Monday, June 16, 2008

Bolzano Giants and the Waiting Game

Sunday marked the last day of our regular season with a home game against the high flying, league leading, 8-0 Bolzano Giants. This was a critical game to keep our slim playoff hopes alive.

Mark and Susie Johnson at the Piazza Duomo

I drove the two of them to breakfast near the Catania Duomo. For good luck, I had them pose by the city's Elephant mascot statue.

Catania EMT's Preparing for the Carnage

Barry Fisher requested a picture of the EMT's at work. Here's to you Barry!

The Officiating Crew for the Game led by "White Hat" Bill Alge from Findlay, Ohio

One of the Italian referees that has worked many of our games and is a real good guy, Gennaro Brancaccio

The Bolzano Game Report

Catania scores on a 10 yards Jason Johnson pass to Gregorio Barbagallo, Andrea Mannino adds the PAT, Catania leads 7-0

Catania's Matt Epperson recovers the ensuing onside kick leading to a Johnson to Claudio Mangano TD pass, Elephants 14-0

Bolzano's Reggie Green scores on a 12 yard run, Catania 14-7

Catania turns the ball over on downs as a fake punt pass comes up about a foot short of a first down, Elephants 14-7 at the quarter

Bolzano's Reggie Green adds a 29 yards TD run, Elephants lead is cut to 14-13

Catania throws a pass interception

Bolzano's Reggi Green (I'm sensing a pattern here) runs 44 yards to pay dirt, Giants take the lead 19-14

Catania responds with a 62 yard TD pass, Johnson to Epperson, Elephants 21-19

Bolzano is forced to punt

Catania scores on the last play of the half on another Johnson to Epperson 20 yards pass, Catania 28-19

Bolzano's Reggie Green Show racks up another TD, this time Reggie goes to the house from 25 yards out on a screen pass, they add a 2 point PAT pass play to cut their deficit to 1 point, Elephants 28-27

Catania turns the ball over on downs

Bolzano's Reggie Green catches a swing pass and turns it into an 18 yards TD, Giants take the lead 35-28

Catania throws an interception

Bolzano finally throws the ball to someone not named Reggie Green and this unknown soldier scores from 8 yards out, Bolzano pushes their lead to 42-28

Catania's Mangano catches a 9 yards TD paas from Johnson cutting the Giants lead to 42-35

Bolzano is forced to punt

Catania turns the ball over on downs

Bolzano scores on a 9 yards TD run by guess who? You are correct if you said Reggie Green, Giants stretch their lead to 49-35

Catania scores on yet another Johnson TD pass, this time to Peppe Strano from 5 yards out, Bolzano 49-42

Bolzano recovers the onside kick and takes a knee.

FINAL SCORE: Bolzano (9-0) 49 - Catania (6-4) 42


Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: As you have probably guessed Reggie Green is a pretty damned good football player! We onside kicked on ALL 7 of our kickoffs and went for it on all of our fourth downs out of respect for his open field running ability in return situations.

Matt Epperson: Matt played for the first time since breaking his ribs at the end of the Parma game forcing him to miss two games. What a gutsy and uplifting performance by the "Pride of Amarillo"!

Now What?: We finished our regular season at 6-4. Bolzano is in first place at 9-0, then it is Bergamo at 7-2, Parma at 6-2, Bologna at 5-3 and Catania at 6-4. Only the top four teams make the playoffs.

This week 9-0 Bolzano plays it's last game at 5-3 Bologna, 7-2 Bergamo plays their season finale at 1-8 Ancona and 6-2 Parma plays the 2-7 Palermo Corsari.

The following weekend Parma and Bologna square off.

Our only hope of extending the season into the first round of the playoffs is for Bologna to lose both of their two remaining games thus dropping their record to 5-5. 

If Bologna wins one of their last two games it will be "Wait Until Next Year!" time since Bologna's win over us would be the tie-breaker if we both finish at 6-4.

If Parma were to lose it's last two games to finish at 6-4, their victory over the Elephants would also be the tie-breaker.

It will be a long two weeks of waiting...WE'LL SEE.

Reggie Green: Out of New York's Siena College, he is EASILY the best RB in the IFL. A very classy, 8 year veteran of the IFL, I loved the way he played hard, acted like he'd been there before and played with a combination grace and old school toughness. After he game he was a real gentleman too. WHAT A GREAT PERSON!

Here I am with our only year long two-way STUDS, Matt and Brandon

Matt and fellow Texan, Ashley Funk, who has been studying in Denmark

They met on the plane from Dallas to London last January.

Enrico Lombardo (#37/#33) joined the "Dorm Boys" and the Fundo Biaco's owner Atilio

Nice fireworks show Atilio, THANKS!

The Coaches and "The Americans"

Pink Elephants on Parade

Ashley, Valeria, Christie and Roberta

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