SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Curry Colonels, the Framingham State Rams, the Maritime Privateers and the WPI Engineers have been selected as the participants in the 2017 New England Bowl Series which will be played at local sites on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Framingham State will host Curry at Bowditch Field in Framingham, Mass. at noon, while WPI will host Maritime at Alumni Stadium in Worcester, Mass. at 6 p.m.
For the second consecutive year, the competing teams and the host institutions were selected by the commissioners of the four NCAA Division III conferences that have joined forces to present the New England Bowl Series: Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC), the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC), and the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
Curry (8-2 overall, 4-1 CCC) will be making its first appearance in the New England Bowl Series following a second-place finish in the newly rebranded CCC Football league (formerly New England Football Conference). Out of Milton, Mass., the Colonels sport the CCC's top offense, gaining an average of 417.3 yards per game, while averaging 30.7 points per contest, third-highest in their conference and just three points per game out of the top spot. On defense, Curry tops all CCC teams, having allowed a CCC-low 299.5 yards and 18.6 points per game.
Senior quarterback Alex Corvese (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East) has enjoyed a prolific senior season, passing for a CCC-best 2244 yards, tying for the conference lead with 22 touchdowns, while throwing just seven interceptions. Corvese also ranked fifth among CCC rushers, tallying 516 yards on the ground and a league-best 11 rushing touchdowns. Junior running back Sean Amaru (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) topped the CCC with 936 all-purpose yards, 781 rushing yards and 5.9 yards per carry. Curry's defense is bolstered by the conference's top pass rusher, senior Joe Surace (West Islip, N.Y.) who has registered a CCC-best 7.5 sacks, and senior defensive lineman Joe Grogan (Forestdale, Mass./Pope John Paul II), who ranks among the league's top-10 with 61 tackles and is tied for the CCC lead with three forced fumbles.
Framingham State (9-1 overall, 7-1 MASCAC) will be appearing in the New England Bowl Series for the second consecutive season. The Rams topped Salve Regina in the inaugural New England Bowl 37-34 one year ago. In 2017, the Rams finished tied for first to earn a share of the MASCAC regular season title. Framingham currently leads the MASCAC with 204.3 rushing yards per games, ranks third in scoring with 33.4 points per game, and stands third with 397.0 yards of total offense. On defense, the Rams are the stingiest unit in the MASCAC, allowing just 293.6 total yards per game, while surrendering 15.9 points per game, second in the league.
On offense, junior running back Quron Wright (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) plays a key role for the Rams, averaging 153.2 all-purpose yards and 110.0 yards rushing per game, which rank second and third, respectively, in the MASCAC. Wright's sophomore backfield mate Rufus Rushins (Lynn, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) has barreled in for seven touchdowns, tied for just third-best in the MASCAC, on just 41 carries. The Framingham defense is led by senior defensive back Jaquan Harris (Boston, Mass./Quincy), who leads all MASCAC defenders with nine interceptions, and sophomore Joshua Onujiogu (Wareham, Mass./Wareham) who has complied a conference-best 9.5 sacks.
Maritime (9-1 overall, 6-1 ECFC) has enjoyed a resurgent season, culminating in the program's first invitation to compete in the New England Bowl Series. The Bronx, N.Y. based program rolled to a second-place finish in the ECFC, their highest finish since 2011, which was one year removed from their last ECFC championship. The Privateers potent offense has rolled up 434.2 yards and 40.4 points per game, both the highest of all four teams selected for the New England Bowl series and just a hair off the ECFC lead. On the defensive side, Maritime ranks third among ECFC teams, surrendering just 282.3 yards and 18.0 points per game.
Junior quarterback Thomas Wright (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) directs the Maritime fleet on offense, as he leads all ECFC signal callers with 2311 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes. Wright's top target, junior wide receiver Brandonn Drumgole (Mt. Sinai, N.Y/Mt. Sinai) tops the Privateers with a league-best 59 receptions and 789 receiving yards, the second-best yardage total in the conference. On defense, the Maritime unit is led by senior linebacker Kendal Parker (Evans, Ga./Lakeside), who currently ranks fourth in the ECFC with 79 tackles, including 14 for a loss, and seven sacks, and junior defensive lineman Payton Campbell (Rockaway N.J./Morris Knolls) who added six sacks, as well.
WPI (8-2 overall, 6-1 NEWMAC) will be making its first appearance in the New England Bowl Series after earning a second-place finish in the inaugural campaign of NEWMAC football. The Worcester, Mass. based Engineers currently rank third offensively in the NEWMAC, averaging 33.7 points and 403.8 yards per game. On defense, WPI ranks second in the NEWMAC in yardage allowed, giving up 272.8 yards per game, while ranking second in the circuit with just 14.3 points allowed per game, both the lowest among the four New England Bowl series teams.
Senior quarterback Blake Rice (North Branford, Conn./Notre Dame) leads the Engineers' attack, having tossed a NEWMAC-best 16 touchdown passes while ranking second in passing yards with 1815. Sophomore running back Sean McAllen (Prospect, Conn./Woodland Regional) ranks second among NEWMAC rushers with 1322 yards on the ground to go with 14 rushing touchdowns. Defensively, senior Lou Garcia (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral) leads the NEWMAC with six interceptions, while junior Brian Mahan (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) has snared four.
Tickets for both games in the New England Bowl Series may be purchased the day of the game. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Children under the age of six will be admitted free.
New England Bowl Series History
|2016||Framingham State 37, Salve Regina 34||Middletown, R.I.|
ABOUT COMMONWEALTH COAST FOOTBALL
Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) is a single-sport football conference operating under the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) umbrella. The league has been in operation since 1965 (formerly as the New England Football Conference (NEFC)). The league currently consists of six members – Becker, Curry, Endicott, Nichols, Salve Regina, and Western New England. Membership will increase to seven in 2018 with the addition of the University of New England. Husson will join the conference in 2019.