Report Filed By Kevin Anderson, Assistant AD/Sports Information
Dean College, the 2019 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference champions, is one of four teams to have been selected to participate in the 2019 New England Bowl Series it was announced on Monday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (4-5, 4-1 ECFC), will travel to Endicott College (8-2, 6-1 CCC) on Saturday, November 23 for a 12:00 p.m. kickoff.
In 2016, the four New England based NCAA Division III football conferences – the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), ECFC, New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) – joined forces to create the New England Bowl Series, which features teams from each of the aforementioned conferences.
"The New England Football Commissioners are pleased to continue to bring bowl games to New England for our deserving student-athletes," said ECFC Commissioner Katie Boldvich. "Our group is excited to provide a first-rate championship experience to our members and continue to enhance the experience for participants. I am specifically thrilled that the ECFC has the opportunity to showcase our league champion in Dean College in this year's pairings. I wish the Bulldogs the best of luck and cannot wait to see them in action this Saturday."
In addition to Dean's matchup with the Gulls, WPI (9-1, 6-1 NEWMAC) will host Western Connecticut State (8-2, 6-2 MASCAC) in Worcester on Saturday as well.
The Bulldogs will enter the contest with two weeks of rest with their last game coming on November 9 against Castleton, while Endicott defeated Nichols College, 35-7, last Saturday at home.
The second-place team in the CCC, the Gulls are led by senior quarterback Joe Kalosky, who has thrown for 2,159 yards and 25 touchdowns. Endicott also features, what many believe to be the country's best placekicker in Nick DiCairano. A preseason first-team All-American, he has been named the CCC special teams player of the week eight times, is 24-for-30 on field goal attempts and is 94-for-96 on extra point attempts over the last two seasons.
The Bulldogs boast the ECFC's most potent offense, averaging 30.1 points per game and more than 400 yards of total offense.
After a slow start against some of the region's stiffest competition, the Cardinal and White finished the season strong, going 4-1 over their final five games, topping the 50-point total on two separate occasions during that span.
Much of the offensive success came on the strength of the arm of sophomore signal caller Terrell Watts (New Haven, Conn.), who led the league in several statistical categories, including passing yards (2,430), completions (177), attempts (296), completion percentage (59.8), touchdown passes (27), touchdowns responsible for (31) and passer efficiency (151.4).
Watts has spread the ball around tremendously throughout the season as he took advantage of the league's most prolific receiving targets in Errol Breaux (Marietta, Ga.) and Quintus Reid (New Haven, Conn.).
Breaux's 14 touchdown catches (52 receptions, 693 yards) are the most of anyone in New England, while Reid ranks second behind Breaux in the conference in receptions (51) and yards (609) and has four scoring grabs in his last four games.
The Bulldogs' ground game has emerged as a true weapon with sophomore Michael Bethune, Jr. (New Haven, Conn.) taking the lead as the season progressed. He ran for 213 yards in a wild 50-46 win over Alfred State in early November and then in the contest against Castleton, he scored on a 68-yard run and an 83-yard reception.
Defensively, the Bulldogs feature several playmakers at all levels. Edge rushers Wadell Alceus (Apopka, Fla.) and Ahmeir Funderburke (Round Rock, Texas) have combined for 6.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss.
Linebacker Nicholaus Grimaldi (Valrico, Texas) is one of five different Bulldogs to record 50 tackles or more (54 stops, two forced fumbles), while Desmond Dias (Rochester, Mass.) earned ECFC Rookie of the Week and then ECFC Defensive Player of the Week on consecutive Mondays after a combined 23 tackles and three sacks during that stretch.
All-New England corner Shannon Moxey (Austell, Ga.) anchors a hard-hitting defensive backfield, that also features Gene Baisden, Jr. (Tampa, Fla.), who has more than 150 career tackles and four interceptions.
Tyzohn Poole (New Haven, Conn.) ranks second behind Baisden, Jr. on the team with 62 tackles from his safety spot and is tied for third in the league with five sacks.
Opposite Moxey is Jaden Quinones (Leonia, N.J.), who has started every game this season and ranks fourth in the league in breakups.
Moxey, meanwhile, leads the league in interceptions (4) for the second straight season, has five pass breakups and a blocked kick.
Saturday's matchup will be the first-ever matchup between the two teams.