Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lazio Marines Season Finale Game

6 Wins - 2 Losses


2 Wins - 6 Losses

Sunday, May 31 at C.U.S.
at 2:00 p.m.

Our final game of the season was played on a great day to play American football!

Today's Head Referee Jeremy Glasser

Hailing from Colorado, we met Jeremy on the day of our Youth Football Camp at NAS Sigonella.  He is stationed there and asked about the possibility of continuing his refereeing career here in the IFL.  I put him in contact with Antonio Costarella, an ex-Elephant who is also an IFL official.  His offer to help was accepted and here he is sporting the White Hat in our last game.  He did a very good job officiating the game today.

Obvious pre-game jitters

The Elephants charge the field!

TRUTH IN BLOGGING STATEMENT:  Before I start telling you about our game, I must take a moment to let you in on a little of the behind the scenes issues with which Lazio had to deal.

First, at 6-2 they were locked into the #2 seed in the playoffs win or lose.  Second, they felt they needed to rest their outstanding American QB Nick Eyde and their excellent LB Kellen Pruitt.  This decision would definitely shape the course of the game.

Andrea Maninno kicking an extra point.

Defense ready to blitz!

Catania erupts for a 67 yard TD pass from Arturo Sanchez to Claudio Mangano.  Andrea Maninno adds the extra point, the Elephants take a lightening quick 7-0 lead.

Lazio is forced to punt.

The Elephants score again, this time on a 3 yard TD pass from Sanchez to Mangano.  Maninno's PAT kick is true, Catania 14 - Lazio 0.

Lazio turns the ball over on downs as the First Quarter ends with the Elephants in charge 14-0.

Wide Receivers With Attitude

Gregorio Barbagallo and Claudio Mangano

Lock Down!

As usual, Larry Atkinson did a FABULOUS job against the Marines best receiver.

Catania's drive is halted by a bad snap on third down, followed by a snap over the punter's head, followed by a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty when the punter spikes the ball in anger.

The Marines take advantage of all of the above mentioned Elephant follies and scores on a 3 yard pass.  The kick is good cutting the Catania lead to 14-7.

The Elephant offense responds, ignited by a bone crunching block by WR Claudio Mangano.  Taber Lemarr finishes the drive with a 22 yard TD pass from Arturo.  Maninno is money and Catania now leads 21-7.

CB Emanuele "The Norman" Gariffo intercepts a Marines pass and returns it 10 yards.

Catania misses a 30 yard Field Goal attempt.

Lazio runs the clock out to end the First Half.  Catania leads 21-7.

Taber LeMarr goes high in the air for the ball!

Larry Atkinson's 40 yard TD scamper

Lazio takes the kickof and drives until Taber LeMarr intercepts a pass and returns it 15 yards.

Catania punts and Lazio has a huge return.

The Marines strike pay dirt with a 23 yard TD pass, the kick is good.  Catania's lead is now 21-14.

After a Lazio onside kick does not travel the neccesary 10 yards, Larry Atkinson takes the first snap of the drive 40 yards for a TD.  Maninno kicks another one through the uprights, Elephants go up 28-14.

Lazio punts.

Catania punts.  The Third Quarter ends with Catania ahead 28-14.

Denver and Paul pacing the 4th quarter sideline.

Mathieu Cassaghi with a big block on Larry Atkinson's interception.

Lazio hits a 3rd down heave for a 68 yard TD.  The kick is perfect, Catania's lead is now 28-21.

The Elephants punt.

Larry Atkinson intercepts a Marines pass and returns it 80 yards for an apparent TD but there is a flag on the field for clipping negating the TD but it is still our ball.

Catania's RB Enrico Lombardo has a huge run on first down to the 15 yard line.  We decide to take a knee.  At the end of the second down play I believed the ref said we still had 50 seconds left and two knees would not eat up enough time.  I called a bad time out at his point to get us to run a play in an attempt to get a first down only to find out that there was only 15, not 50, seconds left in the game.  Talk about a stupid call on my part!  Catania eventually turns the ball over on downs with 3 seconds left in the game.

On the last play of the game, the Marines hit their good receiver for a 15 yard gain but the Elephants swarm to the ball and the game is over.

Catania 28 - Lazio 21!

Lucki Camarda and "Il Dottore" Salvo Sicali enjoyed the win

Davide gave me a hug after the game

Or maybe it was the Sicilian "Kiss of Death"

The Elephants salute the crowd

NG Corrado Di Martino

GREAT year Corrado!

Three American Coaches

Paul and Denver, THANKS for all you did for the Elephants this season!

Taber and Larry

Both had a lot of big plays the last month of the season.

Taber leaves Catania on Monday on his way back to Phoenix.

Larry leaves on Tuesday for Washington D.C.  where he will join the Maryland Maniacs of the Arena Football League II for the last half of their season.

The victory was a GREAT way to end the season, lots of exciting plays and a great renewal of spirit and enthusiam which made for a fantastic day.

"It's GREAT to be an Elephant!!!"


eppy said...

Hi George,

Congratulations to you and the Elephants finishing your season so strongly. I have truly enjoyed following the Elephant's season and appreciate your time and efforts in keeping this blog. I'm sure you would attest, the Elephants are a fabulous group of people to be associated with. I hope to visit there again someday. May the rest of your stay and your trip home be enjoyable and safe.
Best Regards,
Mark Epperson

George said...


Thanks for following the blog this season. Hope all is well for you at Oklahoma State.