BANGOR, MAINE -- 10/22/2016 - Husson's Jean Gabriel (right) tackles Anna Maria's Trai Weaver during their October 2015 football game at Winkin Sports Complex in Bangor. The Eagles play their final nonconference game Saturday at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Ashley L. Conti | BDN Credit: Ashley L. Conti | BDN

The Husson University football team visits Massachusetts for the third time in four weekends Saturday to face Endicott College in its final nonconference test of the season.

Game time is noon at Hempstead Field in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Coach Gabby Price’s Eagles, 2-1 and ranked 11th in the first New England Division III Football Poll of the year, look to bounce back from a tough 21-14 loss to Western New England University at Springfield, Massachusetts, last Saturday.

Husson led 14-0 in the second quarter, then was marching to take a 21-0 lead midway through the third period before Western New England returned a fumble 94 yards to the Husson 6. The Golden Bears scored on the next play and eventually capped off their rally by scoring the winning touchdown with 52 seconds left in the rematch of a 2016 NCAA Division III playoff game also won by the WNE.

Husson has been led offensively by senior running back John Smith, who has rushed for 431 yards and six touchdowns on 90 carries with two lost fumbles. Junior quarterback Cory Brandon has completed 38 of 72 passes for 425 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Eagles’ defense has been paced by senior defensive lineman Luke Washburn (22 tackles), senior defensive back Jean Gabriel (21 tackles) and junior linebacker Elvin Suazo (18 tackles).

Like Western New England, Endicott is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, which Husson will join for football in 2019.

The Gulls are off to a deceptive 1-3 start under third-year head coach Kevin DeWall.

Endicott’s three defeats have come against Framingham State, MIT and Hobart — teams with a combined 10-2 record — and the Gulls return home after playing three straight road games.

Endicott has relied on its aerial game early in the season, averaging 252.8 passing yards per contest to rank first in the CCC.

Husson (1-0 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference) resumes its defense of that 2016 championship on Oct. 7 when it hosts SUNY Maritime at the Winkin Complex in Bangor. That game matches the top two teams in the preseason coaches poll with Husson the No. 1 pick just ahead of a SUNY Maritime club that is 3-0 and hosts Alfred State on Saturday in its ECFC opener.

Maine Maritime Academy Mariners (0-3) vs. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineers (2-2), noon Saturday, at Worcester, Massachusetts: Both teams seek their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference victory of the season.

Maine Maritime (0-1 NEWMAC) played its first-ever league game last Saturday, falling to Merchant Marine 56-31 at Castine despite senior quarterback Corey Creeger passing for 152 yards and rushing for 80 more.

Defense continues to be the major issue for the youthful Mariners, who have yielded an average of 49.7 points and 494 yards per game.

WPI dropped its conference opener at powerful Springfield last Saturday. The Engineers fell 42-10 to Springfield (4-0), the top-ranked team in this week’s New England Division III poll.

WPI has featured offensive balance so far this season, averaging 202 yards per game through the air and 180 yards on the ground.

Other games, 1 p.m.: Colby (0-2) at Middlebury (2-0), Bowdoin (0-2) at Amherst (2-0), Tufts (1-1) at Bates (0-2)

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...