John Kenney rushed for a team-high 71 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown — his lone score capped an exciting fourth quarter that saw Endicott College rally from a two-touchdown deficit to defeat WPI, 28-21, on Friday evening at Hempstead Stadium.
Friday’s victory marked the second time this season Endicott has needed to rally past their opponent to secure a hard-fought victory — last Saturday, the Gulls overcame an eight-point deficit at the break to defeat St. Lawrence University.
Joe Leonard, Anthony Bracamonte, and Clayton Marengi combined for 161 passing yards while Mehdi Squalli and Tim Russell led the defense with eight total tackles, respectively.
WPI’s Brandon Winn led all rushers with two touchdowns while quarterback Dante Coccagnia completed 12 of 22 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown.
The Engineers led 14-0 at the break and 21-7 after three quarters.
Curtis Cann completed 14 of 25 passes for 213 yards while Kobe Copeland rushed for a game-high 31 yards and one score as Massachusetts Maritime Academy outlasted SUNY-Maritime, 14-6, in their season-opener and the 13th Chowder Bowl.
The Buccaneer’s defense concluded the game with three interceptions and ten tackles for a loss of 22 yards.
In Westfield, Dillon Kohl and Tyler Millerick combined for four rushing touchdowns while Bryce Karstetter and Tyler Millerick each through for one touchdown as Western New England rolled past Westfield State, 48-0.
The first official weekend of the New England (and northeast) college football season has finally arrived, which means it is time to preview our first “Game of the Week,” which pits Endicott College and Saint Lawrence University.
Before the Gulls and Saints square off on Saturday, September 4 at 12 p.m., let’s learn a bit more about each team, as well as make a prediction for who wins (and why?).
The early outlook for Endicott College: The Gulls enter their first game of the 2021 season as our second-ranked team in this week’s New England Top 20 Poll (for week one) — Endicott is certainly one of many teams I (and others) in the area/region believe will be in the mix for their conference crown.
Coach Paul McGonagle has led the Gulls to eight wins or more in two seasons — in 2019, Endicott matched its win total from 2012 with nine wins while capping their campaign with a New England Bowl victory over Dean College.
The early outlook for Saint Lawrence: After posting a 9-1 record in 2016, the Saints have averaged three wins in their last three seasons — they did, however, finish 5-5 in 2019, including 3-3 in the Liberty League (LL).
When we last saw the Saints compete, they finished their 2019 season with back-to-back wins after starting their campaign with a pair of losses to Norwich University and Utica College.
Quarterback Sean Richardson highlighted his team’s third win by completing 24 of 32 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns while halfback Rodrick Payne rushed for a game-high 114 yards on 21 carries.
The game was played at Hempstead Stadium in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Players to Watch on Endicott: RB John Kenney (Wilmington, Mass), WR Anthony Bracamonte (Saco, Maine), WR Shea McManaway (Lisbon, Conn.), DL Sam Opont (Bridgeport, Conn.), LB Tim Russell (Stoneham, Mass.) and LB Mehdi Squalli (Rochester, N.Y.)
Players to Watch on Saint Lawrence: QB Tyler Grochot (Ottawa, Ontario), RB Jamie Battaglia (Brewerton, N.Y.), WR Andrew Murphy (Glens Falls, N.Y.),OL Max Warden (Potsdam, N.Y.), DL Caleb Null (Carthage, N.Y.),DL Ryan Reinke (Schenectady, N.Y.), LB Kyle Frimel (Cream Ridge, N.J), and DB Max Gilbert (Newburyport, Mass.)
Prediction: Endicott 28, St. Lawrence 27: As I said on this week’s podcast when discussing the first week of games with James Baker, I like the Gulls in this one – I think they will feed off their home crowd to score a late touchdown and squeak out a win. However, I do think the Gulls defense will be challenged by an up-tempo offense led by quarterback Tyler Grochot.
All in all, Saturday will be an exciting day for everyone as we celebrate the return to the field.
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.
Kevin O’Brien and the Endicott College defense have been a unit to watch this fall.
Through five contests, the Endicott defense has limited opponents to just 17.2 points per game, which is roughly five points less than what this unit yielded to opposing teams through five weeks last season.
O’Brien, who is in his third season with the Gulls, credits defensive coordinator Sean Golden for helping both he and his teammates be well-prepared for the opposing offenses they have and will face this season. Additionally, he credited his classmate Tim Russell – the two linebackers have complemented each other quite well this fall when it comes to rushing the passer to dropping back in coverage to defend the pass.
Noontime Sports caught up with the third-year linebacker to discuss the Gulls’ 2019 season thus far, but also what he did to prepare himself for a successful junior season with the Endicott defense.
Your team heads into the bye week with a 4-1 record. I know we chatted prior to the Framingham State game a few weeks ago, but did you (and your teammates) think you would be 4-1 heading into the sixth week of the season?
We knew we could be a very good team as we returned almost everyone (from last year’s squad). We were a few plays away from upsetting a very good Wesley College team (last month) but I think we have yet to play our best football which is exciting.
Through five weeks, the defense has yielded just 17.2 points per game. What has been the difference this season for the defense compared to last season (or your first season with the Gulls in 2017)?
One big difference is we have so many defensive linemen that can play good football for us. We have been regularly rotating the defensive linemen throughout the game and I think we probably have the best depth (at that position) in our conference.
Rotating and having fresh linemen is obviously good for a number of reasons and helps everyone else out.
Both last season and this season, your defense has defended the run pretty well. How have you (and the defense) been able to slow down opposing rushing attacks?
Anytime you prepare to slow down the run game or key in on a (certain) player (becomes) a group effort.
Coach Golden, who is our defensive coordinator, has been putting myself and the rest of the defense in good positions to stop the run and force teams to get into a third and medium or long situation. We then can dial something up (a play) that can get our unit off the field (and let the offense go back to work).
We face a ton of good running backs in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) conference, including halfbacks from Curry College, Salve Regina University, and Western New England, so each week is a new and difficult challenge (for our unit).
With the bye week coming at the halfway mark of the season, what do you feel the defense must work on, both this week and next week heading into an important stretch, beginning with Curry College next Saturday, October 19th.
The defense has played well so far but we still have a lot to work to do.
In some games, we have let teams get into the red zone before we tighten up to get a stop. We have often lived by the motto “bend, but don’t break” when we are in the red zone.
I think we need to work on getting stops earlier and forcing teams to punt while tightening up our tackling to disguising our coverages to force turnovers.
Our offense is so explosive and has tons of options so we know the quicker we can get a stop on defense the quicker our offense can go get points (for us).
From a personal perspective, how do you feel your game has improved from last season to this season? Have you prepared differently for games this year than last year?
With another year of playing under my belt, I feel as if I’m stronger and more experienced than most players.
I’ve prepared myself a little bit differently this year (than my previous two seasons with the program). I play the “Mike” linebacker whereas last year I played “Buck,” which focuses on outside containment. Will Rivera was the “Mike” for our defense last season.
Playing “Mike” linebacker is a new challenge as I am usually always on the front side of coverage and the strongside of the run. And depending on a run or pass, I rely on calls and checks on the fly.
It is definitely a challenge but Tim Russell, who is our “Buck” linebacker has helped me out tremendously and has been playing excellent next to me.
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.