Noontime’s ‘What If’ D3 Football Conference Champion Predictions

Bobby Maimaron and the Williams College football team would have been one of our teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College)

By Matt Noonan

Like many of our fans and friends, I miss New England D-III football. But as an optimist, I believe we’ll see our favorite teams and student-athletes back on the gridiron at this time next year vying for conference crowns, along with at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.

And speaking of conference crowns – and yes, the national postseason, too – I thought it would be fun to produce a special Noontime’s ‘What If‘ post on which teams I believe would have won their respective conference this fall.

As expected, these predictions were not easy as there are a slew of teams and programs capable of winning their respective conference, but here are my predictions. And as usual, you can share your thoughts with me on social media, as well as send a note to MattNoonan@noontimesports.com.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): Western New England

For the past few seasons, the Golden Bears have been the team to watch and beat in this conference. And once again, Western New England would be the squad to watch in the CCC this fall. They would most likely enter their final game of the regular season with two important wins against Endicott College and Salve Regina University. And like most teams highlighted in this post, the 2020 Golden Bears would look a bit different than previous years, especially on offense as they would have a new quarterback, but their defense would be be a unit to watch – it would be led by linebacker Erich Keutmann, who was named a D3Football.com Preseason All-America second-teamer in September.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): Dean College

The Bulldogs captured their first-ever conference crown last season, thanks to quarterback Terrell Watts, who was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, along with wide receiver Errol Breaux and safety Tyzohn Poole. Of course, there would be other student-athletes to watch as the season progressed, but at this point of the 2020 season, the Bulldogs would have claimed some important wins against Castleton University and SUNY Maritime. They would have also beaten a new D-III football team: Keystone College.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State University

Like Western New England, it is hard to pick against the Rams, which would be starting a new chapter in its program history with first-year coach Aynsley Rosenbaum, who spent the past 12 seasons overseeing the Framingham State offense. But like prior years, this would be the team to watch in the MASCAC. Sure, they would look a bit different on offense without quarterback Adam Wojenski, who graduated last spring, but the Rams would welcome back some key pieces from that unit, including halfback Devaun Ford, who was named the 2019 MASCAC Rookie of the Year. Framingham State would be challenged for the top spot by Bridgewater State, UMass Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Williams College

The Ephs of Williams College suffered just two setbacks last season, including an opening day loss to Middlebury College, which would be a game circled on their calendar this season. Williams would somehow find a way to beat the Panthers at home, along with Wesleyan University, which tripped up the Ephs prior to their season-ending win over Amherst College last November. But for the Ephs to win the NESCAC, they would not only need to beat Amherst, Middlebury, and Wesleyan, but also Trinity College and Tufts University. Additionally, let’s not overlook Colby College and Hamilton College, which would challenge the Purple and Yellow, but in the end, quarterback Bobby Maimaron, along with the rest of the Ephs would make just a few more plays in all nine contests to secure the NESCAC title.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): Springfield College

Sure, MIT maybe the favorite after winning the NEWMAC crown the past two years, but it would be hard to overlook Springfield College, which would be led by halfback Hunter Belzo and linebacker AJ Smith. The Pride, which finished with six wins last year, would win at least seven, maybe eight games this season, but their most important victory would occur during the final weekend of the regular season against the Engineers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Noonan: Seven Things We Learned From Week Seven of the New England D-III Football Season

Kalosky_Joe1

Joe Kalosky and the Endicott College Gulls began their stretch run with an impressive win over Curry College on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nick Grace)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11 

The seventh week of the New England D-III Football season is in the books. There were some interesting outcomes, as well as some surprises, too.

Week seven also helped me (and others) identify which teams are still in the mix for their respective conference crowns and what squads will play spoiler over the final four weeks of the 2019 season.

Here are seven thoughts (and takeaways) from what I learned from this past weekend.

1. Endicott College looks primed for a successful stretch run. The Gulls entered their bye week with a 4-1 record – I thought prior to their first game of the season against Framingham State that they would be 3-2 entering week seven – but between the play of their offense and defense, as well as kicker Nick DiCairano, I just can’t imagine any of their four remaining opponents halting their current momentum which they have gained over the past few weeks.

Endicott almost beat Wesley College last month, which would have been a huge feather in their cap but have rebounded quite well since the setback with three-straight Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) wins, including a hard-fought victory on the road against Salve Regina University.

iQuarterback Joe Kalosky has looked very comfortable behind an offensive line that has allowed him to go through his motions and find open receivers either over the middle or down the field. Additionally, first-year wideout Anthony Bracamonte has become a go-to target for the senior signal-caller – look for the former Thornton Academy receiver to help the Gulls continue their recent momentum this upcoming week against Husson University.

2. Middlebury College seems to be a lock for the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). I picked the Panthers to beat the Cardinals of Wesleyan University this past weekend, but I didn’t expect the Blue and White to produce 45 points in 60 minutes.

Quarterback Will Jernigan had his best game of the season (in my opinion) by tossing four touchdowns in the win while completing 18 of 25 passes for 359 yards.

Maxwell Rye was also instrumental in his team’s sixth win of the season, too – the senior wide receiver from Longmeadow, Massachusetts has enjoyed his best season with the Panthers, catching 26 passes for 493 yards and four touchdowns. The four touchdown receptions are the most Rye has recorded in a single-season.

On defense, Jack Pistorius continues to be a player to watch on Middlebury – he tallied a team-high 10 total tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.

The win over the Cardinals was the Panthers’ most impressive performance of the season – yes, they looked good against Amherst College and Trinity College, but Saturday’s effort should translate into three more wins, beginning this Saturday against Bowdoin College.

Bridgewater State College

Bridgewater State head coach Joe Verria and the Bears have won four-straight contests since starting the season with three-straight losses. (PHOTO CREDIT: Bridgewater State University Office of Sports Information)

3. Bridgewater State remains a team to watch in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). The Bears are still very much alive in the MASCAC with four weeks remaining.

Their 56-20 win over UMass Dartmouth helped the Red and White keep pace for the top spot with Framingham State and Western Connecticut, two teams that enter the eighth week of the 2019 season with identical undefeated conference records. Bridgewater lost to Western Connecticut earlier this season – they had a few chances to win that game – and will visit the Rams in the second week of November in what could determine a possible conference champion.

Bridgewater State quarterback Stefano D’Emilia re-wrote the record book yesterday against the Corsairs with eight touchdowns, including three on the ground. He threw for a school-record 345 yards while becoming the second Bears signal-caller to throw for more than 5,000 yards (Danny Higgins, who was a teammate of D’Emilia, concluded his career with 6,091 passing yards).

D’Emilia’s five touchdowns tied a school record – the former Bridgewater-Raynham Trojan also caught a two-point conversion in his team’s win over the Corsairs.

The Bears will be idle this upcoming weekend but should be able to maintain their recent momentum in two weeks when they host Plymouth State at 4 p.m.

4. Dean College needs three more wins to wrap-up its inaugural Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Title. I was bullish on the Bulldogs prior to their first game of the 2019 season. And I still am after back-to-back wins against Anna Maria College and SUNY-Maritime.

Against the Privateers, the Bulldogs defense recorded 12 tackles for a loss of 60 yards, including 10 sacks for a loss of 58 yards. Tyzohn Poole and Desmond Dias combined for five sacks for 30 yards, while quarterback Terrell Watts threw two touchdowns while adding a third score on the ground.

Yesterday against Anna Maria, Watts tossed four touchdowns, while adding a fifth score on the ground (four carries for one yard). Dias led the defense with 12 total tackles, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

If the offense and defense can duplicate their performance from the past two weeks then I expect the Bulldogs to win their final road game of the season against Gallaudet University this Saturday. A win over the Bison should provide the squad with enough momentum to cap their regular-season slate with back-to-back wins against Alfred State and Castleton University.

MIT and Becker College

Randy Morgan established a new single-season record mark with the Becker College football team on Saturday against Nichols College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley

5. Randy Morgan continues to be a player to watch at Becker College. First-year tailback Randy Morgan has enjoyed a very successful start to his college career – yesterday against Nichols College, he established a new single-season record for rushing yards in a season by tallying 188 yards on 27 carries.

Morgan broke the program’s old record of 674 rushing yards in a season, which was established by Jacob Holmes in 2015.

Through six games this season, Morgan has rushed for 733 yards on 132 carries and seven touchdowns, while adding four receptions for 48 yards. The seven rushing touchdowns are the most recorded by any member of the Hawks this season.

Morgan has rushed for 100 yards or more in four of six games this season and should have no problem finishing his team’s 2019 season with 1,000 yards or more.

6. Springfield College remains in the hunt for a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship. After starting their season 1-3, Springfield has rebounded quite nicely with wins over Coast Guard AcademyMerchant Marine, and Norwich Academy.

The Pride, who were certainly a team expected to contend for their second conference crown this fall, currently sit a spot below WPI, which beat Springfield in week four by a score of 35-21.

WPI is the only undefeated team in the NEWMAC. They host Merchant Marine this weekend in a very important match-up. A loss to the Mariners would help the Pride’s chances of winning the title, but of course, Springfield needs to win its remaining three games, including Saturday’s meeting with Catholic University.

Pending how the next four weeks play out, look for Springfield to play an extra game in November – they will either compete in the NCAA Tournament or a New England Bowl.

7. Coast Guard Academy’s Ryan Jones was a player to watch against Maine Maritime Academy on Saturday. Quarterback Ryan Jones enjoyed his best game of the season with the Bears by completing 26 of 34 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns.

Jones concluded the contest by becoming the fourth signal-caller in Coast Guard Academy football program history to throw for more than 4,000 yards. Currently, Jones has thrown for 4,145 yards, including 1,382 yards through seven contests this season.

Jones connected with Justin Moffatt 13 times in his team’s 33-8 win over Maine Maritime Academy on Saturday. The 13 receptions were a career-best for Moffat, who broke the single-game record for receiving yards (256), which was originally held by Collis Brown, who hauled in 244 yards against Western New England in 2013. Moffat ended the game with two touchdowns.

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.