NEC Makes Mental Health A Priority


We’ve been saying it for awhile now. Life in the Northeast Conference is about more than sports and there was plenty supporting evidence for that claim on the first day of December.

The Northeast Conference hosted its inaugural Mental Health and Medical Issues Summit on December 1 in Piscataway, NJ.

The NCAA Division I athletics conference welcomed more than 70 individuals, ranging from athletic administrators and athletic trainers to student-athletes and other campus personnel, for a full day’s worth of programming.

“The NEC is thrilled to host this event for our membership,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “In terms of the development and welfare of the NEC student-athletes, the importance of their mental health and safety is paramount.”

The comprehensive program included a panel of decorated speakers who will address the following topics:  Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Prevention; Analgesic Opiate Abuse; Eating Disorders; and A Systems Approach to Planning and Evaluating Student-Athlete Mental Health Programs and Services.


NEC MHS Sights and Sounds

Keystone State to house all five major #NECFB awards

The Northeast Conference handed out its five major individual football honors on Thanksgiving Eve.

Playoff-bound Saint Francis saw sophomore Kamron Lewis become only the second receiver ever to capture the NEC Offensive Player of the Year award while head coach Chris Villarrial bagged his second consecutive NEC Coach of the Year honor.

NEC co-champion Duquesne earned two top honors. Linebacker Christian Kuntz, the league’s all-time sacks leader, made it back-to-back NEC Defensive Player of the Year awards while freshman ball carrier AJ Hines ran his way to the NEC Offensive Rookie of the Year award (first Duke ever to win the honor).

Robert Morris freshman linebacker Gee Stanley’s pass rushing prowess resulted in the NEC Defensive Rookie of the Week award.


One Telling Fact for Each Honoree

Kamron Lewis (SFU) – Topped FCS in receiving yards (1,349)

Christian Kuntz (DUQ) – Second overall amongst FCS leaders in sacks (11.5) and TFL (24.0)

AJ Hines (DUQ) – Led NEC (ranking sixth nationally) in rush yards (1,291)

Gee Stanley (RMU) — Second amongst FCS freshmen in sacks (8.5)

Chris Villarrial (SFU) – Guided team to first-ever FCS Playoffs berth


Read more about the #NECelite announcement by visiting the league’s official website.

Red Flash’s #RoadToFrisco Begins in Philadelphia

QB Zach Drayer (center) and the Flash will face a CAA team for the third time this season.

QB Zach Drayer (center) and the Flash will face a CAA team for the third time this season.

It’s a NCAA Division I FCS Keystone State clash.

Saint Francis will make its first-ever NCAA Division I FCS playoffs appearance at CAA member Villanova on Saturday, November 26 at 2:00 pm ET.

Having earned a shared of the Northeast Conference crown for the first time in program history, the Red Flash learned of their first round postseason matchup when the NCAA unveiled its 24-team championship bracket during Sunday morning’s selection show on ESPNU.





SFU clinched the NEC’s automatic FCS postseason berth when it moved to 5-0 in conference play by posting a 31-21 win over Central Connecticut in Week 11. Duquesne’s 5-1 league record earned the Dukes a share of the NEC crown for the fourth time since 2011, but Saint Francis secured the conference’s automatic postseason berth due to its last-minute 14-10 victory in this year’s head-to-head meeting on October 21.

Chris Villarrial’s Red Flash are the sixth different recipient of the NEC’s auto bid since 2010. Only Sacred Heart (2013, 2014) has represented the NEC in the FCS playoffs on two separate occasions.

Saint Francis’ meeting with Villanova will mark the Flash’s third contest against a CAA member this season. As a result, SFU and Nova have faced two common opponents this season. The Red Flash fell to both Towson and Albany on the road while the Wildcats defeated both teams at home.

SFU finds itself bound for the playoffs after enduring a grueling four-game season-opening stretch. The Red Flash were only one of two FCS teams to play their first four games on the road this year and faced tough competition while doing so (two vs. CAA, one vs. Big Sky).

Saint Francis held second-half leads in road games at Montana, Albany and Towson, but was unable to close out a victory on any of the three occasions.

SFU, however, has played well with the lead during conference play. Four of the Flash’s five league wins have come by double-digit margins. The Flash erased their 1-3 season start by reeling off six consecutive wins for the first time in the program’s FCS history, which dates back to 1992, before falling at Wagner in the regular season finale.


St. Francis football program earns historic date with Villanova (with VIDEO)Johnstown Tribune-Democrat (Mike Mastovich)


Two All-Time NEC Gunslingers Headline Final ESPN3 Matchup

They have combined for 16,039 passing yards and 172 total touchdowns.

On Saturday, they’ll oppose one another at Campus Field in the featured #NECFB on ESPN3 Game of the Week.

Sacred Heart’s RJ Noel and Bryant’s Dalton Easton will close out their illustrious careers as two of the NEC’s all-time greats.

Noel, a two-time NEC champion, will graduate as the league’s all-time leader in total offense (10,885 yards).

The three-time all-NEC first team selection has the second-most passing yards (8,962) in NEC history and has been responsible for 103 touchdowns (81 pass, 22 rush) as a four-year starter. The 6-foot-2 Noel stands one touchdown pass shy of former SHU quarterback Dale Fink’s NEC career record (82).

Easton, who is in his third year as Bryant’s starter after transferring from Akron, has thrown his way onto a pair of NEC Top 10 lists this fall. The Floridian (7,077) enters Week 12 within 145 yards of sixth place in NEC history, which is currently occupied by former RMU great Tim Levcik.

Easton has thrown 66 career touchdown passes, including a league-leading 24 this season, and ranks fifth on the NEC’s all-time list.

Sacred Heart and Bryant will kick off at 12:00 pm ET on November 19. Paul Dottino (play-by-play) and Kevin Gilbride (color) will have the call with John Schmeelk on the sidelines.

The last time these two teams met at Campus Field, Sacred Heart clinched the 2014 NEC crown with a 14-7 victory.

Noel and the aforementioned Levick are the only two players in league history to garner three all-NEC first team selections at the quarterback position.


1.     10,016, Dillon Buechel, DUQ, 2013-
2.     8,962, RJ Noel, SHU, 2013-
3.     8,803, Dale Fink, SHU, 2007-10
4.     8,544, Anthony Doria, SFPA, 2003-06
5.     7,812, Brian Boland, MON, 2003-06
6.     7,222, Tim Levcik, RMU, 1998-01
7.     7,115, Kyle Frazier, MON, 2009-12
8.     7,077, Dalton Easton, BRY, 2014-

1.    82, Dale Fink, SHU, 2007-10
2.    81, RJ Noel, SHU, 2013-
3.    76, Tim Levcik, RMU, 1998-01
4.    72, Dillon Buechel, DUQ, 2013-
5.   66, Dalton Easton, BRY, 2014-