Noontime Rewind: The Best New England D-III Football Teams of the 2010s

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Sunday, everyone! And welcome back for yet another Noontime Sports rewind post where we reflect on coverage from both the current year and decade (the twenty-tens!).

This particular post will highlight some of the best teams we covered in New England D-III football – let the debate and conversations begin.

As usual, if you have any thoughts (or inputs) please comment below, but again, thanks for stopping by and reading a brand new rewind – let’s go!


The 2010 Williams College Ephs: Williams secured its third outright title with a perfect 8-0 mark which was capped by an end of season win over Amherst College. Additionally, the Purple and Gold captured the Little Three crown while producing their seventh perfect season in program history.

The 2011 Endicott College Gulls: In 2011, the Gulls captured 10 of 11 contests while averaging 40.5 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Phil Konopka, was impressive, but the same could be said for the Endicott defense, which limited opponents to 16.5 points per contest. Kevin Eagan, who played just one season for the Gulls at defensive line, tallied 104.0 total tackles in 11 contests, including 55 solo stops and 23 tackles for a loss of 87 yards. Endicott finished the season with back-to-back wins, including an ECAC North Atlantic Bowl victory over Mount Ida College.

The 2012 Framingham State Rams: After finishing their 2011 campaign with a 7-4 mark, these Rams flipped the switch following an opening day loss to Endicott College by winning ten-straight contests, including a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina University. Salve Regina was projected to win this particular meeting, but the Seahawks struggled to contain FSU halfback Melikke Van Alstyne, who rushed for 96 yards and two scores. James Muirhead concluded the contest with eight total tackles, including six solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble. FSU would advance to the NCAA D-III Tournament but see their bid toward a national title conclude at Cortland State.

The 2013 Endicott College Gulls: Drew FrenetteSpencer Walsh, and Nate Lewis, along with the Endicott defense highlighted an exciting end of season win over Salve Regina to secure the program’s second NEFC crown in four seasons, along with a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament. Endicott recorded its first shutout of the season and finished 2013 with an 8-3 record. The Gulls entered the postseason with a seven-game winning streak after starting its 2013 campaign with a 2-2 record.

The 2014 MIT Engineers: MIT advanced to the postseason for the first time in school history and won an exciting opening round contest against Husson University before falling to Wesley College in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. The Engineers finished 10-1 in 2014 – they scored some exciting wins over Western New EnglandEndicott College, and Coast Guard Academy to secure their initial New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship in program history. MIT averaged 446.8 yards of total offense and 35.5 points per contest.

The 2015 Western New England Golden Bears: Western New England captured 10 of 11 contests in 2015, including a pair of conference victories against Endicott and Salve Regina. The Golden Bears produced 40 points or more in five contests and secured a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament in late November.

The 2016 Western New England Golden Bears: Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to Alfred in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament, the 2016 Golden Bears were very impressive, winning 11 of 12 contests by an average score of 39.8 to 19.0. WNE averaged 460.1 yards of total offense in 12 contests and limited opposing offenses to just 110.1 yards on the ground per game. They scored impressive wins over Springfield CollegeUnion College, and Endicott College before beating Husson University in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The 2017 Husson University Eagles: Coach Gabby Price led the Eagles to not just an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in 2017, but also an upset win over Springfield College in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. Husson beat a very impressive Springfield team, which entered the postseason on a ten-game winning streak. Halfback John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns while Elvin Suazo and the defense limited the Pride to a season-low 264 yards of total offense.

The 2018 Trinity College Bantams: The Bantams concluded their 2018 campaign not just with a 9-0 win over rival Wesleyan University, but also with their third consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship. Trinity won eight of nine contests and was able to win their ninth conference crown due to a 27-16 win earlier in the season against Amherst College. Trinity averaged 464.3 yards of total offense and 36.0 points per game while limiting opposing defenses to 67.7 rushing yards and 10.0 points.

The 2019 Middlebury College Panthers: Coach Bob Ritter led the Panthers to their first-ever 9-0 season in program history, along with a 2019 NESCAC championship. The team averaged 410.6 yards of total offense, including 227.4 passing yards while limiting opponents to 108.0 rushing yards per game. Middlebury scored some exciting wins this fall, along with some nail-bitters against Amherst College and Colby College. They scored 45 points against Wesleyan University in late October before producing 47 points one week later against Bowdoin College.

D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week 11)

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Welcome to the final week of the New England D-III Football season – man, this season has flown by. I still remember counting down the days to week one this past summer, but now it is time to unveil our final ‘Conference Race Watch’ post for the 2019 season.

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Western New England. The Golden Bears secured the conference’s automatic berth to the upcoming NCAA Tournament with back-to-back wins this month against Becker College and Endicott College. WNE concludes its regular-season slate on Saturday, November 16th when they host Husson University.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): Dean College. Despite ending their season with a 38-20 setback to Castleton University, the Bulldogs still managed to secures its first conference crown since becoming a member of the league in 2017. Dean ended its season with a 4-1 record and will most likely play once more this season in a New England Bowl.

SUNY Maritime will represent the conference in the upcoming NCAA Tournament next weekend.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State. Despite starting its season with a pair of losses, the Rams managed to rebound with seven-straight wins, including a 40-20 victory last Saturday against Bridgewater State. The Rams conclude their season on Saturday when they visit Worcester State.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Middlebury College. The Panthers wrapped up their 2019 slate with a 31-24 victory over Tufts University last weekend. The nine wins are the most recorded in program history – the conference began playing five games in 2017.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): MIT/Springfield/WPI. This particular conference champion has yet to be decided, but MIT has the easiest path to the league title if they beat Springfield. A loss to the Pride and a WPI win over Norwich University would then provide the Engineers of Worcester with their first conference crown. Springfield can capture the title by beating MIT and having WPI lose to Norwich.

D3 Football: Zelos Athletics Players of The Week (Monday, Nov. 4th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the ninth week of the New England Division III Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, which is powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too


This season, Noontime Sports will select at least one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week.

The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season and shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Terrell Watts tossed a program-record seven touchdowns which helped the Bulldogs of Dean College outlast Alfred State, 50-46. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

Offensive Player of the Week: Terrell Watts (Dean College | Quarterback | New Haven, Conn.): The second-year signal-caller tossed a program-record seven touchdown passes last Saturday to lead the Bulldogs to an important (and thrilling) conference win over Alfred State.

Tabbed this week’s Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Week, Watts completed 18 of 29 passes for 260 yards with five of his seven touchdowns landing in the hands of Errol Breaux, who concluded the game with 125 yards on eight catches. The five touchdown receptions were a season-best for Breaux.

Watts’ seven touchdown passes places him third in touchdowns thrown in a single game this season. Evan Lewandowski of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse tossed nine touchdowns earlier this season against University of Wisconsin-Platteville, while Wyatt Smith of Linfield College threw for eight scores against University of Puget Sound last month.

In eight games this season, Watts has completed 152 of 247 passes for a career-high 2,012 yards and 25 touchdowns.


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Tony Slaughter established a new single-season record for tackles for a loss last Saturday against Western Connecticut. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth | Defensive Back | Springfield, Mass.): Slaughter concluded last Saturday’s win against Western Connecticut with 13 total tackles, including 12 solo stops. Additionally, he recorded two sacks and three tackles for a loss of 11 yards to establish a new single-season record for tackles for losses.

As noted in Sunday’s release about Slaughter being named this week’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Defensive Player of the Week, Slaughter erased Marvey Mathurin‘s single-season record by bumping his total to 18 tackles for a loss of 70 yards. Mathurin posted 17.5 tackles for a loss of 65 yards in 2017, which was his final season with the Corsairs.

Through eight contests this season, Slaughter has registered 50.0 total tackles, including 36 solo stops, six sacks for a loss of 38 yards, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and two pass breakups. He has also tallied two blocks.

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Jack Sullivan (Framingham State | Linebacker | Dartmouth, Mass.): Sullivan paced the Rams defense last Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime Academy with nine total tackles, including seven solo stops and four tackles for a loss of 14 yards. One of his tackles was a sack for a loss of nine yards.

The seven solo stops is a season-best for the senior, while the four tackles for a loss were also a season-best. Sullivan’s lone sack was the senior’s first of the season.

Sullivan has competed in six games this season, logging 21.0 total tackles, including 12 solo stops and four-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 15 yards.


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Mark Wright drilled a season-long 43-yard field goal last Saturday, which helped MIT tie the game and eventually win it in double-overtime. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robert Krawitz)

Special Teamer of the Week: Mark Wright (MIT | Kicker | Fort Worth, Texas): Wright drilled a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 41-yard kick as time expired to send last Saturday’s game to overtime and help MIT defeat WPI, 28-22.

Wright posted a season-high eight points off two field goals, including a season-long 43-yarder, along with two extra points to bump his season total to 27 points. The third-year kicker has converted four of seven field goals while kicking 15 of 19 extra points.

Player Perspective: Michael Pina (Nichols College)

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Michael Pina threw for a career-best 329 yards this past weekend, along with three touchdowns, which helped Nichols College outlast the University of New England in four-overtimes. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jill Souza)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

For quarterback Michael Pina, last Saturday’s four-overtime win against the University of New England had the feel of a dramatic movie – it seemed as if it would never end.

“It was wild to be a part of a game like that,” said Pina. “It felt like we were in a movie.”

But eventually, the game would conclude with Pina’s team scoring the game-winning touchdown – a two-yard plunge by junior halfback Joshua Pierre-Charles – which helped Nichols College escape with a 51-48 victory.

Pina concluded the game by throwing for a career-best 329 yards, while also rushing for a season-high 53 yards on nine carries. He tossed three touchdowns, too, which helped the Bison move to 5-2 for the first time since 2001.

For his effort against UNE, Pina was named this week’s recipient of the New England Football Writers Association Gold Helmet Award for Division II/III, which is presented by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Pina, as noted in Monday’s release about the Gold Helmet award, is currently second all-time in program history in touchdown passes (30) and fourth in passing yards (3,442).

Following Saturday’s exciting win, Noontime Sports caught-up with Pina to discuss what it was like to be a part of a four-overtime contest and what his team’s outlook is for this upcoming week’s contest against Husson University.

Tell me about this past week’s effort from your offense and defense. What was the takeaway from both you and your teammates following an exciting four-overtime win against UNE? 

This past week’s game was the most exciting game most of us have ever played in. We fought through a lot of adversity on both sides of the ball to come out with the win.

No matter what I can always count on the guy to my left and right to give it (their best) effort. Our offensive line was huge in the run game and that all starts with the great leadership from senior captain Sam Gallant. We were able to rush the ball for four touchdowns.

You threw for a career-high 329 yards in the win. Did you imagine you would throw the ball that much against the Nor’easters? 

I wouldn’t say that I imagined (I was going to throw that much against UNE), however, I am always ready to do whatever our coaches ask of me. Whether it is throwing the ball, running the ball or even blocking a defender, (I’ll do what is needed to help our team win).

Your team is still in contention for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title, so what is the mindset heading into another game week this week?  

The mindset heading into another game is to go 1-0 this week. That has been our goal every week this season. Whatever week it is, we must give full attention to that opponent.

Do you think the offense and defense are peaking at the right time? 

Yes, I do believe the offense and defense are peaking at the right time. I also believe our special teams are peaking at the right time, too.

I feel as if all three units can attack the opponent in multiple ways, which makes us dangerous (heading into the final three weeks of the regular season).

Finally – and I know it is only Wednesday – but what must you (and your teammates) do to be successful again this Saturday against Husson?

We have to have the best week of practice we’ve had all year long. Husson University is a team that won multiple championships in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). They will be extremely well-coached and will want to come to our home field and beat us.

D3 Football: Nichols Outlasts UNE, Framingham State Tops West Conn.

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

For the second-straight season, Nichols College defeated the University of New England. But on Saturday, they needed not one, but four overtime sessions to outlast the Nor’easters in Biddeford, Maine.

Halfback Joshua Pierre-Charles helped the Bison keep their conference title hopes alive by rushing for a two-yard touchdown in the fourth extra session following a 21-yard field goal by UNE’s Kevin Heintz to clinch the three-point victory.

With the win, the Bison improve to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league play.

Pierre-Charles concluded Saturday’s thriller with three touchdowns and a game-high 82 yards on 22 carries. He also caught three passes for 24 yards.

Nichols quarterback Michael Pina ended the game with 329 passing yards and three scores while adding 53 yards on nine carries.

UNE led Nichols, 21-14, at the break before both offenses swapped touchdowns and field goals over the final 30 minutes.

Quarterback Brian Peters completed 34 of 50 passes in the setback for 343 yards and four touchdowns – he also rushed for three yards on five carries.

Nichols’ Joe Cox led the defense with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops and one tackle for a loss of four yards. He also added one pass break-up, too.

The Bison face Husson University next weekend in another must-win game for Nichols, which needs to beat the Eagles, Curry College, and Endicott College to have a chance to secure the league title. Nicholas did lose earlier this month to Western New England but has scored conference wins over UNE, Becker College and Salve Regina.

Endicott, Salve Regina, and Western New England all scored conference wins this afternoon – the Gulls and Golden Bears are currently tied for the top spot in the conference and will meet next Saturday, November 2nd in Springfield, Massachusetts with the winner securing the inside track to the conference crown.

Adam Wojenski accounted for five touchdowns, including four through the air, which helped Framingham State defeat Western Connecticut, 39-14, and secure the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) with three weeks remaining.

Wojenski completed 15 of 25 passes for 176 yards while rushing for a game-high 84 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown.

The Framingham State defense ended the game with 10 tackles for a loss of 57 yards, including six sacks for a loss of 38 yards. Adeboye Oyaronbi tallied seven total tackles, including four solo stops and two sacks for a loss of 12 yards, while Cully Curran paced the unit with 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops.

Western Connecticut’s Will Daniels led all receivers with eight catches for 149 yards and one touchdown.

With today’s win over the Colonials, the Rams have won five-straight contests since starting the season with back-to-back losses. Framingham State visits Massachusetts Maritime Academy next Saturday – the Buccaneers lost to Plymouth State this afternoon by a score of 7-3.

While Western Connecticut sees its six-game winning streak conclude, they still have a chance to win the MASCAC crown, pending how the final three weeks play out. The Colonials have already beaten Bridgewater State and Massachusetts Maritime, two teams the Rams will face the next two weeks.

Westfield State scored its first win of the season with a 26-7 victory against Fitchburg State. Leesandro Colon rushed for a pair of touchdowns while finishing the game with 132 yards on 20 carries.

Westfield’s Joseph Mazzotta led the Owls defense with 14 total tackles, while George Cole added 12 total stops.

Terrell Watts accounted for five touchdowns – three through the air, two on the ground – while Saquan Kelly rushed for a game-high 80 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown as Dean College defeated Gallaudet University, 56-35, to secure the top spot in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 3-4 overall and 3-0 in conference play with just two games remaining. Dean needs to beat Alfred State and Castleton University the next two weeks in order to secure the program’s first-ever ECFC title.


Quick Hitters 

  • The Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) title race is down to just three teams: Endicott, Nichols, and Western New England. The Golden Bears currently have the edge with a win over the Bison earlier this month, but the Gulls can secure their first-ever CCC title with a victory next Saturday against the Golden Bears, along with a win over the Bison two weeks later. Endicott will also need to beat UNE, too – both Nichols and WNE have beaten the Nor’easters this season.
  • With today’s win over Western Connecticut, Framingham State controls its own destiny with three weeks remaining. They need to beat Bridgewater State and Massachusetts Maritime Academy, along with Worcester State in week 11. The Rams defense (and its offense, too) seem to be peaking at the right time, but their next two matchups against the Bears and Buccaneers are no gimmes.

  • Middlebury College remains the frontrunner in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), but cannot overlook its next two foes, Hamilton College and Tufts University. Hamilton beat Tufts this afternoon in Somerville, Massachusetts – they also scored an exciting win last week against Amherst College, which lost to Wesleyan University in double-overtime earlier today. If the Panthers can get past the Continentals next Saturday, then they should be able to find a way to beat the Jumbos in their season finale.
  • Both Wesleyan and Williams College are both in a position to still win the NESCAC, thanks to wins earlier this fall against Hamilton and Tufts. The Ephs and Cardinals will meet next week in Middletown, Connecticut with second place on the line.
  • WPI appears destined to win the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). The Engineers defeated Merchant Marine, 66-13, to secure their seventh win of the season. WPI will face MIT next weekend in a game the Engineers of Cambridge need to win in order to keep their title hopes alive.

Saturday’s Scoreboard 

  • Endicott College 41, Husson University 16
  • Nichols College 51, University of New England 48 (4OT)
  • Western New England 49, Curry College 27
  • Salve Regina 45, Becker College 0
  • Alfred State 21, Castleton University 15
  • Dean College 56, Gallaudet University 35
  • SUNY-Maritime 13, Anna Maria College 10 (OT)
  • Framingham State 39, Western Connecticut 14
  • Plymouth State 7, Mass. Maritime Academy 3
  • Westfield State 26, Fitchburg State 7
  • UMass Dartmouth 46, Worcester State  8
  • Colby College 23, Bates College 20
  • Hamilton College 36, Tufts University 21
  • Williams College 29, Trinity College 15
  • Wesleyan University 31, Amherst College (2OT)
  • Middlebury College 47, Bowdoin College 29
  • Norwich University 51, Maine Maritime Academy 10
  • MIT 22, Coast Guard Academy 16
  • WPI 66, Merchant Marine 13
  • Springfield College 49, Catholic University 21