The eighth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is almost here – are you excited?
Last week, we picked seven of ten matchups correctly to bump our overall record to 50-20, so let’s see if we can continue this momentum one week later.
Have a great day (and weekend, everyone) – we’ll be taking a mini-vacation the next few days, but look forward to recapping the action on Sunday while slowly looking ahead to the ninth week of the 2021 season.
FEATURED GAME:Endicott College (6-1, 3-0 CCC) at Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: This is a must-win for the Seahawks, who are still in the mix for the conference crown. Endicott has looked pretty good these last two weeks, especially last weekend against Husson University. PREDICTION: Endicott 28, Salve Regina 24
Keystone College (0-7, 0-3 ECFC) at Castleton University (3-3, 1-1 ECFC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: The Spartans return from their bye week as one of four teams in the mix for the conference crown, so this particular matchup is a must-win for the Green and White. PREDICTION: Castleton 23, Keystone 16
Massachusetts Maritime Academy (3-3, 2-2 MASCAC) at Western Connecticut (3-4, 2-2 MASCAC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: Both teams are eager to bounce back from week seven setbacks – we expect the team wearing Blue and Orange (the Colonials, to be exact) to squeak out their fourth win with a late touchdown drive. PREDICTION: West Conn. 28, Mass. Maritime 21
Springfield College (3-3, 2-0 NEWMAC) at WPI (1-5, 0-2 NEWMAC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: The Pride have won back-to-back conference games but could be tested against an Engineers squad that provided challenges to the top team in the conference: the United States Merchant Marine Academy. PREDICTION: Springfield 30, WPI 20
Nichols College (2-4, 0-2 CCC) at Western New England (4-3, 2-1 CCC) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: The Bison seemed to provide some challenges for the Seahawks last week, but these Golden Bears know this is a must-win contest so they can remain in the conference championship mix with Endicott (and yes, Salve Regina, too). PREDICTION: Western New England 30, Nichols 17
Husson University (4-2, 1-1 CCC) at University of New England (3-2, 1-1) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: Both teams are in the mix for their conference crown with one league loss, so this is somewhat an elimination game. Look for the Eagles to bounce back after losing to Endicott last weekend by a touchdown. PREDICTION: Husson 30, UNE 21
Norwich University (2-5, 1-2 NEWMAC) at MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: We picked against the Engineers of Cambridge last week (and maybe earlier this season?), so let’s pick them this week against the Cadets. PREDICTION: MIT 28, Norwich 17
Tufts University (0-5, 0-5 NESCAC) at Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: We picked against the Polar Bears the last two weeks, but we expect their recent victory over the Mammoths, which snapped a 14-game losing streak, to provide them with enough momentum to edge the Jumbos on Saturday. PREDICTION: Bowdoin 28, Tufts 25
Dean College (2-5, 1-2 ECFC) at Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC) Saturday, October 23 at 1:30 p.m.: Look for both teams to put up some points in this one — in the end, we expect the AMCATs to score one more touchdown than Dean. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 35, Dean 32
Westfield State (0-6, 0-4 MASCAC) at Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC) Saturday, October 23 at 4 p.m.: The Bears return from a week off with a matchup they should win, however, these Owls did not make it easy on the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs last week. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 29, Westfield State 14
The eighth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season is quickly approaching, which means it is time to highlight five teams to watch this weekend.
Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC): The AMCATs have been quite a story this fall, winning four straight contests, including a pair of Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) victories to keep them in the hunt with Gallaudet University for the league title.
This week, the AMCATs return home after three straight road games to host Dean College, which captured the ECFC crown in 2019.
Dean returned to the win column last week with a 39-36 victory over Keystone College – the Bulldogs defense held off a late rally by the Giants, who finished the final frame with three touchdowns.
At 1-2, Dean is not entirely out of the conference mix but would need to win this game to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Quarterback Alex Cohen was instrumental in his team’s last win over Alfred State – expect the veteran signal-caller to continue his success this week against the Bulldogs.
Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC): Last Saturday was a special day for the Polar Bears as Bowdoin snapped a 14-game losing streak to Amherst College with a 21-14 victory.
The seven-point win over the Mammoths should provide the Polar Bears with some momentum heading into this week’s clash with Tufts University.
Quarterback Andrew Boel has been a player to watch these last two weeks – against Amherst, he completed 22 of 28 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns.
Boel connected with eight different receivers, including Colton Fahey who caught a pair of touchdowns while finishing with a game-high 112 yards on five grabs.
As a team, Bowdoin registered 421 yards of total offense compared to Amherst, which finished with 340. Additionally, they converted seven of 12 third-down attempts.
Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC): The Bears return from their bye with hopes of extending their current winning streak to five games.
In their last outing against Worcester State, the Bears leaned on halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a game-high 190 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. Brendan Albert led the defensive with a game-high 13 total tackles, including five solo stops, one pass break-up, and one fumble recovery.
Look for their momentum prior to their bye week to continue Saturday against Westfield State.
MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC): After starting their season by winning two of three contests, the Engineers have dropped their last two outings, including a 56-34 setback last Saturday against the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA), which saw wide receiver Ben Dwyer record a career-best 224 receiving yards on nine grabs to go with one touchdown.
Dwyer, along with the Engineers will look to avenge their last two conference losses when they host Norwich University on Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.
The Cadets will arrive in Cambridge with one conference win, but a victory against Norwich means MIT could gain some much-needed momentum heading into their final three contests against Coast Guard Academy, Springfield College, and WPI.
Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC): The Seahawks have rebounded quite well since dropping their initial conference clash with Western New England by scoring back-to-back wins against Nichols College (35-20) and the University of New England (48-6).
This week, their season is somewhat on the line as they must beat Endicott College to remain in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown.
Endicott beat Salve Regina in their last meeting in 2019 – the game was held in Newport, Rhode Island – while the Seahawks beat the Gulls on their home turf one year later.
Look for Salve Regina to lean on its ground game like they did last week against Nichols, which saw halfback Joey Mauriello rush for a game-high 203 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns (all three scores occurred in the third quarter last week against the Bison).
New Haven is also a team to watch — like Bentley, they have yet to drop a conference game this fall, but will be challenged over the next few weeks, including this Saturday when they visit Stonehill.
Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)
The Leader: Endicott College (6-1, 3-0)
In the Hunt: Husson University (4-2, 1-1), Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1), University of New England (3-2, 1-1), and Western New England (4-3, 2-1)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Endicott at Salve Regina (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
Husson at UNE (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Nichols College at Western New England (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Synopsis: Endicott enters the fourth week of conference play with a great deal of momentum heading into an important matchup with Salve Regina. A win against the Seahawks would provide the Green and White with the inside track to the conference crown.
Endicott beat Salve Regina in 2019 by six points (30-24) but lost to the Seahawks one year earlier after beating Western New England.
A win for the Seahawks would make the next few weeks rather interesting, despite suffering a 41-3 setback to Western New England earlier this month.
Western New England rebounded from its 45-21 setback to Endicott with a 23-10 win over Curry College — they will be the favorite heading into this week’s matchup with the Bison.
The winner of Husson-UNE will remain in the mix with one conference setback.
Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)
The Leaders: Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0) and Gallaudet University (5-0, 3-0)
In the Hunt: Alfred State (2-4, 1-1) and Castleton University (3-3, 1-1)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Alfred State at Gallaudet (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Dean College at Anna Maria (Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m.)
Synopsis: If things remain the way they are currently in two weeks, then Anna Maria-Gallaudet in Paxton, Massachusetts will be the game that most likely decides the conference champion.
Both Anna Maria and Gallaudet appear to be the “teams to beat” heading into the eighth week of the season, but the Pioneers of Alfred State can change that with a win on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Like Alfred State, Castleton is still in the mix, too, but they must win their remaining contests so they can keep pace with Anna Maria and Gallaudet.
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)
The Leaders: Framingham State (5-2, 5-0) and Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0)
Matchup to watch this week:
Westfield State at Bridgewater State (Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.)
Synopsis: The Bears and Rams have yet to drop a single conference contest while a few teams have suffered two or three setbacks.
So, these are the two teams to watch over the next few weeks – the Rams are idle this weekend but will conclude the month by visiting Massachusetts Maritime Academy while Bridgewater State will play back-to-back games at home against Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth.
After hosting the Corsairs, the Bears will visit Framingham State with the outcome most likely deciding who will represent the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Framingham State has scored two important wins against UMass Dartmouth and Western Connecticut while Bridgewater State has only beaten one of those teams.
While Bridgewater State and Framingham State will certainly be the two teams to watch over the next few weeks, keep your eyes on UMass Dartmouth down the stretch as they could possibly conclude the season in second place, as well as secure a bid to the New England Bowl.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)
The Leaders: Trinity College (5-0, 5-0), Wesleyan University (5-0, 5-0), and Williams College (5-0, 5-0)
In the Hunt: Amherst College (3-2, 3-2)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Williams College at Bates College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Trinity College at Colby College (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Middlebury College at Wesleyan University (Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.)
Synopsis: The final four weeks of the NESCAC are going to be interesting – maybe we should not overlook Amherst College, which has won three of five matchups this fall?
The Mammoths, along with the Bantams, Cardinals, and Ephs will all compete against each other during the final three weeks, which makes us think that maybe the Purple and White could play spoiler to these three undefeated teams. Perhaps they finish second or third?
Trinity has been fun to watch (and follow), but rather impressive from what we have watched on film. The same could be said for coach Mark Raymond’s Ephs.
As for Wesleyan – sorry, the “Cardiac Cardinals” – they have found ways to win games, especially these last three weeks against Bates, Bowdoin College, and Tufts University.
The Bantams are “the team” we believe will finish with either eight or nine wins, along with the conference crown, but anything is possible – get ready for an exciting ending to the 2021 NESCAC football season!
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
The Leaders: Catholic University (5-2, 3-0), Springfield College (3-3, 2-0), and United States Merchant Marine Academy (6-0, 3-0)
Matchup(s) to watch this week:
Springfield at WPI (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
Catholic at Merchant Marine (Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.)
Synopsis: Before every NEWMAC team began competing against each other, the Mariners of Merchant Marine appeared to be well on their way to securing the league title. But things have changed.
Heading into this weekend, the Mariners are one of three teams that have yet to lose a conference matchup – this week, Merchant Marine hosts Catholic in a very important contest that we’ll be watching from afar.
Catholic has been a great story this season – the Cardinals have won five of seven matchups thus far, including a non-league tilt with Endicott College last month. Their two setbacks came against Randolph-Macon College and Christopher Newport University, but it seems as if both losses provide the Cardinals with a better understanding of what they must do to be successful once conference play commenced.
After starting its season with a 1-3 record, the Pride of Springfield have rebounded by winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy (60-0) and Norwich University (56-7), thanks to an impressive ground attack that is led by Isaiah Cashwell-Doe, Patrick Ladas, and Tim Callahan.
Look for the ground game to carry Springfield to their fourth win on Saturday when the Pride heads to Worcester to compete against WPI.
The eighth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III football season officially began Sunday, October 17, 2021, so that means it is time to unveil our latest Top 20 Poll!
1. Endicott College (6-1, 3-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): Mike Ingraffia and the Gulls remain in the top spot following an important conference win against Husson University.
2. Trinity College (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC| LW: No. 2): The Bantams cruised past Bates College this past weekend.
3. Williams College (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): The Ephs have outscored their opponents, 178-52, through five contests.
4. Western New England (4-3, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 4): The Golden Bears returned to the win column with a bounce-back win against Curry College.
5. Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 5): A big third quarter last Saturday helped the Seahawks push ahead for good against Nichols College.
6. Framingham State (5-2, 5-0 | LW: No. 6): Make it five-straight wins for the Rams, who head into their bye week with a lot of momentum.
7. Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 | LW: No. 7): The Bears return from their bye week with a home date against Westfield State.
8. Wesleyan University (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 9): Wesleyan moves up after scoring its fifth consecutive victory – this week, they host Middlebury College, which beat the Cardinals two years ago in Vermont by a score of 45-21.
9. UMass Dartmouth (5-2, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 11): The Corsairs erased a 16-6 deficit at the break to score their fifth win of the season on Saturday against Westfield State.
10. Husson University (4-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 8): The Eagles dropped two spots following a one-score setback (24-17) setback to Endicott. Let’s see if the Green and Gold can bounce back this week against the University of New England.
11. Springfield College (3-3, 2-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 14): Springfield has outscored its last two opponents by a score of 116-7. Crazy, right?
12. Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC| LW: No. 15): Make it four straight wins for Alex Cohen and the AMCATs.
13. Plymouth State (2-4, 2-2 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): Make it back-to-back wins for the Panthers, who beat Fitchburg State after securing a hard-fought victory one week earlier against Western Connecticut. Sure, this is the first appearance for the Green and White on our list, but they have not made it easy on a few teams ahead of them this fall, including Bridgewater State and Husson University.
14. Western Connecticut (3-4, 2-3 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Colonials drop four spots following a difficult setback to Framingham State.
15. University of New England (3-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 13): The Nor’easters were idle this past weekend but face a big challenge this weekend against Husson University.
16. Curry College (2-4, 0-3 CCC | LW: No. 12): The Colonels’ defense did not make things easy on Western New England this past weekend as the unit recorded two tackles for a loss of 22 yards, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
17. MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC | LW: No. 18): Despite falling to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the Engineers produced 34 points while registering 409 yards. Additionally, the defense recorded two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
18. Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Polar Bears cracked the win column this past weekend by defeating Amherst College for the first time since 2005 – maybe they should have two wins? They provided plenty of challenges for the Cardinals of Wesleyan.
19. Colby College (2-3, 2-3 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Mules returned to the poll following a big win over Middlebury College for the first time since 2010.
20. Amherst College (3-2, 3-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 17): The Mammoths secured the final spot, despite losing to Bowdoin College last weekend.
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.