Tag: William Kirby

Noontime’s D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Nine

Husson University is one of five New England NCAA Division III football teams to watch this week after their big win last weekend against the University of New England. (PHOTO COURTESY: Eric Ogden)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s that time of the week when we highlight five teams to watch this weekend in New England NCAA Division III football.

So, without further ado … let’s get after it!

Castleton University (4-3, 2-1 ECFC): The Spartans are in the mix for the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown after winning back-to-back league matchups against Dean College (21-13) and Keystone College (41-0).

Against the Giants, Evan Smith threw three touchdowns, Simon Davis Jr. rushed for a pair of scores, and the Spartans defense tallied 10 tackles for a loss of 50 yards and three interceptions.  

This week, the Spartans face an Anna Maria College squad that has won five consecutive matchups, as well as sits atop the ECFC standings. Saturday’s game could be considered a playoff game for the Spartans, who need to win their final three contests to remain in position to snatch their first-ever league crown.

Castleton has split its last two matchups with Anna Maria, falling to the AMCATs in 2018 before beating them one year later in 2019.  

Husson University (5-2, 2-1 CCC): Despite a week seven setback to Endicott College, the Eagles of Husson are very much in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown. However, they will need to win their final three contests and get some help.

This week, the Eagles will fly south to Dudley, Massachusetts to compete against a Nichols College squad that has yet to win a conference matchup this fall. The Bison lost their previous matchup with Husson in 2019 by a score of 31-7.

A win for the Eagles would certainly provide the Green and Gold with some much-needed momentum heading into a pair of important end-of-season matchups with Salve Regina University and Western New England. Both teams, along with Endicott are in the mix for the league title.

On Saturday, keep your eyes on Husson quarterback Nic Visser, who completed 25 of 39 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday against the University of New England.

Salve Regina University (7-1, 3-1 CCC): Like the Eagles of Husson, the Seahawks of Salve Regina are very much in the mix for their conference crown, thanks to a come-from-behind win last Saturday against Endicott.

But the biggest question facing the Seahawks heading into their final two contests of the 2021 season with Curry College and Husson is can last week’s big win carry them to two more victories?  

Salve Regina entered conference play with a great deal of momentum after rallying to beat Rowan University by a score of 50-35. But one week later, the Seahawks saw their five-game winning streak snapped by Western New England, which beat the Blue and Grey by a score of 41-3.

Since losing to the Golden Bears, the Seahawks have rebounded, winning three-straight while averaging five touchdowns per game. They will certainly need to score a few touchdowns, both this weekend and next weekend, especially if they want to finish with nine wins.

Trinity College (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC): The Bantams are one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have yet to lose a single game this season – the same could be said for Wesleyan University and Williams College. But can they find a way to finish the season with three more wins?

Last week, the Bantams fell behind early, but were able to rally and beat Colby College, 35-12, thanks to four touchdown passes from Spencer Fetter and a 139 rushing yards by William Kirby, who also located the end zone once at the end of the third quarter.

Perhaps the slow start against the Mules could be a blueprint for one of its three remaining foes – Amherst College, Wesleyan, and Williams – to beat the Blue and Gold, but it could also be a valuable learning lesson for a squad that has already won more games than they did in 2019.

Trinity will certainly be challenged these next three weeks but seem determined to finish their season without a single setback like they did in 2016.

UMass Dartmouth (6-2, 4-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs might be on the outside of the two-team race for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown, but they certainly can make things interesting by beating Bridgewater State this weekend.  

The Bears are one of two teams that have yet to lose a conference matchup this fall – the same could be said for Framingham State, which beat UMass Dartmouth in week three.

UMass Dartmouth has not beaten the Bears since 2014 when they beat Bridgewater State on their home turf by a score of 37-10.

Since their 27-point victory against the Bears, the Corsairs have lost five straight, including their most recent outing in 2019 when Bridgewater State registered 56 points, which was the most the Red and White produced in a single-game that season.

Since falling to Western Connecticut earlier this month, the Corsairs have won three consecutive matchups to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the final three weeks of the 2021 season.

Observations & Thoughts From Five Weeks of New England D2 & D3 Football

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak set the program record for touchdown receptions last weekend against Salve Regina. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By Matt Noonan

We’re slowly reaching the halfway mark of the 2021 college football season – crazy, right?

But the good news is there is still plenty of football left to be played.

While yesterday – Sunday, October 3, 2021 – technically marked the beginning of the sixth week of the season, here are some observations from what I have witnessed over the past few weeks.

Let’s begin in the Northeast 10 Conference (NE10) where Bentley University has won five straight contests to stretch its current winning streak to 10 games, dating back to October 2019.  

The Falcons, who currently occupy the top spot in the conference, have won three consecutive league matchups this fall, including a 34-21 contest this past weekend against Saint Anselm. Quarterback Stephen Sturm account for four touchdowns – three passing, one rushing – and 379 yards of total offense against the Hawks while Cole McCubrey registered a team-high 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops (Rene Nunez also recorded nine solo tackles).

Bentley enters the sixth week of the season as the 18th best team in Division II, according to the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll. The Falcons are one of nine teams on this week’s list that have won five consecutive contests this fall.

West Florida and Northwest Missouri State, which secured the first and second positions in this week’s AFCA D-II Poll, boast identical 4-0 records.

As noted above, there is still a lot of football left to be played, but Bentley has certainly found ways to score hard-fought wins, both this past weekend and at the end of September against American International College.

This week, the Falcons host a Pace University squad that provided challenges for New Haven, which broke open a 14-14 tie with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Last week’s Pace-New Haven contest marked the first time the Chargers competed on the road this school year.

Coach Chris Pincince seemed proud of his team’s effort against the Setters, saying that “a win is a win, we look forward. We took another step toward another goal (of winning the Northeast 10 title) that we have.”

New Haven hosts Saint Anselm this week – the Chargers defense will be tasked with slowing down an impressive Hawks passing attack that is led by quarterback Drew Willoughby, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 1,410 yards in four contests.

As of now, it appears as if both Bentley and New Haven are the frontrunners for the conference crown as neither squad has dropped a league contest thus far, but don’t overlook Southern Connecticut (3-2, 2-1), Assumption College (2-3, 2-1), and Stonehill College (3-1, 1-1). All three, along with possible American International College could conclude the season in the top spot.

Sure, we picked against Western New England this past weekend in the previous 10 Games to Watch – I thought Salve Regina University would continue its early-season momentum against the Golden Bears – but the Blue and Gold proved me wrong as they defeated the Seahawks, 41-3, in their initial Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) contest.

Steven Fedorchak highlighted his team’s big win over the Seahawks by setting a new program record for touchdown receptions with 23. He concluded the contest with a game-high 87 yards on six catches.

With the win, the Golden Bears returned to the top spot in our weekly poll and seem destined to occupy that position for the remainder of the season baring a future setback to say Endicott College this week or another conference foe later this fall.

We’ll share our weekly picks later this week, but from what I have seen from Western New England thus far, as well as this past weekend, they certainly are the favorite to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Alex Cohen recorded six touchdowns last weekend in his team’s first-ever win against Keystone College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College)

Here are a few more teams to keep an eye on over the next few weeks:

Anna Maria College: The AMCATs have been a great story this fall.

Anna Maria has won three of four meetings, including its first-ever with Keystone College, which saw quarterback Alex Cohen account for six touchdowns – five passing and one rushing.

Last Saturday’s win provided coach Dan Mulrooney with his seventh victory as the AMCATs head coach – the seven wins are the most recorded by a head coach in program history, dating back to their initial season in 2009.

Anna Maria has never won the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) but could be in line for the title, pending how the next few weeks play out.

Framingham State: After losing back-to-back non-conference games earlier this season, the Rams have bounced back, winning three straight, including their first conference clash of the season with UMass Dartmouth.

Coach Tom Kelley’s squad enters the sixth week of the season tied with Bridgewater State for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) – the two teams will compete next month in Framingham.

The Rams pitched their first shutout of the season last weekend against Plymouth State (33-0) and will attempt to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday when they visit Fitchburg State for a 3 p.m. kick-off.

Norwich University: The Cadets scored a big win last weekend against Coast Guard Academy to secure a three-way tie atop the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings.

After starting their 2021 campaign with back-to-back losses, Norwich has rebounded quite well – hey, they did not make things easy on Endicott, which rallied to beat the Cadets on their home field.

Keep an eye on the Cadets moving forward – maybe their win against Coast Guard Academy is just the start of an exciting second-half run.

Trinity College: I watched the Bantams game last weekend against Middlebury College and came away impressed.

Trinity blanked the defending champions by a score of 28-0, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Spencer Fetter, who has thrown eight touchdowns this fall while completing 62 of 91 passes for 952 yards.

Fetter was impressive, but the same could be said for others, including halfback William Kirby and linebacker Brian Casagrande, who both scored one touchdown last weekend.

Trinity is one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have yet to drop a game this season – they will attempt to continue their winning ways on Saturday when they visit Hamilton College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.

University of New England: The Nor’easters are one win away from matching their program record for wins in a single season after capturing their last three matchups, including a pair of non-league wins over Alfred State and Bridgewater State.

Last Saturday, UNE scored its first win in program history against Nichols College, thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Jack Mahoney, Jaymeson Maheux, and Connor Sirois.   

UNE travels to Salve Regina this weekend for its second conference tilt of the 2021 season.

Noontime’s D3 Football Saturday Roundup: Trinity Rolls Past Middlebury, 28-0

Trinity College’s Spencer Fetter tossed two touchdowns on Saturday against Middlebury College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Make it three straight wins for Trinity College as the Bantams rolled past Middlebury College, 28-0, in their second home game of the 2021 season to erase memories of a five-point setback to the Panthers two years ago.

Trinity recorded 424 yards of total offense, thanks to quarterback Spencer Fetter, who concluded the game 18 of 31 for 319 yards and two touchdowns.  

Devante Reid led all receivers with eight grabs for 146 yards while Thomas Walsh (one catch, 57 yards) and Jack Barrett (two catches, 21 yards) each recorded one touchdown reception. Halfback William Kirby rushed for a game-high 56 yards and one score.

Trinity’s defense limited the Middlebury passing attack to a season-low 118 yards while recording three interceptions and six sacks.

The Bantams, who led 7-0 at the break, doubled its lead early in the third quarter when Spencer Fetter connected with Thomas Walsh for a 57-yard touchdown pass to cap a two-play, 70-yard drive.

Brian Casagrande would add to the Trinity lead on the initial play of the fourth quarter by intercepting Middlebury quarterback Cole Kennon for an 86-yard touchdown return before William Kirby capped his team’s scoring with an 18-yard rushing score with 4:43 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Trinity is one of three New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams that have won three straight contests as both Wesleyan University and Williams College remained perfected through three weeks by picking up wins against Bates College and Bowdoin College, respectively.

The Bantams will visit Hamilton College next Saturday, October 9 for a 1 p.m. kickoff – the Continentals scored their second win of the 2021 season this afternoon by defeating Colby College by a score of 27-14.

Western New England snapped its two-game losing streak with a 41-3 victory over Salve Regina University this afternoon. With the win, the Golden Bears improve to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

John Kenney rushed for a pair of touchdowns while Sam Opont recorded a game-high 11 total tackles as Endicott College won its first conference game against Curry College, 34-27.

The Colonels entered the game on a two-game winning streak – they were led by quarterback Justin Mullaney, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns.

Make it three-straight for the University of New England as they scored their first-ever win over Nichols College, 28-19, to improve to 3-1 overall. Next week, the Nor’easters will attempt to win their second consecutive conference game against Salve Regina.

Elsewhere in New England, Framingham State rolled past Plymouth State, 33-0, Massachusetts Maritime Academy topped Westfield State, 16-8, and Norwich University beat Coast Guard Academy, 24-21, in the Little Army-Navy Game for the Mug.  

Stop by later this weekend for an additional blog post (or two) on the fifth week of the New England small college football season.

College Football Roundup: Goffredo, Framingham Upset UMass Dartmouth

Joshua Onujiogu (91) led the Framingham State defense on Saturday against UMass Dartmouth. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

By NoontimeSports.com

Framingham State has officially registered its initial win of the 2021 college football season. 

Nicolas Goffredo quarterbacked the Rams to a Homecoming victory over UMass Dartmouth — the former Catholic Memorial signal-caller completed 14 of 26 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns while adding a game-high 82 yards rushing on seven carries and one score. 

Halfback Devaun Ford rushed for 70 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown — he also caught three passes for 18 yards — while Joshua Onujiogu led the Rams defense with eight total tackles, including seven solo stops. 

For his impressive efforts on offense, Goffredo was named the 2021 Calder Award on Homecoming Day at Framingham State. 

Across the state in Williamstown, Bobby Maimaron completed 9 of 17 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown while rushing for a game-high 162 yards on 19 carries and two scores as Williams College defeated Middlebury College, 41-13, in their 2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opener. 

Williams defense intercepted Middlebury quarterback Will Jernigan three times, however, the 2019 NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year did throw for 215 yards and two touchdowns while halfback Peter Scibilia rushed for a team-high 67 yards on 10 carries. 

In Hartford, Connecticut, Spencer Fetter completed 21 of 24 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns while William Kirby rushed for a game-high 96 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns to power Trinity College to an impressive 42-28 opening day win over Tufts University

Despite the loss, Tufts quarterback Matt Crowley, who previously competed for St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts, concluded the game 9 of 13 for 213 yards and three touchdowns.  

John Kenney and Clayton Marengi combined for 144 rushing yards and two touchdowns but it wasn’t enough to list Endicott College past Catholic University, which edged the Gulls by a score of 32-29 in Washington, D.C.

In Worcester, RPI captured the Transit Trophy Game by defeating WPI, 24-10. 

RPI quarterback George Marinopoulos completed 21 of 28 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the win for the Engineers while Austin Charles paced the defense with seven total tackles, including six solo stops.  

WPI’s Brendan Olexa concluded the game 13 of 24 for 109 yards and one touchdown while adding 24 yards on five carries. 

Joey Mauriello’s lone touchdown with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter proved to be the difference during a non-conference clash between Montclair State and Salve Regina

The Seahawks, who improve to 3-0 overall, edged the Red Hawks, 24-21, in Montclair, New Jersey, thanks to Mauriello, who rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown, along with Jack Maguire, who finished the game 13 of 31 for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

Michael Palermo tallied a game-high 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of three yards while Jared Colletti and Spencer McMillion combined for 276 rushing yards and three touchdowns as Coast Guard Academy rolled past Nichols College, 33-6, in their first game in New London, Connecticut since November 16, 2019. 

In Paxton, Alex Cohen completed 25 of 36 passes for 355 yards and one touchdown — he also added two additional scores on the ground to lead Anna Maria College past Massachusetts Maritime Academy by a score of 23-13.