It’s that time of the week where we highlight five teams – yes, five, to be exact – to watch this weekend in New England NCAA Division III football.
Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC): After beginning their season with a convincing win over UMass Dartmouth, along with a hard-fought victory against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the AMCATs suffered a 66-28 setback last weekend to Coast Guard Academy.
One year earlier, Anna Maria beat Coast Guard, 29-24, thanks to a late touchdown drive that saw quarterback Alex Cohen find Deandre Wallace for a 27-yard score.
This week, Anna Maria will look to bounce back against an Alfred State squad that was projected to be in the mix for the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown this fall. The two teams have combined for four wins and three losses through four weeks.
In a way, Saturday’s conference tilt is an important game for Anna Maria. But a loss to the Pioneers would not derail their hopes of winning the league for a second-straight season.
Anna Maria has beaten Alfred State in its last two meetings – in 2019, quarterback Tanner Kingsley led the team on back-to-back scoring drives during the final two minutes to clinch a thrilling come-from-behind win in Alfred, New York.
Bridgewater State (1-3, 1-1 MASCAC): Don’t sleep on the Bears of Bridgewater State.
After beginning their current campaign with three-straight losses, coach Joe Verria’s squad leaned on its rushing attack to score a much-needed win last Saturday over Western Connecticut. Halfback Adam Couch scored three touchdowns in the win, including two on the ground. He led all rushers with 150 yards on 21 carries.
Bridgewater State’s win over Western Connecticut should provide the Red and White with a boost heading into Saturday’s meeting with Fitchburg State.
The Falcons currently boast a 1-3 record, but a 0-2 mark against Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) foes.
Despite falling to Plymouth State earlier this month, the Bears remain in the mix for a league crown.
Coast Guard Academy (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC): The Bears concluded their non-league schedule with an impressive win over Anna Maria.
Halfback Spencer McMillion registered 340 yards of total offense in Coast Guard’s recent win, including a game-high 285 rushing yards on 43 carries and five touchdowns.
McMillion currently leads all NCAA Division III rushers with 653 rushing yards – he is also tied for first place in touchdowns with 11.
Coast Guard will begin conference play this weekend when they visit Norwich University on Saturday.
Endicott College (4-0, 0-0 CCC): The Gulls are off to their best start since 2011.
Endicott clinched its fourth-straight win last Saturday by beating Norwich University, 26-13.
The game was highlighted by Endicott’s rushing attack, which saw Yavier Cosme-Diaz lead all rushers with 107 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Clayton Marengi rushed for two scores and 46 yards on eight carries while Tyler Bridge added 68 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.
While the rushing attack has been one of Endicott’s strengths through four weeks, the same could be said about its defensive unit, which has held its first four opponents to just 20 points.
This week, Endicott will play its first Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) game when the Gulls welcome Husson University to campus on Saturday.
Tufts University (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC): Keep your eyes on the Jumbos this week.
Tufts earned its first win of the 2022 season last Saturday when they beat Bates College, 35-7.
Quarterback Michael Berluti completed 18 of 21 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns – he also added 35 rushing yards on six carries and one score.
Phil Lutz, who is one of a few wide receivers to watch on the Jumbos this fall, caught seven passes for 79 yards and one touchdown. Cade Moore led all receivers with 81 yards on six receptions.
Tufts’ defense recorded two sacks and one interception.
The Jumbos visit Williams College this week – we believe it’s a game the Powder Blue and Brown should win, especially after what we have witnessed these last two weeks.