the Purple and Gold past Amherst College in the final game of the year – it was an overtime thriller!

Let’s not forget about Curry College or Framingham State – both teams met in the New England Bowl last month and will certainly be teams to watch in 2018. Additionally, we cannot overlook WPI, which won its first-ever postseason game against SUNY Maritime in the New England Bowl, too. The Engineers could certainly be a team that challenges the Pride for the top seed in the NEWMAC last year, so let the countdown to Springfield-WPI begin! Another team to watch in the NEWMAC next season … MIT!

Finally, a tip of the cap is due to Plymouth State, which again enjoyed another winning season – the Panthers captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown en route to a first-round playoff match-up against Brockport.

The NESCAC Nine Game Schedule was … AWESOMEThe nine-game schedule in the NESCAC this season was awesome … seriously, we really enjoyed it!

Every week was must-see, must-follow and must-watch football – everyone had a chance to contend for the crown and a new storyline always unfolded after the final game concluded.

Trinity College may have been the team to beat again this season, but watching Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College and Williams College compete with them for the top spot was extremely exciting. Additionally, let’s not overlook Tufts University and Wesleyan University, which also provided the Bantams with some challenges along the way to another league crown, too.

Outside the race for the crown, it was awesome to see the Maine triangle (Bates CollegeBowdoin College and Colby College) continue their CBB rivalry.

We are really excited to see what happens next year, but all in all, the nine-game schedule was awesome!

The Football Friday PodcastAs sports media evolves, so does Noontime Sports and it seems like our weekly – and yes, sometimes bi-weekly – podcast on New England Division III football worked, so thank you all for tuning in/listening to our various conversations with coaches, student-athletes and media members.

We’ll continue it again next season, but certainly open to additional ideas or thoughts – maybe we should do a special segment like a ‘lightening round?’ Luckily, we have time to figure out some additional content ideas before a new season kicks-off, so keep your eyes out for season two of Football Friday, which will most likely begin next August.

ESPN D3 Coverage … MORE PLEASE: It was great to see the Coast Guard-Merchant Marine game streamed on ESPN3 last month – we need to see more games like this one on the four-letter network next year and beyond. Perhaps we could see more Division III (and some Division II games, too) on a new streaming service/platform, which ESPN plans to roll out next year? It is possible, so let’s see what happens, but that would be a great place for fans to go to watch and stream games.

Closing ThoughtsIt was a great season – seriously, it was a tremendous year with some great stories and outcomes, which means 2018 should be even more exciting. We’re counting down the days to camp – yep, the clock is ticking in our office – and will look forward to bringing you coverage of New England Division III Football in 2018, so see you all on the gridiron soon!

D3 Football: WPI Tops SUNY Maritime For First-Ever New England Bowl Victory

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Sean McAllen and the WPI Engineers ended their season with a 17-3 New England Bowl victory. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Sean McAllen and Lain Zembek each rushed for one touchdown, while Spencer Herrington booted a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter, which helped WPI defeat SUNY Maritime, 17-3, in the New England Bowl on Saturday evening at Alumni Stadium in Worcester.

Earlier today, Framingham State defeated Curry College, 48-14, to win its second-straight New England Bowl after winning the initial title game one year ago against Salve Regina.

Herrington, who connected on all three kicks he attempted, put WPI on the board early in the second quarter before McAllen added to the Engineers’ lead late in the session with a 10-yard burst, which provided the hosts with a 10-0 advantage at the break.

Zembek made it a three score game (17-0) late in the third quarter when he capped a nine-play, 61 yard drive with a two-yard score before SUNY Maritime trimmed the deficit with a Matthew Murphy field goal mid-way through the final frame.

SUNY Maritime did have two more chances to score, but saw both series end in either a punt or interception.

WPI’s defense concluded the contest with six tackles for a loss of 23 yards, five sacks for a loss of 15 yards and three interceptions for 68 yards. The unit also combined for four pass break-ups and a pair of quarterback hurries. 

Sam Malafronte led the WPI defense with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops, while Luca Cerasani registered a team-high four tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two sacks for a loss of 14 yards.

SUNY Maritime’s Wesley Joseph led the Privateers defense with four tackles for a loss of five yards, while recording a fumble recovery.

WPI, which concludes its 2017 season at 9-2 overall, matches the 1992 squad with nine wins (most in a single-season, per Saturday’s release). They also conclude their season with a seven-game winning streak, too.

SUNY Maritime also concludes its season at 9-2 after placing second in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).