Sure, we’re a New England sports blog – yes, we’re based right outside of Boston (technically across the river, to be exact in Somerville), but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our eyes on some college football games outside our region, right?
So, today, we’re going to highlight a few matchups to watch this weekend outside of New England, including one taking place in Madison, New Jersey.
Delaware Valley (5-0, 3-0 MAC) at FDU-Florham (4-1, 3-0 MAC) Saturday, October 16 at 12 p.m.: The Devils have been on a roll since losing their season-opener to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA).
Last week, FDU-Florham won its fourth consecutive contest by outlasting Lebanon Valley in double-overtime. Connor Perez, who finished with two touchdown receptions, caught the game-winning score in the second overtime session and quarterback Anthony Caserta concluded the conference clash with four touchdown passes.
The Devils’ momentum will certainly be tested against an Aggies squad that has not lost a game this fall – DelVal has produced 114 points in three-straight conference games and scored their fifth consecutive win last weekend with a 48-15 win over King’s College.
DelVal enters Saturday’s contest having won 32 consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) matchups, dating back to their 2016 campaign. Their 5-0 start is their best since 2017 when they finished 12-1 overall and 9-0 in conference play.
FDU-Florham’s offense will be challenged with scoring points this week as DelVal’s defense is one of six units in NCAA Division III that is limiting opponents to less than 10 points per game. DelVal’s defense has yielded an average of 9.40 points per game.
Gallaudet University (4-0, 2-0 ECFC) at SUNY-Maritime (1-4, 1-1 ECFC) Saturday, October 16 at 2 p.m.: The Bison enter their third conference matchup with a great deal of momentum.
Last week, Timel Benton and the Bison rushed past Keystone College, 34-14, thanks to five rushing touchdowns. Benton rushed for a team-high 167 yards on 19 carries and two scores while D’Mitri Lofton, Mikka Harvey, and Preston Garrett all rushed for one touchdown.
As a team, Gallaudet leads all Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) teams with 17 rushing touchdowns – Alfred State ranks second with 10 – while the Privateers rank fourth in touchdown passes (Anna Maria College and Dean College are tied for first with 10 touchdowns through the air).
SUNY-Maritime captured its conference opener with a come-from-behind win against Castleton University before falling one week later to Alfred State.
Saturday’s game is an important one for both teams, but especially the Privateers as two conference losses would make it tough for them to win the league title. But anything is possible, of course.
SUNY-Maritime topped Gallaudet in their last meeting in 2019 by a score of 24-13, while the Bison’s last win against the Privateers came in 2012. The win – the Bison’s seventh of the 2012 season – matched their total from 2007, which was when the squad returned to the “NCAA Division III ranks.”
Anna Maria College (3-1, 1-0 ECFC) at Alfred State (2-3, 1-0 ECFC) Saturday, October 16 at 12 p.m.: The AMCATs have been a great story thus far. But can they continue their early-season momentum one week after they were idle? I think so.
Quarterback Alex Cohen leads the conference in passing yards per game (288.0) and passer rating (151.5) and guided the AMCATs to a thrilling 21-20 victory two years ago against the Pioneers.
Cohen will certainly be a player to watch in this matchup, but the same could be said for Alfred State’s Aaron Jenkins, who registered 317 yards of total offense last week, including a game-high 222 yards on 22 carries and one rushing touchdown against SUNY-Maritime. Jenkins also completed 8 of 18 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns – he located both Ben Ba and Shy’rel Broadwater in the end zone.
Look for Alfred State to rely on its rushing attack on Saturday, which has held them to back-to-back victories.
Anna Maria has won two of three meetings – Saturday’s contest will mark the fourth meeting between the two schools.
More Games to Watch:
Wilkes University at Widener University (10/16 at 1 p.m.): A pair of five-win teams will tangle in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Utica College (4-1, 1-0 E8) at Brockport (3-2, 1-1 E8) (10/16 at 6 p.m.): The Golden Eagles look to bounce back against the Pioneers, who needed to rally past Hartwick to score their first conference win.
RPI (6-0, 2-0 LL) at Hobart College (4-1, 0-1 LL) (10/16 at 1 p.m.): The Statesmen look to bounce back against an Engineers team that continues to find ways to win games.
For the past few seasons, Timel Benton has been a quarterback to watch.
Last weekend, the senior signal-caller from Columbia, South Carolina, rushed for a career-high 232 yards and scored four touchdowns in Gallaudet University’s first conference win of the 2021 season against Dean College.
The win over the Bulldogs bumped the Bison’s overall record to 3-0 and 1-0 in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) play – the team’s three-straight wins matches its start from 2013, which saw Gallaudet secure an NCAA Division III first-round postseason matchup with Hobart College.
“Coach Chuck (Goldstein) called my number throughout the game and the big guy’s upfront, the slots, and wide receivers took care of the rest,” said Benton when discussing his impressive performance against the Bulldogs.
“(My teammates) opened lanes for me, and I was able to get out in space to help lead us to win. Without them, this win would not have been possible against such an athletic Bulldogs’ defense.”
Prior to rushing past numerous members of the Dean College defense, Benton threw for a season-best 265 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 49-42 victory over Greensboro College.
Noontime Sports recently caught up with Benton to discuss his impressive rushing performance, but also what he and the team must do this weekend against Keystone College.
You rushed for a career-high 232 yards and four touchdowns in the win – do you recall rushing for that many yards or more prior to competing for Gallaudet?
In high school, I was a role player. I plugged in at positions that needed filling each week. I never got the opportunity to have big games but what matters most to me is the wins. I could have all the stats in the world, but without another one in the win column, they’re meaningless in my opinion.
It sounds cliché, but how important was it for you and your team to begin conference play with a win? How does a victory last Saturday help the team heading into this week’s contest against Keystone College?
I told the guys during pregame, “This game is what sets the tone for the rest of our season. If everyone does their job and knows their role, we’ll be just fine.”
The win over Dean has given us a spark that this program hasn’t felt in a long time. We have momentum but it’s important that we continue to stay focused and take it one game at a time.
How has your game evolved from your initial season in 2016 to this fall? What changes have you made to become not just a thrower, but also a rushing signal-caller?
When I came into the program I had no idea what to expect in this system because it was so new for me being from an air raid offense in high school. When I earned the starting job in 2016, I played off of pure athletic ability and not enough knowledge. Over time I developed into my role as a leader and with that came my understanding of this offense. Coach Chuck preaches on seeing the big picture of what our offense is based on. It took some time but I finally understood that I didn’t have to do things on my own, I just need to take what the defense gives us and get the ball into our playmakers’ hands.
To become a more effective rusher, I had to learn to limit the impacts of the hits I took in games. Over the years I’ve studied New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara’s game film and his insane workouts that improved his balance. I took a few notes from those and applied them to my workouts as well as my game.
Who is one or perhaps two (or three) quarterbacks you idolize/have studied over the past few seasons? And how has watching these quarterbacks play helped you become the signal-caller you are currently?
My two favorite quarterbacks to watch and mirror my game after are Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots). I admire how when Denard Robinson was in tight situations he would make people miss in the smallest gaps and just explode for long runs. Additionally, I love how Cam was such a powerful force with the ball in his hand and his vibe of playing the game he just had fun with it.
Tell me about your major – what interested you in pursuing a degree in physical education and recreation? What do you hope to do with it after graduation?
In high school, I bounced between culinary, business, and graphic design. My senior year I was a middle school teacher’s assistant for PE class and loved it. I enjoy being physically active even outside of playing football and I want to dig even deeper to encourage the new generations to enjoy physical activity as well.
My plan is to go back to South Carolina and pursue my career somewhere in the physical education field. I want to work with high school students but I’ll take whatever opportunity is available.
Finally, could you see yourself coaching or finding a way to stay involved in football after your final game with the Bison?
Funny you ask, during the Covid year of 2020 I was a quarterback coach at a high school in South Carolina. I loved every second of it, and I plan on returning to be a coach once my football career comes to an end. I even have aspirations to coach college football at some point in my life.
Happy Monday! With another weekend of college football in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive, Defensive and Special Team units of the week, as well as our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, too.
Offensive Player of the Week: Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese concluded last Saturday’s contest against UMass Dartmouth with four touchdowns, including the game-winning score on a one-yard scamper that helped the Colonels erase a three-point (27-24) deficit. Corvese completed 29 of 44 for 377 yards and two scores, while rushing for 18 yards on 13 carries and two scores.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jaquan Harris (Framingham State): Harris recorded five interceptions last Friday in his team’s 32-16 win over Fitchburg State. The five picks tied a NCAA Division III record. Additionally, Harris established a new single-game program record with five interceptions, while tying the single-season mark for picks in a season with eight (currently).
Special Teams Player of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT): Wright connected on all nine kicks, including a trio of field goals with his longest boot coming from 35-yards out. He concluded last Saturday’s contest against Maine Maritime with 15 points.
Offensive Team of the Week:
Darius Adams (Coast Guard Academy): Facing a talented Springfield defense, Adams recorded a game-high four receptions for 74 yards and one score.
Abbi Bamgbose (UMass Dartmouth): Bamgbose concluded last Saturday’s contest against Curry College with 158 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Mitch Banuskevich (Plymouth State): Banuskevich tallied 162 yards on 31 carries, while recording six receptions for 40 yards and one score as the Panthers defeated Bridgewater State, 17-7.
Timel Benton (Gallaudet): Sophomore quarterback Timel Benton ran for 128 yards on four carries and scored two touchdowns in the opening half for Gallaudet in its 73-23 rout of Anna Maria for its first win of the season. Benton completed 3 of 6 passes for 140 yards before he was lifted in the second half. He completed a 94-yard pass to Joell Dixon, which would of been a touchdown if not for an unsportsmanlike penalty on Dixon for showboating at the end of the play before he got into the end zone.
Jake Bonheyo (Gallaudet): Bonheyo, Gallaudet’s back-up quarterback came in for one quarter and ran the ball four times for a team best 131 yards and three touchdowns. On his first play under center, Bonheyo ran 45 yards for a touchdown. On the next two Gallaudet possessions, Bonheyo scored from 36 and 47 yards out as the Bison led 67-17 midway through the third quarter.
Noah Brum (Worcester State): Brum completed 22 of 36 passes for 217 yards and three touchdown, while rushing for 12 yards on three carries.
Cory Brandon (Husson): Brandon completed 15 of 24 passes for 234 yards, while tossing three touchdowns as the Eagles defeated the Privateers in a marquee Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash.
Mitchell Caron (Castleton): Caron completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 15 yards on eight carries and one score against Mount Ida.
Brandonn Drumgole (SUNY Maritime): Drumgole led all receivers last Saturday with six receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown in his team’s setback to Husson.
Jake Eglintine (Springfield): Against Coast Guard Academy, Eglintine rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries and one score, while completing two of five passes for 30 yards.
Quinn Fleeting (Western Conn.): Fleeting accounted for three touchdowns, including two through the air in his team’s bounce-back win over Worcester State. Fleeting completed 13 of 17 passes for 218 yards and two scores, while rushing for 15 yards on four carries and one touchdown.
De’Andre Goldson-Fisher (Mount Ida): Against Castleton, Goldson-Fisher rushed for 163 yards on 23 carries and two scores, while hauling in one reception for 15 yards.
Udgam Goyal (MIT): Against Maine Maritime Academy, Goyal completed 17 of 20 passes for 135 yards, while tossing two touchdowns. He also rushed for 76 yards on nine carries and two scores.
Moe Harris (Castleton): Against Mount Ida, Harrs recorded 126 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns, while hauling in one catch for 10 yards.
Stephen Johnson (Buffalo State): Against SUNY Cortland, Johnson led all receivers with five receptions for 138 yards and one touchdown.
Jared Lebowitz (Middlebury): Lebowitz completed 22 of 39 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers captured its fourth consecutive contest of the season.
Brice Moore (Merchant Marine): Moore turned in an impressive performance against Norwich, rushing for 229 yards on 32 carries and one score, while completing three of seven passes for 80 yards and one touchdown.
Jacob Maher (Worcester State): Maher led all receivers with 93 yards on six catches, while hauling in a trio of touchdown passes.
Bobby Maimaron (Williams): The first-year signal-caller completed 17 of 24 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries and one score as the Ephs defeated Bowdoin in Williamstown.
Ryan McDonald (Tufts): Against Bowdoin, McDonald completed 18 of 25 passes for 215 yards, while tossing one touchdown. He also rushed for 72 yards on 13 carries and one score.
Canton Meadows (Gallaudet): Sophomore super back Canton Meadows had a strong first half as he ran nine times for 84 yards and three touchdowns. Meadows scored the game’s first, second and seventh touchdown in the first 22 minutes of play. Meadows third and final score came on a 25-yard run up the middle as the Bison lead grew to 31, 41-10.
James O’Regan (Amherst): O’Regan led all receivers last Saturday with 151 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown. His longest reception was an 81-yard touchdown, which occurred midway through the fourth quarter.
Jace Pena (UMass Dartmouth): Pena completed 12 of 27 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns, including a 61-yard touchdown strike to Abbi Bamgbose.
Michael Pina (Mount Ida): Pina completed 18 of 32 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s setback to Castleton.
Blake Rice (WPI): Against Catholic, Rice completed 18 of 28 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries.
Koby Schofer (Trinity): Schofer concluded his team’s contest with a game-high 10 receptions and 202 receiving yards, while registering a pair of touchdown receptions.
John Smith (Husson): Smith rushed for 217 yards on 30 carries and one score, while recording a pair of receptions for 41 yards in his team’s big win over SUNY Maritime.
Frank Stola (Williams): Stola led all receivers with seven receptions for 172 yards and two scores. His longest reception was a 77-yard touchdown, which occurred early in the fourth quarter.
Nick Villanueva (Curry): Villanueva led all receivers last Saturday with 152 yards on 11 receptions – he averaged 13.8 yards per reception.
Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox rushed for 187 yards on 21 carries and one score in his team’s sixth-straight win of the season.
Quron Wright (Framingham State):Against Fitchburg State, Wright rushed for 145 yards on 24 carries and two scores, while hauling in 34 yards on reception.
Defensive Team of the Week: Louie Akuffo (Gallaudet): Akuffo was all over the field for the Bison on defense last Saturday as he made play after play against Anna Maria College. The junior linebacker led the team with nine tackles, made one interception and returned it 14 yards, forced one fumble and had one pass break-up. Akuffo’s interception took place at the start of the second half and set up GU’s first touchdown in the third quarter. He was also part of a huge defensive stand for the Bison in the first half. The highlight for the Bison defense was denying the AMCATS the end zone after they got 1st and goal from the Gallaudet 1 late in the first quarter. Four straight rushes, up the middle, were stuffed by the Bison defense led by a trio of linebackers Tristan Boren, Louie Akuffo and Tony Libit. The Bison scored four plays later to completely sway the momentum in GU’s favor up 27-10.
David Bednarz (Fitchburg State): Facing a talented Framingham State offense, Bednarz came-up with 10 total stops, including four solo tackles and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of two yards.
Luca Cerasani (WPI): Cerasani was a big part of the Engineers’ win over the Cardinals by tallying seven total tackles, including three sacks for a loss of 20 yards, two forced fumbles and five solo stops.
Almamy Conde (Hobart): Conde stuffed the stat sheet with four total stops, three solo tackles, including a sack for an eight yard loss, along with a fumble recovery (two yards) and interception (six yards).
Prince Gbaley (Plymouth State): Against Bridgewater State, Gbaley turned in a solid outing with seven solo tackles (and total tackles). He also recorded a quartet of pass break-ups and a pair of interceptions (18 yards).
Jack Gray (Gallaudet): Freshman strong safety Jack Gray (Atherton, Calif.) picked off Jayson Wallace’s throw at the Gallaudet 5 and returned it 95 yards for the touchdown as Gallaudet led 73-17 at the 3:53 mark in the third quarter. Gray’s 95-yard interception return for a touchdown is tied for the second longest in program history with Neal DiMarco (9/9/2011 vs. Catholic). GU went on to set numerous records in the 73-23 victory over Anna Maria College. Gray now has three interceptions and two forced fumbles for five turnovers this season for the buff and blue.
Joseph Grogan (Curry): Grogan turned in an impressive performance against the Corsairs, recording six solo stops – all six tackles added up for a loss of 26 yards. Two of his six tackles were a pair of sacks for an eight yard loss. He also registered one forced fumble in a 30-27 win over UMass Dartmouth.
Eric Nunez (Worcester State): Nunez concluded last Saturday’s game against Western Connecticut with seven solo stops, including a pair of tackles for a loss of six yards. Additionally, one of his seven stops was a sack for a loss of two yards.
Matt O’Donnell (Coast Guard Academy): Against Springfield, O’Donnell led the Bears defense with 12 total stops, including 10 solo tackles.
Jake O’Donoghue (Catholic): Against WPI, O’Donoghue tallied seven total stops, including three solo tackles, two sacks for a loss of 20 yards, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 21 yards and two forced fumbles.
Kendal Parker (SUNY Maritime): Against Husson, Parker turned in a monstrous performance on defense, tallying 18 total tackles, including 14 solo stops and a pair of tackles for a loss of eight yards.
Austin Roberts (Norwich): Against Merchant Marine, Roberts accounted for 22 total stops, including nine solo tackles and 13 assists.
Jake Tavares (UMass Dartmouth): Against Curry, Tavares tallied 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles, three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards, one sack and one pass break-up.
Zach Thomas (Tufts): Thomas highlighted Homecoming Weekend at Tufts with four total stops, including one tackle for a loss of nine yards, one fumble recover, one quarterback hurry and three solo tackles.
Jakob Trautwein (Castleton): Trautwein tallied a game-high 16 total tackles, including 10 solo stops, one pass break-up, one forced fumble and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss.
Luke Washburn (Husson): Washburn registred 11 total stops against SUNY Maritime, including 10 solo tackles, two tackles for a loss of 19 yards, one sack (13 yards) and a quartet of quarterback hurries. He also recorded one pass break-up, too.
Trent Waters (Dean): Against Alfred State, Waters recorded a game-high 13 total tackles, including a team-high nine solo stops, along with two sacks for a loss of 21 yards and one forced fumble.
Rich Williams (Springfield): Williams tallied nine total stops against Coast Guard Academy last Saturday, including seven solo tackles, along with a tackle-and-a-half for a loss of 12 yards, one sack for a loss of 10 yards and an interception (53 yards).
Special Teams of the Week:
Chip Crowley (Coast Guard Academy): Against Springfield College, Chip Crowley recorded eight punts for 304 yards. Three of his boots landed inside the Pride’s 20.
Christian Humulock (Springfield): Against Coast Guard Academy, Humulock was a perfect five for five on extra points, as well as one for one on field goals.
Jake McDonough (Merchant Marine): McDonough was a perfect seven for seven on extra points in his team’s big win over Norwich.
James Tooker (UMass Dartmouth): Tooker connected on all five of his kicks, including a pair of field goals for a total of nine points. His longest boot was a 39-yard field goal, which came midway through the third quarter.