For the second-straight week, two New England D-III football teams appeared on the most recent NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were posted (and announced) earlier today.
Western New England, which checked-in fifth one week ago, secured the sixth position in this week’s rankings, while Endicott College checked in tenth overall.
WPI, which secured the ninth position last week, did not appear on the ten-team list.
Salisbury University remained the top team in the East region for a second-straight week, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked in second and third, respectively. Union College, which boasts an impressive 9-0 record, slid into the fourth position while the College of Brockport checked-in fifth.
SUNY Cortland, Hobart, and Stevenson University secured the seventh, eighth, and ninth positions.
Endicott and Western New England conclude their respective regular-season campaigns this Saturday, November 16th with the Golden Bears hosting Husson University and the Gulls visiting Nichols College.
WNE, which defeated Endicott earlier this season, secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament – we will learn who their first-round opponent will be on Sunday, November 17th.
The Gulls of Endicott will most likely represent the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) in the New England Bowl. Endicott competed in its initial New England Bowl last fall but lost to the U.S.Merchant MarineAcademy, which competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
A pair of New England D-III Football teams appeared on today’s NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were unveiled for the first time this season.
Western New England, which leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), checked-in fifth on the ten-team list, while WPI, which is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), secured the ninth position.
Salisbury University was the top team – the Sea Gulls boast a 7-0 record heading into the tenth week of the 2019 season, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked-in second and third, respectively. Union College, which currently sits atop the Liberty League (LL) with an 8-0 record and 5-0 conference mark, secured the fourth position.
Ithaca College, the College at Brockport, and SUNY Cortland checked-in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, while WPI and Wilkes University rounded out the poll.
Western New England, which has won all five conference games this fall, including a 42-31 win last weekend against Endicott College, can clinch its conference crown this Saturday, November 9th with a win over Becker College.
WPI, which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped last Saturday against MIT, will look to rebound on Saturday when they host Coast Guard Academy.
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 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.
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 Academy, Merchant 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.
Endicott College’s Kevin O’Brien has helped the Gulls defense limit opponents to just 17.2 points per game this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
Kevin O’Brien and the Endicott College defense have been a unit to watch this fall.
Through five contests, the Endicott defense has limited opponents to just 17.2 points per game, which is roughly five points less than what this unit yielded to opposing teams through five weeks last season.
O’Brien, who is in his third season with the Gulls, credits defensive coordinator Sean Golden for helping both he and his teammates be well-prepared for the opposing offenses they have and will face this season. Additionally, he credited his classmate Tim Russell – the two linebackers have complemented each other quite well this fall when it comes to rushing the passer to dropping back in coverage to defend the pass.
Noontime Sports caught up with the third-year linebacker to discuss the Gulls’ 2019 season thus far, but also what he did to prepare himself for a successful junior season with the Endicott defense.
Your team heads into the bye week with a 4-1 record. I know we chatted prior to the Framingham State game a few weeks ago, but did you (and your teammates) think you would be 4-1 heading into the sixth week of the season?
We knew we could be a very good team as we returned almost everyone (from last year’s squad). We were a few plays away from upsetting a very good Wesley College team (last month) but I think we have yet to play our best football which is exciting.
Through five weeks, the defense has yielded just 17.2 points per game. What has been the difference this season for the defense compared to last season (or your first season with the Gulls in 2017)?
One big difference is we have so many defensive linemen that can play good football for us. We have been regularly rotating the defensive linemen throughout the game and I think we probably have the best depth (at that position) in our conference.
Rotating and having fresh linemen is obviously good for a number of reasons and helps everyone else out.
Both last season and this season, your defense has defended the run pretty well. How have you (and the defense) been able to slow down opposing rushing attacks?
Anytime you prepare to slow down the run game or key in on a (certain) player (becomes) a group effort.
Coach Golden, who is our defensive coordinator, has been putting myself and the rest of the defense in good positions to stop the run and force teams to get into a third and medium or long situation. We then can dial something up (a play) that can get our unit off the field (and let the offense go back to work).
We face a ton of good running backs in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) conference, including halfbacks from Curry College, Salve Regina University, and Western New England, so each week is a new and difficult challenge (for our unit).
With the bye week coming at the halfway mark of the season, what do you feel the defense must work on, both this week and next week heading into an important stretch, beginning with Curry College next Saturday, October 19th.
The defense has played well so far but we still have a lot to work to do.
In some games, we have let teams get into the red zone before we tighten up to get a stop. We have often lived by the motto “bend, but don’t break” when we are in the red zone.
I think we need to work on getting stops earlier and forcing teams to punt while tightening up our tackling to disguising our coverages to force turnovers.
Our offense is so explosive and has tons of options so we know the quicker we can get a stop on defense the quicker our offense can go get points (for us).
From a personal perspective, how do you feel your game has improved from last season to this season? Have you prepared differently for games this year than last year?
With another year of playing under my belt, I feel as if I’m stronger and more experienced than most players.
I’ve prepared myself a little bit differently this year (than my previous two seasons with the program). I play the “Mike” linebacker whereas last year I played “Buck,” which focuses on outside containment. Will Rivera was the “Mike” for our defense last season.
Playing “Mike” linebacker is a new challenge as I am usually always on the front side of coverage and the strongside of the run. And depending on a run or pass, I rely on calls and checks on the fly.
It is definitely a challenge but Tim Russell, who is our “Buck” linebacker has helped me out tremendously and has been playing excellent next to me.
No. 2 Endicott College at No. 20 Salve Regina (12 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Seahawks, who fell to Nichols College one week ago. Endicott seems to be clicking on all cylinders after falling to Wesley College two weeks ago. PREDICTION: Endicott 30, Salve Regina 18
No. 10 UMass Dartmouth at No. 12 Framingham State (12 p.m.): The Corsairs have scored some hard-fought wins thus far – both the offense and defense have been clicking the past two weeks. Both units have been fun to watch, too. This is a must-win for the Rams, who were idle one week ago after providing coach Tom Kelley with his 100th win on the sidelines last month with a big win over Westfield State. PREDICTION: Framingham State 20, UMass Dartmouth 17
Worcester State at No. 19 Mass. Maritime Academy (12 p.m.): The Buccaneers have been impressive the past three weeks, but face a squad that provided Western Connecticut with some challenges. Look for a second-half surge to help the Buccaneers defeat the Lancers in Buzzards Bay. PREDICTION: Mass. Maritime 31, Worcester State 17
No. 8 MIT at Merchant Marine (12 p.m.): The Engineers have won back-to-back games since starting their title defense with a loss, but will need their offense to play its best game of the season in order to keep pace with a Mariners squad that has put up some impressive points this season. PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 42, MIT 34
No. 6 Norwich University at No. 13 Springfield College (12 p.m.): Norwich will arrive in Springfield with a great deal of momentum from the past four weeks. Look for a big day from quarterback Matt Dunn. PREDICTION: Norwich 33, Springfield 22
No. 15 Nichols College at No. 3 Western New England (1 p.m.): The Bison have been perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the season – yes, we know they have been competitive the past few seasons, but a win against the Golden Bears won’t be easy as Western New England seemed to find its grove in Maine one week ago. PREDICTION: Western New England 35, Nichols 28
Hamilton College at No. 11 Trinity College (1 p.m.): At 1-2, this is a must-win for the Bantams if they want to keep their four-peat hopes alive. Hamilton enters Saturday’s contest with some momentum from their recent wins against Bowdoin College and Colby College. PREDICTION: Trinity 30, Hamilton 22
University of New England at Curry College (1 p.m.): Look for the Nor’easters to return to the win column this week after suffering their initial conference loss of the season. Expect a big day from the UNE offense on Saturday. PREDICTION: UNE 30, Curry 15
Catholic University at No. 7 Coast Guard Academy (1:30 p.m.): The Bears defense has been fun to watch this season. They were a big part of last week’s win over Curry College and should continue their impressive play this week against the Cardinals. PREDICTION: Coast Guard Academy 24, Catholic 10
No. 9 Middlebury College at No. 4 Amherst College (2 p.m.): The Panthers have enjoyed a successful start to their 2019 season, but face a difficult road test against a very good Mammoths squad. Both Middlebury and Amherst enter Saturday’s must-see, must-follow tilt with identical 3-0 records, but I see this game coming down to a late field goal. PREDICTION: Middlebury 24, Amherst 21