I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming NCAA Tournament games tomorrow, along with two New England Bowls.
As usual, Friday’s mean one thing: games to watch and predictions. So, allow me to dish out my picks for the three NCAA Tournament games with New England teams, along with both New England Bowls.
Have a wonderful weekend, stay warm – it is going to be COLD tomorrow – and I’ll do my very best, as usual, to keep you all updated on social media!
NCAA Tournament Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Brockport at Western New England (12 p.m.): This is a very evenly matched contest – it is even a game the Golden Bears could (and should) win. I’ll give the edge to WNE since they are playing at home, but they will need a big day from their offense, as well as a stellar performance by their run defense. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Brockport 28
Framingham State at Wesley College (12 p.m.): The Rams have never won an NCAA Tournament game, so perhaps this is the contest Framingham State wins. FSU’s offense and defense have been rather impressive the past few weeks, especially against some talented conference foes, which should translate to a one-point (or two-point) victory on Saturday. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Wesley 27
MIT at Muhlenberg College (12 p.m.): This is a tough draw for the Engineers, who are set to face the fourth-best team in the country, per the latest D3 Football Top 25. MIT has been impressive in their last three outings – they needed to win all three to advance to the postseason – but something tells me the Mules will make a few more plays from the get-go to secure an opening-round win. PREDICTION: Muhlenberg 30, MIT 10
New England Bowl Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Dean College at Endicott College (12 p.m.): This one is for the seniors. Look for a monstrous game from the seniors on both sides of the ball to send the Gulls into the offseason with some momentum for the 2020 season. PREDICTION: Endicott 35, Dean 16
Western Connecticut at WPI (1 p.m.): After losing to the Engineers of Cambridge earlier this month, WPI has looked unstoppable, winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich University by a combined score of 124-35. Look for the Engineers to continue their recent momentum against the Colonials in Worcester. PREDICTION: WPI 38, Western Conn. 14
Joe Germinerio tossed three touchdowns, while completing 30 of 38 passes for 292 yards, while Tyree Brown hauled in a game-high 118 yards on 11 catches – he also caught a touchdown, too.
Nathaniel Keith III led the Golden Eagles’ defense with 10 total stops, including seven solo tackles, while scooping a fumble. Julius Mizro concluded the contest with one sack for a loss of 21 yards, one forced fumble, one pass break-up, one interception (four yards) and six total tackles (one solo stop).
Brockport’s defense limited Wesley tailback E.J. Lee to just 82 yards on 23 carries – he did rush for a touchdown, though. Alex Kemp recorded three grabs for 94 yards and one touchdown reception, while quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs concluded the afternoon 16 of 35 for 233 yards and one touchdown.
Both teams entered the break tied at 21-21, but a three-score third quarter, jumpstarted by a Joseph Ortiz touchdown reception helped the Golden Eagles push ahead for good.
Brockport led 42-28 after three quarters before scoring their final touchdown midway through the final session with 9:01 remaining.
Wesley concludes its season 10-2 overall, while the Golden Eagles picked-up their 12th consecutive victory of the season.
Delaware Valley 37, Husson 15: One week after stunning the NCAA Division III Football world with their first-ever postseason victory, the Husson Eagles saw their run toward the ultimate prize conclude in Pennsylvania as the Aggies rolled to their 12th straight win, thanks to four touchdowns from Dashawn Darden (three through the air, one on the ground).
Darden accounted for three first half touchdowns, which helped the hosts secure a 19-0 advantage at the break, but Husson responded early in the third quarter with a nine-yard touchdown run by John Smith. Smith’s score capped an eight play, 71 yard drive, which brought the visitors with 12 points of the Aggies with 10:50 remaining in the third.
DelVal would counter on the ensuing possession with a two-yard plunge by LaQuille Nesbitt, which helped the Aggies push ahead for good.
Smith concluded the contest with a game-high 161 yards on 32 carries, while Devauntay Ellis led the Aggies’ rushing attack with 100 yards on 18 carries.
Husson concludes its season at 10-2 after claiming its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown earlier this month when they defeated Alfred State in Maine.
It’s PLAYOFF time, which means it is time to dish out some picks for this weekend’s NCAA Division III first-round tournament – all east region games, by the way! – and both New England Bowls.
Best of luck to all teams competing and make sure to circle back throughout the weekend for updates on all six games!
Western New England (8-2) at Delaware Valley (10-0) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.
James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Tough draw for the Golden Bears against the top seed of the east region. DelVal is one of the top four seeds in the entire tournament, too. DelVal can score on offense and defense, so the Bears will have to be patient and not beat themselves with turnovers. WNE always surprises us, but the Aggies are just too tough to beat. PREDICTION: DelVal 48, WNE 21
Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): The win over St. Lawrence weeks ago saved WNE’s season, but against DelVal, the Golden Bears must be patient and protect the ball on offense. PREDICTION: DelVal 45, WNE 25
Husson (9-1) at Springfield (10-0) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.
James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Featuring two of the best running backs in the nation, this game will go by fast – bring your track shoes, football fans! Often overlooked, the Pride’s defense has done a great job this season, allowing less than 88 rushing yards per game and 10.9 points per game, too. Husson halfback John Smith will get his carries, but it’ll be Springfield that wins and moves onto the next round.PREDICTION: Springfield 24, Husson 14
Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): As James and I have discussed numerous times this season, the Pride’s defense is legit, and yes, this unit has been overlooked by some in the D3 Football world. They’ll have their way against a talented Husson offense led by halfback John Smith, while the Springfield offense will rush by the Eagles’ defense for a few scores. Big game for Jordan Wilcox! PREDICTION: Springfield 35, Hudson 16
Plymouth State (9-1) at Brockport (10-0) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.
James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): The ‘Mountain Men’ have a long trip to Western New York to face off against a Golden Eagles team that dominated the Empire 8 most of this season. This game should be relatively low scoring to start, and will depend on how well the Panthers o-line handles Brockport’s 3-3 stack, one of the tougher defenses to block. The first half should be competitive, but the athletes on the Golden Eagles will pull away in the second half.PREDICTION: Brockport 35, Plymouth State 13
Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): The ‘Mountain Men’ have been a great story, both this year and last year, but their storybook campaign will sadly concludes in Western New York on Saturday. The Golden Eagles are just too good and will certainly be a team to watch in this particular region going forward. Maybe they have what it takes to make the ‘Final Four?’PREDICTION: Brockport 31, Plymouth State 17
RPI (8-2) at Wesley (9-1) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.
James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): The Wolverines have been slow starters and RPI likes to grind, leaning on their defense to force the opposition into making mistakes. Wesley’s EJ Lee could be the difference in this one.PREDICTION: Wesley 35, RPI 24
Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): Sure, I would love to say RPI’s season will continue beyond this weekend, but not against a talented and tough Wolverines squad, which won’t be an easy out in this particular region of the bracket. PREDICTION: Wesley 41, RPI 22
Curry College (8-2) at Framingham State (9-1) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.
James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Curry’s Alex Corvese was recently named the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) Offensive Player of the Year, and his team will need both his arm and legs to get past a tough (and talented) Rams defense. Framingham has a strong quarterback in Adam Wojenski, so expect a lot of offense in this particular contest. The Rams will benefit from home field advantage, and perhaps kicker Ryan Clifford may be the student-athlete that decides this particular outcome. PREDICTION: Framingham State 38, Curry 35
Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): Framingham State running back Quron Wright is going to be the difference in this one. Wright’s o-line should have their way with Curry’s front four (and may front seven) en route to a second-straight New England Bowl victory. PREDICTION: Framingham State 35, Curry 28
SUNY Maritime (9-1) at WPI (8-2) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 6 p.m.
James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Thomas Wright and the Privateers have enjoyed a 9-1 run this season, but they haven’t faced a team as strong as the Engineers this fall. Dereck Pacheco and the WPI defense will give Wright some trouble, while the Engineers’ two-headed running attack of Sean McAllen and Connor Field will be tough for SUNY-Maritime to slow down.PREDICTION: WPI 42, SUNY Maritime 21
Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): SUNY Maritime has been another great story this fall, but this will be perhaps their biggest challenge of the season. WPI’s defense has rebounded since their setback to Springfield and will provide Thomas Wright and the Privateers’ offense with a lot of challenges. Expect another big game from WPI halfback Sean McAllen, who will score at least two touchdowns in this one. PREDICTION: WPI 45, SUNY Maritime 21
Matt Falkenbury (Play-By-Play Voice of SUNY Maritime): The Privateers are a vastly different team on the road this season than they were at home. Playing this game on the road – considering they either had to come-from-behind to win or lost in all five of those games – is a bit concerning. Quarterback Thomas Wright struggled on the road the last three games and it’s something to watch for in this one. The defense will have to come up big for them to pull this out. My heart says Maritime wins, but my head says WPI wins it on a late field goal.PREDICTION: WPI 31, SUNY Maritime 28.
Sure, the D3 football season seems like a ways a way, but don’t worry because it will be here before we know it!
In addition to our early preseason coverage, which we began earlier this week, Noontime Sports is pleased topresents our first ‘social media round-up’ of the 2017 season with tweets and news from around the D3 Football World.
SOCIAL PLUG: Make sure to follow Noontime Sports on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube!
We begin this edition of the ‘social media round-up’ with Wesley’s football program, which Myles Toppin to the team. We wish Myles and the team best of luck this season!