Beverly’s Greg Pierce, now playing for Bowdoin, is eighth in the league with 224 yards and two TDs. Ipswich’s Griffin Cardew, who played at St. John’s Prep, is Bowdoin’s leading tackler on the season and ranks third in the NESCAC with 41 stops.
Chris Splinter, now a junior playing defensive back at Harvard, made the first two interceptions of his career over the last two weeks. Splinter, who was Salem News football Player of the Year and Student Athlete of the Year as a senior at Masconomet, has the Crimson lead in interceptions and has half of his team’s four picks.
Undefeated Harvard (5-0) is the defending Ivy League champs and checks in at No. 22 in the latest Sports Newtork FCS (I-AA) poll. The way Boston College and Massachusetts are struggling, the Crimson may be the best college football team in Massachusetts.
Best in New England, however, likely belongs to perrenial FCS playoff contender New Hampshire. The Wildcats are No. 12 in the Sports Network poll with help from a few faces local fans will recognize. Beverly’s George Kallas, a redshirt freshman, is the ‘Cats back-up center and former Winthrop standout Chris Beranger has started four games at free safety. Manchester’s Brian Ciccone has appeared in every game at tight end for UNH, which defends the fables Brice-Cowell Musket against Maine on Saturday.
Who but Salem’s Melikke Van Alstyne would be leading the New England Football Conference in rushing? Van Alstyne is already Framingham State’s all-time leading rusher and won the NEFC rushing title last season. He’s back at it for the Rams, ranked No. 3 in Division 3 in New England, in 2012 with 890 yards and 10 TDs in nine games.
Van Alstyne also owns Salem High’s all-time mark and is working on a remarkable sixth straight 1,000 yard rushing campaign. He topped 1,000 three times as a Witch, then ran for 1,156 as a freshman at FSU and 1,579 a year ago. With a season and a half left in his college career, the shifty Van Alstyne has run for 3,625 yards.