The DII club season snuck up on us last week, with games in New England and the Midwest kicking off Aug. 24th. In New England, several recently DI teams were in action, and in the Midwest, it was rivalry week.
Teams moving from DI to DII this season won three of their four games in New England, with the lone loser, Hartford, falling to another recently DI team, South Shore. Amoskeag, which finished last in New England’s DI last year, managed a 41-18 defeat of Burlington, which went undefeated in DII league play last season. So while it appears the move to DII spells a new life for the likes of Amoskeag, South Shore and New Haven, it might mean a middle-of-the-table season for others.
Saratoga Springs, 2013 DIII National Semifinalist, is the one team to move up to DII in new England this season. Saratoga appears poised to make a case for belonging in the higher division after beating North Shore 50-7.
New England DII is taking the holiday weekend off and returning Sept. 7 with a full slate of games.
In the Midwest, defending National Champions Wisconsin opened their title defense with a big road win over the Chicago Blaze, 32-7.
Staying in the West division, South Side Irish was victorious in a cross-town clash with Lincoln Park, 23-12. The Irish finished one slot below Lincoln Park in the standings last year, so the win is no doubt a momentum builder in the early goings.
Metropolis’ second side sent a warning shot to the rest of the division with a 34-19 defeat of Bremer County. The Bucks went 7-1 in the Midwest-West last season.
In the Eastern Division, Detroit RFC and the Detroit Tradesmen tangled horns, with the Tradesmen winning 43-11. Another intra-city rivalry played out in Cleveland, where the Eastern Suburbs beat the Rovers 38-10. Pittsburgh also beat Daytona, 21-14.
The cross-town match-ups extend into this weekend, too, as the St. Paul Jazz Pigs and Eastside Banshees are the lone game on the Midwest slate.