Sunday, May 25, 2008

Parma Game

Enrico Lombardo running the pigskin

Jason Johnson on the bootleg

Another day in the Italian Arena Football League...

All the IFL game were delayed for about 15 minutes at the start of the games as the referees protested the physical attack by some of the Palermo Corsari players after last Sunday's loss to the crosstown Palermo Sharks.

Once play finally started, the first play of the game was about a 50 yard pass play by Jason Johnson that ended with a lost fumble. Our defense had a solid 4 play series and forced a punt and then the fireworks began!

Jason ran a QB sneak for our first score but we got our PAT blocked, Elephants 6-0. Parma countered with a running TD to take a 7-6 lead. Jason brought us right back with a TD pass to Matt Epperson and Andrea Mannino drilled the PAT to give Catania a 13-7 advantage. On the Panthers next drive Matt made a great interception and on the ensuing drive Enrico Lombardo ran the ball into the end zone, we missed the PAT but still led 19-7. Parma;s new QB Tom Zettzs from Youngstown State in Ohio scrambled his way to paydirt to end the first quarter with Catania leading 19-14.

On our next possession we turned the ball over on downs and Parma ran the ball to take the lead 21-19. Parma's squib kick took a fortuitous bounce and they recovered the kickoff, eventually scoring on another running play to increase their lead to 28-19. After another Catania fumble our defense was able to hold the Panthers out of the end zone to end the half with Parma still leading 28-19.

The Parma passing game then got rolling and their TD upped the margin to 35-19 in their favor. Jason responded with another TD pas to Matt and Enrico ran in the 2 point PAT to cut it to 35-27. The Panthers kept running the ball and scored on the ground to go up 42-27. Enrico then scored his third rushing TD, we missed our 2 point PAT attempt and now trailed 42-33 to end the third period.

Parma kept running and scored another rushing TD to lead 49-33. Jason refused to give up and hit Matt with yet another TD pass, Enrico punched it in for two points and now it was Parma 49-41. We recovered our onside kick, Matt catches his third TD pass from Jason and Matt catches a 2 point PAT, the score is now tied 49-49. Parma responds with a big kickoff return and then runs the ball for a TD that makes it 56-49 Panthers. Jason throws the ball to Claudio Mangano for 6, and then hits him again for 2 to make it 57-56 Elephants with less than a minute remaining in the game. The Panthers convert a huge 4th down play and throw a passes for both a TD and a 2 point PAT to take a 64-57 lead with 22 seconds left in the game. We got the ball one last time but ran out of time.

FINAL SCORE: Parma 64 - Catania 57

Parma is now 4-2 for the year and we are 5-2 on the season with a home game vs. the Palermo Corsari next week.   

Mt. Etna puts on it's usual pre-game show

Atilio, the owner of the Fundo Bianco, a favorite Elephant watering hole, surprised the team with this great banner before the game.

Corey Mazza
The Pride of Thousand Oaks H.S.

My first teaching and coaching job was at Thousand Oaks H.S. in California from 1970 to 1978. I coached against Corey his last two seasons of high school football when he played for Thousand Oaks H.S. while I was coaching at Ventura's Buena H.S.

Corey was an excellent player in high school, a great player at Harvard University and the difference maker today scoring the winning TD with 22 seconds left in the game.


DPLassen said...

Clearly, Arena Football need never come to Italy. It will be too low-scoring compared to the IFL.

From this side of the earth, it looks like you'll have to win two of the last three to get into the playoffs for sure ... any idea about tiebreakers?

George said...

I would assume that if it comes to that we would lose the tiebreaker vs. both Bergamo and Parma by virtue of their wins over us. Bergamo beat Parma in game 1 of the season so there is their tiebreaker.

Then again this is Italy and we do know some people in Sicily...