James Cahoon‘s lone touchdown pass on Friday evening against Western Connecticut proved to be the difference in an important conference matchup for Bridgewater State.
The Bears, who rallied to beat the Western Connecticut by a score of 21-17, improve to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) — the victory should provide the Red and White with some momentum heading into next week’s meeting with Fitchburg State after starting its 2021 campaign with back-to-back losses to Ithaca College and the University of New England.
Cahoon finished Friday’s contest 19 of 32 for 214 yard and one touchdown while halfback Adam Couch rushed for a game-high 165 yards and two scores.
Steven Silvia and Kodi Saotome combined for 24 total tackles on defense while the entire unit finished the game with four tackles for a loss of four yards, two forced fumbles, two pass break-ups, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery.
Western Connecticut entered its second conference tilt averaging 31.3 points per game — last week, the Colonials produced a season-high 42 points against Westfield State.
Heading into the second month of play, the Bears will certainly be a team to watch — sure, they might be the favorites in a few upcoming matchups against the Falcons, Worcester State, and Westfield State, but you never know if one or all three of these teams could score an upset victory.
As of now — midday, to be exact — the Bears are the only MASCAC squad with two conferece wins, but they could end the day in a three-way tie for the top spot in the conference, pending outcomes from Worcester State-UMass Dartmouth and Framingham State-Westfield State.
Both Framingham State and Worcester State boast identical 1-0 conference records.
There is still a lot of football left to be played, but last night’s outcome should certainly provide Bridgewater State with a great deal of momentum heading into the second month of play, but don’t overlook Western Connecticut, which faces an important test next week at home against UMass Dartmouth.
Welcome to the second week of the New England (and northeast) college football season — that first week went by fast, but with games quickly approaching, both tonight and tomorrow, it can only mean one thing: it is time to dish out some picks!
Last week, we were a perfect 10-for-10 — wow! — so let’s see if we can do that again for the second straight week.
Have a great weekend, everyone, and make sure to stop by later (and throughout the weekend) for more New England football content from both the colleges and high schools.
FEATURED GAME: University of New England (0-1) at Bridgewater State (0-1) (Saturday, September 11 at 1 p.m.): Both teams are looking to bounce back from week one setbacks. The Nor’easters defense limited Coast Guard Academy to just 16 points last week and could provide some challenges for Joe Verria’s offense. But in the end, the Bears should prevail on their home turf. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 28, UNE 16
FEATURED GAME: MIT (1-0) at Salve Regina (1-0) (Saturday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.): Both teams lit up their respective scoreboard last week, but for the Engineers to be successful, they must find a way to slow down Salve Regina halfback Joey Mauriello, who rushed for a game-high 261 yards on 34 carries and two touchdowns last Friday against Norwich University. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 35, MIT 30
WPI (1-0) at Endicott College (1-0) (Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.): Both the Gulls and Engineers utilized second-half adjustments to score opening day wins last weekend. This evening, the Gulls defense, which provided some challenges last week to St. Lawrence University during the final two frames of last Saturday’s outing, will once again be the reason why Endicott prevails and scores its first win in program history against WPI. PREDICTION: Endicott 24, WPI 21
Western New England (1-0) at Westfield State (0-1) (Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.): Erich Keutmann and Bailey Devine-Scott highlighted a defensive effort against Springfield College, which will once again be on display this evening against the Owls. PREDICTION: WNE 35, Westfield State 13
Maritime (N.Y.) (0-0) at Mass. Maritime Academy (0-0) (Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.): Coach Jeremy Cameron joined us this week to discuss the Buccaneers season-opener against a Privateers squad that lost to the Buccaneers in 2019 by a score of 31-14. The Buccaneers have some new faces on both sides of the ball, along with a slew of signal-callers that will help the home team secure an opening win under the lights. PREDICTION: MMA 28, Maritime (N.Y.) 20
Union College (1-0) at Worcester State (0-1) (Saturday, September 11 at 12 p.m.): The Lancers surprised us last week — they certainly did not make things easy for the Engineers of WPI — but this will be quite a challenge for the Blue and Gold against a very talented Dutchmen squad. PREDICTION: Union 40, Worcester State 20
Nichols College (1-0) at Anna Maria College (0-0) (Saturday, September 11 at 12:30 p.m.): Coach Dan Mulrooney‘s squad faces a tough test in their first contest of the season against a Bison squad that tallied four sacks for a loss of 50 yards last week against Westfield State. Halfback Joshua Pierre-Charles will be a player to watch in this matchup. PREDICTION: Nichols 28, Anna Maria 14
Husson University (0-1) at Plymouth State (0-1) (Saturday, September 11 at 1 p.m.): The Eagles did not make things easy on the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth last week, which leads us to think this is a game they will win. PREDICTION: Husson 20, Plymouth State 13
Albright College (0-1) at Western Connecticut (1-0) (Saturday, September 11 at 5 p.m.): Despite being outscored in the second half, the Colonials were still able to beat William Paterson by a score of 24-21. This week, they should be able to get by an Albright squad that struggled against Salisbury University. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 30, Albright 14
Happy Monday, everyone — I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend, but also enjoyed seeing football games played, both in-person or on television over the past few days.
Starting today and every week throughout the remainder of the New England D-III college football season, I’ll be producing a weekly post called “Noontime’s Teams to Watch,” which will highlight some programs fans should watch (and yes, keep their eyes on) heading into the upcoming week.
So, without further ado, let’s highlight some teams to watch this week.
MIT: The Engineers scored an opening day win against Curry College — the offense really kicked into gear in the second half as they outscored the Colonels by a score of 27-0. Quarterback Chris Mauck was one of a few players to watch as the Wellington, Florida native completed 17 of 29 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
Halfback Jay Theriault, who played high school football at Masconomet, led the Engineers with 58 yards on ten carries and one touchdown while linebacker Paul Calvetti paced the MIT defense with 13 total tackles.
The Engineers, who moved up three spots in our week two poll, certainly proved they’re going to be a team to watch this fall, but we should get a better gauge on this MIT squad, especially the defensive unit this weekend when they visit Salve Regina University. MIT limited the Curry rushing attack to just 96 yards, but will certainly be challenged this week against a Seahawks squad that is led by halfback Joey Mauriello.
WPI: Despite a slow start to their first game since November of 2019, the Engineers of Worcester found their groove in the second half against Worcester State by outscoring the visitors, 35-7. Coach Chris Robertson‘s squad leaned heavily on its ground game as Hunter Carey and Brandon Winn combined for 240 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Nica Hesel highlighted the WPI defensive effort with four total tackles, including two tackles for a loss of 20 yards, one sack for a loss of 17 yards, and one forced fumble. Of course, Hesel wasn’t the only one providing challenges for the Lancer’s offense as Derrick Doncaster and Evan Wertz combined for 15 total tackles, one fumble recovery, and one tackle for a loss of 17 yards.
WPI faces a challenging test on Friday evening against second-ranked Endicott College — the Gulls rallied to beat St. Lawrence University on Saturday after trailing the Saints, 14-6, at the break.
Dean College: Wide receiver Errol Breaux was a player to watch last Saturday as the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native tallied six touchdowns (five receiving, one rushing) against Fitchburg State. The senior wideout concluded the game with 251 yards of total offense — he averaged 30.9 yards per reception.
Quarterback David Curry concluded Saturday’s outing with the Falcons by completing 18 of 30 passes for 327 yards and five touchdowns — I’ll certainly be watching him and Breaux on Saturday when they visit the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs.
In addition to the dynamic duo on offense, keep your eyes on Dre Kidd this Saturday — the Manassas, Virginia native was the only member of the Bulldogs defense to record double-digits in total tackles: 13.
Castleton University: Noah Crossman was the player to watch in the Spartans’ initial contest of 2021 against Plymouth State as the North Chittenden, Vermont native booted a pair of field goals in the opening half before Devin Wollner capped a four-play, 62 yard drive with a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter to secure the victory.
Chris Rice led the Castleton defense with nine total tackles, including three solo stops, three-and-a-half tackles for loss of 16 yards and two-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 13 yards. Rice was a player to watch in 2019 and will certainly be someone all New England D-III fans will want to watch as the season progresses.
The Spartans will travel to Fitchburg State on Saturday — Castleton lost to the Falcons by a score of 12-10 in 2019 but defeated the Gold and Green in 2018.
University of New England: Despite an opening day loss to Coast Guard Academy, the Nor’easters defense was the story as Keegan Stanton-Meas led all defenders with 12 total stops, including seven solo tackles and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of four yards.
UNE, which secured the final spot on today’s poll, is certainly trending in the right direction — the Nor’easters under coach Mike Lichten have shown improvements since their first varsity contest in 2018, and could surprise some squads this fall with a defense that combined for eight tackles for a loss of 20 yards, two quarterback hurries, and one interception returned for 38 yards last Saturday against the Bears.
Stay tuned for more college football (and soon, high school football) coverage later this week, but for now, it is time to unveil our second poll of the 2021 season!
Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 1 | September 6, 2021)
Western New England (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): They say defense wins championships and last Saturday, the Golden Bears defensive unit shined in a crosstown rivalry against Springfield College.
Endicott College (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): Second half adjustments were key for Paul McGonagle‘s squad last Saturday in a 27-14 victory over St. Lawrence University.
UMass Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos‘s second touchdown pass with 1:48 remaining in the final session proved to be the difference in a hard fought victory for the Corsairs.
Williams College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Ephs were idle this past weekend and will be off again this upcoming weekend, but an opening day clash with Middlebury College is quickly approaching.
Middlebury College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): It’s almost game week for the defending New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champions — after an upcoming bye week, the Blue and White will begin final preparation for their opening day foe: Williams.
Wesleyan University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): Game week for the Cardinals will be here soon — an opening clash with Colby College will certainly be a game worth watching next Saturday, September 18.
Trinity College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 8): Despite being idle, both last weekend and this upcoming weekend, the Bantams switched places with Western Connecticut.
Western Connecticut (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 7): The Colonials squeaked out a three-point win last Saturday over William Paterson University — can they keep their early season momentum going this week against Albright College?
MIT (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 12): The Engineers moved-up three spots after outscoring Curry College, 27-0, in the second half. We’ll certainly learn more about MIT this week when they travel to Salve Regina University.
WPI (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 13): Despite a slow start, the Engineers of Worcester looked pretty good against Worcester State in the second half — a big challenge awaits coach Chris Robertson‘s squad on Friday against Endicott College.
Nichols College (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 11): The Bison opened their season with a victory over Westfield State — they will look to continue this early-season momentum on Saturday against Anna Maria College.
Salve Regina University (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 16): Salve Regina opened its season with a 38-0 win over Norwich University, thanks to an impressive rushing attack led by halfback Joey Mauriello.
Husson University (0-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 15): Despite losing to the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth last Saturday, these Eagles certainly proved they’re going to provide some serious challenges for future opponents.
Tufts University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 14): The Jumbos were idle last week and will be this week, but an opening day clash with the Bantams of Trinity will be here soon.
Springfield College (0-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): It wasn’t an ideal start for the Pride, which dropped their season-opener to Western New England — Jack Duignan and DJ Brown highlighted a defensive effort that limited the Golden Bears to just 24 points.
Coast Guard Academy (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 20): The Bears pitched a shutout in their season-opener, topping the University of New England by a score of 16-0. Sure, it wasn’t a flawless game, but we should learn more about the Bears over the next weeks when they face-off against Curry, Nichols, and Anna Maria.
Bridgewater State (0-1, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Ithaca College defense did not make things easy on the Bears, who slid down our poll seven spots following an opening day loss to the Bombers. Let’s see if they can bounce back on Saturday against UNE.
Dean College (1-0, 0-0 ECFC | LW: No. 18): Quarterback David Curry tossed five touchdowns to Errol Breaux in an exciting opening day win against Fitchburg State. A big test awaits the Bulldogs this Saturday against UMass Dartmouth.
Colby College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): Like their NESCAC foes, the Mules were idle this past weekend and will be so this weekend, but we’re anxious to watch their season-opener against Wesleyan on Saturday, September 18.
University of New England (0-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: Not Ranked): Keegan Stanton-Meas led a Nor’easters defense that combined for eight tackles for a loss of 20 yards, two quarterback hurries, one interception, and one pass-breakup against the Bears of Coast Guard.
ON THE RISE: Amherst College, Anna Maria College, Castleton University, Framingham State, and Worcester State
Welcome to the opening week of the New England (and Northeast) college football season — yes, we know some teams have already competed on Wednesday and Thursday, but we’ll highlight (and pick) ten games to watch today and tomorrow (and maybe Sunday?).
Anywho, we’re excited for a busy slate of games and hope you are, as well — let’s dish out and share some picks!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
FEATURED GAME: St. Lawrence Univ. at Endicott College (Saturday, September 4 @ 12 p.m.): We’ll be in Beverly tomorrow to see the Gulls and Saints square-off in what should be an exciting week one tilt — make sure to check out our preview of the game, which was posted earlier today. We think Endicott will find a way to squeak out an exciting win with a last-minute touchdown drive. Prediction: Endicott 28, St. Lawrence 27
Westfield State at Nichols College (Friday, September 3 @ 6 p.m.): The Bison are a team to watch this fall, both in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) and New England, and should be able to pick up an opening night win against an Owls squad that might surprise some this fall. Prediction: Nichols 30, Westfield State 13
Salve Regina at Norwich University (Friday, September 3 @ 6 p.m.): Both teams are expected to be in the mix for their respective conference crown, but look for the Seahawks to lean on its running game — well, hand the ball off to Joey Mauriello a few times to squeak out an important road win. Prediction: Salve Regina 24, Norwich 20
Worcester State at WPI (Friday, September 3 @ 7 p.m.): When we last saw the Engineers of Worcester, they produced a 10 win season, which is the most wins they have tallied since winning nine games in 2017. This squad is a mix of first-years and veterans but look for Lou Duh (defensive line) and Phillip Durgin (fullback) to lead WPI to an opening night win. Prediction: WPI 24, Worcester State 10
Merchant Marine at FDU-Florham (Friday, September 3 @ 7 p.m.): The Mariners won their only game of 2020 — they beat their rival Coast Guard Academy last November — and returned some key pieces from that squad, including quarterback Ian Blankenship, who will be a player to watch this fall. Prediction: USMMA 28, FDU-Florham 14
Brockport at Framingham State (Saturday, Sept. 4 @ 12 p.m.): The Golden Eagles are 2-0 all-time against the Rams — they enter the 2021 season as one of the best teams in NCAA Division III and will certainly provide some challenges for Tom Kelley’s unit. Prediction: Brockport 35, Framingham State 14
Fitchburg State at Dean College (Saturday, September 4 @ 12 p.m.): Scott Sperone has waited quite some time to coach his first game since being named the new head coach at Fitchburg State in 2020. So Saturday’s contest with the Bulldogs will be a special day for the second-year coach, who is keeping the focus on building a culture with the Falcons. Dean is the favorite in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) and may have the edge being at home. PREDICTION: Dean 29, Fitchburg State 26
Springfield College at Western New England (Saturday, September 4 @ 1 p.m.): Bragging rights for the City of Springfield are on the lines when these two local rivals square off on Saturday. The Golden Bears return some key pieces from its 2019 squad, including wide receivers Steven Fedorchak and Adam Razza while Bailey Devine-Scott and Erich Keutmann are back to oversee a defensive unit that limited the Pride to 17 points in their previous meeting. Prediction: WNE 30, Springfield 16
Bridgewater State at Ithaca College (Saturday, September 4 @ 1 p.m.): The Bears are one of four teams — maybe five? — that we expect will be in the mix for the conference crown. And the same could be said for the Bombers of Ithaca, who compete in the Liberty League (LL). Both squads welcome some new members to their offense, defense, and special teams, which makes this contest a toss-up. Prediction: Ithaca 29, Bridgewater State 24
UMass Dartmouth at Husson (Saturday, September 4 @ 1 p.m.): On paper, this has the making for a really intriguing non-conference clash that should result in a back and forth affair. We believe the Corsairs have the edge in this one, but don’t be surprised if the Eagles score an exciting opening day victory. Prediction: UMass Dartmouth 30, Husson 28