There are the names you are getting to know well for carving remarkable feats on the Northeast gridiron landscape. They launch missiles, run to daylight and make unbelievable catches. And they do it each week, not only grabbing attention for this week's exploits, but threatening or setting career records.
There was Mass. Maritime quarterback Mike Stanton throwing for three touchdowns and running for another in a 56-32 victory over Fitchburg State. And while he was doing this he chiseled his name into the Bucs' record book, breaking the passing yardage for a season with his 1,823 yards. He erased a school mark that has stood since 1982. It all netted him New England Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Coast Guard's Jon Resch puts up big numbers every week. This time his 24-yard touchdown pass to Casey Paris gave the Bears a victory.
Mike McCarthy is another guy that seems to fashion eye-popping stats on a weekly basis. This time the quarterback took Bridgewater State to its sixth win in seven games in the big showdown with Worcester State. He accounted for about everything in the 19-17 victory by rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for the other. He had 130 yards running the football.
It was another day at the office for Mount Ida's Scott Drosendahl as he threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-3 pasting of Husson.
Remember Wesleyan's Kyle Gibson who threatened Shea Dwyer's school record a couple of weeks ago by rushing for 244 yards. He was at it again this week, amassing 141 yards in a 24-22 win over Bates as the Cardinals went to 4-0.
Trinity's Evan Bunker just keeps collecting 100-yard rushing games. This time he dashed to 171 of them in a 40-16 rom over Tufts.
Curry's Robert Bambini had his usual electrifying performance, piling up 192 receiving yards with two TD catches.
"In all the years I have been doing this, he is in the top three receivers (I’ve coached against)," Salve Regina coach Bob Chesney said.
And what about this mad bombers Shane Brozowski and McCallum Foote, who will never meet but play in home stadiums less than 35 miles apart? Castleton State's Brozowski threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-13 win over Becker. Doesn't he always? He has already become the all-time career leader in passing yardage in New England in Division III. Foote did his weekly thing by throwing four touchdowns passes in a win over Williams to help Middlebury to go to 4-0 for the first time since gas was $1.05 a gallon (1992).
But not all the game-changers are on offense.
There is likely nobody on the defensive side of the ball who has more right to be called a game-changer than Salve Regina's Phil Terio. And did he ever change Saturday's 37-30 victory over Curry that allowed the Seahawks to prolong the nation's longest winning streak to 13 games. Terio intercepted a pass on his own 7-yard line to seal the win late in the game. Earlier, he returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
The sophomore defensive back has returned four interceptions for touchdowns this season. The NCAA Division III record previously was three in an entire season.
"He had scholarship offers. He just felt comfortable coming here," Chesney said. One reason he felt comfortable was that Salve's heralded running back Richie Edwards came from the same high school.
"He has great anticipation, great hands and is extremely athletic," Chesney said of Terio. "A lot of what he does is about instinct.
"And he studies film just about more than anybody."
"There are a handful of kids in our league (Eastern Collegiate Football Conference) that are game-changers on defense," Mount Ida coach Mike Landers said.
He quickly named SUNY-Maritime linebacker Keith Barnes, Gallaudet corner Tony Tatum and his own AJ Knibbs.
Kinibbs started out at Ida as a safety but was moved to defensive end to take advantage of the athletic attributes in his 6-3, 240-pound frame.
"He is extremely fast and a tenacious pass rusher," Landers said.
Landers refers to him as a hybrid who can be equally tough against the run or pass.
Middlebury coach Bob Ritter has his own game-changer on defense, the answer to Foote and receivers Billy Chapman and Zach Driscoll on the offensive side. Tim Patricia is only a freshman but leads the Panthers in tackles with 44 from his linebacker spot.
"He is really mature in his football knowledge. He has really good football instincts," Ritter said. "You never know how freshmen are going to be but we knew he would be pretty good."
Todd Carr thought he would be a college baseball player and headed to NCAA Division II power Franklin Pierce. Now, he is blowing up plays for Castleton, leads the Spartans in tackles and is a big part of the first three-game winning streak during their four-year program.
"I was really serious about baseball. I wanted that to be my goal in college," Carr said.
But a shoulder injury changed that. He could no longer throw unless he had surgery.
"I discussed it with my parents. I was 18 and didn't want surgery," Carr said.
He recalled Castleton coach Marc Klatt recruiting him for football. He called Klatt and asked if he still had an interest. "I came to Castleton for a visit and liked the atmosphere and the coaches," Carr said.
He came to that first camp in 2011 as an inside linebacker and now plays middle linebacker. "I like middle linebacker in that I now have control over the defense," said Carr, who just paid for his education by earning an ROTC scholarship.
Game-changer? Carr most felt like it in the Spartans' big ECFC win over SUNY-Maritime.
"My job was to beat the offensive line on the fullback dive and cause chaos. I started downhill and forced a fumble. We got the ball and then scored. It was a huge momentum swing," Carr said.
Carr had 10 tackles in Saturday's win over Becker and teammate Cody TanCreti had a program-recoord three interceptions in the game.
Cadets stay alive
Norwich went down to Washington, D.C. with their chances of repeating as ECFC champions looking dim. But the Cadets stunned Gallaudet 34-24.
Cadet quarterback Kris Sabourin who became the school's all-time leading rusher the previous week, turned to passing. He riddled the Bison defense by completing 19 of 35 passes for 284 yards.
There was late-game lightning for Hamilton. Jeff Hopsicker threw a touchdown pass to Joe Jensen with 5:16 left to give the Continentals a 14-13 win.
Wesleyan weathered the NESCAC's tough double: trips to Maine in back-to-back weeks. Jesse Warren threw three TD passes in a 24-22 win over Bates in Lewiston as Wesleyan went to 4-0.
Wesleyan coach Mike Whalen and his team made five wins (a winning season) a goal for this year and the Cardinals are a win away from that.
"We're not going to stop playing if we reach that," Whalen said.
Nichols did not win a game last year and finally broke through this year, beating Mass-Dartmouth 26-16 on the arm of Pat Viencek. He threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns as the long losing streak was put to rest. Sophomore Wesley Williams pitched in on defense, picking off three Corsair passes.
But the streak went on in Hartford, Conn., where the Trinity Bantams extended a nation-best 45-game home win skein.