Springfield has won its last four meetings with Catholic, dating back to the initial conference clash in 2017.
Last season, the Pride beat the Cardinals, 28-14, in their season finale, thanks to Tim Callahan, David Wells, and Ryan Deguire, who combined for three rushing touchdowns. Springfield’s defense intercepted Catholic quarterback Madden Lowe three times.
Wells will certainly be a player to watch next Saturday for the Pride – he, along with Joseph Cannizzaro, has rushed for eight touchdowns this season. Additionally, Wells has tossed a career-high seven touchdowns in nine games this season, including a season-high three touchdown passes last week against Merchant Marine Academy.
Springfield has won its last six contests since beginning its 2022 campaign with one win and two losses. Catholic has won its last five contests after starting its season with a 1-3 record against non-league foes.
The second week of the New England college football season technically began Sunday, but before we kick off another busy weekend of games, how about we highlight five teams fans should watch (or keep an eye on) this week?
Like we did last year, we will be highlighting five teams from the New England region that fans should keep an eye on every week. This year, we will include all three divisions, not just NCAA Division III teams, and schools.
So, without further ado, here are five teams I’ll be watching on Friday and Saturday.
Anna Maria College (0-0, 0-0 ECFC): When we last saw the AMCATs on the gridiron, their exciting season concluded in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Anna Maria enjoyed its best season in program history last fall, winning its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown while also setting a program record for wins in a single season: seven.
As expected, the AMCATs were picked to win the conference crown again this season, but face a challenging non-conference slate, which begins with a home date this Saturday with the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs. Neither team has met before on the gridiron, but this will certainly be a good measuring stick for Steve Croce, who begins his first season as the program’s head coach.
Croce was named the fourth head coach in program history, succeeding Dan Mulrooney, who stepped down earlier this year to accept the head coaching role with Lock Haven University.
Assumption University (1-0, 0-0 NE10): They say defense win championships.
Last Saturday, the Greyhounds’ defense shined in their season-opener, helping the Greyhounds score an impressive 3-0 win over KutztownUniversity, which entered last week’s tilt as the 13th best team in NCAA Division II.
Assumption’s defense concluded the game with three interceptions and five sacks.
Saint Anselm College (1-0, 0-0 NE10): Quarterback Drew Willoughby was the player to watch last Thursday as the Austin, Texas native led the Hawks to an exciting opening day win over Millersville University.
The Hawks’ 18-point win provided the program with its first win in the opening week since 2014, along with its most recent victory against a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) since 2012.
Willoughby finished his team’s season-opener with 30 completions and 349 passing yards. He connected with three different receivers for touchdowns and became the seventh signal-caller in program history to reach 3,000 career passing yards.
Willoughby will again be a player to watch on Saturday when they host American International College (AIC).
Springfield College (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC): It was an impressive start for the Pride last Friday night against Western New England.
Six players rushed for a touchdown while the offense concluded the non-conference meeting with 506 yards of total offense.
The team’s impressive ground game led to the entire offensive line – Lou Cocozza, Cam Borges, Vinny Ruggiero, Jon Weber, and Chris Eichler – being named to this week’s D3Football.com Team of the Week.
While it’s only one game, this Springfield team looked pretty good – their momentum will be tested against Rowan University on Saturday.
Like Springfield, Rowan enjoyed a successful debut by defeating Widener University, 42-20.
Rowan lost to Springfield last fall – the Profs defense struggled to contain the Pride’s rushing attack, which was led by Tim Callahan (151 rushing yards and three touchdowns) and Patrick Ladas (115 rushing yards and one touchdown).
With the 2021 NCAA New England Division III season slowly winding down, it is time to unveil our end-of-season team that features a slew of student-athletes from all five conferences. Some of these student-athletes appeared on our preseason team — in case you missed it, feel free to jump back in time to see who made our D3 preseason squad! — but in the meantime, congratulations to everyone on another exciting season, and best of luck to the seniors and graduate students that competed for the final time this fall!
Springfield’s journey to the postseason: After ending its initial month of play with just one win, the Pride rebounded with six straight wins, including three consecutive hard-fought wins during the final three weeks against Catholic University, MIT, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Their end-of-season win over the Cardinals allowed the Pride to secure their second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown since capturing it in 2017.
Cortland’s journey to the postseason: After beginning their season with an opening day win over Wittenberg University, the Red Dragons ripped off nine straight wins, including six Empire 8 victories that saw just two teams – Brockport and SUNY Morrisville – score at least one touchdown against a Red Dragons squad that is yielding an average of 8.4 points per game this season.
Springfield’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Pride competed in the opening round of the 2017 postseason but saw their 10-game winning streak snapped to a Husson University squad that had captured its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown one week earlier against Mount Ida College.
Cortland’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Red Dragons last appeared in the postseason in 2015 where they won an opening round contest against Salisbury University by a score of 45-21. Linfield University defeated Cortland in the second round before losing to St. Thomas in the semifinals.
Springfield’s NCAA Tournament history: The Pride are making their seventh trip to the postseason with their first appearance coming in 1998 when Springfield lost to Buffalo State in the opening round by a score of 38-35. Two years later, Springfield returned to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the East Regional Finals where they lost to Widener University.
Cortland’s NCAA Tournament history Saturday will mark the 10th time in program history that the Red Dragons have competed in the national postseason. Cortland first appeared in the postseason in 1988. They beat Hofstra University in the opening round at home before falling to Ithaca College in the quarterfinals.
Players to Watch on Springfield: Tim Callahan (FB), Isaiah Cashwell-Doe (RB), Christian Hutra (K | NEWMAC Special Teamer of the Year), Kyle Niehr (DB), Ronald Beard (DB), DJ Brown (LB), Aiden Lewin (LB), David Wells (QB), and Patrick Tuohy (P)
Tim Callahan rushed for a team-high 137 yards and one score – his lone touchdown with 10:39 remaining in the third quarter proved to be the difference as Springfield College outlasted the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), 28-23, to secure the inside track to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) title.
Springfield, which moves to 5-3 overall and 4-0 against league foes, snapped the Mariners’ seven-game winning streak that included some impressive conference victories against Catholic University and MIT, two teams the Pride will face next month.
USMMA’s Ian Blankenship produced 313 yards of total offense, including 178 yards on the ground on 23 carries.
Springfield’s Patrick Ladas and David Wells combined for 148 yards and three rushing touchdowns while DJ Brown led the Pride’s defense with 10 total tackles, including nine solo stops and one fumble recovery.
The Pride will visit MIT next Saturday, November 6 – the Engineers will enter the game on a two-game winning streak, thanks to a 21-7 victory against Coast Guard Academy.
WPI snapped a six-game losing streak with a 28-2 victory over Norwich University for the team’s first conference win since November 16, 2019 (their last conference win was also against the Cadets).
Brendan Olexa completed 15 of 25 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns while Brandon Winn and Zachary Levy each located the end zone once while combining for 90 yards rushing.
UMass Dartmouth snapped a six-game losing streak to Bridgewater State with a 26-20 victory to become the first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) squad to win seven games this season.
Dante Aviles-Santos tossed four touchdowns in the win, including the go-head score with 13:58 remaining in the final stanza when he located Douglas Machado for an 18-yard strike.
Bridgewater State led UMass Dartmouth, 20-14, at the break, thanks to a 25-yard touchdown run by Adam Couch, who became the ninth halfback in program history to record 1,000 yards or more in a single-season.
Despite the loss, the Bears remain in contention for the conference crown, but need to win their final two contests, including next week’s matchup with Framingham State.
The Rams inched closer to securing the conference crown by defeating Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 23-14, in Buzzards Bay. Devaun Ford recorded two touchdowns in the win, including a 75-yard rushing touchdown with 8:55 remaining in the third quarter that provided the visitors with the lead for good.
Amherst College forced overtime and then beat Wesleyan University in the fourth extra session, 16-14, thanks Brad Breckenridge, who threw for 170 yards and one touchdown.
Breckenridge’s lone touchdown pass to PJ Clementi with 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter sent the game to extra sessions where the Mammoths were able to convert a two-point conversion in the fourth overtime.
Wesleyan entered the ninth week of the season with a perfect record – the same could be said for Trinity College and Williams College. The Ephs rolled past the Bantams, 42-3, in Williamstown to secure the top spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Other outcomes to note from a very busy Saturday: Castleton University outlasted Anna Maria College, 38-31, Colby College beat Bates College, 10-2, and Plymouth State topped Westfield State, 17-7.
Bentley University and the University of New Haven both scored important Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) wins this afternoon as the Falcons soared past Franklin Pierce University while the Chargers topped Assumption College, 16-10.
Both teams will meet next weekend in New Haven, Connecticut with the top spot in the NE10 up for grabs.