NE10 Week Seven Thoughts

October 17th, 2022 4:00am

NE10 Week Seven Thoughts

The contenders are starting to emerge.

 

 

Defense

We have been focused on the Bentley offense as they have been the best in the NE10 year to date.  But their defense was the reason that they defeated Assumption 10-3 last Saturday afternoon.  The Falcons are now 5-2, 3-1 NE10 as they stay in the mix for a league title.

The Bentley defense was outstanding all game long.   They allowed just 262 yards of total offense and just did not allow any big plays from the Assumption.  The pass defense was the key to the victory as they only allowed 78 yards.

The game was sealed late with a Salvatore Lupoli, Jr interception that helped the Falcons run out the clock.  Lupoli was also the leading tackler for Bentley as he has been the defensive backbone all season long.  He also scooped up a fumble in the first half on a drive that was Assumption’s best of the game.

The Bentley offense needed one big play in the second quarter to set up their lone touchdown of the day.  Mark Waid connected with Isaiah Decias for a 77-yard catch that set up the Falcons on the three-yard line.  Nate Larkins did the rest as he completed the drive for the lone touchdown of the game. 

For Bentley, they have completed the toughest stretch of its schedule.  They have three games left on the schedule with a bye week in two weeks.  The Falcons have a legitimate chance to run the table and if they do, they will end the season at 8-2.  That will leave them right on the cusp of making the playoffs for a second straight year.

Bentley will be back home this weekend when they host Southern Connecticut.

Another Win

New Haven easily defeated Post 67-20 last weekend for their sixth straight victory.  The Chargers jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. 

Connor Degenhardt was once again the offensive star as he accounted for five touchdowns in the game.  He threw for just 166 yards but four of his completions ended in the end zone.  He also called his own number in the opening quarter for a rushing touchdown as he had a very effective day for New Haven. 

The rushing game for New Haven was unstoppable for the young Post defense.  Hunter Cobb and Christopher Ais both went over 100 yards in the game and combined for three scores.  The Chargers had 425 yards on the ground.

It was not a major surprise that New Haven took care of business over another in-state rival. The Chargers have been playing better and better as the season has progressed.  They have three games left on their schedule in the regular season with their sites solely on another NE10 title.

New Haven will have their bye week this weekend before they travel to Assumption in two weeks.

Mr. Everything

We have talked about the great career of Pace quarterback Carlton Aiken, Jr. and it is not over yet.  Aiken had a hand in four touchdowns as his Setters defeated American International 45-34.  They improve to 4-3, 2-2 NE10 on the season.

Aiken had one of the better games of his long, storied career at Pace.  He threw for 250 yards and three scores.  Despite being sacked three times, he completed 73% of his throws and moved his offense up and down the field.

When he was not completing passes, he was running the ball with ease.  He finished the game with 122 yards and a score.  He had a long of 65 yards and lived up to his dual-threat legacy. Aiken completed the ball to seven different receivers and three of them hauled in scores.

For Pace, it continues to be an up-and-down season.  They win one week and then lose the next one.  It has been the trend for the first seven weeks of the season and shows in their 4-3 record.

This week, they will look to buck the trend as they travel to Franklin Pierce.

On the Board

It took seven weeks, but Southern Connecticut finally won its first game of the season.  In front of their homecoming crowd, the Owls defeated Franklin Pierce 37-20 to put an end to their six-game losing streak.

It all started very quickly for Southern Connecticut.  On their opening drive, Marc Reali found the end zone on a scamper to grab the lead that the Owls would never relinquish.

Then enter Tylon Papallo and his explosiveness on the field.  First, he took back a punt 82 yards to get the Owl sideline jumping for joy.

A couple of possessions later, Papallo took a pass from Reali and went 49 yards for his second touchdown of the game.  Overall, he touched the ball four times in the game and took it to the house twice to spark the victory.

The defense for Southern Connecticut also had its best effort of the season.  They limited Franklin Pierce and didn’t allow them to make any comeback attempts.

Southern Connecticut will look to make it two in a row when they travel to Bentley this weekend.

Four Weeks to Go

We are down to the final four weeks of the season, and we have some teams that are still in the mix for the NE10 title.  The clear favorite now is New Haven.  They are undefeated in league play and control their own destiny.  If they win out, they will win the league for the second straight year. 

The other two contenders need some help because of tiebreakers.  Bentley and Assumption are both 3-1 in the league.  Bentley lost to New Haven in September so they will lose that tiebreaker.  They have the most favorable schedule over the final weeks so there is a good chance that they will finish 6-1 in the league.

Assumption can play the biggest disruptor in the title chase.  They play New Haven on October 29th so a win on their home turf might see three teams finish league play at 6-1. 

Then we have tiebreakers come into play as all of the teams would be 1-1 against each other.  But the biggest thing that might affect is the playoff situation for the NE10.  New Haven and Bentley would both have two Division II losses while Assumption might have just one Division II loss.  Their other loss was to Division I Merrimack, so it is not factored into the playoff rankings.

This scenario says that all the top teams win out and Assumption defeats New Haven in two weeks.  Is it possible?  The answer is yes but is it likely?  Injuries, weather, and other factors could play a factor over the course of the final four weeks of the season. 

The one thing that we know is that teams need to win on the field week in and week out to win league titles and get a chance at the playoffs.  One upset here and there can throw the best-laid plans out the window.