Monday, July 7, 2008

The Season Comes To A Close


Bergamo 48 – Parma 35

Bolzano 49- Catania 20



10-0 Bolzano Giants *

8-2 Bergamo Lions *

8-2 Parma Panthers *

6-4 Catania Elephants *

5-5 Bologna Doves

4-6 Milan Rhinos

2-8 Palermo Corsari

1-9 Ancona Dolphins

1-9 Palermo Sharks



Saturday, July 19th at 8:30 p.m.:

Bolzano (11-0) vs. Bergamo (9-2) at Cattolica, Italy


After three schedule changes by the people at IFL headquarters as to the time and date of our Smi-Final Playoff game, we finally left Catania early Sunday morning for the flight to Verona. From there it was on to Bolzano via our usual “Pullman”, a.k.a., an air-conditioned recliner bus.

An added plus was having both my bride, Laurie, and Joe Mollica with us on the trip.

We found Bolzano sitting quietly at the base of the incredibly beautiful Dolomite Mountains. The Giants play in a nice stadium with stunning views all around of the Dolomites. Their field is ancient Astroturf, which is as hard as a rock. It has been raining off and on in Bolzano for the past week and we were greeted by some very ominous skies as we stepped off the bus.



It’s raining hard as the Giants lineup for the opening kickoff.

The Elephants had the ball first and were forced to punt.

Bolzano’s Reggie Green ran the in for A TD from the 15 yard line, Giants 7-0

After a good kickoff return by Matt Epperson, Enrico Lombardo answered with a 3 yard run of his own. After missing the PAT, the Giants still led 7-6.

Reggie Green punches it in from 5 yards out extending the Giant’s lead to 14-6.


Matt Epperson catches a 9 yard pass from Jason Johnson, Giants 14-12.

Reggie Green goes 50 yards this time, Giants 21-12.

Lightning is starting to strike around us, so the referees  send both teams to their locker rooms for safety. This lightning delay lasted 30 minutes.

After play resumes, Catania is forced to punt.

Matt Epperson intercepts a Bolzano pass in the end zone.

The Elephants punt again.

The Giants hit a 55 yard pass to pad their lead at 28-12.

The Elephants have the ball as the first half comes to a close


Bolzano hits another TD pass, the Giants are now up 35-12.

Matt Epperson catches a 2 yard TD pass from Jason and Peppe Strano catches the 2 point PAT pass cutting the deficit to 35-20.

Matt Epperson strikes yet again, recovering a perfectly executed on side kick by Andrea Mannino.


Catania squanders the opportunity turning the ball over on downs.

Reggie Green, 8 yards, TD, Giants pulling away at 42-20.

The Elephants run out of downs again.

Reggie Green, 7 yards, TD, Giants 49-20.

The Elephants’ last drive of the campaign ends with an interception.

The Giants use a fake punt and a deep play action pass to keep their drive alive as they run out the clock.

FINAL SCORE: Bolzano 49 – Catania 20


We finish our season at 6-5 while 11-0 Bolzano will face the defending National Champion, 9-2 Bergamo Lions in two weeks in Cattolica in the Italian Super Bowl.

So ends what was probably the most amazing experience of my 39 year coaching career. We are a family truly is the feeling I was left to cherish!

I hate to see this season end, the memories I keep and the warmth of the friends I have met, will be with me forever! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

george, i'm about to begin writing a weekly column about good ol' USA football in Italy. please contact me at your convenience.