The Early D3 Football Outlook: Teams To Watch In 2020

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Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak will be one of many players to watch on the Golden Bears this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com

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 Wojenski under 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. 

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Oct. 15th, 2019)

D3 TEAM OF WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the sixth 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, too – these posts (and teams) can be seen every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.


Offensive Team of the Week

Devaun Ford (Framingham State): Ford rushed for a game-high 139 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns as the Rams topped Fitchburg State on the road.

Matt Hersch (Colby College): Hersch completed 14 of 31 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday against Middlebury College.

David James (Western Connecticut): James completed 21 of 30 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns while adding 11 yards on 10 carries as the Colonials defeated Massachusetts Maritime Academy at home.

Will Jernigan (Middlebury College): Against Colby College, Jernigan completed 12 of 30 passes for 172 yards while rushing for a game-high 153 yards on 21 carries and three scores.

Nick Juvelier (Curry College): Against Husson University, Juvelier completed 22 of 39 passes for 305 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 11 yards on two carries.

Nick Kimball (Western Connecticut): Kimball led all receivers last Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime with nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

Seamus Lambert (Trinity College): Lambert concluded last Saturday’s meeting with Bates College with four passing touchdowns – he completed 14 of 21 passes for 222 yards. He also added six yards on eight carries.

Matt Long (Mass. Maritime Academy): Long stuffed the stat sheet against Western Connecticut last Saturday by completing 7 of 16 passes for 82 yards while adding 34 yards on 20 carries and one score. He also punted the ball four times for 208 yards with three kicks landing inside the Colonials’ 20-yard line.

Bobby Maimaron (Williams College): Against Hamilton College, Maimaron completed 11 of 19 passes for five touchdowns, while adding 80 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Anthony Martinez (Castleton University): Martinez led the Spartans with seven catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns last weekend against Gallaudet University.

Shawn Noel, Jr. (Husson University): Noel rushed for a game-high 145 yards on 32 carries and two touchdowns to help the Eagles beat the Colonels, 42-40, in Maine.

John Robertson (MIT): Robertson rushed for 263 yards on 34 carries and one touchdown last Saturday as the Engineers topped Maine Maritime Academy in Cambridge.

Manni Romero (Norwich University): Romero concluded last Saturday’s game against Merchant Marine with seven catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

Matthew Simco (Wesleyan University): Simco led the Cardinals receiving core with eight catches for 130 yards and one touchdown against Tufts University.

Frank Stola (Williams College): Stola hauled in a game-high eight receptions for 168 yards and four touchdowns as the Ephs beat Hamilton in Williamstown.

Nick Villanueva (Curry College): Villanueva led the Curry receiving core with seven catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a back and forth 42-40 setback to Husson.

Terrell Watts (Dean College): Against SUNY Maritime, Watts completed 12 of 17 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns, while adding seven rushing yards on four carries and one score.


Defensive Team of the Week

Tyshawn Anderson (Anna Maria College): Anderson was instrumental in helping the AMCATs pick-up their first win of the season against Alfred State. The second-year defensive back tallied a team-high 24 total tackles, including 16 solo stops and three tackles for a loss of seven yards. He also recorded one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Marcus Bullard (Colby College): Bullard led the Mules defense with 15 total tackles, including nine solo stops and two tackles for a loss of nine yards. He also recorded one interception against Middlebury College.

Cully Curran (Framingham State): Curran concluded last Saturday’s game against Fitchburg State with eight total tackles, including two solo stops and one tackle for a loss, while registering one fumble recovery (two yards) and two pass break-ups.

Ricky Goodson (Amherst College): Goodson stuffed the stat sheet against Bowdoin College with five total tackles, including four solo stops and one tackle for a loss of 12 yards. He also tallied one forced fumble, one interception for 31-yards and one pass break-up.

Jack Pistorius (Middlebury College): Against Colby College, Pistorius tallied 11 total tackles, including six solo stops, one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 17 yards.

Tyzohn Poole (Dean College): Poole led the Bulldogs defense against SUNY Maritime with 13 total tackles, including five solo stops and three tackles for a loss of 12 yards.

Cahan Quinn (Norwich University): Quinn posted 14 total tackles, including six solo stops and four tackles for a loss of 14 yards.

TJ Rothmann (Williams College): Rothman led the Ephs defense with 10 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 14 yards. The 10 tackles were all solo stops and helped the Ephs defeat Hamilton College.

Vincent Scancarello (Western Connecticut): Scancarello led the Colonials defense with seven solo stops, including two tackles for a loss of seven yards, one sack for a loss of five yards and one pass break-up as Western Connecticut defeated Massachusetts Maritime Academy last Saturday in an important conference clash.


Special Teams of the Week

Dan Carey (Plymouth State): Carey connected on all six kicks last Saturday against Westfield State, including a 24-yard field goal.

J.P Dallazem (Trinity College): Dallazem recorded a season-high nine points last Saturday against Bates College with six extra points and a 36-yard field goal. The 36-yard field goal was the first-year kicker’s longest boot of the season.

Christian Hutra (Springfield College): Hutra tallied eight points on four kicks last Saturday against Coast Guard Academy, including a season-long 27-yard field goal.

Mason Von Jess (Wesleyan University): Von Jess tallied eight points last Saturday against Tufts University on four kicks, including a pair of field goals. His longest kick was a 37-yard field goal.

Kyle Wall (Worcester State): Wall punted the ball eight times last Friday against Bridgewater State for 312 yards (39.0 yards per punt). Four of his kicks landed inside the Bears’ 20-yard line.