In case you missed it, Western New England senior quarterback Anthony Service became the Golden Bears’ all-time leader in touchdown passes yesterday by tossing a pair of scores in a 45-0 win over Becker College.
The win over the Hawks bumped WNE’s overall record to 5-2 overall – it was also the team’s second-straight Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) win, too.
The Noontime Sports Team of the Week is a brand new post that will highlight one of four New England or New York D3 Football teams, which will appear in on a Monday afternoon poll (12 p.m. eastern, to be exact) on Twitter. Fans are encouraged to vote for one of the four teams we select for this weekly honor – we will announce following a 24 hour period the team selected, both on Twitter and NoontimeSports.com.
WNE quarterback Anthony Service, who was named to this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive Team of the Week, guided the Golden Bears to victory with an extra session touchdown strike to Jared Wolfe. The touchdown was Service’s third of the day – he rushed for a pair of scores in the fourth quarter, including the equalizer with 53 seconds remaining.
In addition to Service, the Golden Bears received a boost on defense from Mark Chirco, who concluded the contest with a season-high 17 total tackles, including a tackle for a loss of one-and-a-half yards.
WNE, which checked-in fourth on this week’s Noontime Top 10 New England Poll, returns to the gridiron in two weeks (Saturday, Oct. 14th) when they host Endicott College in a Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) clash at 1 p.m.
2016 Season Recap: The Golden Bears’ exciting postseason run concluded last fall in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament with a disappointing 30-24 setback to Alfred. Yet, before the season concluded against Alfred, WNE scored 11-straight wins, including a pair of victories over Endicott College and Salve Regina University. Halfback Nick Connell highlighted his team’s important win over the Seahawks by rushing for four scores and 170 yards on 30 carries. Connell was one of many student-athletes that made the 2016 campaign one to remember.
Players to Watch: Anthony Service (Quarterback), Dante Aiken (Running Back), Mark Dietrich (Wide Receiver), Josh Henry (Tight End), Justin Townsend (Wing), Dillon Martin (Guard), Kurtis Jolicoeur (Bear), Sam Olsson (Defensive Back), Sam Edouard (D-Line), Tim Huffam (Linebacker), Kevin McLaughlin (Bear) and Sean Stergas (D-Line).
2017 Schedule: For the fifth-straight season, the Golden Bears will begin its campaign against Springfield College – kickoff for this game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 2 (at WNE). WNE has won the last three meetings against the Pride, while Springfield captured the 2013 contest by a score of 49-40. WNE will then host Westfield State (one week later) before embarking on an important three week stretch, which includes contests against Husson, RPI, and St. Lawrence. Those three games should tell us a great deal about a squad that should once again be in position to capture its conference’s crown (Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)). Of course, games against Endicott (Oct. 14th) and Salve Regina (Oct. 28th) will be important tests as well – one should also not overlook the team’s final two regular season foes: Curry College and Nichols College. Both teams will be ready to challenge the Golden Bears.
Season Outlook: Last season’s setback to Alfred in the NCAA Tournament should provide this squad with some motivation as they attempt to return to the postseason for the second-straight season. WNE returns 15 of 24 starters from last season’s squad, but there are some question marks surrounding its running game and secondary. Halfback Dante Aiken, who rushed for 617 yards and seven touchdowns last fall, will most likely be the lead-back – he will be asked to fill the void left by Nick Connell, who rushed for 13 touchdowns last fall, along with 1,231 yards. Connell is back, however, but as an assistant coach – he could certainly help Aiken become one of the best backs in the league. The other question mark: the team’s secondary. Defensive back Obi Etuka graduated last spring, but luckily the team does return a good chunk of secondary players that should be able to step-up when needed. Coach Keith Emery and his staff seem optimistic about their team’s secondary. Excluding the two question marks, WNE does return a great deal of talent that will make them ‘the team to watch’ this fall.
The first NCAA Division III Regional Rankings for the 2016 football season were released this afternoon with just one New England squad appearing on the East Region Top 10 list. Western New England checked-in ninth overall – just one spot ahead of Frostburg State, which ranked 10th in the East Region.
The Golden Bears are one of four teams in the region with an 8-0 overall record. All four teams, including the Golden Bears, are also 8-0 in-region, too.
Alfred (1st), Stevenson (2nd) and St. John Fisher (3rd) earned the top three spots, while Salisbury and St. Lawrence checked in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Ah, the seventh week of the New England Division III Football season has arrived. And earlier this evening, we released our poll for the week, which featured some movement, along with one newcomer, too.
Western New England earned the top spot again – the Golden Bears sat idle this past weekend, but return to the gridiron this Saturday, October 15th when they host MIT with kickoff slated for 1:00 p.m.
Quarterback Anthony Service has been one of many players to watch this season– through five games; he has tossed 16 touchdowns, while completing 79 of 116 pass attempts for 1,194 yards. The Golden Bears’ signal-caller currently leads the NEFC in yards per game (238.8) and touchdowns (16).
In addition to Service, wide-out Mark Dietrich – the team’s leading receiver with 24 receptions – has been a go-to target, hauling in six touchdown receptions, while registering 382 receiving yard.
On defense, the Golden Bears are led by defensive back Sam Olsson, who leads the Gold and Blue with 32 total tackles – he has also tallied 17 solo stops this season, along with one interception. Isaiah Berrios Smith leads the unit with a pair of interceptions and four pass-break-ups.
Below WNE is Middlebury College – moving up a few spots to the second position following an important win last weekend against Amherst College. The Panthers edged the Purple and White, 27-26. Amherst entered the contest riding a 21-game winning streak.
Through three games, Massengill has tallied 14 points on eight extra points (8-for-8) and two field goals (2-for-2).
Next up for the Panthers: a trip to Williamstown, Massachusetts to face the Ephs of Williams College.
Below Middlebury is Salve Regina, appearing in the third position for the first time this season.
Similar to the Golden Bears, the Seahawks were idle this past weekend, but return to action Saturday when they entertain Nichols College at 12 p.m.
The Seahawks have been a great story this season, winning four-straight contests, along with an exhibition game against Dean College last month.
In their last outing against Curry College, halfback Sam Pascale led all rushers with 225 yards on 13 carries, along with a pair of scores. Tailback James Dawson also had a big day, registering 112 yards on 12 carries for three scores.
Through four games, Pascale has recorded 667 yards on 82 carries and nine touchdowns. He has also hauled in a trio of receptions for 38 yards and one score.
Pascale’s nine touchdowns are a career-best – his 667 yards and 166.8 yards per carry are both career-highs. Additionally, he is averaging 8.1 yards per carry – pretty impressive, eh?
Finally, let’s welcome Wesleyan University to the poll – the Cardinals check-in at number 10. This is the first time this season Wesleyan has cracked our poll.
Wesleyan is current 2-1 overall and has featured a high-powered offense this season, which has gained over 500 yards of total offense in back-to-back weeks.
This past weekend, the Cardinals soared past Colby College, defeating the Mules, 37-6. Devon Carrillo highlighted his team’s outing with three touchdowns, including a third quarter passing touchdown.
The Cardinals return to Maine this weekend to visit Bates on Saturday – kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
We’ll have more week seven coverage later this week, but make sure to follow-us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports and @MattNoonan11) and on Facebook, too.