New England Football League Stepping Up | New England Football League
New England Football League

Stepping Up

Spaz Rivera is one of the top defenders in the NEFL

A week into November and the Mass State Wolverines are the only New England Football League team still playing games that count. A first round winner in the Harvest Bowl 2 National Tourney, the small team based out of South Hadley, Massachusetts are looking to take on some big things in the coming weeks. “We are willing to take on whatever team we are set to play, home or on the road,” said Cam Savoie. The Wolverines could take on perennial champion Syracuse (NY) Strong from of the Empire Football League. “We feel good about our team-we just want to compete.”

Mass State have won two consecutive league titles and 24 total games in the past 2 seasons. “We have a solid group that makes up our core; without them we wouldn’t have had the wins we’ve had the last few years”.

Najee Hillman (11) connects with Justin Gillette (18) against Worcester

One of the main pieces of the Wolverines success goes to their quarterback. Najee Hillman threw 30 touchdown passes during the regular season. “He is very accurate and has the ability to throw the deep ball-more importantly, he’s a great leader.” He has multiple weapons on offense, two being TJ Smith and Justin Gillette. Smith is a former Bertelli Award winner and championship game MVP who pulled in 11 regular season touchdowns. Gillette has the ability to catch balls in bunches. This year he has had three separate games where he caught 3 or more touchdown passes.

Defensively Que Jones is a force on the front line. Strong against both the run and the pass, Jones led the team with 11 sacks and multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The secondary is manned by Spaz Rivera. With the ability to take away half of the field, quarterbacks that tested the veteran defender paid for it as he totaled 11 interceptions this year. The Wolverines defense only allowed 26 points during their regular season.

“The best part about us is we all know we need to play as a team to keep this thing going,” said Savoie. “We have some key standouts but they know themselves without everyone working hard together we wouldn’t of accomplished any of this.”

The Wolverines will continue their national hunt on November 18th as they compete in the North Atlantic Regional Championship.

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