D3 Football Round-Up: Middlebury Tops Amherst, Husson Bests SUNY Maritime

Saturday RoundUp

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Another busy day of D3 Football is in the books and below is your afternoon round-up, enjoy!

Middlebury 35, Amherst 31: Jared Lebowitz tossed three touchdowns, including a 31-yard strike to Conrado Banky early in the fourth to lift the Panthers passed the Mammoths for the second-straight season. Amherst, which trailed 28-10 at the break, closed the gap with a trio of second half touchdowns, including an 81-yard strike from Ollie Eberth to James O’Regan with 7:51 remaining in the game.

Husson 35, SUNY Maritime 17: John Smith rushed for 217 yards and one score, while Cory Brandon completed 15 of 24 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles soared by the Privateers in a pivotal conference clash. Brandon Drumgole (SUNY Maritime) led all receivers with 101 yards on six receptions, while Kendal Parker concluded the contest with 18 total tackles, including a pair of stops for a loss of eight yards. Husson’s Luke Washburn tallied 11 total tackles, including 10 solo stops, four quarterback hurries and two tackles for a loss of 19 yards.

SUNY Cortland 38, Buffalo 12: Steven Ferreira completed 10 of 23 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while the Red Dragons defense combined for five tackles for a loss of 30 yards, three interceptions, three pass break-ups and one sack as SUNY Cortland topped the Bengals at Coyer Field.

WPI 31, Catholic 14: Blake Rice tossed three touchdowns, Sean McAllen rushed for 148 yards on 30 carries, while Blayne Merchant recorded 12 total tackles as the Engineers rolled by the Cardinals in Washington, D.C.

Dean 28, Alfred State 14: Trent Waters tallied 13 total stops, including nine solo tackles, a pair of sacks and one forced fumble in the Bulldogs’ first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win.

Williams 47, Bates 14: Bobby Maimaron completed 17 of 24 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries and one score as the Ephs secured its third win of the season over the Bobcats in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Castleton 35, Mount Ida 31: Moe Harris rushed for a pair of scores and 126 yards on 25 carries, while Mitchell Caron completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans secured an important conference win over the Mustangs. Mount Ida quarterback Michael Pina completed the contest 18 of 32 passes for 210 yards, while tossing three touchdowns.

Westfield State 35, Mass. Maritime Acad. 28: Zach Howard‘s 44-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Owls hung onto defeat the Buccaneers in Westfield. Westfield State’s Travon Holder tallied 156 yards on 25 carries and two scores, while Mass. Maritime received 192 yards on 29 carries and two scores from tailback Richie Phillips.

Curry 30, UMass Dartmouth 27: Alex Corvese tossed two scores, while rushing for a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winner with six seconds remaining as the Colonels rallied to defeat the Corsairs in Milton. Corvese completed 29 of 44 passes for 377 yards, while rushing for 18 yards on 13 carries.


SCOREBOARD 

Framingham State 32, Fitchburg State 16 (Friday)
Hobart 30, RPI 0
Ithaca 46, Rochester 6
MIT 51, Maine Maritime 6
Wesleyan 41, Colby 7
Gallaudet 73, Anna Maria 23
Trinity 41, Hamilton 13
Springfield 38, Coast Guard 7
Merchant Marine 52, Norwich 17
Tufts 31, Bowdoin 3
Hartwick 52, Morrisville State 34
Plymouth State 17, Bridgewater State 7
Alfred 21, St. John Fisher 14
Western Conn. 49, Worcester State 23

10 Games To Watch In Week Six (New England & Northeast)

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Happy Friday, everyone!

We have a busy weekend of games on tap, including a Friday Night Lights clash between Framingham State and Fitchburg State, so let’s get started with our weekly edition of 10 Games to Watch (in week six)!

As always, let us know what you think of our picks – send us a tweet to @NoontimeSports or @MattNoonan11. 

Framingham State at Fitchburg State, 7 p.m. (Friday, Oct. 6th): Last season, the Rams’ defense highlighted a 14-0 win. They’ll certainly need that unit to step-up against a talented Falcons offense. PREDICTION: Framingham State 17, Fitchburg State 10 

RPI at Hobart, 12 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): The Statesmen are looking for a bounce back game, while the Engineers will also look to return to the win column after falling to Buffalo State two weeks ago. PREDICTION: Hobart 28, RPI 24 

SUNY Maritime at Husson, 1 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): Our fans are pumped-up for this game – this is an important Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash that could determine the ultimate winner of the conference. The Privateers must find a way to slow down John Smith, while the Eagles defense will need to find a way to slow down quarterback Thomas WrightPREDICTION: Husson 28, SUNY Maritime 24

Dean at Alfred State, 1 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): Ricco Aaron was a big reason why Dean secured a hard-fought 10-3 win last week over Nichols College. He finished the contest with 20 total tackles, including a pair of tackles for a loss. Aaron will be needed again this week as the Bulldogs attempt to earn their first-ever ECFC victory. PREDICTION: Dean 17, Alfred State 13 

WPI at Catholic, 1 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): Both teams picked-up their first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) win, but now the question is who will earn its second-straight conference win? Catholic’s defense was a big reason the Cardinals secured a 20-14 win over Coast Guard Academy, while WPI’s offense received a boost from Sean McAllen – he recorded three touchdowns, including two on the ground during the Engineers’ win over Maine Maritime Academy. PREDICTION: WPI 28, Catholic 21 

Bridgewater State at Plymouth State, 1 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): Coach Paul Castonia‘s squad is quietly putting together another successful campaign. Last week, they defeated Worcester State, 16-6. The win was a true team victory – look at the box score, everyone contributed. Bridgewater State is coming off its initial win of the season, but will that momentum continue this week in New Hampshire? PREDICTION: Plymouth State 21, Bridgewater State 14 

UMass Dartmouth at Curry College, 1 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): Coach Mark Robichaud‘s squad scored an impressive, as well as shocking win a week ago when the Corsairs sailed by Western Connecticut, 17-13. Do they have more upset magic in them this week against a talented Curry squad that almost knocked-off Union College two weeks ago? PREDICTION: Curry 25, UMass Dartmouth 17 

Middlebury at Amherst, 2 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): The winner of this contest will most likely have the inside track toward a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title, but the biggest question is which defense will step-up/slow down the opposing offense? We could be in for an offensive showcase on Saturday!  PREDICTION: Amherst 35, Middlebury 34 

Alfred at St. John Fisher, 4 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): Defense was the key for the Saxons last week, so can they continue that theme this week against the Cardinals? This is a must-win for St. John Fisher, which has yet to capture a single Empire 8 clash this season. PREDICTION: Alfred 28, St. John Fisher 17 

Worcester State at Western Connecticut, 6 p.m. (Saturday, Oct. 7th): The Colonials struggled a week ago, falling to UMass Dartmouth, 17-13. Can they bounce back, as well as slow down Worcester State quarterback Noah BrumPREDICTION: Western Conn. 23, Worcester State 16 

Noontime Sports: Team of the Week (Oct. 2nd) New England & Northeast

Noontime Team Week

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Another week of College Football, specifically D3 Football (New England and Northeast) is in the books, and now it is time to highlight this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week with players from offense, defense and special teams.


Players of the Week

Offensive Co-Player of the Week: Joe Germinerio (Brockport): Against SUNY Cortland, Germinerio recorded six touchdowns – three through the air, three on the ground – while registering 360 yards of total offense. 

Offensive Co-Player of the Week: John Smith (Husson): Smith tallied a career-best 301 yards, while rushing for two scores as the Eagles soared passed Endicott for a 28-7 win.

Defensive Player of the Week: Marvey Mathurin (UMass Dartmouth): Mathurin, who was tabbed this week’s MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week, recorded 12 total tackles, including seven solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss and one and a half-sacks. Additionally, he registered a pair of quarterback hurries in his team’s 17-13 win over Western Connecticut.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Spencer Herrington (WPI): Herrington booted a career-long 41-yard field goal, while connecting on all four extra points as WPI claimed its initial NEWMAC win over Maine Maritime.


Offensive Team of the Week:

Mitch Banuskevich (Plymouth State): Banuskevich rushed for 157 yards on 22 carries for one score as the Panthers defeated Worcester State, 16-6. 

Casey Boston (Alfred): Against Buffalo State, Boston completed 11 of 16 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 42 yards on eight carries and one score. 

Tyree Brown (Brockport): Brown led all receivers with 179 yards on six receptions and one score as Brockport defeated SUNY Cortland, 52-38. 

Michael Caban (Becker): Caban led all receivers on Saturday with 111 yards on eight receptions and one score. 

Emanuel Calmar (Rochester): Calmar totaled 233 yards on 36 carries and two scores to lead Rochester passed Becker. He also recorded four catches for 52 yards.

Brendan Costa (Bates): Costa rushed for 97 yards on 16 carries and one score – he averaged 6.1 yards per carry. 

Jack Dolan (Tufts): Dolan concluded Saturday’s game against Bates with three touchdown receptions, along with a game-high 118 yards on eight receptions. 

Jake Eglintine (Springfield): Against Norwich, Eglintine amassed 106 yards of total offense, while tossing two touchdowns as the Pride improved to 5-0 on the season. 

Steven Ferreira (SUNY Cortland): Ferreira completed 30 of 42 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 52-38 setback. 

Duane Gary (Western Conn.):Gary led all receivers with 116 yards on four receptions and one score in his team’s 17-13 setback to UMass Dartmouth.

Eddy Garcia-Montes (MIT): Garcia-Montes hauled in a game-best 119 receiving yards on six catches, while scoring twice in his team’s 35-7 win over Merchant Marine.    

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Gacioch amassed 280 yards of total offense, including 193 yards through the air as the Corsairs defeated West Conn., 17-13. Gacioch tossed one touchdown, while completing 15 of 26 passes.

Udgam Goyal (MIT): Goyal completed 20 of 30 passes for 217 yards, while tossing three touchdowns as the Engineers claimed its second-straight NEWMAC win with a 35-7 victory against Merchant Marine. 

Moe Harris (Castleton): Harris was unstoppable on Saturday against Anna Maria, rushing for a game-high 209 yards on 39 carries and three scores.

Dario Highsmith (Wesleyan): Highsmith rushed for a pair of scores and 95 yards on 15 carries as the Cardinals soared 

Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen rushed for 182 yards and two scores, while hauling in a pair of receptions for 11 yards and one touchdown, as the Engineers defeated Maine Maritime at Alumni Stadium.

Ryan McDonald (Tufts): McDonald turned in an impressive outing against Bates, tossing four touchdowns, while rushing for 81 yards on 21 carries and one score. McDonald completed 21 of 36 passes for 245 yards.

Alex McLaughlin (Bridgewater State): McLaughlin did it all against Westfield State, rushing for three scores on 23 carries for 176 yards, while completing one of two passes for seven yards.

Sean Richardson (St. Lawrence): Against Western New England, Richardson completed 18 of 30 passes for 274 yards, while tossing three touchdowns.

Anthony Service (Western New England): Service completed 14 of 28 passes for 193 yards, while tossing the game-winning strike in overtime to lift the Golden Bears passed  St. Lawrence. Service also rushed for a game-high 111 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

Chad Shade (Springfield): Shade tallied 101 yards on 11 carries and one score in his team’s fifth win against Norwich. Shade tallied the longest burst of the day – a 35-yard run – while averaging 9.2 yards per carry.

Curtis Smith (SUNY Maritime): Against Alfred State, Smith led all receivers with 162 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown.

Nas Sinkfield-Shelton (Becker): Sinkfield-Shelton amassed 310 yards of total offense, including 220 yards through the air in his team’s fifth contest of the season against Rochester. He concluded the game with a touchdown pass to Michael Caban.

Jayson Wallace (Anna Maria): Against Castleton, Wallace completed 14 of 34 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns.

Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Wilcox rushed for a game-high 111 yards on 21 carries and one score to lead the Pride passed Norwich last Saturday.

Thomas Wright (SUNY Maritime): Wright completed last Saturday’s game with 252 passing yards, along with 50 yards on 10 carries. He completed one touchdown pass to Curtis Smith, while rushing for one score with eight seconds remaining in the first quarter. 


Defensive Team of the Week: 

Ricco Aaron (Dean): Aaron led the Bulldogs’ defense with 20 total stops, including 12 solo tackles, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one quarterback hurry.  

Michael Bianco (Becker): Bianco led the Hawks’ defense with 10 total tackles, including three solo stops in his team’s setback to Rochester. Bicano concluded the contest with one pass break-up and a tackle for a loss of five yards.

Max Breschi (Bates): Breschi concluded Saturday’s game against Tufts with six total stops, including one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards, one sack for a loss for 13 yards and one fumble recovery.

Carty Campbell (Trinity): Campbell tallied a team-high seven solo stops, along with one tackle for a loss and one interception returned for 34 yards in his team’s 17-9 win over Williams College. 

Zach Howard (Westfield State): Howard paced the Owls’ defense with eight total tackles (seven solo), two tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one interception returned for 33 yards.

Jake Lombardo (Union): Lombardo led Union’s defense with 15 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble and four solo stops as the Dutchmen edged Morrisville State, 28-27. 

Nicholas Milgate (Alfred): Milgate led the Saxons’ defense against Buffalo State with 10 total stops, including two tackles for a loss of 16 yards and one interception for seven yards. 

Julius Mizro (Brockport): Mizro concluded Saturday’s contest with eight total tackles (seven solo stops), including two tackles for a loss of 11 yards, one forced fumble and an interception returned for 37 yards.

Brandon Morris (Wesleyan): Morris accounted for seven total tackles, including one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one forced fumble in his team’s 31-9 win over Hamilton.

Matt Nicolai (MIT): Nicolai paced the Engineers’ defense with 10 total stops, including seven solo stops, two interceptions and one pass break-up.

Austin Parker (Alfred State): Against SUNY Maritime, Parker recorded 12 total stops, including nine solo tackles and one interception.

William Rivera (Endicott): Against Husson, Rivera recorded 15 total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 13 yards, one sack for a nine yard loss and a fumble recovery. 

Justin Warner (Rochester): Warner tallied a team-high 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles, while registering four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards as Rochester defeated Becker in Leicester, Massachusetts.


Special Teams of the Week: 

Jason Barrientos (Fitchburg State): Barrientos recorded his longest punt of the season of 50 yards, while tallying 131 yards on five boots in his team’s 24-17 win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy. 

Jacob Cheney (Brockport): Cheney tallied 506 yards on nine kickoffs, including a pair of touchbacks in his team’s 52-38 win over SUNY Cortland. 

Finn Kearns (UMass Dartmouth): Kearns punted the ball seven times on Saturday for 207 yards with three boots landing inside the West Conn. 20-yard-line.

Vinny Lalumia (Western New England): Against St. Lawrence, Lalumia punted the ball eight times for 298 yards, including three boots that landed inside his opponent’s 20-yard line. One of his eight punts resulted in a touchback.

Brett Renzi (Brockport): Renzi connected on all seven extra points, while converting a 33 yard field goal in his team’s 52-38 win over SUNY Cortland.

10 Games To Watch In Week Two

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com 

Week two of the New England D3 Football season officially begins this evening with some intriguing match-ups, including SUNY Maritime versus Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Curry College at MIT.

Let’s kick-off a brand new week of games with our weekly 10 Games to Watch post, including predictions, too.

Curry College at MIT (Friday, September 8th at 7 p.m.): Both teams came out of week one victorious, but Curry may have the momentum heading into this one after a hard-fought home win over Fitchburg State. MIT’s Chad Martinovich described his team’s 28-0 win over Becker a week ago as a “family win.” The Engineers will need all three units (offense, defense and special teams) to assist them against the Colonels. PREDICTION: Curry 28, MIT 21

SUNY Maritime at Mass. Maritime Academy (Friday, September 8 at 7 p.m.): Richie Phillips had a monstrous game last year against the Privateers, rushing for three touchdowns and 100 yards on 15 carries. Will he do it again this evening? We’ll have to wait and find out! PREDICTION: Mass. Maritime 30, SUNY Maritime 28 

Western New England at Westfield State (Friday, September 8 at 7 p.m.): Quarterback Anthony Service and the Golden Bears’ offense won’t be an easy unit for the Owls’ defense to slow down, so look for WNE to score a bounce-back win against Westfield State this evening. PREDICTION: WNE 28, Westfield State 10 

Endicott College at Bridgewater State (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This is an intriguing match-up – both teams haven’t squared-off since 2012 – but it will certainly be a game to follow on Saturday. Bridgewater State won the last meeting, defeating the Gulls at home by a score of 20-14, but can Endicott even the score with a week two win? PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 27, Endicott 17 

Montclair State at Salve Regina (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This is a big test for the Seahawks, which won their season-opener by a touchdown against Worcester State. The defense will need to step-up, especially against a talented Red Hawks offense, which will provide challenges on the outside. Keep an eye on Julanee Prince and Joe Schultz in this one. PREDICTION: Montclair State 24, Salve Regina 22

Husson at Dean College   (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This will certainly be a game to watch on Saturday as the Bulldogs make their Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) debut against the defending champion Eagles. Dean enters the season with a slew of first-year players, but Coach Steve Tirrell believes they’ll be ready to compete against some challenging foes this fall, including Husson. Dean’s biggest task in its season-opener: find a way to slow down Husson’s John SmithPREDICTION: Husson 28, Dean 21 

Kean at Springfield College (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): This is Kean’s season-opener – not sure how they will do this season, but they’ll certainly provide a unique challenge for our top team in this week’s Noontime Sports Top 10 poll. Look for Springfield’s ground-and-pound game to highlight this contest. Prediction: Springfield 21, Kean 16 

Cortland State at Framingham State (Saturday, September 9 at 12 p.m.): Following a big win over Endicott last weekend, the Rams will look to continue its momentum against a talented Red Dragons squad, which defeated them last season, 49-21. This is a big-time, early season test for Coach Tom Kelley‘s squad – if they pull this one out, it will be because of its defense. Nathan Fleming could be a player to watch in this game for the Rams. Prediction: Framingham State 34, Cortland State 33 

Coast Guard at Union College (Saturday, September 9 at 1 p.m.): Union’s defense should provide Ethan Goldcamp and the Bears’ offense with some challenges, but perhaps the player to watch in this game will be kicker/punter Cole Austin, who recorded 10 points (two field goals,  last week in his team’s opening day win over Alfred State. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 23, Union 21 

RPI at WPI (Saturday, September 9 at 1 p.m.): Earlier this week, WPI senior Dereck Pacheco told us that this particular match-up is the equivalent to Michigan-Ohio State. This game is always a must-see or must-follow because its a trophy game (Transit Trophy). PREDICTION: WPI 27, RPI 21 

Under The Helmet With WPI’s Dereck Pacheco

Dereck Pacheco 3
WPI’s Dereck Pacheco (94) recorded six solo stops last week in the Engineers’ season-opening win over Anna Maria College. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier today, WPI senior defensive lineman Dereck Pacheco was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Week for his effort in the Engineers’ week one victory over Anna Maria.

Pacheco paced the Engineers’ defense with six solo stops, including four tackles for a loss for 29 yard, while recording a pair of sacks. He also recorded two of quarterback hurries, too.

This week, Pacheco and the Engineers host RPI during WPI’s Homecoming with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m on Saturday, September 9. Last season, Pachecho helped WPI defeat RPI, 19-7, thanks to 10 total stops, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss and a safety. The win provided the Engineers of Worcester with the Transit Trophy for the first time in two seasons.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Pachecho earlier today to discuss his team’s week two contest against RPI, as well as his goals for the team this season.

What are your goals for a successful senior season with WPI? 

Obviously, the big the goal for the season is to get that championship ring, but as long as we keep plugging away game-by-game, week-by-week (then we will be successful). My goal by the end of the year is to have this team’s chemistry get stronger and stronger, so we have a legacy to leave behind (as seniors). We did lose a lot of big-time seniors (from) last year’s team, but I feel this new group of guys we have can really give these (young) guys a chance to develop and get better as a team.

One of the players who graduated this past spring was linebacker Brian Murtagh, who you had a chance to play with the past three seasons. How did he help you improve your game over the past few seasons? 

He was always very vocal, while getting the guys excited for practice. Brian did a good job getting the guys geared up to be on the field and that’s what he passed down to the rest of the captains. He wanted to make sure that the energy was always there and when you step on the football field that you’re only thinking about football.

This week, your team faces RPI in the Transit Trophy game. Tell me more about being a part of this rivalry.  

When I think of RPI-WPI, I think of Ohio State-Michigan because of that rivalry there. We’re both competitive engineering schools, guys are similar (on both sides of the ball),   so it is nice to have a team with equal caliber (student-athletes) on the other side.

Dereck Pacheco 5
Dereck Pacheco was tabbed the NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, September 5. (PHOTO COURTESY: WPI Athletics)

This game is also a Homecoming Game, so what’s that atmosphere like as a student-athlete? 

It is very humbling because you’re looking at guys in the stands that have been in your shoes – all of my friends and family come to the game each week, but when you have the alumni there you’re trying to play for them and get that win for them because they were in your shoes (years ago). Playing for the alumni, families, coaches and friends is really (what this game) is about at the end of the day.

What’s it like to compete in a new conference this season? 

I was playing (against) some friends in the Liberty League, but in this conference – the NEWMAC – I am playing against some new friends. It is nice to get a new group of guys out there to battle against, but at the same time I am going to miss the Liberty League.

Have you always played defensive line? Did you happen to play another position growing up? 

Growing up and playing Pop Warner, while being the biggest guy out there, they had me play running back, quarterback and other positions, but as I (got older) I was still the biggest guy out there, so they put me on the line in high school. At first, it was offensive line and I didn’t really like it, so the next day (my coach) put me on the defensive line and I have been there ever since.

Are you still following your former high school’s football team? 

Oh yeah. Barnstable has been doing alright after (I) graduated, but I think eventually they’re going to be (a team) that’s back up there (with the top teams in the state).

What is your major? 

I am majoring in civil engineer. I grew up helping my dad – he owns a small and local construction company, so at a young age I would be out there helping him pick up nails and lumber, and then basically that feeling of building (something) from bottom to top stuck with me and I grew a passion for it. I feel like civil engineering is kind of the same deal, but my focus is project management.

Being from Barnstable, what’s your favorite type of sea food? 

Definitely the cod fish.

What are three songs do you listen to on a game day? 

Believe it or not, I am not a big song guy because I have the self-motivation drilled into me from my father, but if I were to choose what I am listening to in the weight room, I am usually listening to Metallica and classic rock because when I was in high school and that was all we would be allowed to listen to (while working out in the gym).

Finally, what is your all-time favorite movie? 

It’s kind of cliche, but Friday Night Lights. I like that movie a lot because my high school team somewhat resembled that whole movie. My junior year, we made it to the Division 1A Super Bowl (against Everett) and we played at Gillette Stadium, but lost by one point.

New England D3 Football: Week One Predictions

10 Games To Watch

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Ah, the first official week of the college football season is here, which means it is time to dish out 10 games to watch, as well as 10 predictions, too.

Let me know what you think – did I choose the right team or score? –  by sending me a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or @NoontimeSports.

Happy College Football season, everyone!

Alfred State at Coast Guard (Thursday, August 31st): Quarterback Ethan Goldcamp should have a solid debut under center, which will help the Bears commence its season with a win. Coast Guard 28, Alfred State 10 

Mount Ida at UMass Dartmouth (Friday, September 1st): The Mustangs are one of my teams to watch in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) this season, and I think they will pull this one out by at least a touchdown (maybe six points?). Keep an eye on quarterback Mike Pina, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Mount Ida 24, UMass Dartmouth 17 

Anna Maria at WPI (Friday, September 1st): Welcome back, Coach Dan Mulrooney! Mulrooney and the AMCATs will be a fun program to follow this fall – Coach joined me on the initial Football Friday Podcast and will do great things for the Anna Maria Football program – but I am going to take the Engineers in this one. Expect a big game from tailback Sean McAllen and linebacker Sam MalafronteWPI 30, Anna Maria 14 

Westfield State at Nichols (Friday, September 1st): Coming off an impressive season, the Bison of Nichols will look to continue its momentum from a year ago when they host the Owls on Friday evening. My player to watch in this one is Nichols linebacker Brett McEvoy, who is refereed to as the ‘Tom Brady‘ of the defense. Nichols 21, Westfield State 13  

Fitchburg State at Curry (Friday, September 1st): I picked against the Colonels last season in their opener, so I will take them this time. Curry will need some new wide-outs to step-up this season – the squad graduated some key receivers last spring. Curry 21, Fitchburg State 14 

Framingham State at Endicott (Saturday, September 2nd): This is always a must-see, must-attend game in the opening week. One of the match-ups I am interested in watching is Endicott fullback Lavante Wiggins against the Framingham State front seven. Additionally, keep an eye on both quarterbacks, too. Framingham State 28, Endicott 14 

Springfield at Western New England (Saturday, September 2nd): It’s the Battle of Springfield this weekend as the Pride make a short trek to the Golden Bears’ home field. As I said on today’s season-preview podcast with James Baker, I will take the ‘underdog’ in this game: Springfield. Springfield 28, WNE 27 

Union at Husson (Saturday, September 2nd): John Smith‘s senior season should be a fun one to follow. He’s coming off his best year with the Eagles and will certainly be a student-athlete to watch in this contest. Additionally, keep an eye on Coach Gabby Price‘s defense – seven starters are back from last year’s unit. Husson 28, Union 17 

Castleton at Plymouth State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Panthers enjoyed perhaps their best season in years last fall, but can they continue that momentum this season? PSU welcomes back eight starters on offense, while the defense will be looking for a few new student-athletes to step-up – the unit returns just five starters. Castleton will receive a big boost in this contest from wide-out Ryan BarryCastleton 22, Plymouth State 21 

Bridgewater State at Buffalo State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Bears were picked to capture the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), but can they make claim their second-straight league crown without some key members of last year’s defense? This will be a difficult test for the Bears, but certainly one that could help them once they hop into conference play in two weeks. Buffalo State 24, Bridgewater State 14 

Teams To Watch In 2017: WPI Engineers

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WPI tailback (and sophomore) Sean McAllen will be one of many players to watch this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By James Baker (@ITHuddLLe)

Our New England D3 Football preseason team previews continue with a look at the 2017 WPI Engineers, who certainly will be a team to watch in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this fall. 

Name: Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineers (WPI)

Ranking: The Engineers were one of eight teams we highlighted in our ‘Teams on the Rise’ post from Monday, July 31st on Twitter. 

2016 Recap: The Engineers notched their second consecutive winning season, but WPI lost a number of close games – e.g. 28-23 to Springfield, 45-44 to Merchant Marine, 35-31 to Hobart and 28-21 to Saint Lawrence – and that kept them from having a championship caliber season. The Engineers did prevail over MIT in a 37-34 nail-biter in their season-opener before taking care of cross-town rival Worcester State and then Norwich with relative ease in week two and three. A promising 4-1 start took a turn after the Merchant Marine loss and WPI would go 2-3 down the stretch. Backup quarterback Blake Rice would lead the team to an exciting 37-34 comeback against Rochester toward the end of the season, but he was unable to solve an All-American and All-Region stacked Saint Lawrence defense in Week 11, which earned a hard-fought seven-point victory. 

Key Losses: Dan Eckler (Quarterback), Brandon Eccher (Wide Receiver), Alex Dumond (Wide Receiver), Brian Murtagh (Linebacker), Ryan Buss (Defensiveback), Blaine Bursey (Specialist), Vinny Tavernelli (Specialist)

Players to Watch: Blake Rice (Quarterback), Sean McAllen (Running Back), Sam Malafronte (Linebacker), Erik Fyrer (Receiver / Specialist), Dereck Pacheco (D-Line), Nabeel Tokatli (D-Line), Nick Ostrowski (Linebacker), Blayne Merchant (Linebacker), Brendan Harty (O-Line) and Marcus Pritchard (Fullback)

2017 Schedule: The Engineers will open against a new foe, but a familiar face in that of Anna Maria College’s new head coach (and former WPI defensive coordinator) Dan Mulrooney. The annual Transit Trophy game against RPI follows directly thereafter, so we’ll have a good idea how these Engineers will fare early on this year. Cross-town rival Worcester State drops off the schedule and is replaced by Becker, a “Friday Night Lights” finale to the initial three-game home stand to start the season. WPI then opens NEWMAC play on the road at Springfield before welcoming Maine Maritime to Alumni Stadium. The Engineers will then travel down to Washington, D.C. to face-off against Catholic, then host former Liberty League rival Merchant Marine. Road trips to MIT and Norwich “sandwich” a home game in Week 10 against the Coast Guard.

Season Outlook: WPI will need a better defensive performance from last season if they wish to improve upon a 6-4 campaign. While it will be next to impossible to re-create the production of Murtagh, the good news for the Engineers is that 10 starters return. Pacheco and Totakli provide size and strength up the middle, while Malafronte, who played weak side linebacker in 2016, will be moved to the strong side. Malafronte finished second on the team with 65 tackles. Senior linebacker Blaine Merchant will move inside to an outside linebacker role to assist Malafronte, as well as sophomore linebacker Nick Ostrowski, who is expected to contribute more after recording 14 tackles during his initial season with the Engineers. While the WPI offense will need to retool somewhat, Rice did get good experience late last season. Should Rice struggle, Eric Cosmopulos (a.k.a “Cosmo”) knows the playbook. Wide receiver is a big need for the unit, so you may see Hamilton College transfer Erik Fyrer get some looks given his size and length. Senior Mitjon Celaj caught 10 passes and a touchdown last season – he could be one of Rice’s go-to targets this fall. McAllen is back after winning the Liberty League (LL) Rookie of the Year award – he led the Engineers with 701 rushing yards and five touchdowns as a first-year back. The Engineers line will be anchored by senior co-captain and center Brendan Harty. Also returning on the line is senior Paul DeMarco, who should add depth and experience. The Engineers fullback role will be determined during the remaining days of camp, but an early favorite to win the job is junior Marcus Pritchard. He has the size and ability to make way for McAllen. WPI will need someone to step up on special teams due to graduation losses of Blaine Bursey and Vinny Tavernelli in the placekicking and punting game, as well as Dumond in the return unit. WPI has the student-athletes in place to contend for the NEWMAC crown if they can tighten up on defense and turn close games they lost in 2016 into wins this fall.