Sunday, March 30, 2008

We Came, We Saw...


Final score Elephants 47 - Rhinos 40.

It was indeed the proverbial wild shootout.  We were down 20-6 at one point early in the second quarter but stormed back with a TD to end the half with 28-20 lead. The key was taking the opening drive of the second half in for a score to go up by 2 TD’s and never give up the lead.

Offensively, our line, led by Brandon Bennett, did a very solid job protecting our QB Jason Johnson and opening holes for our HB Enrico Lombardo. Our receivers did well also with Matt Epperson and Claudio Mangano leading the way.

I was very proud of Jason who took a couple of VERY good hits but bounced up as if nothing had happened and went on to the next play. He might actually be tougher than I give him credit!

Defensively, we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and missed a bunch of tackles but give major credit to Milan RB Steve Silva, TOUGH RUNNER! Their QB John Stocco also played very well as did their TE Manny Di Grande and WR Luca Catalano.

The big defensive play of the game for the Elephants was a great interception by CB Massimo Tribulato to seal the victory with about one minute left in the game. Back-up MLB Roberto Conti played very well after our starter had to leave with bruised ribs.

These are two very good offensive teams that played at Milan’s Veledrome Vigorelli today!

Bottom line was we won, are 1-0 and are in first place in the league by ourselves until the results of the other two games on Sunday are reported.

BYE week this week and then we fly to Bergamo for our second game of the season.

I do have some pre-game notes I want to share with you.

DAVIDE AND DANIELA ARE PARENTS: About one hour before kick-off we got the word that Alessandro finally arrived in Catania. Great day all the way around for the Elephant family.

WATER UPDATE:  Suddenly at 11:40 p.m. last night the water came on at Malibu! I woke up at 3:45 a.m. to take a much needed shower only to find out that we had no hot water and very little water pressure. When I raised the shower head above my waist, no water! At least half of me is clean.

FLIGHT TO TURIN: I know we are playing Milan but one of our team sponsors is a local airline named Wind Jet and their first flight to Milan today lands at 1:00 p.m. for our 3:00 p.m. kickoff. Thus we flew to Turin at 6:05 a.m. and after landing in Turin, boarded a nice, new recliner bus for the 90 minute to 2 hour trip to Milan. We made a pit stop along the way probably for a smoke more than for their restrooms and food.

PRE-GAME: We were at the Velodrome about 45 minutes before the gates opened, one more chance to smoke before kick-off!

POST GAME: The teams do an Italian version of “2-4-6-8…” after the game but it is a lot more interesting! 

Two pretty darn good QB's
Jason and Milan's John Stocco after the shootou

Jason and George after the first win of the season

Did you know that The Beattles played in the Milan Velodrome in 1965?


DPLassen said...

Congratulations ... I guess the two coordinators will be allowed to continue in their respective positions.

Just wondering ... what's the quality of the officiating like?

Have a great trip ... I'm really looking forward to hearing about Prague. It's high on my list of places I want to visit.

Oh, one bit of sports news from here ... UCLA beat Xavier 75-57 in the West Regional in Phoenix, so the Bruins (and I) are off to San Antonio this week for the Final Four.

Gayleannie said...

Congratulations "Coach" on your first IFL victory...may there be many more to come! Enjoyed the game recap...tough to read in Italian on the website. Enjoy your week.

George said...


Officiating was "interesting" . We lead the IFL in pass interference penalties. They conferred so much that the first half lasted 2 hours without a smoking break for Pete's sake!

After 8 hours in Prague, I'm in love with the city. It's kind Disneyland meets a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. I have two more days of serious exploring to do but Prague is at the top of my list for the moment.

Oh, and the Pilsner Urquell is good too!

Final Four of what?

DPLassen said...

Pass interference penalties ... that's all coaching, isn't it?

Oh, and that would be the Final Four of another American sport the Italians now play.

Your initial report on Prague agrees with what I've heard, thanks to the fact it was one of the few major European cities that wasn't bombed in WWII.

Enjoy your pilsner.